20th Century Boys 1: Beginning of the End (2008) Poster

20th Century Boys 1: Beginning of the End (2008)

  • Rate: 6.7/10 total 1,274 votes 
  • Genre: Adventure | Fantasy | Mystery | Sci-Fi
  • Release Date: 30 August 2008 (Japan)
  • Runtime: 142 min
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20th Century Boys 1: Beginning of the End (2008)

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  • IMDb page: 20th Century Boys 1: Beginning of the End (2008)
  • Rate: 6.7/10 total 1,274 votes 
  • Genre: Adventure | Fantasy | Mystery | Sci-Fi
  • Release Date: 30 August 2008 (Japan)
  • Runtime: 142 min
  • Filming Location: Bangkok, Thailand
  • Budget: $20,000,000(estimated)
  • Gross: ¥632,390,462(Japan)(31 August 2008)
  • Director: Yukihiko Tsutsumi
  • Stars: Toshiaki Karasawa, Etsushi Toyokawa and Takako Tokiwa
  • Original Music By: Ryomei Shirai   
  • Soundtrack: Ai Rock Yû
  • Sound Mix: Dolby Digital
  • Plot Keyword: 2010s | London England | 21st Century | Haneda Airport | Childhood

Writing Credits By:

  • Yasushi Fukuda (screenplay) and
  • Takashi Nagasaki (screenplay) and
  • Naoki Urasawa (screenplay) and
  • Yûsuke Watanabe (screenplay)
  • Naoki Urasawa  manga series "20-seiki shônen"

Known Trivia

    Plot: Full synopsis »

    Story: Based on the hugely successful, award winning manga series created by Naoki Urasawa (Yawara; Monster)… See full synopsis »

    Synopsis

    Synopsis: Based on the hugely successful, award winning manga series created by Naoki Urasawa (Yawara; Monster), 20TH CENTURY BOYS is the first instalment of the mind-blowing, three-part live-action adaptation of the epic sci-fi fantasy adventure originally inspired by the T. Rex song 20th Century Boy

    In 1969, Kenji, an elementary school kid and his friends built a secret base during their summer holidays. They fantasized that they had to fight villains who were out to conquer the world and wrote them in the Book of Prophecies. Years later in 1997, Kenji becomes a convenience store manager and leads a regular life after giving up his dreams to become a rock star. His boring life is suddenly turned upside down when his old classmate dies mysteriously and an entire family in the neighbourhood disappears. At the same time, a religious cult and its mysterious leader, Friend emerges and a strange chain of events duplicating exactly the events described in the Book of Prophecies follow. Is this the beginning of the end of the world? Who is Friend? (Official UK synopsis for Theatrical and DVD release; used with permission of UK license holder 4Digital Asia)

     

    FullCast & Crew

    Produced By:

    • Morio Amagi known as producer
    • Xaypani Baccam known as producer
    • Ryûji Ichiyama known as producer
    • Nobuyuki Iinuma known as producer
    • Kiyoshi Inoue known as line producer
    • Futoshi Ohira known as co-producer
    • Seiji Okuda known as executive producer

    FullCast & Crew:

