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Saturday, February 20, 2010

20th Century Boys 2: The Last Hope DVD Review

20th Century Boys 2: The Last Hope DVD Review

Synopsis: It is now 2015, and Friend rules a disturbing new world. Kenji has been missing since the Bloody New Year’s Eve of 2000, and his niece Kanna, who has been looked after by Yukuji, is now in high school. Her history textbook contains a fabricated story about Kenji and his friends being the terrorists behind the horrific events of 2000. Kanna, knowing the truth, openly resents this, and as a result she is marked as a problem child by her teacher and sent to the Friend Land program because of her anti-Friend behavior. Friend Land is a facility where people with rebellious behavior are re-educated. As the program begins, Kanna and her classmate Kyoko Koizumi achieve high marks and are sent to the advanced program called the Bonus Stage, where they find themselves in a virtual reconstruction of 1971, when Kenji and his friends were kids. There, each of the girls learns crucial secrets about Friend. The surviving secret base members have been separated since Bloody New Year’s Eve but each has spent the last 15 years in various activities opposing Friend and his regime. Otcho has been incarcerated in Umihotaru Prison. Yoshitune now leads an underground group against Friend. Maruo works for an important figure in the regime, waiting for the right time to act against Friend. 

As Kenji’s friends all try to find out the truth about Friend, they discover the shocking existence of The New Book of Prophecy, the sequel to The Book of Prophecy. The New Book describes an event: In 2015, at a church in Shinjuku, a savior will rise to uphold justice but will be assassinated. Who is the savior? Once again, Doomsday looms near...

Review: I had actually never heard of the 20th Century Boys until we got this film in the mail.  I'm so used to seeing Viz distribute anime, I was surprised by this live action feature.  This movie is #2 in a trilogy of live-action films dedicated to the infamous manga from creator Naoki Urasawa.   Apparently this franchise has been a big phenominon in Japan for some time, and we're just now getting the imports of the movie trilogy.

I wasn't sure what to expect going into this, so I went back and read the comics.  I have to say that this was a very good adaptation of the book.  The characters Kanna and Otcho really stood out in both dialogue and action sequences.  They really helped to carry the film through.  It kinda feels like the Empire Strikes Back of the Series, its biding its time and building up to something larger.

The film comes in Japanese language with optional English subtitles.  I recommend buying the first part of the trilogy before watching part 2, it'd make a lot more sense! 

Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

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