20th Century Boys: Chapter Two - The Last Hope

(20-seiki shônen: Dai 2 shô - Saigo no kibô)
Sponsored by: Sympatico/MSN

Canadian Premiere

  • Japan 2009
  • 139 min
  • 35mm
  • Japanese with English subtitles
Official Selection, New York Asian Film Festival 2009
Official Selection, Sci-Fi-London 2009

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Director: Yukihiko Tsutsumi
Screenplay: Yasushi Fukuda, Takashi Nagasaki, Yûsuke Watanabe, from Naoki Urasawa
Cast: Airi Taira, Toshiaki Karasawa, Etsushi Toyokawa, Takako Tokiwa
Producers: Morio Amagi, Ryuuji Ichiyama, Nobuyuki Iinuma, Futoshi Ohira
Distributor: NTV


Continued from 20TH CENTURY BOYS

We know you Fantasia fiends love manga and the film adaptations of them, and so do we! While the festival has certainly shown its share of these Japanese pop-culture gems—KAMIKAZE GIRLS, DEATH NOTE and AZUMI spring to mind right away—presenting the first two films in the 20TH CENTURY BOYS trilogy this year has our excitement level shooting through the roof. Considered by many devoted followers of the genre as the best manga series of all time, Naoki Urasawa’s 20TH CENTURY BOYS seemed almost impossible to adapt, with its multitude of characters who have a direct impact on history, a narrative that leaps across decades and its inseparable mix of intimate storytelling and titanic episodes of apocalyptic destruction. Yukihiko Tsutsumi, however, has tackled the challenge admirably, delivering a smart, exciting and visually magnificent first film that respects the original to the tiniest detail without weighing the movie down for a moment. The sign of an important work, the themes of the series—religious sects, biological warfare, propaganda and terrorism—are intensely current, not only in Japan but across the globe. The influence of Stephen King is also present as the film recalls at moments both STAND BY ME and IT. The soundtrack, packed with rock classics—including of course the T-Rex tune from which the title is taken—will wow you. The powerful story will engross you. The shocking cliffhanger conclusion will stun you. And there’s still more—20TH CENTURY BOYS: CHAPTER TWO – THE LAST HOPE!

We’ve deliberately refrained from sharing too much about 20TH CENTURY BOYS: CHAPTER TWO – THE LAST HOPE because it would be impossible to describe it without giving away key details of the first film. All we can say without spoiling the fun is that the second film jumps ahead to 2015 and follows the flight of Kanna, Kenji’s niece. A second book of prophecies has been discovered and, like the first, it holds no pleasant promises. Kanna is sustaining the struggle to unmask Friend, now widely admired despite the despicable acts of his followers. Kanna must put an end to his reign of terror, discover the identity of the author of the second book and dodge numerous attempted murders. With a hitman and the cops hot on her heel, she’ll need all the help that Kenji’s motley crew can provide!

—Nicolas Archambault (translated by Rupert Bottenberg)

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