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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
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 (3102d ago)
v.22 c.8 by Manga-Heaven (3171d ago)
v.22 c.7 by Manga-Heaven (3189d 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 (1317 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.84 / 10.0
 41% (540 votes)
 30% (397 votes)
 18% (231 votes)
 6% (76 votes)
 2% (28 votes)
 1% (7 votes)
 0% (6 votes)
 0% (3 votes)
 0% (4 votes)
 2% (25 votes)

Last Updated
December 28th 2015, 9:55am 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 #493 increased(+64)
Monthly Pos #580 decreased(-17)
3 Month Pos #566 decreased(-32)
6 Month Pos #514 decreased(-25)

List Stats
On 775 reading lists
On 1210 wish lists
On 2632 completed lists
On 99 unfinished lists
On 378 custom lists

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Forum Posts
20th Century boys questions (spoiler) 740 days, 20 hours, 8 minutes ago
"20th Century Boys" Live Action 2357 days, 17 hours, 22 minutes ago

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]

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Triple A !♥   
Rating: 9.5 / 10.0
by HeeMello
November 26th, 2011, 9:33pm
O.M.G !
I didn't sleep at night because of this manga lol . It made my heart beat so fast just to know who "Friend" really was . I got so into it that i even cried , got scared and other things . I really liked it ^u^
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Hooks you till the end   
Rating: N/A
by tinman
October 26th, 2011, 7:14am
I must confess this is the first manga of Urasawa naoki I have read and what a potboiler it was ! I could go on about the style and the plot and the mind boggling character development but you probably heard that in one line this one is a mystery thriller manga of the very best kind . RECOMMENDED!
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Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by pandapple7
August 17th, 2011, 8:15am
another wonderful series by naoki urasawa, my favorite mangaka of all time! this is by far my favorite of his stories and one of my favorites in general. such a wonderful story line, transitioning from past to future events so effortlessly and beautifully! his portrayal of children is so very innocent and believable and their growth as characters is the thing i most prize about urasawa. you'll fall in love with many of these strong characters and they will be sure to touch your heart...i will be reading this wonderful series again and again biggrin
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A Masterpiece   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by rayculz
October 21st, 2010, 5:09am
From Yawara! to 20th Century Boys ...

Urasawa sensei is one of the greatest mangaka I've ever know. The Plot, The Story, The Character, The Graphic is masterpiece. When I was shocked after reading one of his Masterpiece "Monster", this manga is also great too. Well, just read it and welcome to the world of Naoki Urasawa.
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What hasn't been said?   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by brown pillow
June 15th, 2010, 1:46am
Turckin. I think that's what it is-- like a turkey chicken. I'm near-positive that that hasn't been said. But other than that, I'd have to pretty much regurgitate what others've been stating below me: it's ****ing brilliant. A masterpiece. Well, most of them. As far as an epic (I know, I said it) goes, especially for Urasawa, it's magnificent. Not perfect, but come on - that's gotta be painfully obvious. Who even expects something to be perfect these days, any-who? The sheer quantity of characters would make you expect that, obviously, the quality of them would in turn be downsized, but because this series is so dag-nabbed long he has enough time to flesh them out.
As the characters, to me, aside from the settings, are the most important aspect of this series, I'm not going to comment on anything else-- especially the invisible core of it all: the mystery. So, if you're ever finding yourself bored and thirsty for a good mistree, and you're reading this, then the obvious choice to make is to read this monster. Lolwhogetsit.

... Last updated on January 28th, 2011, 1:35pm
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Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Ace-619
January 9th, 2010, 9:10am
wow i dont even know where to start ok i'll just say a few things the plot in this so well done that i couldn't believe what was happening this has to be the best plot i have ever seen there are lots of time skips but never once was i confused and by the end i was just completely satisfied, the art is done well and all the characters are like able if your looking for a serious read then this is definitely the one.
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starts out strong, but...   
Rating: 4.0 / 10.0
by wait321
November 16th, 2009, 7:52am
This is a manga that starts out strong, with a lot of promise, but goes downhill as the story progresses. The first arc does an excellent job of developing the heroes and showing how their shared past is linked to the current world crisis. However, there's several problems that drag down this manga.

