21st Century Boys

Alt title: 21 Seiki Shounen

Vol: 2; Ch: 16
2006 - 2007
4.259 out of 5 from 1,594 votes
Rank #525
21st Century Boys

As Japan and the rest of the world begins the process of rebuilding after the fall of ‘Friend', Kenji and his friends must try to uncover the identity of the second ‘Friend' and other unresolved mysteries. Before the world is once again thrown into turmoil, they must search deep into their childhood memories to find the key to save the world one more time from the threat of ‘Friend'; some mysteries cannot be left unsolved.

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This review will probably have some spoilers in it, especially regarding some events within the "prequel" series. So apparently, The Perfect Edition printing of 21st Century Boys has a few extra pages added to the final chapter--pages which essentially completely rewrite the identity of the original Friend. I didn't actually read that version myself, but I heard about it. This part of the story would've been much better without the anti-proton bomb aspect. We don't need one final world-threatening event. It's okay to let off the gas for the ending. All that us readers wanted was for some of the relationship loose ends to be resolved (and I would say that this wasn't handled in very satisfying ways) and to finally learn the identity of the second Friend, the imitation of the imitation. I think the reveal of the second Friend's identity could've been handled in a much, much better way. Like, just thinking about it briefly, the author could've told Chou's story. Because we're told that Chou had already uncovered not only the original Friend's identity, but also the second Friend's identity and all of the plots and hiding places and everything. Chou basically had all the answers, so the author could've easily had the reveal moment be shown to us readers through telling the story of how Chou had actually arrived at all the answers. And that would've been really neat (and, most importantly, would've been far better than what the author gave us). The plot armor and the unintuitive actions by the characters within these final chapters was overwhelming and unbearable. Why would Kanna assume that the remote was in the secret fort of the virtual world instead of in the real world? Was the 20th Century Boys "ending" more satisfactory than this ending? No, but also maybe. There are technically a few additional details about the world and past events within these sixteen chapters that help explain, like, how Kenji had wronged the second Friend and who the second Friend was. So I'm sure readers would want to know those details. But the vast majority of these chapters is just filler and overly contrived drama, which can be really annoying to read through. I dunno. It's probably still worth subjecting yourself to, but don't expect anything great.

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