Tuesday, September 2, 2008

JJNN Tuesday: Entertainment - 05

Welcome again to JJNN for Tuesday September 2nd, 2008. Today we will be taking about 20th century boys.

20th Century Boys is the name of a manga that I have been reading recently. It has a great story and the art is good so I figured I would talk a little bit about it. Recently the manga was made into a movie. That is how I first heard about it. I saw the following commercial on TV.

Needless to say that perked my interest. I liked that symbol of the eye within the eye and the hand. To me it was simple, but powerful. Any way, after I saw that I decided to dig up as much information as I could about 20th Century Boys. I found out about the manga so I decided to buy a few of the books. Needless to say I was addicted before the end of the first book.

Before I tell a little bit about the story I want to show another commercial for the movie. I know it is a little long and all in Japanese, but just take in the visuals and the music.

So, the basic story flows around a totally normal guy named Kenji. Kenji is in his mid-30s, not married, working in a convenience store, and always carrying around his sister's kid. A totally normal existence. This all changes one day when the police come. The police tell Kenji that a person that he delivers alcohol to disappeared with the rest of his family. When Kenji goes to that man's house to pick up the empty bottles he runs into that symbol with the double eye and the hand.

That symbol is a connection with Kenji's past. When Kenji was in elementary school he was in a group with his friends. He thought up many wild stories about what will happen in the future. Stories about an evil group that will try to take over the world with viral weapons, laser guns, bombs and giant robots. The symbol was the symbol of his group, but it is also being used by someone in the present day.

What's the connection? Well, that's something that you are going to have to find out yourself. I don't want to spoil the wonderful story. The writer and artist Urazawa Naoki knows how to tell a story that sucks people in. His other manga Monster is also the same. The manga is licensed by VIZ so it should be sold in English some time.

By the way, I forgot to say that this manga takes a lot of things from rock and roll. The title itself is from a song by T.Rex. I bet you all have heard the song even though you might not know the name. I will leave you all with that song.

Any way, it is now time for the word of the day. Today's word is 世紀(せいき). It is pronounced seiki and means century. The final chapter of the manga is actually put out under the title 21st century boys. I have a lot of reading before I get to that point though.

That's it for today. See you next time at JJNN.

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