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Who is “Friend”?

July 22, 2010 | Kennis

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Manga has always been my all time favourite. Written by the three-time recipient of the prestigious “Japan Shogakukan Manga Award” Naoki Urasawa, who also wrote another popular title, Monster, introduced us to a world filled with adventure, mystery and the unknown.

In 1969, as young boys Kenji and his friends, created a symbol to celebrate their friendship, they envisioned a future where villains would try to destroy the world and the boys would be there to save it. In 1997, as a coming disaster slowly started to unfold, that symbol began to appear. A series of horrifying incidents started with their childhood friend’s mysterious suicide. The death seemed to be related to the rise of a bizarre new cult – Friend. Determined to dig deeper, Kenji reunited with some of his old buddies in the hope of learning the truth behind it.

Meanwhile, Friend, the enigmatic cult had been carrying out its plan for world destruction: the emergence of a mysterious virus and bomb explosions at a major Japanese airport. Scary enough, all the events unfolding were suspiciously close to a book Kenji wrote as a child which he titled “The Book of Prophecy”. Kenji and his friends tried to piece together what the plan contained, and predict the next attack in attempt to stop the terror from Friend.


Who is “Friend”? Is the cult leader one of their childhood friend’s? Will Kenji and his friends succeed in their attempt to save the world? If you like Monster, if you like Death Note, this is a must-read manga for you. Don’t give up after reading the first volume of the book because it seems a bit slow. Author Naoki Urasawa carefully planned out different hints to show you the full picture of the Friend’s conspiracy. The mystery grows deeper, the fear becomes more intense as we near the final battle. For anyone that loves apocalyptic and conspiracy themes I recommend the 20th century boys. Be warned, this is not a light hearted and funny read. TPL has the first five volumes of the 20th century boys so far, I can’t wait to read the sixth one when it becomes available. After all, this is a story of a gang of boys who try to save the world.