Even as he is pulling his body – mid-escape! – out of the tiny hole that will release him from the infamous Umihotaru Prison, manga artist Kakuta momentarily gets distracted: “Whenever I run into anything that would make good material for a manga, I get totally absorbed” … spoken like a true artist! And great material this proves to be! Fellow escapee Otcho (also known as Shogun) has to snap Kakuta out of his reverie to continue their dangerous journey out. Despite impossible circumstances, they manage to traverse the 10 kilometers to temporary safety in Tokyo.
While Otcho’s been locked away for 14 years, Kamisama (literally ‘honorable god’) who was once the leader of Tokyo’s homeless community (and helpful collaborator/friend to Kenji and his fellow 20th-century boys), has become fabulously wealthy. Being able to tell the future makes stock markets quite predictable. In spite of his many mansions, he’s still most at home, no irony intended, at the homeless shelter among his familiar cronies.
Between Otcho’s explanations to Kakuta, and Kamisama’s reveries to an insistent high school student researching a history project, the truth about what really happened on that fateful last night of the 20th century comes to light. Textbooks often get facts wrong, after all … whatever happens now, Kanna is truly the last and final hope. Can our world be saved?
Readers: Young Adult, Adult
Published: 2009 (United States)
20 SEIKI SHONEN © Naoki Urasawa/Studio Nuts
Original Japanese edition published by Shogakukan Inc.