SciFi Japan

    20TH CENTURY BOYS -CHAPTER 2- Production Notes

    A Behind the Scenes Look at the Second Part of NTV and Toho`s Sci-Fi Trilogy Source: NTV (Nippon Television Network) Official Movie Site: 20th Boys Special Thanks to Asuka Kimura and Tzeling Huang SPOILER WARNING: This article contains plot details for a new movie.


    20th Century Boys, the legendary bestselling comic series, was originally serialized in Shogakukan`s Big Comic Spirits magazine from issue number 4 of 1999 to issue number 33 of 2007. Up to the present the manga has sold 250 million-plus copies and has been translated in 12 countries; Holland, Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, and Thailand. 20th Century Boys will also be released in the United States, beginning in February 2009. This complex tale spun by Naoki Urasawa had always been considered impossible for movie adaptation. The story spans over 50 years, crosses the globe and is both meticulous and complex. Previously producers have been scared off at the prospect of a movie adaptation ...until December 2006, when the fateful news was announced; 20th Century Boys is officially slated as a feature movie trilogy! To meet the expectations of fans around the world, it was to be the biggest movie project ever to be made in Japan`s cinematic history. With the versatile filmmaker, Yukihiko Tsutsumi at the helm, 20TH CENTURY BOYS would be the first movie ever to be slated as a trilogy. With a 6-billion-yen budget and a cast of 300 stars, the trilogy would be shot over 1 year --- an unprecedented period. Its production is not the only thing grand about the trilogy. 42 companies from 34 countries fought for the distribution rights. It became the first movie to hold a press conference at the Louvre Museum in Paris. On August 30, 2008, 20TH CENTURY BOYS -CHAPTER 1- opened nationwide in Japan. Fans of the comic series were not the only ones who swarmed the theaters. The movie attracted a wide ranged audience from children to the elderly, becoming an instant mega-hit, beating its competitors in its first 2 weekends at the box office. Before the heat of CHAPTER 1 has cooled down, 20TH CENTURY BOYS - CHAPTER 2 (20-Seiki Shonen: Dai 2 Sho- Saigo no Kibo; lit. 20th Century Boys: Chapter Two - The Last Hope) arrives.

    Synopsis of 20TH CENTURY BOYS Part 1

    1. In the summer of 1969 a gang of classmates, Otcho, Maruo, Yoshitsune, Monchan, Donkey, Yukiji and other friends built a hideout, their Secret Base, in a vacant lot. Among their many games they immersed themselves in the writing of a fictional story of the future named The Book of Prophecies. They acted out their futuristic story which revolved around a villainous Evil Organization and the heroes who set out to stop the villains` scheme to conquer and destroy the world. 2. Time passes and it is 1997. Kenji runs a convenience store where he looks after his sister’s baby, Kanna after his sister`s disappearance. Kenji’s monotonous life starts to turn upside down as mysterious events begin to unfold. First the family of a regular customer suddenly disappears and then his old schoolmate Donkey dies in mysterious circumstances. 3. Coinciding with these mysterious events, a cult group emerges and, under the leadership of a man known as Friend, they pursue suspicious activities. Kenji and his friends learn the shocking truth that the chain of mysterious events is the exact reenactment of their futuristic depiction as foretold in The Book of the Prophecies.

    4. Does Friend intend to end humanity as described in The Book of Prophecies? Is he one of their schoolmates who played in the vacant lot that summer? As the horrible events unfold as told in the Book, Kenji and his friends decide to stop the scheme to end humanity. 5. Come December 31, 2000, the day the world is set to end according to The Book of Prophecies. A gigantic robot appears in Tokyo, spitting out a deadly virus and demolishing the city wherever it treads. Kenji forces his way into the robot in order to stop its advance. 6. When Kenji sets a time bomb in the robot, The Tower of Friend appears in front of him. Perched atop the Tower is Friend, wearing a mask, calling out to Kenji. “Kenji, come and play with me!” When Friend takes off his mask the time bomb detonates and an incredible fireball engulfs Shinjuku, Tokyo...!

