The Friend is dead. As the news spreads around the world, the members of the Friends' executive committee are faced with a dilemma: Is it all over, or will the events predicted in the New Book of Prophecy still be carried out? Otcho insists that things are t over at all, and that is exactly what his old nemesis-Number 13-tells the fractious Friends' committee, where quite a few members are prepared to call it quits. Soon thereafter, certain members begin disappearing, one after ather. Also, Otcho relays to Kanna what he learned about her mother, Kiriko. In 2003, Kiriko appeared at Dr. Yamane's laboratory just as he was developing his deadliest virus yet. The two lab partners would work in tandem, with Yamane developing a new virus and Kiriko contributing a vaccine. But was Dr. Yamane simply being naive, or did he realize that he was helping to create the means for the Friends to annihilate 99 percent of the world's population in the year 2015?!
Naoki Urasawa's career as a manga artist spans more than twenty years and has firmly established him as one of the true manga masters of Japan. Born in Tokyo in 1960, Urasawa debuted with BETA! in 1983 and hasn't stopped his impressive output since. Well-versed in a variety of genres, Urasawa's oeuvre encompasses a multitude of different subjects, such as a romantic comedy (Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl), a suspenseful human drama about a former mercenary (Pineapple ARMY; story by Kazuya Kudo), a captivating psychological suspense story (Monster), a sci-fi adventure manga (20th Century Boys), and a modern reinterpretation of the work of the God of Manga, Osamu Tezuka (Pluto: Urasawa Tezuka; co-authored with Takashi Nagasaki, supervised by Macoto Tezka, and with the cooperation of Tezuka Productions). Many of his books have spawned popular animated and live-action TV programs and films, and 2008 saw the theatrical release of the first of three live-action Japanese films based on 20th Century Boys.No stranger to accolades and awards, Urasawa is a three-time recipient of the prestigious Shogakukan Manga Award, a two-time recipient of the Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize, and has received the Kodansha Manga Award. Similarly, Monster has been nominated three times for the Eisner Award in America. Urasawa has also become involved in the world of academia, and in 2008 accepted a guest teaching post at Nagoya Zokei University, where he teaches courses in, of course, manga.