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20th Century Boys: The Perfect Edition, Vol. 3

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A deluxe bind-up edition of Naoki Urasawa’s award-winning epic of doomsday cults, giant robots and a group of friends trying to save the world from destruction! 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 A deluxe bind-up edition of Naoki Urasawa’s award-winning epic of doomsday cults, giant robots and a group of friends trying to save the world from destruction! 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. The giant robot has been built, awaiting its great awakening, but the Friend’s identity has yet to be revealed. Time passes day by day, counting down to December 31, 2000…the day that Earth is destined to see its end. The only ones who can save the world are the nine friends who wrote The Book of Prophecy in their childhood days. Will humanity enter the new world, the new century, safe and sound?


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A deluxe bind-up edition of Naoki Urasawa’s award-winning epic of doomsday cults, giant robots and a group of friends trying to save the world from destruction! 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 A deluxe bind-up edition of Naoki Urasawa’s award-winning epic of doomsday cults, giant robots and a group of friends trying to save the world from destruction! 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. The giant robot has been built, awaiting its great awakening, but the Friend’s identity has yet to be revealed. Time passes day by day, counting down to December 31, 2000…the day that Earth is destined to see its end. The only ones who can save the world are the nine friends who wrote The Book of Prophecy in their childhood days. Will humanity enter the new world, the new century, safe and sound?

30 review for 20th Century Boys: The Perfect Edition, Vol. 3

  1. 4 out of 5

    Artemy

    Ugh, I really don't know what to think of this series at this point. The climactic event it seemed to be building up towards for the finale actually happened off-page midway through this volume, after which there was a 14-year time jump and all the momentum's gone just like that. None of the main characters are around after that and we follow a set of new ones, albeit ones who are tangentially connected to the main guys from the first two volumes. Then, the book splits into three different stori Ugh, I really don't know what to think of this series at this point. The climactic event it seemed to be building up towards for the finale actually happened off-page midway through this volume, after which there was a 14-year time jump and all the momentum's gone just like that. None of the main characters are around after that and we follow a set of new ones, albeit ones who are tangentially connected to the main guys from the first two volumes. Then, the book splits into three different stories — a prison escape drama, a lone detective versus the entire corrupt police force, and a fugitive on the run. All of these stories are archetypical, and all of them are entirely predictable — every single story beat, every plot point plays out exactly as you would imagine, and there wasn't a single twist or reveal that I didn't see coming a mile away. I do like the new characters and see the potential in them, and I'm still kinda curious to find out what really happened before the time-jump, but I'm just not sure how much more of this jumping around I can take. There are nine more of these double-volumes to go and yet it feels like the series blew its proverbial load already, and everything that happens now just feels hollow and anti-climactic. I'll probably check out the next volume when that's available, but I'm not holding my breath.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Des Fox

    Well, that was an unexpected shift. I did not see another huge time jump coming, but Urasawa absolutely keeps you on the edge of your seat, as the events of the past come to light. This is an amazing work, with characters instantly full of life an likability, even as we are introduced to an entirely new cast. The genre shuffles around as we explore the universe from all sorts of perspectives, and good golly is Kana just an amazing character. I need the next volume immediately please.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Blanca

    I need the fourth just like right now!!! It gets even more interesting after each book!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Etienne

    Very interesting twist/switch in time and storyline in this one. I didn't think it will go that fast and I was surprise by it while liking it a lot. Not sure if we're ever going back a little or not... This switch take a lot of new elements into the story, a lot of thinking about freedom, tons of new characters, even the style of the story telling felt a bit different, it's almost a brand new series, I'm pushing this one a little but really a different vibes to it. All of that might sound strang Very interesting twist/switch in time and storyline in this one. I didn't think it will go that fast and I was surprise by it while liking it a lot. Not sure if we're ever going back a little or not... This switch take a lot of new elements into the story, a lot of thinking about freedom, tons of new characters, even the style of the story telling felt a bit different, it's almost a brand new series, I'm pushing this one a little but really a different vibes to it. All of that might sound strange of scary to readers, because you like the first two volume and then bang! it happens. It could have failed in so many ways, crazy huge risk the author has taken here, but it works terribly well, congrats to him for achieving something like that and I'm just even more into it!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Doc