The most glaring problem is that the villains lack any appropriate motivation. There's hints that they suffered some trauma as children, but no flashback showed any trauma strong enough to cause them to destroy the world decades later. As the villains continuously execute crueler plans, it becomes impossible to ignore why these clearly rational villains would want to destroy the world.

A continuous parade of new characters, like the Italian priest, and subplots, like the Pope's sickness, are introduced to add twists to the story and then disappear completely. Scenes, like the UN introduction, are repeated numerous times to fill space. Major events that affect the world are followed by long jumps into the future with no explanation on the full consequences.

These problems aren't an issue for shorter stories, but they ruin a long series like this one. There's a clear sense that everything is happening purely to shock and entertain the reader for another chapter, with minimal effort to create a logical and coherent story.

... Last updated on December 20th, 2009, 10:30pm
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It was OK, but not great   
Rating: 7.0 / 10.0
by lozanogo
June 11th, 2009, 11:54pm
To start with let me say that this manga has some very strong points, as well as some very weak points, therefore in my opinion it evens out.

I read the manga Monster by Urasawa, which is a masterpiece, and then found people recommending this series, 20th century boys (the series concludes in the manga 21st century boys, which basically are two volumes).

-In terms of artwork, this is a very good manga, although I prefered the art of Monster. Nevertheless the artwork outstands.
-If something else outstand more than the artwork is the storytelling: Urasawa knows how to write and keep hooked the audience, I have to recognize that.
-Character development: quite good but expected since the story takes in 20+ years.
-But, the biggest but, is the story itself: It isn't half bad and it is well convoluted (an non-linear in chronology), but it is so easy to see how Urasawa extended artificially the story by using cheap tricks: namely adding more plots after the 'final plot' and making 'new clues' of how is the supervillian. The problem is that it is so obvious, and in the way he created many loopholes he never took care of closing them (I guess he had no idea of what to do, because it cannot be blamed by length).

So overall this is an OK manga: great artwork and storytelling, fine character development, but bad story development given the how obvious it was extended and the loopholes he created.
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Urasawa at his finest   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by AmishSamurai
February 17th, 2009, 4:57pm
For those who want to read this series, I suggest you read Monster first. I'd say that Urasawa easily topped that with 20th Century Boys. There are very similar themes in both (all-encompassing dubious organizations, enigmatic villains who are the focal points of the series and have large cults of personality around them, corrupt police, assassinations of high-profile figures, etc.) 20th Century Boys focuses on a large group of people whereas Monster was just unfolding events around Johan. However, "Friend" wasn't as disturbing of a villain as Johan, though he had his moments. The manga does well at pointing out Friend's
Spoiler (highlight to view)
rather petty
motives, the actual turning point isn't mentioned until 21st Century Boys.

... Last updated on February 24th, 2009, 5:02pm
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Truly great, but not perfect   
Rating: 8.5 / 10.0
by Telengard
November 17th, 2008, 10:50am
This is definitely one of the most compelling works I've ever read. Many plots and sub-plots are woven together so well that the whole is an intricate tapestry of mystery, intrigue, and suspense. Nothing is too confusing to understand, though the story is quite sophisticated.

The mangaka seems to have been heavily influenced by the works of Stephen King. Echoes of The Stand and Stand by Me haunt the reader throughout the series. Although somewhat unoriginal, these story elements are used expertly to keep the reader enthralled by the well paced revelations.

The only real weakness I can find is the lack of closure. As others have said before, it seemed like new plot twists were added only for the sake of extending the life of the series.

Now for a spoiler, something I almost never do.

Spoiler (highlight to view)
Sure, some main characters died, but their deaths didn't bring much satisfaction. Killing characters off isn't the same as closure. By the same token, resurrecting characters who have died is a very cheap way to explain a plot that's become hopelessly twisted!

The many flashbacks and flashforwards can be a bit confusing. Scenes from past, present, and future are sometimes depicted on the same page. Read carefully to avoid getting lost in time.

Overall, it's a truly great work, and I strongly recommend it to those who enjoy drama, mystery, and psychological. Fans of sci-fi and supernatural will not likely be satisfied.

... Last updated on November 17th, 2008, 11:06am
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