    Chapter 2, Mystery Deepens

    Now the story is set in 2015 in the dystopia ruled by Friend. Kenji has been missing in action since Bloody New Year`s Eve of 2000. His niece Kanna is now at high school. As the Secret Base gang, Otcho, Yukiji, Yoshitsune and Maruo all try to find out the truth about Friend, they discover the shocking existence of The New Book of Prophecies, the sequel to The Book of Prophecies! Etsushi Toyokawa, Takako Tokiwa, Teruyuki Kagawa, Hidehiko Ishizuka and Hitomi Kuroki and others appear again in the characters they played in the first chapter. Added to the cast of stars are Yusuke Santamaria as Sadakiyo, Naohito Fujiki as Chono, Arata Furuta as Namio Haru, Eiko Koike as Takasu to name a few. For the character of Kanna, dubbed as "the Last Hope" and "the Chosen One" in the movie, Airi Taira was chosen over many rivals at the audition. Her determination helped her win the pivotal role of the blockbuster event movie. Takashi Nagasaki and Yusuke Watanabe wrote the screenplay as well as the first chapter. Naoki Urasawa joined the writing team as a story consultant to adapt his own creation for the movie. 20TH CENTURY BOYS -CHAPTER 2- is a story based on a dramatic revelation that is central to the grand saga. It takes a narrative detour from the comic series and is even more different than the first chapter. In January 2009, you`ll witness 20TH CENTURY BOYS as it is never been seen before. 20TH CENTURY BOYS -CHAPTER 2- running time 140 minutes, Vista Aspect Ratio with Dolby Digital Stereo Sound


    15 years have passed since Bloody New Year`s Eve and now it`s 2015. People believe that Kenji Endo and his friends were the satanic terrorists behind the horrific acts that took place in 2000, the scheme to end humanity using a virus spitting gigantic robot. Friend, on the other hand, is worshipped as the savior who stopped the doomsday plan. Friend now spreads the oracle that the end is coming and salvation will come only to those who believe in him and stay with him.

    Kenji`s niece Kanna is now in high school. With Kenji missing, Yukiji has been her surrogate mother. History textbook tells a fabricated account of Bloody New Year`s Eve, and Kanna openly resents it as she knows the truth. Britney, a transvestite who has come to know an important secret about Friend, is marked for murder. Kanna provides refuge for Britney. As the police continue their search for Britney, Kanna meets rookie detective Chono and Chono starts to trust and help Kanna. At school Kanna`s teacher tags her as a problem child for her anti-Friend behavior and she`s sent away on a Friend Land program. Friend Land is a facility where people with anti-social behavior are "re-educated". Kanna and her classmate Kyoko Koizumi start their program. As the top two contestants they are sent to the advanced program called the Bonus Stage. It`s a virtual reconstruction of 1971, when Kenji and his friends were children. Events lead Kanna to a school lab and Koizumi to a school roof where they learn crucial secrets about Friend. The surviving Secret Base members have been separated since Bloody New Year`s Eve. But each has spent those 15 years in various activities opposing Friend and his regime. Otcho has been imprisoned in Umihotaru Prison but he breaks out. Yoshitsune now leads an underground group of people against Friend. Maruo aids an important person, waiting for the right time to act against Friend. Mon-chan`s investigations lead to him finding out about The New Book of Prophecies. As Yamane and Sadakiyo respectively provide more information about Friend`s secrets, the gang learns more about crucial events in their childhood...and the ultimate mystery; Who is Friend? Friend visits Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku, known as the worst crime area in the world, for an inspection. And at the same time, Kanna is at a church in Kabuki-cho. The New Book of Prophecies describes the event, "In 2015 at a church in Shinjuku, a savior will rise to uphold justice and be struck by an assassin." Who is the savior? Again doomsday looms near...

    Cast and Characters

    Etsushi Toyokawa as Otcho Otcho or Choji Ochiai was one of the Secret Base friends. Later he disappeared while working for a trade company in Thailand. He`s found working as an underground crime fighter, named Shogun, in Thailand. He goes back to Japan when Kenji contacts him so they can fight Friend together. In 2015 Otcho escapes from solitary confinement in Umihotaru Prison...

