10 Sep / 20th Century Boys (vol. 10) by Naoki Urasawa, with the cooperation of Takashi Nagasaki, English adaptation by Akemi Wegmüller
Never mind the series title, it’s girl power all the way: locked up in church with a bursting audience as witnesses, young Kanna manages to get the biggest gangster bosses to call a truce and band together to protect the imminently-visiting Pope.
Meanwhile, Koizumi Kyoko has survived the virtual horrors of Friend Land and is back to her so-called real-life, but she can’t forget the eerie face behind the mask and knows that her only chance at holding on to her sanity is to get Kanna to notice her before Kyoko gets shipped off to the ever-more frightening Friend World next!
When the new English teacher turns out be straight out of Kyoko’s nightmares, she finally gets Kanna’s attention … but maybe not soon enough. Kyoko comes face-to-face with the frightening figure, journeys through his past, and ultimately learns he is hardly who he seems …
With Kyoko missing, Kanna gives immediate chase; but in her haste, Kanna doesn’t realize that the school principal is the wrong companion to take along for the ride … can anyone ever be trusted again?
More heart-thumping fun will keep you flipping those pages way too fast, although I will freely admit that I got all choked up twice (!): when Kanna and her de-facto mother Yukiji share a bonding moment over char siu ramen (“Kenji’s sister is your mother, Kanna. But now … you are my daughter. My precious daughter, whom Kenji entrusted to me …”), and when an ancient teacher in an old folks’ home remembers his troubled student more than half a century later, whom he’s been waiting to give the one clear picture of the student as a young boy. Hey, the manga characters were crying, too. Don’t be surprised if you start sniffling. This one has all the just-right schmaltz in it for sure!
Readers: Young Adult, Adult
Published: 2010 (United States)
20 SEIKI SHONEN © Naoki Urasawa/Studio Nuts
Original Japanese edition published by Shogakukan Inc.