Don't laugh, but I almost cried when I read a "manga." I am not a manga=Japanese comic fan, actually I feel embarrassed that many Japanese guys read manga on the trains. And many manga seem silly to me. But I am totally into Naoki Urasawa now. I talked about him before in this post, his story, Monster, will go to Hollywood. (I think Keanu Reeves would be good as Tanma!). But I think "20th Century Boy" and "PLUTO" are much better stories than Monster.
This is the best English site about "20th Century Boy". Please check out the story out there. Like the site says, the story has three main parts. The 1990s and 2014 parts are good of course, but I like reading about Kenji's childhood days. Urasawa does a good job of capturing the mood of 70s Tokyo. Japan was in a time of powerful economical growth; The Osaka Expo showed people dreams of the future. Some boys were stunned by the Apollo's landing on the moon and some boys were knocked out by Rock music, especially the group T'Rex, whose song "20th century boy" is used as a symbol of the boys' self-awareness in the story.
But the comic that almost made me cry is not 20th..., it is Pluto, this seems to be Urawasa's homage to Osamu Tezuka. Urasawa remakes one story with the Japanese original name of "Atom". The great Osamu Tezuka wrote Atom = Astro boy (ram). This is the original Astro boy and this is Urasawa's Astro boy. 2 comics are published already and we are waiting for next one now. Then I found out that someone has scanned 'ENGLISH version' and uploaded it to the site. I suppose they will have to close it down sooner or later (I hope not), But I want many people try to read this story with an open mind, no bias.