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20 Seiki Shounen  
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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 group of boys who try to save the world.

Won the Kodansha Manga Award in the category "Best General Manga" in 2001.


Related Series

Associated Names
Мальчики 20-ого века
فتيان القرن العشرون
20 Seiki Shōnen
20세기 소년
20th Century Boys
Nijuu Seiki Shounen
Twentieth Century Boys

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)
v.22 c.9-13 (end) by Manga-Heaven (3028d ago)
v.22 c.8 by Manga-Heaven (3097d ago)
v.22 c.7 by Manga-Heaven (3115d ago)
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
22 Volumes (Complete)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter

User Reviews
20th Century Boys by cryptic
20th Century Boys by Master_M2K


User Rating
Average: 8.9 / 10.0 (1307 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.84 / 10.0
 41% (536 votes)
 30% (393 votes)
 18% (230 votes)
 6% (75 votes)
 2% (27 votes)
 1% (8 votes)
 0% (5 votes)
 0% (3 votes)
 0% (4 votes)
 2% (26 votes)

Last Updated
November 19th 2015, 8:41am PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Big Comic Spirits (Shogakukan)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
Viz (22 Volumes - Complete)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #500 increased(+72)
Monthly Pos #560 decreased(-3)
3 Month Pos #542 increased(+4)
6 Month Pos #486 decreased(-1)

List Stats
On 758 reading lists
On 1190 wish lists
On 2612 completed lists
On 100 unfinished lists
On 374 custom lists

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Forum Posts
20th Century boys questions (spoiler) 667 days, 3 hours, 59 minutes ago
"20th Century Boys" Live Action 2284 days, 1 hours, 13 minutes ago

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]

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Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by kiriee
November 11th, 2015, 10:34am
For the first half, Everything laid out perfectly but the last half not so great with so many new character being introduced and how the author trying to make it like they are supposed to be there or maybe a twist to me it was just after thought to make the series last longer than it should.

A lot of manga suffer a from this kind of thing, I guess this is kind of thing that you have to deal with popular manga, kinda a shame to see perfectly great manga turn into an good manga near the end. Well still worth reading.

... Last updated on November 11th, 2015, 10:35am
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Rating: N/A
by Dr. Love
May 21st, 2014, 6:46pm
A classic. Anyone who reads manga knows this manga. And even people who don't read manga know what 20th Century boys is! As usual Urakawa develops a world with loads of interesting and diverse characters yet manages to tie all their plot lines up neatly.

Personally I thought 21st Century Boys was unnecessary (or should've been added to 20th Century Boys).
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A good read, but it drags on and loses momentum.   
Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
by Neofit
April 25th, 2014, 5:25am
A great series, to be sure, but it wastes a lot of time on trivial things that do not add anything relevant to the main story. The second half is thus not as good as the first - too many characters are being introduced almost regularly and then quickly set aside, old characters fade into the background, plot elements that looked as if they would play a major part in the story later on are mostly forgotten or set aside as if the author just decided to drop it, and the whole story gets quite silly and loses the original detective thriller/mystery feel; a lot of implausible things get hand-waved just to set up a particular setting for the last part, which ultimately drags on the most without being particularly satisfying and does not even wrap up in the main series.
Ultimately, it is a very good read, it manages to entice and deliver on its suspense (most of the time), and I would gladly recommend it to anyone interested in conspiracy thrillers, but the second half is not quite as satisfying and interesting as the first.
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Loved it.   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Serendipity_
November 5th, 2013, 3:13pm
I'm officially in love with Urasawa Naokis work. His characters, stories, art, everything. This manga didn't disappoint, none of his Manga does really.

The thing with Urasawas manga is that it takes a certain type of audience to get his work. A rather mature audience. I'm not saying that some people here are immature, but if you haven't read many seinen manga or don't like this kinda theme at all, then you would have a hard time getting what Urasawa's trying to do. Personally I'm glad I waited this long before reading any of his work, because I know if I had read them earlier I wouldn't share the same opinion I have now.

Strongly recommended.

... Last updated on November 5th, 2013, 3:17pm
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Huh? Is that a movie?   
Rating: 8.5 / 10.0
by Fantasier
October 5th, 2013, 12:45am
With just only two reads of his manga, I notice that the talent of Urasawa Naoki's is the ability to give a manga feeling of a movie.

20th Century Boys is probably the most famous piece of the author, at least the very first one I heard of Naoki's. The graphic style is just fine. I neither like it or dislike it. I started reading his piece, and what first strikes me is the 'mangatography'. Naokish angles and 'camera' positions in each panel of the manga give me excitements.

The story is what people praise a lot on how it is so engaging, thrilling and suspenseful. I however don't really think so. Sure, it is engaging and makes me want more and more until the secret is revealed. Still, it is not that unpredictable for me; say, I could guess who is 'Friend' very early. I'm not saying I'm clever or anything, but the job can better be done by distracting readers from some facts even more.

Also, this series contains a lot of 'cut's from the current scenes, which are usually good, but sometimes there are just so many of them that I'm irritated rather than excited. The cuts usually lead to Naokish time skips, which seem to be his signature. These time skips are cleverly used, but then again, there are sometimes too many of them, making it unpleasant rather than intriguing.