    • Toshiaki Karasawa known as Kenji Endô
    • Etsushi Toyokawa known as Otcho
    • Takako Tokiwa known as Yukiji
    • Teruyuki Kagawa known as Yoshitsune
    • Hidehiko Ishizuka known as Maruo
    • Takashi Ukaji known as Mon-chan
    • Hiroyuki Miyasako known as Keroyon
    • Katsuhisa Namase known as Donkey
    • Fumiyo Kohinata known as Yamane
    • Kuranosuke Sasaki known as Fukubê
    • Shirô Sano known as Yan-bô / Mâ-bô
    • Mirai Moriyama known as Comic Artist
    • Kanji Tsuda known as Moroboshi
    • Takashi Fujii known as Friendship Party Promotor
    • Hanako Yamada known as Friendship Party Promotor
    • Arata known as Masao Tamura
    • Nana Katase known as Mika Shikishima
    • Chizuru Ikewaki known as Convenience Store Clerk
    • Airi Taira known as Kanna Endô
    • Taka and Toshi known as Shikishima's Students
    • Takahiro Suzuki known as Shikishima's Student
    • Toshikazu Miura known as Shikishima's Student
    • Orientaru Rajio known as Men on a Scooter
    • Atsuhiko Nakata known as Man on a Scooter
    • Shingo Fujimori known as Man on a Scooter
    • Fumiya Fujii known as Masato Ikegami
    • Mitsuhiro Oikawa known as Rock Singer
    • Tomiko Ishii known as Kenji's Mother
    • Naoto Takenaka known as Pierre Ichimonji
    • Ken Mitsuishi known as Yama-san
    • Tamotsu Ishibashi known as Kenji's Classmate
    • Yu Tokui known as Convenience Store Boss (as Yû Tokui)
    • Masato Irie known as Kenji's Classmate
    • Miyako Takeuchi known as Yukiji's Friend
    • Yoriko Dôguchi known as Donkey's Wife
    • Ken'ichi Endô known as Bloody Man
    • Toshikazu Fukawa known as Nobuo
    • Bengaru known as President of Orikô Company
    • Taijirô Tamura known as Chû-san
    • Akio Yokoyama known as Hama-san
    • Mansaku Fuwa known as Hê-chan
    • Naitomea known as Rock Band
    • Ken Tanaka known as Jiji
    • Naoko Ken known as Baba
    • Raita Ryû known as Chô-san
    • Kazuko Yoshiyuki known as Moroboshi's Mother
    • Jun Nishiyama known as Young Kenji
    • Ryusei Sawahata known as Young Otcho (as Ryûsei Sawahata)
    • Tamaki Matsumoto known as Young Yukiji
    • Fumiya Ogura known as Young Yoshitsune
    • Ichiya Anzai known as Young Maruo
    • Katsuto Yoshii known as Young Donkey
    • Taichi Yano known as Young Mon-chan
    • Takuya Moriyama known as Young Keroyon
    • Kôsei Kuroha
    • Kaoru Fujiwara
    • Kiyotaka Yamada known as Young Yan-bô / Mâ-bô
    • Yûki Otoguro
    • Ibuki Shimizu known as Young Konchi
    • Muneyoshi Abiko known as Young Yamane
    • Riku Uehara known as Young Fukubê
    • Tadashi Nakamura known as Man of Fujiyama Travel (voice)
    • Dave Spector known as Anchorman (as Dêbu Supekutâ)
    • Tetsuya Miyazaki known as Commentator
    • Noriko Kimoto known as Commentator
    • Dandy Sakano known as Man on TV (as Dandhî Sakano)
    • Maya Mori
    • Akira Matsuda
    • Yôichirô Seto
    • Yusuke Hirayama (as Yûsuke Hirayama)
    • Yukina Kinoshita known as Gal
    • Osamu Tsuji
    • Yasuhisa Konishi known as Commander of the Self Defense Forces
    • Mantarô Iwao known as Commander of the Special Assault Team
    • Shûhei Yoshinaga
    • Machiko Matsumura
    • Kôtarô Muraki
    • Takafumi Nishinaga
    • Mitsuhiro Sasaki
    • Takashi Sakaizawa
    • Kazuyuki Yamazaki
    • Takayuki Isawa
    • Naoki Akieda
    • Junpei Takiguchi
    • Kai Atô
    • Yukiko Nakatsubo
    • Mika Takanishi
    • Yoshihiko Murayama
    • Junko Toyoda
    • Rina Hatakeyama known as Young Kanna
    • Manabu Yajima
    • Manabu Itaya
    • Katsuo Nakamura known as God
    • Rex Jones (as Rekkusu Jônzu)
    • Shiori Sakata
    • Xaypani Baccam known as Spy / terrorists
    • Renji Ishibashi known as Inshû Manjôme
    • Kôji Kashima
    • Jirô Konno
    • Hitomi Kuroki known as Kiriko Endô
    • Shuto Tanabe known as Kenji at Junior High (as Shûto Tanabe)
    • Miyu Yagyu (as Miyu Yagyû)

    ..

