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Man of Many Faces (20面相におねがい!! Nijū Mensō ni Onegai!!?, lit. 20 Faces, Please!!) is a manga by CLAMP about a nine-year-old boy named Akira Ijyuin who steals beautiful and valuable objects to please his two mothers and is known to the public as the dashing, clever thief named the Man of 20 Faces.

The storyline of Man of Many Faces occurs simultaneously with both CLAMP School Detectives and Duklyon. As demonstrated by a conversation between Nokoru and Suō which also takes place in School Detectives, while in Duklyon Akira and Utako appear at their age as they do in Man of Many Faces.

The manga was published in English by TOKYOPOP, retaining its right to left format, but is now out of print.

Plot summary

Although Akira Ijyuin is a master of disguise and an expert thief, nothing could prepare him for his first destined meeting with the heartbroken Utako Ōkawa.

On that fated night, the famous thief has the only thing that he does not even think of (considering his age of nine) stolen – his innocent heart. The two fall in love, but what is Akira to do about his secret job?

The whole two volumes of the series is a melody of love between the renowned mysterious thief 20 Faces and a smart kindergarten girl Utako Ōkawa.

Despite their very young age, they also struggle through any obstacles in order to reach the heart of one another, to strive for each other's love.

Characters

Akira Ijyuin

Ijūin Akira (伊集院 玲?)

  • Gender: Male
  • Age: 9
  • Birthday: December 24

He is an elementary-school boy with a double life. During the day, he is a third-grader of the elementary division of the CLAMP school campus, and also the Treasurer of the Elementary Division Student Council. At night, he becomes a mysterious thief who steals things in order to please his two mothers.

Although he is only 9 years old at the beginning of the story, he has already mastered the great skills in disguise and thievery. Our protagonist is the successor of the renowned thief 20 Faces, who was also Akira's father. After his father disappears, Akira takes his place and inherits the name 20 Faces.

Akira is so pure that he still believes in Santa Claus – this fact really surprises Nokoru and Suō. Akira is also very good at cooking and housework. His cooking is said to be equivalent to the top cooks of the world, while his grace in housework makes him the most wanted bachelor.

He is also said to be the top student in his grade. However good he is, Akira is still an innocent boy in love. Akira proposes to Utako when he is 20 and marries her at the age of 22. He is trying to become a pediatrician like his uncle, who happens to be the doctor at CLAMP school's infirmary.

The only time Akira gets angry is the time his mothers try doing something risky in order to help him.

In the two last chapters, and the cover of volume 2, Utako and Akira are shown in their adult form.

Utako Okawa

Ōkawa Utako (大川 詠心?)

  • Gender: Female
  • Age: 5

The second daughter of the Zaibatsu Okawa. When she meets Akira at the beginning of the story, she is heartbroken by her kindergarten teacher who refuses her love confession because of their 22 years difference in age. However, she quickly finds herself attracted to the mysterious thief who just breaks into her room to hide from the police. Akira's kindness helps ease Utako's anger. And that's when Utako decides that Akira will be the man of her life.

Utako is not good at cooking and housework – she even mistakes salt for sugar, for example. However, she has been trying her best ever since she met 20 Faces, because she wants to be the best wife in the world.

Utako seems to be more mature than those at her age, even more mature than those older than her. She gets engaged with Akira at her 16th birthday and claims that his proposal is the best birthday present she ever had. She marries Akira at the age of 18.

Her future career is a kindergarten teacher.

In the next-to-last chapter is the only time in any CLAMP manga or anime that Nagisa Azuya – a friend of Utako, and girlfriend of CLAMP School Detectives's Suoh Takamura – is shown in her adult, as opposed to her child form.

Akira's Mothers

(お母さんA/B?)

  • Gender: Female

They are referred to, when it is necessary to differentiate, as "Mother A" and "Mother B". They seem to be identical twins. They are said to be extremely wealthy and very beautiful, however, their personalities are childlike. The reason on why Akira has two mothers is still a mystery that CLAMP has yet revealed.

Although seemingly very rich, they have always coerced their husband – the original 20 Faces – and, later, their son Akira – to steal anything they like by claiming that they desperately need it.

Although they seem selfish, they really care about Akira. Once they even attempt to help by arriving at the scene in disguise (as bunny girls); however, they only mess everything up and this results in angering Akira, though their sincere apology makes him unable to remain angry for very long.

They also seem to be playful, and make Akira clean up most of their mess. They also seem to be extremely unskilled, or at least extremely unwilling in housework, makes Akira the only one to do all the cooking and cleaning.

Ryūsuke Kobayashi

Kobayashi Ryūsuke (小林 龍佑?)

  • Gender: Male
  • Age: 16

A high school student in CLAMP School's year 1, Z division. His dream is to be a police detective and to capture 20 Faces. As such, he's always at the center of every heist 20 Faces, commanding police officers despite the fact he's in high school. He's unaware that Akira is in fact 20 Faces, though he gets along with the boy very well otherwise.

In his later years, Ryūsuke succeeds in becoming a detective though his personality didn't change much since high school.

Shigetaka Akechi

Akechi Shigetaka (明智茂貴?)

  • Gender: Male
  • Age: 25

Akira's uncle. He works at CLAMP School's infirmary as a pediatrician. A kind-hearted individual, he seems to be fully aware that Akira is in fact 20 Faces. He'll often show up at the crime scenes to give out half-hearted advice to Ryūsuke and the police, but for the most part cheers Akira on.

Crossovers

Media

There was 2 drama CDs released.

  • 20 Faces, Please!! SHINING STAR (20面相におねがい!! SHINING STAR 20 Mensou ni Onegai!! SHINING STAR?)[2]
  • 20 Faces, Please!! Not a Great Musical about Love (20面相におねがい!! 恋ほど素敵なミュージカルはない 20 Mensou ni Onegai!! Koi hodo Suteki na Myūjikaru wa nai?) [3]

The cast is:

Note: Akira's mothers do not appear in the drama CD.

References

  1. Man of Many Faces (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia, retrieved on 2007-08-01
  2. "Amazon.co.jp on the first Drama CD". Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  3. "Amazon.co.jp on the second Drama CD". Retrieved 2007-10-12. 

External links

it:Il ladro dalle mille faccepl:Man of Many Faces

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