    Good Golly Miss Kanna...the future is on your shoulder. Curious who the girl on the cover is? I know I was curious but now its the adorable little lady Kanna who the Friend wanted to take in at a young age now all grown up and independent. I also know this story, which has been a little confusing at times, gives us a view of the world after the Friends"saved" humanity. Free speech has been banned, corrupt police continue to make examples of those that do not conform, innocent souls are made crimi Good Golly Miss Kanna...the future is on your shoulder. Curious who the girl on the cover is? I know I was curious but now its the adorable little lady Kanna who the Friend wanted to take in at a young age now all grown up and independent. I also know this story, which has been a little confusing at times, gives us a view of the world after the Friends"saved" humanity. Free speech has been banned, corrupt police continue to make examples of those that do not conform, innocent souls are made criminals and their identities are being taken after getting mock trials, and we get to see the fate of at least one of the brave souls rushing off to face a monstrous menace right at the beginning of the book. Hang on tight folks because hope has not been extinguished though the world has become a rather dark place.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nadia Costa

    This volume compiles both #5 and #6. Whilst I was feeling that the pace was slowing down by #4 and the story was somehow stagnating, from #6 onwards the plot is picking up again, offering us many bridges between past and present and also reviving the main mystery behind. A manga in noir, the best of crime and underworld.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Schanze

    Ugh, UGH, Urasawa is just too good. His pacing and storytelling style are like nothing I've ever read. I'm so amazed he's able to jump around from era to era and it's never confusing and always suspenseful. I may really have to buy these books, haha. Ugh, UGH, Urasawa is just too good. His pacing and storytelling style are like nothing I've ever read. I'm so amazed he's able to jump around from era to era and it's never confusing and always suspenseful. I may really have to buy these books, haha.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rory Wilding

    As doomsday approaches with the date of December 31st, 2000, Kenji needs eight other warriors that will join him in saving the world from the cult led by the mysterious “Friend” that has risen to political power in the last few years. With only a handful of people who knew of the secret headquarters at an early age, childhood friends are reunited whilst childhood bullies return to be even greater jerks. Goodbyes are said, some revelations are revealed and our heroes are gung-ho ready to take dow As doomsday approaches with the date of December 31st, 2000, Kenji needs eight other warriors that will join him in saving the world from the cult led by the mysterious “Friend” that has risen to political power in the last few years. With only a handful of people who knew of the secret headquarters at an early age, childhood friends are reunited whilst childhood bullies return to be even greater jerks. Goodbyes are said, some revelations are revealed and our heroes are gung-ho ready to take down the Friends who are about to launch a giant robot to wreak havoc upon Tokyo. The above paragraph covers the first six chapters of this volume and without showing the climax, another time jump in the story occurs and we are now plunged in 2014, slowly revealing a dystopian future where our heroes are no more and the Friends have grown into domination. Published during the early 2000s, Naoki Urasawa’s manga scarily taps into the political fears we are facing today, and no matter how grand this sci-fi adventure is at it jumps from past, present to future, reading this story today does send a chill to your spine. As dark as Urasawa can be from his most known manga such as Pluto and Monster, he always shows a tiny glimpse of hope that shows the goodness in humanity. With 20th Century Boys, this theme seems to be personified in the character of Kenji’s niece Kanna, who in three separate time frames, we have seen Kanna grown from baby to toddler to now seventeen-year-old. As the story now focuses on her, she is a rebellious young adult who wants to see the good in people, even she doesn’t follow the rules of this more ruthless society as she honours the memory of her uncle by playing the music he grew up listening to. With the focus on a small number of youngsters who try to carry on the legacy of their respected elders, it does shift away from the eponymous Boys, but there is enough enjoyment from the likes of Kanna and Detective Chono, both of which are a mismatched pair that is antagonistic and funny that is exciting to see where they will go. However, that is not to say that all the Boys are gone and there is a mystery going on about what really happened in what is now known as Bloody New Year’s Eve.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Michael Sorbello

    This is a review of the entire series. 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 gang of boys who try to save the world. Failed rock musician Kenji's memories of his past come rushing back when one of his childhood friends mysteriously commits suicide. Coul This is a review of the entire series. 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 gang of boys who try to save the world. Failed rock musician Kenji's memories of 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. This is basically the manga equivalent of a Stephen King novel, channeling themes and plot devices from the likes of It, Dreamcatcher, The Running Man and quite a few others. A young group of friends that make an innocent promise which ends up creating the most dangerous cult in the world, a 'friend' turned into the world's greatest evil, a strange suicide that reunites a group of adults to solve a mystery from their childhood which ended up leading to an apocalyptic police state, clever use of cultural references, rock songs and historical allegories to tell the full story, extremely small actions resulting in extremely massive consequences, an eerie threat lurking in the shadows that may or may not be of supernatural origins, kids overthrowing a totalitarian regime and rebelling against society while fighting against a sinister threat that no one else knows about; sound King enough for ya? Though I don't think it's quite as good as Monster by the same author, it's definitely very close. It's a masterpiece of intricate plotting, interweaving narratives, deep character development and psychological complexity. The villain's presence is suffocating from the very beginning while remaining mysterious and terrifying until the final chapter. It's intense, it's relatable, it's horrifying and it's an emotional rollercoaster. Be careful who you call your friend and be careful of the promises you make. You might just end up causing the end of the world.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Gunni

