20TH CENTURY BOYS Movies Coming to Region 1 DVD
The popular 20TH CENTURY BOYS (20-Seki Shonen) live-action movies trilogy will be coming to Region 1 DVD from VIZ Pictures and VIZ Media starting this December. The films are based on the critically acclaimed 20th Century Boys manga series created by Naoki Urasawa, which is a national phenomenon in Japan, selling over 20 million copies to date.
The three pictures were filmed together by a partnership of the Nippon Television Network, Shogakukan, Toho Co., VAP, Yomiuri Television, Dentsu, Yomiuri Shimbun, Cine Bazaar, Office Crescendo, and d-rights. Produced at a combined budget of 6 billion yen (approximately $60 million US), 20th CENTURY BOYS is the most expensive film project in Japanese history. The first 20TH CENTURY BOYS was released in Japan by Toho on August 30, 2008 and quickly shot to the top of the box office. NTV handles world sales for the trilogy and have sold distribution rights in more than two dozen countries.
“20TH CENTURY BOYS mesmerized audiences at its U.S. theatrical premiere in San Francisco this past summer and we’re very proud to announce its North American debut on DVD,” says Seiji Horibuchi, President and CEO of VIZ Pictures. “Naoki Urasawa’s multi-layered story of childhood mystical prophecy, government conspiracies and alien invasion is given a lavish production treatment and the film’s ending is a real cliffhanger that’s also very different from the original manga series. We look forward to introducing audiences to this exciting 3-part science fiction saga!”
VIZ Media DVD titles are distributed (in English) in the U.S and Mexico by Warner Home Video and in Canada by Allegro.
20TH CENTURY BOYS 1: BEGINNING OF THE END
Street Date: 12/15/09
It all begins in 1969 when a young boy named Kenji and his friends get together in their secret fort in a vacant lot and write The Book of Prophecy. In their book, they write about a future where they fight against an evil organization trying to takeover the world and bring about doomsday. Years later in 1997, Kenji is the manager of a convenience store who has given up his dream of becoming a rock star and leads a simple life as he raises his sister’s baby girl Kanna after his sister suddenly disappears. Then one day, his boring life is turned upside down when his old classmate, Donkey dies mysteriously and then an entire family in his neighborhood disappears.
At the same time, a mysterious cult being lead by a man only known as “Friend” emerges and begins to gain strong influence over society. A series of catastrophic events begin to occur mirroring the prophecies made up by the young Kenji and the greatest fear is the climax of The Book becoming a reality; December 31st, 2000, a terrifying giant virus-spreading robot will attack the entire city of Tokyo leading to the end of mankind. The only people who know about The Book are Kenji and his childhood friends. So who is Friend? One of their childhood friends or classmate? But who could it be? Will Kenji and his friends be able to stop Friend, save mankind, and live to see the 21st Century?
20TH CENTURY BOYS 2: THE LAST HOPE
Street Date: 2/16/10
It is now 2015, and Friend rules a disturbing new world. Kenji has been missing since the Bloody New Year’s Eve of 2000, and his niece Kanna, who has been looked after by Yukuji, is now in high school. Her history textbook contains a fabricated story about Kenji and his friends being the terrorists behind the horrific events of 2000. Kanna, knowing the truth, openly resents this, and as a result she is marked as a problem child by her teacher and sent to the Friend Land program because of her anti-Friend behavior. Friend Land is a facility where people with rebellious behavior are re-educated. As the program begins, Kanna and her classmate Kyoko Koizumi achieve high marks and are sent to the advanced program called the Bonus Stage, where they find themselves in a virtual reconstruction of 1971, when Kenji and his friends were kids. There, each of the girls learns crucial secrets about Friend. The surviving secret base members have been separated since Bloody New Year’s Eve but each has spent the last 15 years in various activities opposing Friend and his regime. Otcho has been incarcerated in Umihotaru Prison. Yoshitune now leads an underground group against Friend. Maruo works for an important figure in the regime, waiting for the right time to act against Friend.
As Kenji’s friends all try to find out the truth about Friend, they discover the shocking existence of The New Book of Prophecy, the sequel to the original written by Kenji and his friends. The New Book describes an event: In 2015, at a church in Shinjuku, a savior will rise to uphold justice but will be assassinated. Who is the savior? Once again, Doomsday looms near…
About VIZ Pictures, Inc.
Based in San Francisco, CA, VIZ Pictures, Inc. distributes Japanese live-action films and DVDs, with particular focus on Japanese “kawaii (cute) and cool” pop culture. VIZ Pictures approaches each release from a J-pop fan’s point of view to serve manga and anime generation in North America . VIZ Pictures titles include DEATH NOTE, KAMIKAZE GIRLS, LINDA LINDA LINDA, PING PONG, THE TASTE OF TEA, TRAIN MAN: DENSHA OTOKO and others. The company will continue to offer the hottest visual entertainment straight from the “Kingdom of Pop” for audiences of all ages in North America . VIZ Pictures, Inc. is an affiliate of VIZ Media, LLC, the San Francisco-based leading U.S. publisher of Japanese mangaand merchandise licensor of Japanese animation such as the popular NARUTO animated TV series. For more information please visit VIZ Pictures or www.viz.com.
For more information on 20TH CENTURY BOYS please see the earlier coverage here on SciFi Japan:
- 20th CENTURY BOYS Production Notes
- 20th CENTURY BOYS Cast and Crew Interviews
- 20TH CENTURY BOYS Gets UK Theatrical Release
- Review: 20TH CENTURY BOYS -CHAPTER 2-
- 20TH CENTURY BOYS -CHAPTER 2- Production Notes
- 20TH CENTURY BOYS -CHAPTER 2- Cast and Crew Comments
- 20TH CENTURY BOYS 2-Disc UK DVD Set
- VIZ Pictures Licenses Theatrical and DVD Rights to 20TH CENTURY BOYS Movie Trilogy
- VIZ Cinema Hosts World Premiere of 20TH CENTURY BOYS 3: REDEMPTION this Friday