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20th Century Boys.

October 19, 2008

Bob Lennon – 唐沢寿明Karasawa Toshiaki

i think based on my previous post, it would be easy to guess what im going to blog about. it’s going to be a super long post. some of my ramblings.

and yes. i have finished the whole manga series, including 21st century boys. started reading last last wk or is it last wk? i really really dont like reading mangas. the only manga that i’ve ever finished was death note, which had 12 books i think? and 20th century boys + 21st century boys, 24 books, i finished them in a shorter amt of time than death note.

we cannot compare death note[dn] with 20th century boys[20cb]. quoting from iweekly, death note belongs to gen-y, while 20th century boys belongs to gen-x. it’s rather strange that the movie for death note came out earlier. but as the manga artist has requested, that the movie can only come out after he is done with the manga series. 24 books which span over 7 years, that is a very long story.

first, some thoughts on the manga. there is no good looking people, no character extremely smart, no character perfect. everyone is just a normal person, in a not very normal situation. there are some online who compared 20cb with dn, and a few had commented that dn is very much better than 20cb. dn is one that shines, that will shout in your face ‘im a wonderful manga. so cool. so special.’, but 20cb is like an old friend who u will want to sit down and listen to.

like 20cb, i finished dn in a very short amount of time, but after L died, i thought the story lost its direction? maybe they should have just killed raito after L died? so i was quite scared that it will be the same for 20cb. it of course did not disappoint me. the story got a little too ambitious towards the last quarter, but thank goodness, i felt that it managed to pull it off with an okay ending. maybe not an all too satisfying ending, but did make me think so much even after the story had ended.

if i am to compare this to another piece of work, i will choose harry potter. the theme of 20cb is very simple, good vs evil but are the evil so evil? arent everyone born wanting to be a good person? somehow 20cb can satisfy what i felt was lacking in harry potter. if the hp series focused on hp, 20cb is like hp but we are now looking at the story of the adults: james, lily, snape, sirius..

so we see a bunch of middles-aged men and women who are childhood friends, coming together to help protect earth from destruction from an evil organisation. sounds sci-fi? but i feel that the whole sci-fi thing is just a tool to tell the story of a bunch of people, grown-up and forgotten their past, come to see what they have done as kids have come to affect each other.

i like how they made a lot of references to popular culture, i guess like how our lecturer likes pompoko because it is so rich in japanese culture [but i really really didnt enjoy pompoko. hahahaha].

read this review on the manga, but the person somehow didnt like the manga. that it was scary because it’s so cult-ish. it attempts to brainwash you. the characters are too 2D and so on. i guess there are people who hate this manga like how some disagree to harry potter? this manga does talk about prophecies, the pope playing an impt character, several priests, cult leaders, terrorists, aliens and the hero who mysteriously go missing and u know. do people hate infernal affairs because it talks abt karma and hell? i guess so.

okay on the film. it’s really a pity that how this film is marketed in spore. this film came out on 30aug in japan and 16 oct in spore, which is only 2 mth after it was released in japan. so very likely the distributor has high hopes on this. as compared to other japanese films like tokyo tower which they took so long. and kurosagi. and even korean film king and the clown which was released a whole 6mths after it opened in korea.

but. i think the distributors, thinking that sporeans will probably go for the hollywood style, marketed it as a sci-fi film, and in the end attracted a bunch of people who doesnt really like this film and left many who might have liked the film to not watch. u know like how the trailer they showed on tv has like monsters, big robots and a bunch of people coming to save the world, it seems like a bad imitation of power ranger. but no. the film is on the other hand, strangely character driven, not plot driven. it is not a sci-fi movie. not an action movie. but rather how should i categorise this film. hai. a bunch of people, too driven by their busy lives, come to see that there are more impt stuff? hahahaha.

so go watch this film. even if u hate sci-fi because it is not one. went to watch it with my sis on the day it came out. but we could feel that the rest in the cinema did not really enjoy the film? i could feel the grp of people beside me was so bored. a good 3 quarter left after the credits started rolling. and in the end only me and my sis stayed to listen to karasawa toshiaki’s bob lennon and to chceck out the trailer for the 2nd part after the credits ended. hai. come someone. if u think this film is good. speak up too. i felt that the director made a very decent and faithful remake of the manga. but those who came were obviously there to watch a action packed, hollywood style sci-fi drama. and the film must have disappointed them so much.

i love the shots in the film. almost everyone of them. ozu’s film are made up of still shots, while 20cb almost had no still shots. even of close-up of the characters, the camera will slowly pan towards one side. sometimes the character even have half of their face out of the shot while they speak. there is one big weakness in the manga, which is that the climaxes are not dealt properly. too much emphasis is placed on character development, the most impt parts of the fighting parts are not well explained. on the other hand, the film improved on those parts. made the action parts feel more realistic and devoted more time on that than the manga.

oh ya. and the film has a very star-studded cast. kenji is acted by karasawa toshiaki. not a fan of him till some time ago. i just knew he existed but didnt watch a single of his films/dramas. 2 wks ago, i started watching a few of his films. loved him in ‘welcome back, mr. mcdonald’ which is a compulsary film in my module. went on to watch wow choten hotel, not bad too. and re-watched galileo ep1 which he is the killer. oh man. now i get why so many people chose to watch galileo not because of masha but because of him. he does have the thing to make u want to keep looking at him. the cast they assembled for 20th century boys includes many actors who were more active in the 90s, which is sort of like the peak of japanese drama in spore then. it’s nice to see them once again and it sort of brings us into the mood of 20th century boys too, which is set in the late 90s to 2000.

so go watch the film. and read the manga. and then come discuss it with me.

an intro to the film

20th Century Boys part2 trailer

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One Comment leave one →
  1. TotsOfLif3 permalink
    October 21, 2008 10:22 am

    hihi!!
    i like 20thboys movie too!!
    i dun understand y some ppl tink tat the movie is s**t or boring.
    perhaps, they dunno how to appreciate tis kind of movie which is a bit chim than dn.
    lots of ppl compare 20thboys wif dn, im quite unhappy wif the comparing. (:

    u can go to my blog
    shiroi-vivian.blogspot.com
    we can discuss abt the movie :D

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