Those flaws said, I enjoyed it very much. 20th Century Boys deserves its fame.
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I don't get it   
Rating: N/A
by Kamugin
January 11th, 2013, 8:51am
I'm reading this up to vol. 9 now and I'm still waiting something good to happen, besides any of the protagonists haven't got my affection yet, not even Kenji or Kanna. Also the "Friend" guy isn't fearsome, not for me. A villain is good when you want to see him/her dead. I want to see him dead, not because he is a very bad guy, but because he is tedious. These "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" like plots are a bit tiresome for me. I started reading this manga because the author is "a big star", the one who wrote Yawara and Monster, this is the first one I'm reading, also one of his most acclaimed works, but I have yet to see what is so good about it. A good manga should get the reader interested since the beggining or at least not after the first three or four volumes. Since the beginning the author is promising to the reader that something good, really interesting is about to happen and until vol. 9 he haven't fulfilled that promise. When I finish this, I'll come to change my comment, for the better I hope. At least there are "only" 22 volumes to read.

... Last updated on January 11th, 2013, 8:53am
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Rating: N/A
by Choreboy
October 1st, 2012, 1:12pm
I've read many series with time skips, but never one who applied it so creatively. It is one of the most essential components of this series, if not the most, and is used masterfully. That said, this was a very compelling series about childhood friendships that constantly made you ponder and theorize who the true culprit was IMO. Looking back, I honestly can't believe I didn't catch on, but I'm glad the mysteries kept me fooled for some time. It's not like I scrutinized every every aspect of every character, either. I would recommend this series for anyone who enjoys seinen with mystery or a classic (I've never read another manga quite like it). It's not like most of the manga today, centered around repulsively unreal awkward & cliche romance, giant breasts on what's essentially a child (with way too much fanservice), over-the-top super powers, and blushing for no reason (I hate it because most of the time nobody would actually do so is most situations). Quite the breath of fresh air to me. **FOR THOSE WHO'VE READ THE SERIES IN IT'S ENTIRETY ONLY. THIS WILL RUIN YOUR READING EXPERIENCE IF READ BEYOND THIS POINT.**
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
I will add that some aspects were a bit too convenient because too many of the main characters that were thought to be dead were actually alive until the end. This made the ending a bit boring and I wouldn't have tagged this as a tragedy because of that fact. Still, it was a great manga and completely worth the time put in to reading it.

... Last updated on October 1st, 2012, 1:12pm
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Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by nail80
June 5th, 2012, 6:46am
But not great.
Having read a number of Urasawa's works it's clear to see that the story telling is there, the art is as good as ever and the intricate plot devices still continue to exist.
But at the same time all of his works pale in comparison with the masterpiece that was Monster.
Like Monster it has an epic plot, but in trying to make a bigger, more intricate plot he loses track of the flow of the story. It's understandable but a pity. One timeskip was interesting, although not quite to my tastes, and the second timeskip was completely unnecessary. The tendency to develop several subplots at the same time was also kind of misused, it confused me at times instead of shedding light into the plot.
The characters were fairly interesting showing great development. This of course applies to the protagonists, not the endless flow of secondary characters. These were in and out and in again, no clear decision on their part. The flashbacks were very interesting and a good plot device. I loved to see parts of the mystery delivered slowly and the various misconceptions that derived from there. I was very interested in knowing who was the mastermind.
20th Century Boys is a very good manga, very good indeed.
But it's not as great as Monster
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Another Great Work by Urasawa Naoki   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by bull3thole
May 6th, 2012, 10:25am
The creativity for his works is so amazing. The plot draws you in just like his other mangas. There are a mass of characters mentioned in this manga that may cause confusion, but by finishing this in a couple of days, it helped me. There are many flashbacks in this manga to help reminisce the childhood of the characters and how they were when they were young so

The things that made me think that Naoki's other work "Monster" is better is because at times it seems like the plot drags on. Another is the massive amount of characters mention including the flashbacks for some characters can be very confusing for some people.

Overall, its a great manga that people should definitely read. I also recommend that you should read his Naoki' other great work called "Monster".

... Last updated on August 8th, 2014, 11:01am
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One of the best out there   
Rating: 9.1 / 10.0
by Crenshinibon
January 23rd, 2012, 11:39am
It's been a long time, but I suddenly felt like writing a review for this one, so bear with me a bit.

I tend to be extremely harsh in my critiques, from a generalized standpoint at least. The first thing I see in any work are its flaws. I'm not going to lie, here. We're dealing with a piece that has many. With such an enormous cast, character development is often sudden and relatively unprovoked. Like a bad shounen title, characters that should have died magically reappear, though admittedly to ravenous applause. The endgame has some slightly short-sighted psychological portrayals (though I'll refrain on saying much more, let's say some motivations are a little ridiculous, though thematically relevant).

And yet. And yet and yet and yet. Nijuu Seiki Shounen will likely always be Urasawa's greatest work. It is to Monster what 2666 is to Bolano's The Savage Detectives, what The Brothers Karamazov is to Crime and Punishment. Nijuu Seiki Shounen is very much a work at the level of a magnum opus. It takes the insight Urasawa honed with Monster, the humor he mastered with Yawara!, and rolls it into something altogether new, strange, and wonderful. For all of its flaws, 20th Century Boys is unmistakably insightful, masterfully plotted, and utterly gripping. It is, in the end, exactly what the title implies: a work that truly deserves to be the end result of growing up in the 20th century.
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