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20th Century Boys Vol. 15 July 1, 2011

Posted by ayasawada in Manga.
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I received the latest volume of 20th Century boys this week and read it in one sitting!
(SPOILERS) (more…)

Pluto May 6, 2011

Posted by ayasawada in Manga, Rave.
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It takes some balls to reimagine the work of the ‘God of Manga’ Osamu Tezuka, let alone his most treasured work. But if anyone can, Naoki Urasawa can. I’m hyperbolic at times, but believe me when I say this is one of the best manga, maybe even sci-fi, that I’ve ever read.

Pluto takes the most famous story in Tezuka’s Astro Boy (The Greatest Robot on Earth arc) and gives it the Urasawa touch, parachuting in a murder-mystery, thriller aspects and enough robot sci-fi themes to have Asamov frothing at the mouth. It is brilliant because it satisfies the reader on so many levels: aesthetically, entertainingly, thoughtfully. (more…)

New manga 28/4/11 April 30, 2011

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20th Century Boys rolls on. Interesting, rather than exciting, I felt. Still it’s enough to keep me interested, but now that the big secret of the Friend’s identity has been revealed, I’m less gripped than I was before. Still, I’m intrigued how the plot is going to resolve itself and what the Friend’s motivation was (if it’s just that ‘he’s evil’ I will be sorely disappointed). I have faith in Urasawa though. No matter how sprawling this has become he manages to keep hold of it and everything and everyone has a purpose, so I am hopeful of a big payoff. If it’s anywhere as good as Pluto, I’ll be happy ^^
Meanwhile, Cross Game continues to be AMAZING!! I think I’m going to write a separate post on vol. 3 so will save my thoughts for then.

New manga 8/4/11 April 9, 2011

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Latest Amazon order brings the new volume of Kimi Ni Todoke and the final volume of Pluto (because I can’t get it from the library, but I have to know how it ends!).
I have a lot of thoughts on Pluto, but will save for a proper post when I’ve finished the whole thing. I’m pretty sure already though that it’s one of the best manga – and sci-fi – I’ve ever read.
Kimi Ni Todoke vol 7 was nice, though didn’t pull on the heartstrings as much as previous volumes. Still, SawakoxKazehaya is hotting up, and what a bittersweet cliffhanger with the Valentine chocolates! I want more RyuxChizu though ^^


20th Century Boys Chapter 2 (2009) May 11, 2009

Posted by ayasawada in Film, Manga.
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Last Monday, the second movie in the 20th Century Boys live-action trilogy received its UK premiere as the closing film of the Sci-Fi London Film Festival. I can’t tell you how excited I was about seeing it. After watching the first part back in November, I’d been eagerly awaiting the next installment and feared that the usual slow Japan to UK transfer would mean waiting a year for the second and third parts (if they appeared at all). Since then, the trilogy has been picked up for UK DVD release and Viz have finally started releasing the graphic novels. Relief all round for Naoki Urasawa fans. ^^

So how about the second movie? Well, it certainly had me on the edge of my seat throughout, if only because I really wanted to know what happened next. I did enjoy the film but, on first impressions, I also found it a little disappointing. But that shouldn’t take away from what is still a fabulously enjoyable film.


20th Century Boys Part 1 (2008) March 4, 2009

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Twentieth Century Boys is perhaps one of the most famous manga, if not literature, in Japan. Widely praised and penned by the ‘master of the thriller’ Naoki Urasawa (who wrote Monster amongst other titles) it is now the biggest budget movie in Japanese cinema history, with the story being adapted into a trilogy of films, each released over a 12 month period.

The story revolves around a group of old school friends who discover that an apocalyptic scenario they wrote as children seems to be coming true. The scenario features everything from bombings and killer viruses to laser guns and giant robots. All the while, Japan comes under the grip of a mysterious cult led by ‘Friend’, a masked man who uses the same symbol the kids once adopted. And at the centre is Kenji, a washed out wannabe rock-star, who may be world’s only hope.

It’s a densely plotted, multi-stranded, multi-flashback, multi-character thicket of a thriller spanning some 22 volumes. Quite how that’s going to pan into nine hours of cinema will be interesting to see, but it seems to be going well so far.

(WARNING: Minor spoilers ahead)