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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.

Note: Won the Kodansha Manga Award in the category "Best General Manga" in 2001.
Won the Seiun Award for Best Comic in 2008.


Related Series

Associated Names
20 Seiki Shōnen
20. Yüzyıl Çocukları
20th Century Boys
20th Século Meninos
20세기 소년
Abad ke-20 Anak Laki-laki
amigo símbolo chicos del siglo XX
Chłopaki z dwudziestego wieku
Garçons du 20ème siècle
I ragazzi del XX secolo
Jungen des 20. Jahrhunderts
Những Chàng Trai Thế Kỉ 20
Nijuu Seiki Shounen
Twentieth Century Boys
Мальчишки двадцатого века
فتيان القرن العشرين

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)
v.22 c.9-13 (end) by Manga-Heaven over 11 years ago
v.22 c.8 by Manga-Heaven over 11 years ago
v.22 c.7 by Manga-Heaven over 11 years 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 (1483 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.85 / 10.0
 39% (571 votes)
 31% (462 votes)
 18% (267 votes)
 6% (93 votes)
 2% (36 votes)
 1% (12 votes)
 1% (9 votes)
 0% (4 votes)
 0% (4 votes)
 2% (25 votes)

Last Updated
October 23rd 2018, 6:21am 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 #354 increased(+95)
Monthly Pos #608 increased(+72)
3 Month Pos #735 decreased(-36)
6 Month Pos #660 decreased(-50)
Year Pos #633 decreased(-13)

List Stats
On 874 reading lists
On 1374 wish lists
On 3020 completed lists
On 104 unfinished lists
On 441 custom lists

Note: You must be logged in to update information on this page.

Forum Posts
20th Century boys questions (spoiler) over 4 years ago
"20th Century Boys" Live Action over 9 years ago

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]

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Great start, drags on later   
Rating: 6.0 / 10.0
by NazarethSTG
April 20th, 2016, 4:34am
This series starts brilliantly, with a great premise, great characters and an engaging story. Sadly, what the author starts unveiling is not as interesting as the mistery that precedes it. It starts to drag on and to keep the reader's interest Urasawa starts to machinegun his trademark forced, ridiculous plot twists, a cheap way to tell a story. Maybe the story was too ambitious for Urasawa to handle, or maybe it's just that he's better at building mistery than explaining those mysteries, something that seems to be common in his work.

... Last updated on April 20th, 2016, 4:37am
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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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Rating: 5.0 / 10.0
by Kamugin
January 11th, 2013, 8:51am
20th Century Boys have its strong points indeed, the mystery hooked me pretty well at first, but man, what a lame bunch of "heroes"! I can't remember having seen before an equal or worse group of such powerless and witless protagonists that have to defeat a strong villain, specially the main character. Chapter after chapter I kept waiting that they would pull out something or do something out of the ordinary against the villains, but they didn't! They only won because the villain was a fan of the main protagonist, his childhood friend, and kind of gave up. Even the girl that had actual super powers didn't do much in the end. Lame, plain lame! I felt deceived after finishing it, the only character I liked was the girl that was the comic relief of the story, while she tried desperately to keep her head attached to her neck in that brainwashing prision school.

... Last updated on June 9th, 2017, 3:56pm
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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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