    Toyokawa was born in Osaka in 1962. His film appearances include Katsuaki Motoki`s 10 PROMISES TO MY DOG (Inu to Watashi no Ju no Yakusoku, 2008), Kaneto Shindo`s THOUGH THE PETALS HAVE FALLEN (Hana wa Chiredomo, 2008), Yoshimitsu Morita`s SOUTHBOUND and SANJURO (Tsubaki Sanjuro, 2007), Kunitoshi Manda`s THE KISS (Seppun, 2007), Junji Sakamoto`s TAMAMOE (2007), Yasuo Tsuruhashi`s LOVE NEVER TO END (Ai no Rukeichi, 2007), Tomoyuki Takigawa`s THE INVESTIGATION GAME (Hanin ni Tsugu, 2007), Shinji Higuchi`s SINKING OF JAPAN (Nihon Chinbotsu, 2006) and Takashi Miike`s THE GREAT YOKAI WAR (Yokai Daisenso, 2005). Takako Tokiwa as Yukiji Setoguchi Yukiji was the only girl in the Secret Base gang. She was proficient in judo and tougher than the others. She became a customs officer as an adult. When a friend tells her about the Friend cult, Yukiji makes the connection between the cult and her childhood. In 2015 she is a concerned surrogate mother for Kanna, feeling responsible for her safety in Kenji`s absence. Born in 1972, Kanagawa prefecture, Tokiwa made her acting debut was in 1993 in the hit TV drama DEVIL`S KISS (Akuma no Kiss). Her first movie appearance was in Daniel Lee`s 1999 Hong Kong film, MOONLIGHT EXPRESS (Xing yue tong hua). Her credits include Kenji Uchida`s AFTER SCHOOL (2008), Junji Sakamoto`s TAMAMOE (2007), Hisako Yamada`s FUDEKO AND HER LOVE (Fudeko, sono Ai, 2007), Tetsuro Shinohara`s ON THE METRO (Metoro ni Notte, 2006), Yoshimitsu Morita`s THE MAMIYA BROTHERS (Mamiya Kyodai, 2006), Shunsaku Kawake`s SHINING BOY AND LITTLE RANDY (Hoshi ni natta Shonen, 2005), RED MOON (Yasuo Furuhata`s Akai Tsuki, 2004) and Kazuyoshi Tsutsui`s GETUP! (Gerropa, 2003).Coming up soon are Yuzo Asahara`s FREE AND EASY, PART 19 (Tsuribaka Nisshi 19) and the big budget TV period drama TENCHIJIN (2009). Airi Taira as Kanna Endo Kanna is Kiriko`s daughter and Kenji`s niece. Nobody knows who her father is. Her mother left her in Kenji`s care and disappeared. After Kenji goes missing after fighting Friend on Bloody New Year`s Eve, Yukiji became Kanna`s surrogate mother. In 2015 she attends high school and works part-time at a ramen restaurant in Kabuki-cho. Airi Taira was born in 1984, Hyogo prefecture. Her previous credits include Issei Oda`s ARCH ANGELS (Warau Mikaeru, 2007), Tetsu Maeda`s POLE TOPPLING (Bo Taoshi, 2003), Satoshi Isaka`s DOUBLES (Daburusu, 2003), and Hiroshi Sugawara`s DREAM MAKER (1999). Mirai Moriyama as Kakuta Kakuta is a comic book artist. By publishing his work online he violated the New Youth Protection and Cultivation Act resulting in his imprisonment at Umihotaru Prison. Mirai Moriyama was born in 1984, Hyogo prefecture. His credits include Yoshihiro Nakamura`s FISH STORY (2009), Yuki Tanada`s ONE MILLION YEN GIRL (Hyakuman-en to Nigamushi Onna, 2008), Takanori Jinnai`s SMILE (Sumairu Seiya no Kiseki, 2007), Kentaro Moriya`s SCHOOL DAYS (Sukuru Deizu, 2005), Isao Yukisada`s CRYING OUT LOVE, IN THE CENTER OF THE WORLD (Sekai no Chushin de, Ai o Sakebu, 2004), and Takeshi Watanabe`s REVOLVER- AOI HARU (2003).

