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20TH CENTURY BOYS
aka 20-SEIKI SHONEN
UK: 4Digital Asia
Cast: Toshiaki Karasawa, Etsushi Toyokawa, Takako Tokiwa
Director: Yukihiko Tsutsumi
Language: Japanese (English subtitles)
UK: 142 mins (approx)
UK Certificate: 15
UK Release Date: 20 February 2009
The first instalment of the epic live-action trilogy adaptation of Naoki Urasawa's hit manga series is finally here! It's been creating a buzz of anticipation since its production was first announced in late-2006, and now the Japanese movie event of the decade, 20TH CENTURY BOYS, is finally here.
Based on the hugely successful, award winning manga series created by Naoki Urasawa (YAWARA; MONSTER), 20TH CENTURY BOYS is an adaptation of the epic sci-fi fantasy adventure originally inspired by the T. Rex song of the same name.
Directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi (SUSHI KING GOES TO NEW YORK; HAPPILY EVER AFTER; KEIZOKU: THE MOVIE) and starring Toshiaki Karasawa (CASSHERN), 20TH CENTURY BOYS' epic storyline spans 50 years and several continents, factors that necessitated a budget of 6 billion yen for the trilogy - an unprecedented figure for the Japan film industry.
Japan, 1973. Elementary school kid Kenji Endo (Toshiaki Karasawa) and his small gang of young friends pass the long, boring summer days fantasising about fighting world-threatening super villains and then recording their fictional crime-fighting exploits in their own 'Book of Prophecies'.
Almost thirty years later, and now adults with families, jobs and responsibilities that have caused them to drift apart, their lives are turned upside down when one of the former friends dies mysteriously and an entire family from Kenji's local neighbourhood goes missing. Further afield, a bizarre religious cult is growing in popularity and appears to be connected to a strange chain of catastrophic events that unbelievably appear to be duplicating the imaginary events recorded in the 'Book of Prophecies' decades earlier.
Disturbed by what he initially believes could only be a coincidence, Kenji reunites the group of childhood friends and attempts to unravel the mystery. The investigation reveals a shocking and sinister conspiracy that seeks to fulfil a doomsday prophecy on the eve of the new millennium. As their renewed friendship is tested in a world gripped by global terrorism and hysteria, Kenji and his companions find themselves involved in a spectacular showdown as a giant robotic machine threatens the city of Shinjuku!
And that's merely the start of the compelling three-part saga in what has become one of the most highly anticipated, must-see sci-fi movie trilogies since THE MATRIX series.
A national phenomenon in Japan and a huge hit internationally, Urasawa's 24-volume sci-fi fantasy manga has sold over 20 million copies worldwide, with the film attaining similar success by becoming one of the country's biggest box office hits of 2008.