20th Century Boys: The Perfect Edition

This manga (416 pages) was published in September of 2018 by VIZ Media LLC. The book takes you to the end of the world in Japan. David read 20th Century Boys: The Perfect Edition and loved it; it wouldn't be on our site if he didn't recommend it.


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20th Century Boys: The Perfect Edition

Naoki Urasawa

A mashup of mystery and sci-fi, this story features doomsday cults, giant robots, and a group of friends trying to save the world from destruction. What more could you want from your manga?!

The story beings in 1969 with a group of friends who develop a secret symbol to represent their bond and write the Book of Prophecy. Fast forward to the 1990s: Current events begin to uncomfortably mimic events in the Book, and soon, a cult emerges lead by an enigmatic leader called the Friend. By 2014, the world has fallen under his control, and brainwashing camps known as ‘Friend Land’ are a thing. The old gang reunites to determine the true identity of the Friend and save the world.

The story also includes a giant robot, a dangerous virus, the Bloody New Year’s Eve, Chinese mafia, an assassination attempt, and so much more. It’s a thrilling adventure story — and an astute examination of the perils of wishes that come true.

The pages thrum with energy and the story unfolds in dynamic black, white, and grayscale art in classic manga style: modern, clean, kinetic. Cartoonist Tillie Walden describes Urasawa’s drawing as ‘nothing short of revelatory.’


panel of a little boy holding up a symbol from the comic

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In Japan, comics are known as manga. They're used to tell stories in every genre, and are read by people of all ages. We're delighted to have cartoonist Tille Walden share her top picks for readers who are new to the form.

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