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Friend (友達 Tomodachi) is the main antagonist of the 20th Century Boys manga series.

He is an influential and manipulative figure who uses people as tools in order to reach his goals, and eventually became World President. However, he initially died before succeeding but he was replaced by an accomplice of his. Considering this, Friend is actually two distinct persons.

For most of the series, Friend's identity is unknown, although it is surmised early on that he must be one of Kenji's former classmates. He is determined to dominate the world by using the plans created by Kenji's Youth Group, otherwise known as The Prophecy Book.

Appearance[]

Friend wears throughout the series a suit & tie comprising a grey vest, a white shirt and a red tie. The main variations of his appearance are related to his masks.

At the very beginning of 20th Century Boys, he isn't shown wearing a mask but his face is hidden in the shadows, albeit there are moments where glimpses of his head are visible, such as his grin or his well-groomed black hair.

Until chapter 133, Friend is shown wearing a Ninja Hattori-kun mask while still wearing his neat suit. Following the events of the Bloody New Year's Eve, there is a moment where his face is covered with bandages, as he was supposedly wounded by the robot's explosion.

For the rest of the manga and the very first chapters of 21st Century Boys, Friend wears his iconic white mask with Kenji's Youth Group's symbol printed on it.

Biography[]

In 1997, Friend was the mysterious, charismatic leader of an unnamed religious cult in Japan. Gaining the trust of many Japanese citizens, his influence even reached police officials and political figures and kept growing more and more. It is revealed that Friend's goal is to control the world by following the Prophecy Book, a plan for world domination created by Kenji's Youth Group. At some point, Friend forced his wife, Kiriko Endō, and Yamane to create a bacteriological virus according to the prophecies.

Friend's cult began its expansion by eliminating various rival cult leaders and bothersome individuals to the group, using the term "purify" when having to neutralize someone at the behest of Friend. Then, several cases of mysterious deaths occurred all around the world, each of them being caused by the aforementioned virus; it first stroke in Tokyo, then San Francisco and London. At some point, Friend organized a concert for the cultists to meet him, which Kenji attended in order to track him down. But as he was about to shoot Friend after getting up on stage, the latter revealed to Kenji that he is Kanna Endō's father, his beloved niece, forcing him not to shoot the laser gun on his alleged brother-in-law.

Sometime prior to the year 2000, Friend founded a political wing based on his cult, a Japanese political party known as the "Friendship Democratic Party." His influence would reach other nations, such as Thailand, where he developed a hallucinogenic substance that reawakens people's deepest fears.

friend's identity is later revealed to be Fukubei Hattori shortly after his real death, as he was believed to be dead during the Bloody New Year's Eve. However, while the world mourns, Friend's most carefully hidden accomplice, Katsumata, takes his place. The two Friends are most easily distinguished by their favored masks: Fukubei's Ninja Hattori-kun mask serves as an oblique clue to his identity, while Katsumata replaces it with the now iconic symbol-bearing mask. However in the perfect edition ending, it is revealed that it was Katsumata all along

The ultimate motivation of Friend depends on the man behind the mask at the time. Fukubei bears a grudge against Kenji owing to an inferiority complex and his own questionable mental state. Katsumata's grudge is much more specific, hailing from the time Kenji allowed Katsumata to publicly take the blame for a petty theft at a local shop, resulting in his being excluded and ignored by the other children. Further, since Fukubei died unexpectedly and the final parts of the New Prophecy Book were written by Katsumata, it is unclear what Fukubei's ultimate goal would have been had he lived.   

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