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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.
Won the Seiun Award for Best Comic in 2008.


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 over 10 years ago
v.22 c.8 by Manga-Heaven over 10 years ago
v.22 c.7 by Manga-Heaven over 10 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 (1428 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.85 / 10.0
 40% (567 votes)
 31% (436 votes)
 18% (251 votes)
 6% (88 votes)
 2% (35 votes)
 1% (11 votes)
 1% (8 votes)
 0% (3 votes)
 0% (4 votes)
 2% (25 votes)

Last Updated
February 17th 2018, 7:44am 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 #392 increased(+84)
Monthly Pos #569 increased(+61)
3 Month Pos #663 decreased(-72)
6 Month Pos #571 increased(+7)
Year Pos #575 decreased(-38)

List Stats
On 855 reading lists
On 1330 wish lists
On 2921 completed lists
On 102 unfinished lists
On 423 custom lists

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Forum Posts
20th Century boys questions (spoiler) over 4 years ago
"20th Century Boys" Live Action over 8 years ago

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User Comments [ Order by time added ]

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A Loveletter to Aging Otaku   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by tokkun
April 29th, 2007, 11:38pm
When I was a kid, I used to get an adrenaline rush reading shounen manga like Dragon Ball or Rurouni Kenshin, much like the kids in 20th Century Boys read Mazinger or Getter Robo. Sadly as we age, we lose some of the excitement we used to take in reading about characters striving to become the strongest fighter or a hero of justice. Nowadays I read mostly seinen manga, but at times I still long for the days when a manga could get my blood pumping. Thank god I found 20th Century Boys.

20cb is a manga that is both mature enough in character and plot to satisfy jaded manga fans and exciting enough to make you feel like a kid again. I can't remember the last time I've been so energized when reading a manga. The tension, cliffhangers, and plot twists kept me so tightly wound that on several occasions I was inspired to shout out a string of obscenities followed by an enthusiastic "Yeah!!" With multiple timelines stretching across 50 years, 20cb is not so much a 'thrill-ride' as it is a 'thrilling epic'.

I'm not one to easily score a series as a 10, but in the case of 20th Century Boys, it is well-deserved. It's among the best, if not the best, manga I have ever read.

I wanna be a Hero of Justice...
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Rating: 9.5 / 10.0
by luzzz
October 16th, 2008, 4:52am
This has got to be one of he most riveting manga I have ever read. It had me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. Both the art and storytelling are excellent, which is something I've come to expect from Urasawa. Unfortunately, I think the story was unnecessarily stretched out over the last story arc. I felt that those last chapters could have been used to effectively conclude the story and to explain any mysteries that were left. This might be why I found it strange that Urasawa had to utilise a sequel "21st Century Boys" to finish off the story.
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The Best Manga Ever   
Rating: N/A
by furato
July 9th, 2005, 1:04am
Many people like to say that their favourite manga is "teh best magna evar!!", but most of the times it's just a case of the reviewer not reading many titles. However, 20th Century Boys is the best manga I've ever read ever since I started reading manga in 1990, and it might just really be the best manga ever.

It doesn't have a lot of fighting, it doesn't have bodacious females in skimpy clothing, it doesn't have pretty young men, it doesn't have over-the-top humour, it doesn't even have anyone who comes from another dimension. It simply has wonderful art that conveys emotion in a real way and a very carefully crafted plot, with mysteries and surprises in every chapter, gripping you tight and not letting you stop reading until you run out of chapters.

I have recommended this title to all my manga-loving friends, and every one of them cursed me afterwards for causing them to stay up for nights to read all chapters in one go.
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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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Extremely overrated   
Rating: N/A
by Anonymous
June 17th, 2006, 11:29am
I tried reading this a few years back, and found it fairly interesting at first. However, the more I read, the more I became bored with it. Basically, it has a lot of plot twists, and no conclusions. The plot twists are so many that there's just no point in reading on. If you think you got something figured out, you know the author will just throw up some new theory over and over, so it's basically so unpredictable that it becomes predictable.
Furthermore, the endless plot twists doesn't allow for any closure. When you normally read a manga, you have different arcs and storylines, and while some remain open, some also finish, leaving you with a sense of closure, while at the same time leaves you looking forward for more. This manga doesn't have that. It just keeps going and going, and knowing that you're not going to be any wiser by the end of all the volumes, it just becomes unbearably dull. I simply got tired of waiting for the plot twists and the neverending spiral of new "surprising" information.
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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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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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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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An immortal classic   
Rating: N/A
by MattyKo
January 5th, 2006, 3:11pm
This is one of the greatest mangas written that I've ever read. The art work is great, similar to the other pieces of work that the author has also written such as Monster, with realistic tones and faces with that still animesque style. Don't expect to see much pointy noses or chins with unholy round eyes if you know what I mean. A psychological thriller/mystery with very innovative and unique ideas. If you could only read one manga in your life I recommend this one...every chapter is a page turner leading to something if you haven't already go d/l this manga....or buy it...
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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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