    Teruyuki Kagawa as Yoshitsune Yoshitsune, or Takeshi Minamoto was one of the Secret Base gang. His unassuming character kept him from being recognized as an important member. After working as an incompetent photocopy machine salesman, he joined Kenji to fight Friend on Bloody New Year`s Eve. In 2015 he is active underground, leading a group of people to revolt against Friend some day. Kagawa was born in Tokyo in 1965. He first acted in Kasugano LADY KASUGA (Kasuga no Tsubone), a big budget period TV drama in 1989. His filmography includes Kiyoshi Kurosawa`s TOKYO SONATA (2008), Wakako Kaku and Shuntaro Tanigawa`s SEA GULLS (? ?????, 2008), Bong Joon-ho`s TOKYO! (2008), Yeming Wang`s TEA FIGHT (Tocha, 2008), Yuichi Sato`s KISARAGI (2007), Yasuo Furuhata`s THE HAUNTED SAMURAI (Tsukigami, 2007), Mika Nishikawa`s SWAY (Yureru, 2006), Yukihiko Tsutsumi`s MEMORIES OF TOMORROW (Ashita no Kioku, 2006), and Isao Yukisada`s YEAR ONE IN THE NORTH (Kita no Zerozen, 2004). Yusuke Santamaria as Sadakiyo Sadakiyo, or Kiyoshi Sada is the new English substitute teacher at Kanna`s high school. He was one of Kenji`s old classmates. As a child he was always bullied and wore a mask. Yusuke Santamaria was born in 1971, Oita prefecture. His filmography includes Kankuro Kudo`s THE SHONEN MERIKENSACK (Shonen Meriken Sakku, 2009), Hideaki Hosono`s DONJU (2009), Yuichi Sato`s KISARAGI (2007), Mipo Oh`s THE SAKAIS` HAPPINESS (Sakai-ke no Shiawase, 2006), Katsuyuki Motohiro`s NEGOTIATOR MASHITA MASAYOSHI (Koshonin Mashita Masayoshi, 2005), the BAYSIDE SHAKEDOWN series (directed by Katsuyuki Motohiro), Kiyoshi Kurosawa DOPPLEGANGER (Dopperugenga, 2002), and Isao Nakae BETWEEN CALMNESS AND PASSION (Reisei to Jonetsu no Aida, 2001). Hidehiko Ishizuka as Maruo Maruo is one of the Secret Base friends. He fought Friend on Bloody New Year`s Eve with Kenji. In 2015 he is Namio Haru`s manager and is waiting for the chance to fight Friend again. Hidehiko Ishizuka was born in 1962 in Kanagawa prefecture. He is part of the comic duo, Honjamaka. Besides his comic performances he is often seen on TV in the variety shows TOKYO FRIEND PARK, HOW MELENGE FEELS (Melenge no kimochi) and as the host of the 2007 MTV MUSIC VIDEO AWARDS JAPAN. Ishizuka`s film roles include voice work in Roger Allers, Jill Culton and Anthony Stacchi`s OPEN SEASON (2006), Tensai Okamura`s NARUTO THE MOVIE: NINJA CLASH IN THE LAND OF SNOW (Naruto Dai Katsugeki!! Yuki Hime Shinobu Houjou Datte Bayo!, 2004) and Peter Docter, Lee Unkrich and David Silverman`s MONSTERS INC. (2002). He also appeared in Hikaru Ijuin`s FAT MAN BROTHERS (1995). Naohito Fujiki as Chono Chono is a detective stationed at Kabuki-cho Police Precinct. His grandfather (known as Cho-san) was a legendary investigative cop, but Chono is clumsy and lacks the determination of his grandfather. He meets Kanna on an anti-mafia raid in Kabuki-cho.

    Naohito Fujiki was born in 1972, Chiba prefecture. His credits include Kazuyuki Morosawa`s BABY BABY BABY! (2009), Yasuharu Ishii`s BOYS OVER FLOWERS: FINAL (Hana Yori Dango: Fainaru, 2008), Satoshi Isaka`s G@ME (2003), Joji Iida`s DRAGON HEAD (Doragon Heddo, 2003), Kazuyuki Morosawa`s NURSE NO OSHIGOTO: THE MOVIE (2002), and Yasuyuki Kusuda`s BOYS OVER FLOWERS (Hana Yori Dango, 1995). Takashi Ukaji as Mon-chan Mon-chan, or Masaaki Shimon, is one of the Secret Base gang. He joined Kenji to stop the Bloody New Year`s Eve conspiracy. Later he fell terminally ill but continued to investigate the secret of Friend alone. By 2002 he has valuable information and finds out about the existence of The New Book of Prophecies. Ukaji was born in Tokyo in 1962. After becoming the actor Bunta Sugawara`s assistant, singer/actor/director Akihiro Miwa noticed Ukaji`s talent which led to a career in stage acting. Since then he`s acted on TV, in movies, on the stage and provided voices for animated productions. Ukaiji`s filmography includes Toshio Lee`s BACKDROP MIO PAPA (Otosan no Bakkudoroppu, 2004), Takuji Kitamura`s CHICKEN COP (Chikin Deka, 2004), Ikuo Kamon`s EIKO (2003), Masayuki Suzuki`s GTO (GTO-Great Teacher Onizuka, 1999) and Atsushi Muroga`s SCORE (1996). He also has done voice work for anime titles like Takahiro Imamura`s FIST OF THE NORTH STAR: NEW SAVIOR LEGEND (Hokuto no ken, 2007) and had a recurring role as `Commander Tsutsumi` in Tsuburaya Productions` television series ULTRAMAN GAIA (Urutoraman Gaia, 1998). Fumiyo Kohinata as Yamane Yamane belonged to a separate clique from Kenji and his friends. He and his friends secretly wrote The New Book of Prophecy as a challenge to Kenji`s The Book of Prophecy. He grew up to be a research scientist and worked with Kiriko in a virological lab. In 2015 he is CEO of a rapidly growing pharmaceutical corporation, Daifukudo Pharmaceuticals. Fumiyo Kohinata was born in 1954, Hokkaido. His filmography includes Junichi Mori`s GRAVITY CLOWN (Juryoku Pierrot, 2009), Cellin Gluck`s SIDEWAYS (2009), Shinobu Yaguchi`s HAPPY FLIGHT (2008), Koki Mitani`s THE MAGIC HOUR (Za Majikku Awa, 2008), Shin Togashi`s I REMEMBER THE SKY (2008), Takashi Yamazaki`s ALWAYS -SUNSET ON THIRD STREET- 2 (Always Zoku San-Chome no Yuhi, 2007), Masayuki Suo`s I JUST DIDN`T DO IT (Soredemo Boku wa Yattenai, 2007), and Masayuki Suzuki`s HERO (2007). Arata Furuta as Namio Haru A super-star enka ballad singer, Haru sings the official theme song for the Expo 2015. His involvement was decided after he met Inshu Manome. Arata Furuta was born in 1965, Hyogo prefecture. His filmography includes Kazutaka Katashima`s KOMORI SEIKATSU KOJO CLUB (2008), Issei Oda`s KUNG FU KID (Kanfu kun, 2008), Ataru Oikawa`s APARTMENT 1303 (2007), Masayuki Suzuki`s HERO (2007), Kichitaro Negishi`s DOG IN A SIDECAR (2007), Shutaro Oku`s CAIN`S DESCENDANT (2007), Tetsu Maeda`s A CHEERFUL GANG TURNS THE EARTH (Yokina Gang ga Chikyu wo Mawasu, 2006), and Fuminori Kaneko`s KISARAZU CAT`S EYE: WORLD SERIES (2006). Eiko Koike as Takasu One of Friend`s henchmen, Takasu functions as a supervising director at Friend Land, a re-educational facility for anti-Friendists. Extremely enthusiastic in her duty, Takasu keeps a watchful eye on Kanna and Kyoko Koizumi.