     

    Supporting Department

    Makeup Department:
    • Akiteru Nakada known as special makeup effects artist

    ..

     

    Company

    Production Companies:

    • Cine Bazar
    • Dentsu
    • Nippon Television Network Corporation (NTV)
    • Office Crescendo
    • Shogakukan
    • Toho Company
    • Video Audio Project (VAP)
    • Yomiuri Newspaper Company
    • Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation (YTV)
    • d-rights

    Other Companies:

    • 2win  extras
    • 610 Americaya  costume cooperation
    • Adapt  costume cooperation
    • Akagi Helicopter  helicopter pilot
    • Angel Star  costume cooperation
    • Bay Bridge Studio  title logo design
    • Beams Shibuya  costume cooperation
    • Big Fighter Project  extras
    • Button Down Club  costume cooperation
    • Cannon Creation  costume cooperation
    • Chara Job  extras
    • Commemorative Organization for the Japan World Exposition '70  footage
    • Continental Far East  Dolby consultant
    • Dolby Laboratories  sound mix
    • ESP Entertainment Group  extras
    • East Nippon Expressway Company  filming cooperation
    • Explare  titleback: motion graphic
    • G-7 Studio  titleback: Inferno assistant
    • Gakushi Kaikan  filming cooperation
    • Glad News  costume cooperation
    • Hanayashiki Actors Studio  extras
    • Higashi Kanto Wrecker Service  filming cooperation
    • Horikoshi Necktie  costume cooperation
    • Hotel Annex  filming cooperation
    • IKA Collective  production services: New York
    • Itako Station Hotel  filming cooperation
    • J Machree  costume cooperation
    • Jeans Mate  costume cooperation
    • Jiyutei  filming cooperation
    • Kappo Inaki  filming cooperation
    • Kissa Julian  filming cooperation
    • Kokugakuin University Shibuya Campus  extras
    • Kokugakuin University Tama Plaza Campus  extras
    • Manches  costume cooperation
    • Mandarin Laboratory (International) Ltd.  subtitles: Hong Kong version
    • Matsuzakaya (II)  filming cooperation
    • Media Mill  filming cooperation
    • Meisei University  filming cooperation
    • NAC Image Technology  camera equipment provided by
    • NTT Urban Development Builservice  filming cooperation
    • Nakata Shoten  costume cooperation
    • Narita International Airport Corporation  filming cooperation
    • Naruke Kensetsu  filming cooperation
    • Nihon Shomei Co.  lighting equipment provided by
    • Nihon Sougou Kikaku  filming cooperation
    • Nobby Tech  camera equipment provided by: Phantom HD High Speed Cameras
    • Office Lou  extras
    • Old England  costume cooperation
    • Pole Productions  production services: Paris
    • Protean Image Group  production services: New York
    • Rapty  costume cooperation
    • Route Inn Tokomae  filming cooperation
    • S Progress  extras
    • Sanwa Cine Equipment  camera equipment provided by
    • Seibu Railway  filming cooperation
    • Shibaura Institute of Technology  filming cooperation
    • Shining Will  extras
    • Shobi College of Music  extras (as Tokyo Music & Media Arts Shobi)
    • Sony PCL  post-production facilities
    • Sound Crew Studio  recording & mixing studio
    • Sound Lab Oiseau  recording & mixing studio
    • Tangram  titleback: CGI
    • Toho Eizo Bijutsu  set construction
    • Toho Studios  sound stages
    • Zoff  glass

    Distributors:

