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20th Century Boys

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Details
Growing older is pretty rough and Kenji is finding out just how hard it can be as life starts wearing down on him. On top of trying to make ends meet running a convenience store, he has to care for the niece that his missing sister left in his care. Memories of youth make it easier, until those memories come back to haunt you.

Kenji and his old friends are slowly being drawn into a mysterious conspiracy that could threaten the world. Who is the mysterious `friend`, and how does he tie into Kenji`s youth? Why are there disappearances and deaths tied into Ochanomizu University? The friend`s memories hold the keys to the puzzle, but years between cloud the clues.

The strange occurances and the reach of the `friend` conspiracy grow by the day. It will all culminate on New Year`s Eve 2000. Will Kenji and the rest of the group be able to put together the puzzle and save the world?

By Naoki Urasawa (20th Century Boys)

Characters
Main Characters
Kenji Endo
The central protagonist of the first half of the story, which revolves around his childhood in the '60s to the present day. He is generally laid-back, and appears to be heavily interested in Rock 'n' Roll. He, his relatives, and friends play crucial roles as the plot unfolds. He disappears after the events of the "Bloody New Year's Eve", but is rumored to still be alive.

Kanna Endo
Kenji's niece, she serves as the protagonist for the events in the aftermath of the "Bloody New Year's Eve". She seems to possess supernatural abilities from which the source is unknown, though hinted by the second Friend in Chapter 221 to be the result of a secret medicine given to Kiriko when she was still carrying Kanna. Coupled with her charisma, Kanna makes an able leader. She leads a rebel faction against "Friend" under the moniker, "Ice Queen".

Otcho
Kenji's childhood friend and benefactor, he typically is referred to as "Shogun". He is in prime physical shape, and has escaped certain death many times. Originally believed to be Friend, it has been revealed that he went to receive enlightenment and training from a monk after experiencing the pain of the loss of his son, and was simply living in Asia's seedy underground. His real name is Choji Ochiai.

Friend
An enigmatic character who draws on the childhood ideas of Kenji and his friends to commit acts of terrorism to gain power. Friend pretended in the New Year's Eve of 2000 to have saved the world from a pandemic of hemorrhagic fever (similar to Ebola). That, adding to his unique charisma, made him the political leader of Japan with his "Friendship Party", and a great moral figure of the 21st century. He remodeled Japan in a retro style, presumably to evoke nostalgia of the main characters' childhoods. His motives remain unclear, but it is known that he is somehow involved with Kanna and her mother Kiriko. His Identity was revealed in "21st Century Boys."

Yoshitsune
Kenji's childhood friend who once made the mistake of ordering 1000 printer cartridges when he only needed 4. He was one of Kenji's friends who answered the call to fight back with him on the Bloody New Years Eve. In the year 2014 he is the leader of an underground organisation bent on taking down Friend.

God
God is an old homeless man who is bent on the return of Tenpin Bowling as a major sport in Japan. God has the power of foresight and can see what will happen before it comes to pass. God was the one who warned Kenji and told him of his future. Later in the series, God becomes extremely rich by using his foresight to play the stock market. With his newfound wealth, he became the first Japanese civilian to travel into space.

Yukiji Setoguchi
Kenji's only female childhood friend. During Kenji's school years, Yukiji was a high toned tomboy, whereas in the manga's adult years Yukiji is portrayed as a rather professional feminine woman. She is reunited with Kenji working at an airport in Tokyo as a customs official, often comically mistaken for a narc, along with a drug sniffing dog named Blue Three (pronounced "Buru Surii" a Japanese pun on the name Bruce Lee). Yukiji too also assists Kenji in the event of the Bloody New Year's Eve. Since Yukiji has acted as Kanna's guardian replacing Kenji after his mysterious death/disappearance. In the 3rd of Era of Friend she has opened a dojo, teaching a large amount of neighbourhood children Judo as she once learnt as a child.


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