Today’s selection: 20th Century Boys 2- The Last Hope (2009, dir. Yukihiko Tsutsumi)
Subgenre: *defies categorization*
Available from: Viz
I guess a problem of randomly-selected movies is that sometimes you wind up with something like this. Would I recommend today’s film? Absolutely, with the caveat that the 20th Century Boys trilogy must be watched in order. It’s not like the order-unspecific Yokai Monsters trilogy or the Daimajin trilogy (or Indiana Jones); it’s more like Death Note or Kill Bill (or The Lord of the Rings), a single continuous story split into multiple chapters. So, talking about 20th Century Boys at large, it’s an excellently-done adaptation of Naoki Urasawa’s manga thriller about kids from the 1960’s growing up to find that their childhood plays of robots and psychics and evil organizations has become a reality, and now they’ve got to figure out why and how to stop it. In addition to being a good suspense mystery, genre fans will dig the series for constant allusions to Ultaman, Kamen Rider, Gigantor, Godzilla, Astro Boy, etc.
The ending of the trilogy is a little different from the original manga, but overall it’s really well-handled. Fans of the manga recognize where this film takes place in chronology; essentially contained within 2015 (plus flashbacks). Watch all three for one of the most ambitious Japanese cinematic endeavors of all time!