    • Toho Company (2008) (Japan) (theatrical)
    • Megabox (2008) (South Korea) (theatrical)
    • Panasia Films (2008) (Hong Kong) (theatrical)
    • 4Digital Media (2009) (UK) (theatrical)
    • Encore Films (2008) (Singapore) (theatrical)
    • Eurozoom (2009) (France) (theatrical)
    • Golden Village Entertainment (2008) (Singapore) (theatrical)
    • Viz Pictures (2009) (USA) (theatrical) (limited)
    • 4Digital Media (2010) (UK) (DVD) (box set) (as 4Digital Asia)
    • Kam & Ronson Enterprise Co (2009) (Hong Kong) (DVD)
    • Mediatres Estudio (2010) (Portugal) (all media)
    • Mediatres Estudio (2010) (Spain) (all media)
    • Nippon Television Network Corporation (NTV) (2008) (worldwide) (all media) (sales)
    • Viz Pictures (2009) (USA) (DVD)

    ..

     

    Other Stuff

    Special Effects:

    • Dynamo Pictures (visual effects)
    • M.E.U. (special make-up effects)
    • Nippon Effect Center (optical effects)
    • Nippon Eizo Creative (visual effects)
    • Waseda University Art and Science Center (optical effects)

    Release Date:

    • Japan 30 August 2008
    • South Korea 11 September 2008
    • Hong Kong 25 September 2008
    • Singapore 16 October 2008
    • Taiwan 17 October 2008
    • France 14 January 2009
    • USA 23 January 2009 (Santa Barbara International Film Festival)
    • Belgium 19 April 2009 (Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival)
    • UK 4 May 2009 (DVD premiere)
    • USA 15 August 2009 (San Francisco, California)
    • Germany 28 September 2009 (DVD premiere)
    • Spain 26 October 2010 (DVD premiere)

    ..

     
     

    Filmography links and data courtesy of The Internet Movie Database


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    Posted on March 30, 2012 by Harry in Movies | Tags: , , , , .

    6 Comments

    1. helmutty from Singapore
      30 Mar 2012, 11:57 pm

      First of all-I have not read the manga but I have heard the titlebefore. I will base my review with nothing to do with my knowledge ofthe manga. Making live-action movies based on manga and comics seems tobe a trend in japan. Blockbuster live-action movies like Death Note aregood. So hopefully, there will be more good adaptation of manga. I saythat 20th Century Boys shall be one of the good adaptation and Japanesemovie. This live-action movie broke death note box office in japan.That made me more interested of how this movie will fare. I must say itis worth the hype. It is pretty intense and epic to my sayings.

      The story: It revolves around Kenji and his pals. They built a hideoutand shared stories and stuffs. They made a story. When they grow up,the story they made up becomes true. A mysterious cult-leader calledfriend enters the world and wants to destroy the world. Kenji and hispal save the world. Not so easy. From there, dark secrets are spilledand they search their brains of what had happened when they werekids-their childhood. The plot is quite intense. I do not know whetherit is a good apdataion but as a view of a Japanese movie, it is good.

      Overall: As the plot is interesting and intense, it makes me want toread the manga which I will sooner. If it interest you, do go and watchit. Stay for the cast and credit to finish and there will be thepreview of the second part. I will wait for the second part withanticipation.

    2. Paolo A. Gardinali from United States
      30 Mar 2012, 11:57 pm

      Could 20th Century Boys be the Japanese Watchmen? Like in the case ofAlan Moore's masterpiece, Urasawa's sprawling story covers the culturalmyths and obsessions of the past century: from the nuclear catastrophefollowing the war to the western cultural influences, conformism andtotalitarian tendencies, the demilitarized, defenseless Japan, theeconomic boom of the sixties . Even a touch of mecha and thepervasiveness of media in society.

      Judging the movie, however, can be more difficult: its competently shotand acted, but like most transpositions, it makes its manga origin veryclear, which can be appalling for the manga-illiterate in the audience,which at the projections I was sighed, left early or giggled in all thewrong places. Sound editing was awful, but it might be a result of thecopy I saw.

      Where the film could use some help is in the editing. Fans willappreciate the attempt to be faithful to the original source, butmovies simply work in a different way: act II is too long, and thefinal climax and resolution is reduced to a few choppy scenes. It mightdefinitely look better when parts 2 and 3 are released.

