Reading Naoki Urasawa’s “Monster” after “20th Century Boys”

I’m not a massive manga reader but I do like the masterpieces which are slightly unsettling, but tell you something about the world.  I get put off by silly or childish humour, but if I like something I will read it again and again.

My favourites (these works are just pure art):

Kazuo Umezu’s “The Drifting Classroom” and Junji Ito’s Uzumaki (and anything with Souichi) only recently were joined by Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys.  The first half of the latter was just fantastic, but it just slowly trickled downhill and then 21st Century Boys I felt was a disappointment. Loose ends were tied, but the craftsmanship just didn’t seem to compare to the first few volumes.

I just started Urasawa’s “Monster”, and the unfolding of this series seems like the exact opposite to “20th Century Boys”. It is a slow burner, whereas you get twists and turns a-plenty in the first few chapters of 20th Century Boys, Monster’s initial hook didn’t quite grab me. But the character development over the course of the series, in my humble opinion, supercedes 20th Century Boys. It is fantastic, I’ve got 4 volumes left and I can’t wait to finish it.  My only criticism is that the political commentary (though interesting at some points), can be a little forced at other points. But it’s a small failure, the rest of it is fantastic. I’m looking forward to Pluto now to complete my Urasawa trilogy.

Basically, what I’m asking is, does anyone else share my tastes of Junji Ito, Kazuo Umezu and Naoki Urasawa?   Can you recommend something else, I want more…. “Look at me, look at me. The monster inside me has grown this large.”“

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