Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys, Vol. 19 Paperback – Feb 14 2012
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About the Author
Naoki Urasawa's career as a manga artist spans more than twenty years and has firmly established him as one of the true manga masters of Japan. Born in Tokyo in 1960, Urasawa debuted with BETA! in 1983 and hasn't stopped his impressive output since. Well-versed in a variety of genres, Urasawa's oeuvre encompasses a multitude of different subjects, such as a romantic comedy (Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl), a suspenseful human drama about a former mercenary (Pineapple ARMY; story by Kazuya Kudo), a captivating psychological suspense story (Monster), a sci-fi adventure manga (20th Century Boys), and a modern reinterpretation of the work of the God of Manga, Osamu Tezuka (Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka; co-authored with Takashi Nagasaki, supervised by Macoto Tezka, and with the cooperation of Tezuka Productions).
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Urasawa continues his high quality art and story telling filled with neat ideas and fleshed out characters. He goes off on a bit of a tangent about the nature of art and whether manga and music can really change the world but that can be forgiven.
Most of the action is along the boarder between the Friend-controlled Tokyo and deserted wastes in the north as Yabuki Joe tried to get through a guarded check point. We meet a new villain and finally learned Joe's story.
As with a lot of the recent books the overall plot feels a bit slow and padded but the craftmanship is still incredible.
No one knew if Kenji was a live or dead, but the fact that nothing has been heard of him for over 15 years, needless to say, anything pointing to him being alive seemed non-existent until now.
While mentioning anything about what happened to Kenji after all these years would be a spoiler, for the last three volumes, there have been hints that this Yabuki Joe character with a guitar and sings Kenji Endo songs is in fact Kenji (and even the front cover of this manga volume pretty much tells you its going to be a Kenji issue). But typically any pages dealing with Yabuki Joe were small and we were given little hints that he may be alive. With volume 19, everything is confirmed and what happened to him after all this time has now been answered.
Meanwhile, hat will happen to Kanna Endo and team as they feel they must mount their attack against the Friend. Also, there is another mysterious question of who the true identity of the Friend truly is since Fukube was killed. Who is now donning the Friend's mask?
Naoki Urasawa's "20th Century Boys" just gets better and better and as we now are nearing the final stretch of the series, one can only wonder what Naoki Urasawa has planned. And I'm guessing that we are going to see a lot of deaths and possible demise of several main characters.
Featuring wonderful illustration and awesome storytelling, which Naoki Ursawa is known for, "Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys Vol. 19″ is spectacular! And I emphasize that this manga series is absolutely awesome. Every chapter in this volume just builds and builds to the final shot and you can't help but be surprised or just excited for the next upcoming issue.
As always, Naoki Urasawa knows how to grab the attention of the reader. His artwork and how he is able to capture the sense of action and emotion through the pages is magnificent and so far, this series has been engrossing and highly enjoyable thus far.
If you have been following this series this long, you're probably as addicted as I am and with this latest volume, "Naoki Urasawa's 20th CENTURY BOYS vol. 19″ is highly recommended and should not be missed!