flake_sake (flake_sake) wrote,

20th century boys - The movie Part 1

Just saw the first part of the movie adaption of Naoki Urasawa's 20th century boys. As manga go, or rather as comics in general go this series is one of the best things I ever read.

The comic revolves around a convenience store salesman named Kenji, who discovers that a cult with a mysterious faceless leader called "The Friend" is using symbols and world domination plans he and his friends made up, when they were children. Now they have to reconstruct their childhood fantasies to suss out  the next step of the Friend and stop him.
Large parts of the books consist of flashbacks to their childhoods around 1970. I love how Urasawa drew and texted those scene, it has so many familiar childhood elements in it. There are lots of childhood friendships and animosities, comic books , building  of secret head quarters and megalomaniac plans.
And then of course there's the ginormous twisted mystery plot around the friend's identity and actual plans.
The book is quite long (22 books) so one movie could have never told the story. They planned it as trilogy and the first movie is already over two hours long. I think they did a really good job with the actors, Urasawa (unlike other mangaka) draws very recognizable sharp faces and they really found actors that fit perfectly, especially the children are brilliantly done. They still had to cut a lot of side stories, but I think they managed to keep the magic of the comic books going.  
Only problem might be, that the book and movie have an incredibly big cast. If you know them all from the comic books they have so much background that you don't get confused, but in the movie  everything moves faster and I don't know if I could have kept them all in mind, if  I hadn't already known them.
The soundtrack is a bit bombastic at points but has some very cool elements too, especially when it's about  Kenji's early rock star ambitions or the rock concert of the  Friend-cult, where everyone is moving synchronous. It's very creepy, in a good way.

Tags: 20th century boys, comics, manga, movies

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