    Eiko Koike was born in 1980, in Tokyo. Her filmography includes Tetsuya Nakashima`s PACO AND THE MAGICAL BOOK (Pako to Maho no Ehon, 2008), Kunitoshi Manda`s THE KISS (Seppun, 2008), Mitsuo Shindo`s OTOKO WA SORE WO GAMAN DEKINAI (2006), Kankuro Kudo`s YAJI AND KITA: THE MIDNIGHT PILGRIM (Mayonaka no Yaji-san Kita-san, 2005), Nami Iguchi`s DOGS AND CATS (inu Neko, 2004), Yukihiko Tsutsumi`s 2LDK (2003), Yukihiko Tsutsumi`s COLLAGE OF OUR LIVES (Renai Shashin, 2003), and Yoshimitsu Morita`s COPYCAT KILLER (Mohou-han, 2002). Haruka Kinami as Kyoko Koizumi Kyoko is Kanna`s classmate at Tokyo Shin Okubo Public High School. An unfortunate chain of events leads to her being sent to Friendland with Kanna and involuntarily becoming involved in the battle against Friend. Haruka Kinami was born in 1985, Osaka. Her credits include Masaki Adachi`s ZOO SEVEN ROOMS (2005), NHK`s DOREMI NO TV andKAZE NO HARUKA, the CX TV drama DANDORI- DANCE DRILL, and TBS` ASAKUSA FUKUMARU RYOKAN 2. Hitomi Kuroki as Kiriko Endo Kiriko is Kenji`s sister. Immediately after she had Kanna, she left her with Kenji and disappeared. The father of Kanna isn`t disclosed. She became a research scientist after disappearing to do virus research... Hitomi Kuroki was born in Fukuoka prefecture. After leaving The Takarazuka Music Academy in 1985, she made movie appearances and performed on the stage and on TV. She won the Most Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role at Japan Academy Awards for LOST PARADISE (Shitsurtakuen, 1997). Her credits include Hideo Masato Harada`s THE SHADOW SPIRIT (Moryo no Hako, 2007), Nakata`s KAIDAN (2007), Takashi Minamoto`s TOKYO TOWER (2005), Yoshimitsu Morita`s LIKE ASHURA (Ashura no Gotoku, 2003), Hideo Nakata`s DARK WATER (Honogurai Mizuno Sokokara, 2002), Satoshi Isaka`s THE FRAME (Hasen no Marisu, 2000), the TV series RING: THE FINAL CHAPTER (Ringu: Saishusho, 1999), Nobuhiko Obayashi`s SADA (1998), Yoshimitsu Morita`s LOST PARADISE (Shitsurakuen, 1997), Yasuo Furuhata`s KURA (1995), and Yoichi Higashi`s KESHIN (1986).


