Ranked #5
20th Century Boys (Manga)

20th Century Boys

Alternative Titles

Synonyms: 20 Seiki Shounen, Nijuu Seiki Shounen, Nijuusseiki Shounen, 20thCB
Japanese: 20世紀少年


Type: Manga
Volumes: 22
Chapters: 249
Status: Finished
Published: Sep 27, 1999 to Apr 24, 2006
Authors: Urasawa, Naoki (Story & Art)
Serialization: Big Comic Spirits


Score: 9.051 (scored by 15038 users)
Ranked: #52
Popularity: #57
Members: 32,189
Favorites: 4,218
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top manga page.

Popular Tags

drama mystery sci-fi seinen


Humanity, having faced extinction at the end of the 20th century, would not have entered the new millennium if it weren't for them. In 1969, during their youth, they created a symbol. In 1997, as the coming disaster slowly starts to unfold, that symbol returns. This is the story of a group of boys who try to save the world.

For Kenji, a simple convenience store manager who once dreamed of becoming a rock 'n' roll musician, a host of memories from his past come rushing back when one of his childhood friends mysteriously commits suicide. Could this new death be related to the rise of a bizarre new cult that's been implicated in several other murders and disappearances? Determined to dig deeper, Kenji reunites with some of his old buddies in the hope of learning the truth behind it all.

(Source: Viz)

Related Manga

Spin-off: 20 Seiki Shounen: Ujiko Ujio Sakuhinshuu
Sequel: 21st Century Boys


Endo, Kanna
Endo, Kenji
 Yanbo and Mabo
Yanbo and Mabo

Write a review | More reviewsReviews

Jan 6, 2009
While the whole "saving the world" kind of storyline isn't anything new, it does it so well that it makes the reader so engrossed in the story and not want to stop reading. The switch between timelines are done so well that it hardly leaves you confused on what is going on. There are so many twist and turns in the story which makes nearly every chapter such an enjoyable read.

The art is quite detailed and even as the art was already quite good from the start, as it goes on it steadily improves. I have to say Urusawa's distinct art style definitely is read more
I found this review Helpful  Not Helpful
Jan 8, 2015
First of all I will apologize for the mistakes I could make, I'm not a native speaker so it isn't always easy for me to speak in a foreign langage.

Story : 10/10

I know 10 isn't really objective but if I had to choose one manga for my entire life I think it is this one. I'm not going to explain the story, it isn't really useful. I just want to say that the author have developed perfectly the story, there isn't one mistake in it. There is a lot of suspense and it's not by accident that the author is called "the master of read more
I found this review Helpful  Not Helpful
Aug 16, 2007
20th Century Boys is about a group of men (and one woman) who, when they had been children, had been best friends, sharing a "secret base" in an overgrown field: a sanctuary where they could read manga, listen to music, and hide from the most evil twins in history, Yanbo and Mabo. One day, their "creative genius," Kenji suggested they bury a time capsule, fill it with their treasured possessions, and agree to unearth it only when the earth was in grave danger, for they would then save it.

Years later, they find themselves leading ordinary, unglamorous lives, their dreams of greatness long-buried under the dust read more
I found this review Helpful  Not Helpful
Jan 31, 2015
Well... A long ride but it was worth it.
I'm honestly surprised that this manga never got an anime adaptation, it would have been an amazing anime to see.
Things I love:
-Every character got the right amount of development
-The main character, Kenji is as normal as a human can be yet so different.
-Kanna is my favorite character and I love the way her character was done.
List goes on and on because there are simply so many things I love about this manga.
What made me say 8 even though I love it.
Story is amazing, as far as I know original, but sequel kind of made the overall experience read more
I found this review Helpful  Not Helpful

User Recommendations

The two pieces are emotive in two particular ways: a coming-of-age realisation, and the development of relationships between friends. Both also feature great artwork and storytelling.
Monster and 20th Century Boys are both written by the same author (Urasawa Naoki) and are both heavily psychological works that primarily explore the nature of evil.
reportRecommended by Cren - Add to favorites
Both are written and drawn by Urusawa Naoki, and has the unique Urusawa feeling. They are both about a "mystery" of sorts, as well as a conspiracy that threatens the world. Billy Bat has some supernatural elements and is more of a historical manga set during the 50s-60s.
You will find yourself mesmerised by the amazing storytelling, dramatic character development, and the enveloping mystery of the plot in these two publications.
Both stories are thrillers that are a race against time as the protagonist has to remember events and people from his childhood to protect himself and those he cares about. They definitely have the same kind of series-long tension that keeps you reading late into the night.
The characters in both are involved in a life or death game. The "game" in 20th century boys involves the entire world, while Liar Game is much smaller.
Both focus mainly on psychological conflits and character development. You need to actually think to understand the story of either

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Poll: 20th Century Boys Chapter 211 Discussion
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