    3. DICK STEEL from Singapore
      30 Mar 2012, 11:57 pm

      I had earlier written about comic books being rich material forfilmmakers to raid and adopt them into a cinematic version, and withthe success of the Death Note franchise, it's more than apparent thatsuch movies will have its built in audience, and in this case, toskyrocket the movie to box office success.

      Depending on how the story is adapted, some will take liberties to gearthe material for non- fans, to introduce it to a new audience. DeathNote for instance, does this quite perfectly, drawing those unfamiliarwith its mythos, and at the same time entertaining the fanboys.Mushishi on the other hand, assumed that one goes in with a bit ofbackground knowledge, as it doesn't dwell too long, if at all, on thecharacter backstory. 20th Century Boys however managed to take themiddle ground, though I felt its presentation was somewhat leftwanting.

      We're introduced to Kenji (Toshiaki Karasawa), a supermarket managerwho's about to be thrown into the adventure of his life. In a schoolreunion, he gets acquainted with his old pals, most of whom he alreadycannot recognize, before they launch into a discussion of a strangeseries of happenings which involve the emergence of their secret logocreated during their childhood. As they catch up with one another, wealso learn that collectively amongst the group, they vaguely recollecttheir 9 members, and hence sowed some suspicion as to the identity ofwho the new cult leader is, one who always hide behind a mask and callshimself Kira, oops, wrong movie – "Friend".

      Throw into the plot yet another device in the form of a book called theBook of Prophecies, which Kenji is chief author, in somewhat of acreate your own adventure with his pals, as they dream of the worldcoming to an end at the turn of the millennium, what with strangeplagues, terrorist attacks, and a giant robot taking the place of thestay puff marshmallow man. They realize that world disasters areunfolded as per the sequence in their childhood book, and thus, withtheir sense of responsibility, work to try and put an end to themadness.

      For the first half of the movie, the story really plods on, as it tookgreat pains to try and introduce to us the array of charactersimportant to the series, including an infant heralded as the ChosenOne. While most of the characters remain rather one-dimensional withnothing much revealed about their background despite the frequentflashbacks (some which do get repetitive), Kenji is the focus of thisinstallment, as we see an emergence of a resistance fighter from withina mild and meek, and often clueless supermarket manager. He doesn'treally strike you as charismatic or well skilled to lead a group ofdo-gooders, but the second half would address all those concerns.

      In wanting to remain unconventional, the story moves forward and backso frequently, that it'll give you a headache. It seemed to be wantingto shovel down character backgrounds incessantly, as every opportunityfound to go into flashback mode, will be utilized, so much so that itbecomes mentally tiring after a while to keep track of current time.Time plays an important part in the story as it hinges everything onD-Day of 31 December 2000, where a foretold apocalypse is expected tohappen.

      And here's where it really shines, even when the arrival of D-Dayinvolved plenty of droning pep-talking. Looking at the locations, sets,and big action sequences throughout the film, it's indeed a relativelybig budget production with no qualms about throwing money to achievesome form of visual perfection. The finale is nothing short ofbreathtaking, and with well filled tension, though if you're notexpecting this to be the first episode of an franchise, you'll findyourself swearing at its cliffhanger ending. It's not a complete storyper se even though it managed to remain self-contained, as it retainsjust about as much mystery as it did from the onset, with nothing muchrevealed or addressed.

      For those looking into something more, I thought it had drawn someinteresting parallels about the dangers of cults, and how enticing thepromises made by preacher could be, with the followers blindingadhering to every word like it's the gospel. There are enough falseprophets in the world, but those who can command a huge following,could grow and if their aspirations do find their way to the politicalarena, then just as how a manga-turned-movie would have its readyaudience, then these political parties would already come with theircongregation as ready supporters and voters.

      For the eager beavers, it's not until January that you can watch thenext part, so do remember to stay until right after the end creditsroll for the trailer to Part 2.

