Director - Yukihiko Tsutsumi
Genre - Adventure/Mystery/Thriller
When a manga series is condensed into a movie trilogy, a lot of the writer's intended purposes and thoughts are understandably sacrificed. '20th Century Boys' is a conscientiously woven tale about a modern day messiah who helped realize an end of days prophecy meant only as an innocent lark by a boy (Kenji). A band of renegades comprised of Kenji and his childhood friends decide to expose the enigmatic, masked messiah for who he is and a battle of epic proportions promptly ensued. The screen version of this cult comic had managed to retain its core essence, making do with picking out only the crucial elements of the mystery thriller. Which is fine by us, don't get us wrong. How else were they supposed to shoot it? What we didn't like though were the corny moments which seem to pop up time and again. When these moments appeared in the manga, it didn't seem out of place because the medium allows for silliness. On screen, these scenes are quite jarring especially when the characters go into serious mode or are faced with grim matters. The first part was the one we liked most as it wasn't as cheesy as the other two. Still, when looked at as a whole, it is an alternative kind of mind-bender which is inventive to say the least when compared to what's out there ('Lost' excluded, of course). Read the manga. It's a more complete experience.
All about 20th Century Boys: Part 1, 2 & 3