Manga Review: 20th Century Boys – Volume 12

This time I’m returning to Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys with volume 12.

Title: 20th Century Boys – Volume 12
Written and Illustrated by Naoki Urasawa
English Adaptation by Akemi Wegmuller
Touch-Up Art & Lettering by Freeman Wong
Edited by Kit Fox

Available from

The Premise

With the start of 2015, Yoshitsune’s group sets out to determine the fate of Kiriko, Kanno’s mother and the designer of the Bloody New Year’s Eve virus. Meanwhile, Otcho and Kakuta are on the hunt for one of their classmates, and Kiriko’s former colleague, Dr. Yamane, who may know the identity of The Friend.

High Points

Mauro’s plot arc is interesting, showing how he and his family are working against the Friends in their own way.

Low Point

The death of The Friend and the reveal of his identity is rather anti-climactic as the reveal is that it’s someone we haven’t met before, and it’s clear that death isn’t going to stop The Friend’s plans.


Originality: 4/6
Art: 6/6
Story: 5/6
Emotional Response: Seeing The Friend die is a shocking moment, but its effect is hampered by by everything that I, as a reader, know has to be answered before the story ends. 5/6.
Characterization: 6/6
Flow: 6/6
Overall: 6/6

In total, this volume gets