    Yukihiko Tsutsumi, Director Tsutsumi was born in 1955 in Aichi, Japan. His directorial debut was in 1980 with an episode TO HELL WITH ENGLISH (Eigo ga nanda) in the omnibus movie BAKAYARO! I`M PLENTY MAD (Bakayaro! Watashi Okkote Masu). He then moved to New York and directed music videos and high-definition productions. He also directed HOMELESS with Yoko Ono in this period. In 1994 Tsutsumi joined the founding members of the production company Office Crescendo, Inc., so he could direct a wider variety of material. His broadened expertise includes movies, TV dramas, music videos, commercial advertisements, and publications. Recently Tsutsumi directed movies such as THE LOST LEGEND OF YAMA KINGDOM (Maboroshi no Yamataikoku, 2008), SUSHI KING GOES TO NEW YORK (Ginmakuban Sushi Oji, 2008), THE BANDAGE CLUB (Hotai Kurabu, 2007), HAPPILY EVER AFTER, THE SWORD OF ALEXANDER (Taitei no Tsurugi, 2007), TRICK THE MOVIE 2 (2006) and MEMORIES OF TOMORROW (Ashita no Kioku, 2006). Takashi Nagasaki, Producer/Screenwriter Nagasaki`s professional career started at Shogakukan Inc. as a manga editor. He worked with renowned manga artists like Osamu Tezuka, Sanpei Shirato and Takao Saito. He met Urasawa in the early 80s, then an up-and-comer. Nagasaki started to collaborate with Urasawa, working on most of his manga titles. Nagasaki quit Shogakukan in 2001 to become a freelance manga producer. His job is to help manga artists create stories and plots and also with sales strategies. He writes stories for Shin`ichi Sugimura`s Diaspolis and Siemu Yoshizaki`s Deka Girl. He`s credited as Producer for Naoki Urasawa`s Pluto, a retold ASTRO BOY episode. Nagasaki is given the credit of Co-Plot Writer for the 20th Century Boys manga Urasawa`s latest Billy Bat.

    Naoki Urasawa, Original Manga Artist/Story Consultant Urasawa was born in Tokyo in 1960. After being one of the finalists for the Shogakukan New Comic Award in 1982, he began his professional career in 1983. Selected works: Pineapple Army (written by Kazuya Kudo), Yawara!, Happy!, Monster and 20th Century Boys. Urasawa currently draws Pluto for Weekly Big Comic Original magazine and Billy Bat for Morning magazine. Awards 1989 The 35th Shogakukan Manga Award for Yawara! 1997 The Best Manga Award from the 1st Japan Media Arts Festival for Monster 1999 The 3rd Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize Manga Award for Monster 2000 The 46th Shogakukan Manga Award for Monster 2001 The 25th Kodansha Manga Award for 20th Century Boys 2002 The 48th Shogakukan Manga Award and the Best Manga Award from Japan Media Arts Festival for 20th Century Boys 2004 The Angoulême International Comics Festival for 20th Century Boys 2005 The 9th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize Manga Award for Pluto (with Takashi Nagasaki and Macoto Tezka) and the Best Manga Award from Japan Media Arts Festival for Pluto 2008 Japan Cartoonist Award Grand Prize for 20th Century Boys

    Production Notes

    1: The Last Hope- Airi Taira Wins the Part of Kanna In autumn 2007 an audition was held for the part of Kanna. Over 3,000 actresses applied for the pivotal part of the event movie of the century. Once deemed impossible for movie adaptation, 20TH CENTURY BOYS attracted unusual attention throughout the show business world. It was literally a cattle call, with actresses both established and unknown.