    4. dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York
      30 Mar 2012, 11:57 pm

      This story drifts backwards and forwards through time. Its the story ofKenji and his childhood friends who in 1969 and 1970 formed a club,created a flag and something called the Book of Prophecy, the tale of afoul villain who seeks to destroy mankind. Jump ahead to the dawn ofthe 21st century where at a grammar school reunion they discuss an newcult with a symbol that mimics almost exactly their old club symbol.Additionally strange deaths are being reported around the globe and itlooks like the Apocalypse is upon us. Things turn darker as members oftheir childhood group begin to die and it looks like the cult is veryinterested in Kenji's niece as the chosen one…as events begin toslide toward the end, events based exactly on the "Book of Prophecy"Kenji and his friends realize that some one they know is "Friend" thehead of the cult, and its up to them to stop the mad plans which lookto wipe out mankind.

      Covering a large chunk of the first two volumes of the tale (I know Irecently read them) this movie moves like the wind and still feelsrushed. So much characterization has been left along the way in thename of telling this truly epic story which covers over 40 years oftime. To be honest there were times that I felt lost, more so once thefilm moves away from the material I'm familiar with and on to theevents surround 12/31/2000 date that is suppose to be the end. Plotholes develop and one is left to wonder why somethings happen (why andhow did the near infant Kanna come back to the city alone?) To behonest while the film has great performances and great special effects,the script is very messy as is jumps all around and tries to compressthe events into a bite size morsel, they've cut out a great deal ofexposition from the books and you can feel it.(I was hoping thatsomethings might have been explained in Chapter 2, the second film, butthey're not and thats another kettle of fish entirely). The one thingthat bothered me the most is that this is the film of a thousandendings. Knowing that the film is going to end and be picked up by twolater parts one is aware that the story is going to stop, and it doesrepeatedly only to pick up again and again and again. Its like watchinghalf the cliff hangers for a TV series entire season, including fadeout, in rapid succession, you keep getting up to leave but the storykeeps going. This needed to be a miniseries.

      Over all its a good movie, but under no circumstances should you watchit figuring you'll get an ending, you don't and as the post creditsteaser shows there is a great deal more to come.

    5. yasuyuki kannei from Japan
      30 Mar 2012, 11:57 pm

      I saw this movie last year. I have read comic because I like thiscomic. Writer is Naoki Urasawa. This writer's other works is very nice,YAWARA,PLUTO, and Monster. '20th century boys' is exists to Chapter3.This movie is Chapter1. I felt that it was very interesting because Isaw this movie. Hero is Kenji Endo. Story to which story of imaginationspoken with friend when Kenji is child actually occurs.Book of prophecyis very terrible book. This book was written Kenji and friends. Kenjifight to Tomodati with Kenji's friends.Kenji brings up the child of theelder sister of Tomodati and Kenji.Tomodati attacks Kenji aiming at thechild.The child's name is a Kannna. Kannna is a girl who has thecurious power. Tomodati is very scary existence. The true colors ofTomodati is not turn out, but it is possible to expect it. I will sawnext movie. I am looking forward to the next movie.

    6. siderite from Romania
      30 Mar 2012, 11:57 pm

      The story is interesting to begin with, with a bunch of kids creatingan "end of the world" story and then watching it made come true whenthey are adults. They embark on a mission to save the world, as theiroriginal story prophesied.

      However, the plot is really weird. There is a virus that kills peopleby making their blood explode, but it seems it is not contagious, itneeds to be sprayed on. A giant robot smashes through Tokyo and thepolice stop in front of it to shoot guns. The leader of a hypnotic cultbecomes the leader of the most important party in Japan, and so on andso on.

      Then, as world saviors go, the heroes are the most inept I have everseen. The movie is very long, at 142 minutes, and it is only the firstpart of a three film story. The acting is pretty bad, too.

      Bottom line: it seems this is a failed attempt to mix the success ofthe Death Note franchise (I don't know what that thing was successfuleither) and the comic book/manga craze that is taking over the movieworld in the US and the rest of the world. There is a feel reminiscentof Watchmen in the film, but only a trace. I am not saying that it isnot worth watching, but I can't say I liked it.

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