Words of MavericK

Blabbering of a Fool

20世紀少年 (20th Century Boys)

世界が終ろうとしています。
ぼくらの”ともだち”によって―。

I dun really know how to put it to words.

This movie requires one to read the manga to understand more, yet at the same time, it’s advisable to not read the manga in the first place.
AM I EVEN MAKING SENSE?

Anyway, the depiction of the first arc is different from that in the manga. It is being told as a true story of a hero by the most wanted and feared criminal held in a cell to another fellow inmate in another cell, who is a mangaka (comic artist). (People who read the manga, you should have the idea of who these 2 are.)

Now, why one need to read the manga to understand more about the movie? To mention firstly, this movie is 2 and half hours long! Even so, it is with much cutting of characters’ background stories that they managed to reduce it to such a duration!! Therefore, one needs to read the manga to understand more about the characters, and why they act the way in the story.
Then, why the advice to not read the manga at first? One major plus-point about this movie is that it is very, VERY faithful to the manga, except for some changes to characters and incidents which wouldn’t really affect the entire flow of the movie/s much. However, this would mean that those with the manga in their heads would just know what’s going to happen next, and thus, everything would seem like ‘Hey, I’ve seen this before!’.
My advice: Read the manga after the movie, like a data book of sorts. (Otcho’s story must be understood…major explanation to why he becomes what he is in the present)

Indeed, characters are literally lifted straight out from the manga (except God/Kami-sama…he looks nothing like the one in the manga…though I dun think it’s humanely possible anyway). Though many supporting cast have only little time on the screen, great performance from them nevertheless, portraying their roles to the fullest.
Even the child actors who played their younger counterparts (I liked Yoshitsune best…).
But one thing I didn’t quite enjoy was the little screentime our mysterious Friend (Tomodachi) had! All his appearances in the Friend-marked headdress were short, and lacking in movement. (Of course, it would be logical to think that it is impossible to see where you are going with thing covering your eyes, but still…) But at least they kept the Hattori-kun mask, which was exactly the same as the manga’s.
(By the way, for one who watches many J-dramas, you can guess the real identity of Friend from his voice. 😀 )

Of course, the climax scene in the movie…enough to make one with a weak bladder to wet his pants. Even more so if he has read the manga.
It’s literally a 3D rendering of the exact scene, down to the last dust in the scene. And it’s BRILLIANT.

The ending is very well-done, though a little unexpected for me.
Just a little spoiler: we get to see Endou Kanna in almost all stages of her life. Get it? 🙂
(But she’s a little too cheerful at the ending…shouldn’t she be bearing a grudge against those who twisted the entire truth?)

Nevertheless, the essential question in the entire story still holds…

Who is ともだち/’Friend’?

WARNING: Stay after the credits for the trailer of the second movie, which also serves a continuation of the ending!!
Release date of 2nd movie: 31st January 2009!! (長過ぎ!)

Official movie site here.

Cast as follow, with their manga counterparts:

Karasawa Toshiaki(唐沢 寿明) as Endou Kenji(遠藤 健児/ケンジ)

Toyokawa Etsuchi(豊川 悦司) as Ochiai Chouji(落合 長冶),
nicknamed Occho/Otcho(オッチョ)

Tokiwa Takako(常盤 貴子) as Setoguchi Yukiji(瀬戸口 ユキジ)

Kagawa Teruyuki(香川 照之) as Minamoto ‘Yoshitsune'(皆本 ’ヨシツネ’)

Ishizuka Hidehiko(石塚 英彦) as Maruo(丸尾/マルオ)

Ukaji Takashi(宇梶 剛士) as Shimon Masa’aki(子門 真明),
nicknamed Mon-chan(モンちゃん)

Miyasako Hiroyuki(宮迫 博之) as ‘Keroyon’(’ケロヨン’)

Sasaki Kuranosuke(佐々木 蔵之介) as Fukubei(服部/’フケベエ’)

Kuroki Hitomi(黒木 瞳) as Endo Kiriko(遠藤 貴理子/キリコ)

Ishibashi Renji(石橋 蓮司) as Manjoume Inshuu(万丈目 胤舟)

Katase Nana(片瀬 那奈) as Shikishima Mika(敷島 ミカ)

Taira Airi(平 愛梨) as Endou Kanna(遠藤 カンナ)

Yuusuke Santamaria(ユースケサンタマリア) as Sadakiyo(サダキヨ)

Koike Eiko(小池 栄子) as Takasugi(高

Furuta Arata(古田 新太) as Haru Namio(春 波夫)

Fujiki Naohito(藤木 直人) as Detective Chouno(蝶野刑事)

And this is an impossible dream in Singapore…

Karasawa Toshiaki and Tokiwa Takako
at a Wild Premiere preview of 20th Century Boys in France

At least someone, start selling the Friend shirts here soon!! (Start doing so myself…?)

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8 responses to “20世紀少年 (20th Century Boys)

  1. Chris Tuesday, July 7, 2009 at 1037

    I just managed to catch the second movie (courtesy of some free tickets that I got from a newpaper promotion).

    Frankly speaking, I did not manage to catch the first one, so I was pretty confused at the start of the film.

    However…Tairi Airi did a really good job as Kanna! Spunky, tough, and yet, she’s really adorable! Overall, a very strong performance from the entire cast and crew. I’m definitely going to get myself the dvd of the 1st movie, as well as read the manga online.

    Heck, I even got a giant poster of the second movie, as part of a free gift that they give us. Was really happy about that=D

    Here’s to the third movie. Cheers.

    Cheers.

    • MavericK Monday, July 27, 2009 at 1529

      Hi Chris.

      Managed to catch the movie a few weeks ago.
      In my opinion, it does help a lot to have read the manga before watching this sequel. =P
      This sequel covers the rather dry portion of the saga, so I expect people who did not know of the story beforehand to go ‘ZzZzZzZ’! =P
      (One example – a friend I watched the movie with. He was practically stoned from start to end!)

      Personally I feel the onscreen Kyoko’s more faithful to the manga counterpart than Kanna. =P

      And yes, here’s to the third movie. =)
      *clink*

  2. MavericK Monday, October 20, 2008 at 2206

    Yeah miaincognito!

    Haha…imagine just how long the movie would be if they put in everything from the manga…*shock* 😛

  3. miaincognito Sunday, October 19, 2008 at 1352

    haha after reading your post i went to read the manga online. Like you said, the movie adaptation followed very closely to the manga. Impressive:D

  4. MavericK Saturday, October 18, 2008 at 1430

    Hi miaincognito. 🙂

    You knew Friend’s identity without reading the manga? Wow!
    I couldn’t stop reading because this secret! 😛

  5. miaincognito Saturday, October 18, 2008 at 1202

    interesting read

    never read the manga but yes, friend’s identity pretty much shocking.

  6. MavericK Friday, October 17, 2008 at 111

    Hi ravniac, and thanks! 😀

    I dun have the hard copies of the manga YET…read the entire series on OneManga… 😛

    Well, would recommend that you read it, now that you’ve finished the first movie!! 🙂

  7. ravniac Thursday, October 16, 2008 at 2140

    omg. i didn’t stay when they rolled the credits ><! damndamn! =.= anyway, nice commentry on the movie. and from the sound of it you have the manga? where did you get it? i want to read more about otcho

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