    ~ Drawing ~ 🔲 Like a pre-schooler 🔲 Generally unrefined 🔲 Functional ☑️ Good 🔲 Stylized & beautiful 🔲 OH THE BEAUTY! ~ Characters & Character Development ~ 🔲 Appalling 🔲 Generally uninteresting 🔲 Solid main protagonists, generic side characters 🔲 A few interesting characters here and there ☑️ Overall very good 🔲 Mesmerizing characters from beginning to end ~ Plot ~ 🔲 Was written on a table napkin 🔲 Underdeveloped 🔲 Mediocre 🔲 Good ☑️ Deep and well constructed 🔲 Will definitely cause severe sleep deprivation ~ Unique ~ Drawing ~ 🔲 Like a pre-schooler 🔲 Generally unrefined 🔲 Functional ☑️ Good 🔲 Stylized & beautiful 🔲 OH THE BEAUTY! ~ Characters & Character Development ~ 🔲 Appalling 🔲 Generally uninteresting 🔲 Solid main protagonists, generic side characters 🔲 A few interesting characters here and there ☑️ Overall very good 🔲 Mesmerizing characters from beginning to end ~ Plot ~ 🔲 Was written on a table napkin 🔲 Underdeveloped 🔲 Mediocre 🔲 Good ☑️ Deep and well constructed 🔲 Will definitely cause severe sleep deprivation ~ Uniqueness ~ 🔲 Like a grain of sand in the desert 🔲 Derivative 🔲 A few good own ideas ☑️ Overall very refreshing 🔲 Unicorn ~ Fun ~ 🔲 You'd rather watch paint dry 🔲 Hard to enjoy 🔲 Repetitive ☑️ Actually pretty entertaining 🔲 Ride of your life ~ Re-Readability ~ 🔲 It's a one-time experience ☑️ If you wait a few months/years 🔲 Definitely 🔲 The only manga/comic you will ever need on a lonely island ~ WORTH BUYING ~ 🔲 No 🔲 Wait for sale ☑️ Yes ~ Conclusion ~ My positive impression on this series is strengthened chapter by chapter. Once again, Urasawa surprises with another interesting timeline and some solid plot twists that kept me turning one page after another. I suppose that there is a risk that Urasawa‘s insistence to add layer after layer will lead to a very complex and hard-to-nail resolution in the end, but for now I am a believer and eagerly look forward to delving deeper into the rabbit hole of this unique world with its interesting set of characters. 8.5/10

  11. 5 out of 5

    Eastham Erik

    Readers of Manga rejoice! There is absolutely a go to manga book that isn't trenched in science fiction or heroes, which you can give your friends/family/colleagues who "don't get manga." 20th Century Boys is truly a perfect story being told through one of the longest, but well deserved, slow burns. Urasawa, a master story teller in 20th Century Boys, compliments his craft is incredible art, showing incredible detail in each panel . . . a true artist of not only the word, but the visual as well. P Readers of Manga rejoice! There is absolutely a go to manga book that isn't trenched in science fiction or heroes, which you can give your friends/family/colleagues who "don't get manga." 20th Century Boys is truly a perfect story being told through one of the longest, but well deserved, slow burns. Urasawa, a master story teller in 20th Century Boys, compliments his craft is incredible art, showing incredible detail in each panel . . . a true artist of not only the word, but the visual as well. Perfect Edition Volume 3 teases the reader in the beginning by brining the reader right to epic events of December 31, 2000 . . . but then thrusts forward fourteen years with no immediate explanation of what transpired. Urasawa proves that despite hours of Manga focused on a set of characters, new ones with their own story can be thrust in front of a reader (even when said reader wants to stay focused) and quickly convince that reader that these characters are just as important and interesting to follow. Initial chapters seem to suggest that Kenji has died saving the world and is a hero to all . . . although as chapters progress, small information suggests this isn't the case at all and all the preparation for December 31, 2000 may have been for naught . . . maybe we get to find out in Volume 4.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    This one kind of threw me for a loop. It rushes past the big event past volumes have been building up to, then does another time jump and introduces us to a (mostly) all new cast of characters. Can't help but feel like a bit of a story reset, or like Urasawa is jumping straight into a sequel without giving us a true finale to the "original" story he was telling, and as such it's something of a letdown. But -- it must be said the borderline totalitarian world he creates here is compelling, and ma This one kind of threw me for a loop. It rushes past the big event past volumes have been building up to, then does another time jump and introduces us to a (mostly) all new cast of characters. Can't help but feel like a bit of a story reset, or like Urasawa is jumping straight into a sequel without giving us a true finale to the "original" story he was telling, and as such it's something of a letdown. But -- it must be said the borderline totalitarian world he creates here is compelling, and many of the individual storylines, especially the one in an Alcatraz-esque prison in Tokyo Bay, are still exciting.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nickviola

