Will There Be A 20th Century Boys Anime Adaptation?

Classic mangas like 20th Century Boys have made a mark among masterpieces. This has to be one of Urasawa’s best works to have been published. The story that starts from childhood leads through an immense amount of mystery. 20th Century Boys juggles multiple timelines through its complete plotline. Anyone who has read it will know of the unending amount of curiosity that it builds up all the time. The manga is surprisingly satisfying to read if one is really into conspiracy theories, mystery, and thrillers. With its brilliantly written plot and characters, it is a shock to many that there is no 20th Century Boys anime adaptation. The manga was received with several positive comments by readers from Japan and overseas. In fact, the positive comments continue to flood in, to date as modern readers appreciate the manga’s profound quality.

20th Century Boys is a late 1990s manga written and illustrated by Naoki Urasawa. It was launched by Shogakukan in 1999 and serialized in the Big Comic Spirits till 2006. Through its seven years of serialization, the manga released 22 volumes, each of which was officially translated to English and released by AUS and Madman Entertainment. 20th Century Boys is one of the most successful manga by Shogakukan. Urasawa has published several great stories and the 20th Century Boys is one that must not be missed.

It has been years since the manga concluded. Will there be a 20th Century Boys anime adaptation? Here is all that you need to know about the situation.


The story of 20th Century Boys begins in 1969. Kenji Otcho, Yoshitsune, and Marua play in their hideout, which is an empty field. They are later joined by Yukiji and Donkey. Playfully, they together create the Book of Prophecy, where they write about them saving the world from villains seeking to destroy the world. The manga time skips to the late 1990s, and the young boys have now grown up. They have given up on their childish playfulness and grown to have jobs. Kenji is now a convenience store owner who also looks after his niece, Kanna. The story takes its first turn when Donkey commits suicide for unknown reasons.

Things start getting suspicious when Kenji comes across several events that seem highly familiar to the things written in the Book of Prophecy. He also finds out about “Friend,” a terrorist who leads a cult. As the world succumbs to chaos, Kenji and his friends must reunite to solve the mystery that is linked to their childhood.

20th century boys
20th Century Boys by Naoki Urasawa.

Will There Be A 20th Century Boys Anime Adaptation?

A manga is only adapted into an anime when it is doing well among its readers. As for 20th Century Boys, the manga has reaped unquestionably amazing results. As of 2008, a year after it concluded, the manga had a cumulative sale of 36 million copies worldwide. Not only was it winning over the audience, but it also won several prestigious that also included the Shogakukan Manga Award in the General category, the first-ever Angoulême International Comics Festival Prize in 2004, the Excellence Prize in 2002, and many more. Later the manga also the Eisner Award twice for the Best U.S. Edition of International Material in the Asia category, once in 2011 and then again in 2013.

Despite its brilliant results, there is little hope for the manga to be adapted into an anime for multiple reasons. An anime adaptation is seen mostly as a promoting material for the source. The manga, already being so popular, never required any such promotion. Moreover, manga is appreciated widely by a huge population that also includes readers overseas. This can be quite intimidating for studios as the inability to adapt it well can lead to some major backlash. Another reason why a 20th Century Boys anime adaptation seems very unlikely is that the manga has already been adapted into three live-action films that did fairly well at the box office.

To sum it up, it does not seem like there will be a 20th Century Boys anime adaptation any time soon.

20th century boys volume 120th century boys volume 1
Manga Cover: 20th Century Boys Volume 1

Where to read 20th Century Boys Manga?

20th Century Boys Manga is one that any avid reader must experience. The manga is currently available for reading on Viz Media.

Also Read: Kaiju No. 8 Anime Adaptation: Will it happen?

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