Here’s a quote nicked straight from the summary to explain what it’s about:
"Humanity, having faced extinction at the end of the 20th century, would not have entered the new millennium if it weren't for them. In 1969, during their youth, they created a symbol. In 1997, as the coming disaster slowly starts to unfold, that symbol returns. This is the story of a gang of boys who try to save the world."
Intriguing, right? At the centre of the unfolding story is a mysterious cult headed by an as yet unknown man named “Friend”. It’s awesomely creepy. But then to counter the creepiness, there’s a lot of humour surrounding the protagonist Kenji and his friends. The story flips back and forth between ‘present day’ and flashbacks of Kenji and his childhood buddies. Having just started volume 2, I’m no closer to predicting what is going to happen, but it’s definitely an enjoyable process.
If like me, you’ve found the concept of manga a bit puzzling, I’d recommend this as a jumping off point. It’s filed under our adult graphic novels, so rest assured that it’s not fluffy teen content (not that I find teen graphic novels less worthy, but each to their own). Come to the manga side! It’s surprisingly excellent.
Title: 20th Century Boys Vol. 01: Friends
Author: Naoki Urasawa
Publisher: Viz Media
- Aimee, Howick Library