20th Century Boys (20世紀少年) – So It Was Movie Before Manga For Me

Rarely our Movie Review Squad has such a long deliberation on which movie to watch.  And we settled for “Twentieth Century Boys” after a 3-way split between Rocknrolla, the Bunny, and this Japanese one last week.  I asked TK to give me an executive summary on what this show is about.  It’s originated from a manga, yes I know that.  I think TK didn’t have time get past the first few pages of the manga and Cynthia went in thinking that it is an animation.  I read that “20th Century Boy” is a close to 2 and a half hours show.  And I braced myself for a long part 1 of a trilogy.

I can see where does the money of this so-called most expensive Japanese film ever made have gone to.  Some of the effects are pretty good (a sci-fi movie after all).  The cast of 300 people is pretty intense.  I have a hard time trying to remember who is who.  TK seems to enjoy the film with the plot stepping forward and backward in time.  Surprisingly Cynthia loves it too and calls it a very creative movie (that doesn’t jerk tear thank God, she said).  As for me …

If you have already read the manga and love it, this action-mystery film is a must-watch.  Now that I am reading the manga, I admire the filmmaker’s effort in recreating each scene in exact detail as the manga.  The cast even matches with the look of the manga characters.  That is impressive.

Maybe because of the relatively slow pace especially when the plot goes back in time and dwells on the childhood stories, maybe there are missing gaps in between scenes due to film adaptation that confuse me, maybe there are just not enough eye candies to keep me interested (shallow I know!), I was not jumping out of my chair.

Nevertheless, the effort is commendable and looks like “20th Century Boys” is one movie that up the standard of the Japanese production.  Although I am not quite getting the idea of how a bunch kids’ role-playing game can turn into a disastrous future, I will be there when the 2nd installment arrives.  Meanwhile, the manga looks pretty good and it is filling up the gaps I have from watching the film.  Do check out the manga too when you have time.

11 thoughts on “20th Century Boys (20世紀少年) – So It Was Movie Before Manga For Me”

  1. Thanks for the comment! Never mind the loopholes in the 1st instalment. Japanese has a knack for fine details. Perhaps they’ll fill them in the 2nd and last instalment. Films from the film giant Toho seldom disappoint.

  2. Ghim Seng – That is true. Don’t know why, I feel that the filmmakers are holding back a bit for the 1st episode and will make the 2nd one more impressive. Usually for trilogy, the 2nd episode is the least interesting episode.

  3. My BF went with me to watch it and he hated it due to the so-called loopholes. Sigh. I had to spoil him and tell him everything from the manga before It felt a little bit better about it.

  4. Elvadrieng – Ha ha ha … OK. I must admit that I stopped thinking of the loopholes and just watched the film as it is. I hope my questions will be answered either by the manga or by the subsequent installments.

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