    Among the 3,000, Taira had the right eyes. Strong-willed and determined, perfect for Kanna. Naoki Urasawa and Director Tsutsumi had no hesitation announcing, "She`s our Kanna!" Taira prepared for the audition by cutting her long hair short to make it look exactly like the Kanna character. Her determination helped her win the part. On the same day, the audition was held for the part of Kyoko Koizumi. Haruka Kinami grabbed Urasawa and Tsutsumi`s attention for her perfect physical likeness. Not only did she look similar to the character but she had the right atmosphere to play Kyoko. She was chosen without objection. 2: A Story of the Young Generation - And the Young Actors! Urasawa describes 20TH CENTURY BOYS as "a drama about passing a baton from one generation to the next." Set in the future of 2015, the movie features Kenji`s niece Kanna and her classmate Kyoko Koizumi, both high school students. Rookie detective Chono is the grandson of Detective Cho-san, who`d been killed off in the first movie because of what he learned about Friend. Comic book artist Kakuta, who helps Otcho, was born in 1990 and is now 25. Britney, the transvestite who befriends Kanna, is still a teenager who lost her father on Bloody New Year`s Eve. This is a story of the younger generation learning what`s right from their predecessors. Their fresh acting is a welcome change of pace from the seasoned performances of the actors of Kenji`s generation. Hirofumi Araki is a member of a young actors` group, D-BOYS. He has a difficult role playing transvestite Britney. He did the part justice and made Naohito Fujiki`s heart beat a little faster in a scene when he fixes him with his gaze. 3: Aging Challenge The characters of Otcho, Yukiji, Yoshitsune and #13 (Masao Tamura) return in this movie, but this time they are 15 years older. To achieve this, special effects makeup was employed. Wigs, beards and skin applications were custom-made for each actor/actress. The most difficult task was to apply the old-age skin on the actors/actresses` skin seamlessly. The actors spent 2 hours everyday having the makeup applied. Portable beds were prepared for the actors/actresses for their comfort. Normally, lines and bags on faces are not a welcome sign of aging but the actors/actresses were eager to make themselves look convincingly older. Acting, and particularly speaking with skin applications is very challenging. Drastic changes in facial expressions can ruin the makeup. Despite the hardship, shooting went as scheduled. 4: Star Cast for the Unusual Characters - Sadakiyo, Yamane, Takasu and Haru Namio Haruka Kinami who played the part of Kyoko Koizumi remembers her shock, "Yusuke Santamaria is usually a fun guy, cracking jokes between takes. But once the camera rolled, he was suddenly in character, quite delirious, it was incredible." Santamaria`s appearance was relatively brief but he made sure he expressed the tragic inner turmoil of Sadakiyo.

    Fumiyo Kohinata played the part of Yamane, the mad scientist, to perfection. Only an actor with his skill and subtlety could express Yamane`s spooky side as he enters one scene with an alcohol lamp in his hand. Arata Furuta replicated the appearance of Namio Haru character from the comic series with an uncanny resemblance. Toshiaki Karasawa (who plays the part of Kenji) watched Furuta`s concert scene where he sings The Hello Hello Expo Song. He burst out laughing and commented, "This guy`s on a roll!" Eiko Koike plays the part of Takasu, a woman who worships Friend with maniacal zeal. This is Koike`s third movie with Director Tsutsumi and in every movie she plays a character who has a crazy edge. 5: Shooting Across the World - New York, London, Paris, Rome, Beijing, Rio de Janeiro... In 2015 Friend is so influential he`s on friendly terms with the Pope. To depict the scenes where the world watches Japan under Friend`s rule, a crew flew to multiple overseas locations. In Times Square, Trafalgar Square, Eiffel Tower, The Basilica of Saint Peter, Tiananmen Square, Corcovado...extras held up signs expressing their support for Friend. The crew filmed a large number of extras at each location and achieved a realistic look. So real that the shooting was sometimes mistaken for a strange cult gathering. It was difficult to get shooting permission from the Chinese Government as tensions were high in the China/Tibet dispute, but shooting was able to commence after long hours of negotiation. Adding international flavor to the movie is Fred McQueen, the late Steve McQueen`s son, and Chen Chao jung, a Taiwanese star. 6: 2015: A Future Tokyo is the BlLADE RUNNER World Friend hosts the Expo 2015 following the image of the Expo `70 of Osaka. The majestic Tower of Friend and other pavilions are replicated with CGI. CGI is extensively employed to depict Friend Land and its virtual-attractions. It`s also employed to subtly enhance the sense of wonder with the everyday lives of the future with elements like laser-string-figures. Director Tsutsumi suggested this future child-play for students at Kanna`s high school. Kenji and Maruo as they appear in the Friend Land training program are realized by actors Toshiaki Karasawa and Hidehiko Ishizuka. They both ad-libbed for a game-character quality which provided an interesting interpretation. 7: Recreating the 1970s While the future is depicted in detail, 1970s nostalgia is also subtly brought in, injecting the essence of 20TH CENTURY BOYS. First, Kanna`s room is covered with 1970`s memorabilia. To reproduce the room as depicted in the comic series, the prop department traveled all over Japan to track down period items.