    I don’t even know what to say about 20th Century Boys anymore. This is one of my favorite stories of all time in any medium and I barely read any manga. It’s so intricate and well told and you feel like you live in the world with all the characters and could guess the name of their toothbrush’s color you know them so well. It looks beautiful too, but the story, through 3 of the Perfect Editions, is flawless. I’m in awe and can’t wait to re-read this before the next volume comes out.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chrissy Garwood

    I found this book both harder to get into than the two earlier volumes, and easier to embrace the newer characters. There are still some unanswered questions from Book 2 that I am waiting to learn, so I will definitely be asking to borrow the next book. Highly recommended for anyone interested in a cross-cultural reading experience. The story is fast-paced, the illustrations and the story work well together, and there are lots of little details to look for.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Chris Pinner

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. God the time jump is so good here. let's the world move forward, but also left me missing Kenji, echoing the feelings of his niece, Kanna. Also just some great "fuck cops" content. There is some awkward handling of a trans character that is very early 00s, but the author is trying. It's not great though, so be warned about that. Not like Persona Team level bad, but still. God the time jump is so good here. let's the world move forward, but also left me missing Kenji, echoing the feelings of his niece, Kanna. Also just some great "fuck cops" content. There is some awkward handling of a trans character that is very early 00s, but the author is trying. It's not great though, so be warned about that. Not like Persona Team level bad, but still.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lucyy

    Don't get me wrong, it was a really fun read. However, I was really disappointed when (view spoiler)[ I realized the character I loved the most would make no appearance... I think a major reason for me to pick up the next volume will be to know what the hell happened to Kenji.. (hide spoiler)] Don't get me wrong, it was a really fun read. However, I was really disappointed when (view spoiler)[ I realized the character I loved the most would make no appearance... I think a major reason for me to pick up the next volume will be to know what the hell happened to Kenji.. (hide spoiler)]

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    The story really ramps up with this third volume and we start to dive more into the future of the world we've established in the first two volumes. After I finished this one, I immediately consumed volumes four and five. The story really ramps up with this third volume and we start to dive more into the future of the world we've established in the first two volumes. After I finished this one, I immediately consumed volumes four and five.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Magolan

    I love the way this series seems to building to a particular moment, and then completely goes in the opposite direction. It's more suspenseful, more character-focused, more steeped in mystery. I love it. This series is real weird and I highly recommend it. I love the way this series seems to building to a particular moment, and then completely goes in the opposite direction. It's more suspenseful, more character-focused, more steeped in mystery. I love it. This series is real weird and I highly recommend it.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Gary

    Although i’m not sure how I feel about the time jump halfway through. It was actually pretty interesting to read through this volume. There was a lot of compelling drama. But I kinda miss the characters before the time jump so I hope they go back.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Itziar

    Urasawa has pulled too much from the thread... It should have ended when it had to... For me the the story has lost all the interest.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Liam || Books 'n Beards

    I do love the sudden jump from December 31, 1999 to 2014. I remember it frustrating me no end when I was originally reading through them though! Now to wait for Vol. 4 to arrive :(

  22. 4 out of 5

    Pipo

    Deeper character and story arc developments. I’m hopelessly hooked on this series.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Djones16

    Damn this is starting to get really really good

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Shepard

    frustrated by the 14 year time jump and the distraction of trying to figure out where each of the Boys are hiding. the cliffhanger ending pulled me back tho.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Greg Peterson

    The characters only get better and the mystery more compelling.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Andy

    We raced towards the big climax but a new mystery is introduced. I did not expect the story to change directions how it did, but now my interest has peeked even more.

  27. 5 out of 5

    spirited.pages

    JUst- Kanna!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jojosbookshelf

    At first, I thought the climax hit too early. But that big time jump grew more and more satisfying.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Luke

    The #ACAB vibes are strong in this one, can’t wait to start volume 4!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Simo

    Although the story took a hard turn and went ahead 14 years in the future, I am still hooked and I will be reading the next volume.

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