    Friend Museum, where Sadakiyo takes Kyoko Koizumi, is also stocked with period toys and comic books. One of the toys is worth 5 million yen in value. Unavailability of period comic magazines meant that the magazines on the bookshelves weren`t originals. The staff from Props had the laborious task of photocopying magazine covers in the National Diet Library and pasting them onto dummy magazines in order to fabricate the right look. Also unforgettable is the Toyota 2000GT that Sadakiyo drives, a beautifully restored classic car. 8: Extras, all together 16,000! Naoki Urasawa describes the story of 20TH CENTURY BOYS as something "that reaches the very private microcosm of the audience." It`s a story that revolves around the main cast but it`s also a story that we can all identify with. So anybody appearing in the movie is treated with equal importance, even the extras cast as pedestrians. The movie has unprecedented numbers of extras besides its huge cast of stars. There are all the foreigners in Kabuki-cho and the people queuing outside the Friend`s Palace to file petitions. The crowds at the church, at the parade, at Namio Haru`s concert and at Expo 2015... All together there were 16,000 extras. Director Tsutsumi`s intention was to "make each person in the crowd visible." Faces in the crowds show that 20TH CENTURY BOYS is a story that`s connected to our reality, not a fantastic and irrelevant fiction. 9: Kabuki-cho, 2015 - Constructed in Skip City, Nishikawaguchi On the Skip City lot in Nishi-Kawaguchi where Kenji`s convenience store had been built for the first movie, the Kabuki-cho exterior/interior sets were constructed. At the heart of it is the church. Around the church are the web of alleys with adult-oriented shops and other illegal businesses. The atmosphere is seedy and from outside it has the appearance of a lawless fortress. Chin Ho Ro, the restaurant Kanna works part-time is also built on this set. The scenes of the mafia war and people marching towards the church were shot there. On a different lot in Skip City, the Friend parade scene was shot. Over 4,000 extras of different genders and ages provided an exciting backdrop for Otcho`s showdown with Friend. 10: Naoki Urasawa, the Musician If you pay close attention to the end credits of 20TH CENTURY BOYS -CHAPTER 1-, you`ll find Urasawa`s name in the music credits. It`s a well known fact that "Bob Lennon," the song over the end credit sung by Kenji was written and composed by Urasawa. But that`s not his only musical contribution. A piece of music heard in the scene where Otcho walks over the busy intersection in Shibuya as he returns to Japan, was also composed and performed by Urasawa. Urasawa is known for his music activities with several CD titles and occasional live performances. Director Tsutsumi and Music Director Ryomei Shirai asked Urasawa to write the music for the scene. Listen carefully and you`ll find new music that Urasawa wrote in the second chapter, too.

    20TH CENTURY BOYS -CHAPTER 2- (20-Seiki Shonen: Dai 2 Sho- Saigo no Kibo)

    2009 / 140 min / Color Screen Size 1:1.85 Japanese Theatrical Release: January 31st, 2009

    CAST: Etsushi Toyokawa as Otcho Takako Tokiwa as Yukiji Setoguchi Airi Taira as Kanna Endo Teruyuki Kagawa as Yoshitune Yusuke Santamaria as Sadakiyo Naohito Fujiki as Chono Hidehiko Ishizuka as Maruo Takashi Ukaji as Mon-chan Fumiyo Kohinata as Yamane Kuranosuke Sasaki as Fukube Mirai Moriyama as Kakuta Arata Furuta as Namio Haru Eiko Koike as Takasu Haruka Kinami as Kyoko Koizumi Hitomi Kuroki as Kiriko Endo Ken Maeda ARATA as #13 (Masao Tamura) Hirofumi Araki as Britney Naomasa Musaka Jiro Sato Nana Katase Ken Mitsuishi Renji Ishibashi Katsuo Nakamura Hitomi Kuroki Toshiaki Karasawa as Kenji Endo

    STAFF: Director: Yukihiko Tsutsumi Original graphic novel: Naoki Urasawa Screenplay: Takashi Nagasaki, Yusuke Watanabe Screenplay Supervisor: Naoki Urasawa Music: Ryomei Shirai Theme song: “20th Century Boy” – T.REX (Imperial Records) Executive Producer: Seiji Okuda Planning: Takashi Nagasaki (Studio B) Producers: Nobuyuki Iinuma, Morio Amagi, Ryuji Ichiyama Co-Producer: Makoto Omura Associate Director: Hisashi Kimura Director of Photography: Satoru Karasawa Production Designer: Naoki Soma Lighting Director: Akio Kimura Sound Recording: Mitsuo Tokita Editor: Nobuyuki Ito VFX Supervisor: Koji Nozaki Assistant Director: Tatsuya Shiraishi Production Coordinator: Hidekazu Yoshizaki Line Producer: Kimihiko Tsurugaya, Kiyoshi Inoue Produced by: NTV, Shogakukan, Toho, VAP, Yomiuri Television, Dentsu, The Yomiuri Shimbun, Cine Bazaar, Office Crescendo, d-rights, STV/MMT/SDT/CTV/HTV/FBS Production Companies: Cine Bazaar, Office Crescendo 20th Century Boys published by Shogakukan Big Spirits Comics ©1999,2006 Naoki Urasawa, Studio Nuts/Shogakukan ©2009 ”20th Century Boys” Film Partners ________________________________________________________________________________________________________ For more information on 20TH CENTURY BOYS please see the earlier coverage here on SciFi Japan:

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