|King of Thorn|
(Ibara no Ou)
|Written by||Yūji Iwahara|
|Original run||October 2002 – October 2005|
|Directed by||Kazuyoshi Katayama|
|Music by||Toshihiko Sahashi|
|Released||May 1, 2010|
King of Thorn (いばらの王, Ibara no Ou) is a Japanese fantastique manga series written and illustrated by Yuji Iwahara. It was published in by Enterbrain in the seinen magazine Monthly Comic Beam between October 2002 and October 2005 and collected in six bound volumes. It is licensed in North America by Tokyopop, with the final volume published in November 2008. The series is about a group of people who are put in suspended animation to escape a mysterious plague that turns people to stone, and upon waking there appears to be only seven survivors in a world run wild—including a Japanese teenage girl named Kasumi Ishiki and a British man named Marco Owen. The survivors soon discover that the entire ruin is filled with strange, dinosaur-like creatures and other monstrous aberrations of nature. Thinking that a great amount of time passed since their arrival on the island, soon the survivors discover not only that their sleep was indeed too short to label such dramatic changes as natural occurrence, but also that the situation in and of itself is far greater than they could imagine.
A feature anime film adaptation produced by Sunrise and directed by Kazuyoshi Katayama was released on May 1, 2010.
This section needs an improved plot summary. (May 2013)
King of Thorn is a science fiction survivor drama.After a viral infection known as the Medusa virus lands in Siberia and spreads contagiously throughout Earth, 160 humans are chosen as candidates to experiment a cure against the virus by an organization called Venus Gate. As the story begins, Kasumi is selected as one of the 160 people for the experiment. She is forced to enter treatment and cold sleep without her twin sister Shizuku, whom she cares much about.
However, 48 hours later, some of those put in hibernation abruptly woke up, only to find the facility where they were supposed to be treated in a total state of decay, invaded by a lush jungles of trees and especially strange vines covered in thorns, which appear to have something of a mind on their own. Not only that, but the survivors soon discover that the entire ruin is filled with strange, dinosaur-like creatures and other monstrous aberrations of nature. Thinking that a great amount of time passed since their arrival on the island, soon the survivors discover not only that their sleep was indeed too short to label such dramatic changes as natural occurrence, but also that the situation in and of itself is far greater than they could imagine.
One pivotal role in the series is that covered by the Medusa virus, a mortal disease so named after the Medusa from Greek Mythology, the Gorgon whose eyesight could turn anyone and anything into stone at a mere glance. The virus itself is extremely virulent, infecting its victims' cells and causing seizures while drying up the body, turning the infected into a solid, stone-like corpse.
While perceived as a terrible malady by the world, in reality the Medusa virus is not a virus at all, being a shapeless presence brought to Earth from outer space. It landed in Siberia during a meteor shower, by chance near a young boy and his pet deer, enough to instantly infect both him and his animal. Unknowingly bringing the concentrated thing to his home, he infected his whole family and his sister Alice. She unknowingly uncovered the true nature of Medusa when her imaginary friend, a cat-boy hybrid, came to life by erupting from her back. Terrified by the death of her family and the fact that the newborn creature devoured her brother's deer, she trapped it in her house and set it on fire, thus spreading Medusa all over the world through the fire's smoke.
It was then that the people affiliated with Venus Gate, a religious sect, showed themselves and approached Alice, believing her ability to turn imagination into reality to be a gift from the heavens. Experimenting on her and Medusa, during that time they employed a hacker named Zeus as their security specialist, though in doing so they doomed themselves when he, pursuing his crazy dreams, developed an artificial way to force dreams into suitable hosts and, thus, fabricate mind-created realities at will to accomplish his plan to force the world into a primal survival game to amuse himself.
King of Thorn was serialized by Enterbrain in Monthly Comic Beam from October 2002 to October 2005, and collected in six bound volumes. It is published in North America by Tokyopop, in Germany and Hungary by Tokyopop Germany, in France by Soleil, in Italy by Flashbook, and in Spain by Glénat.
|No.||Original release date||Original ISBN||North America release date||North America ISBN|
The Japanese volume 4 was also released in a special edition ( ISBN 4-7577-1988-4) including a limited edition figurine of Kasumi.
An anime film adaptation produced by Kadokawa Pictures premiered in October 2009 at the Sitges Film Festivaland was released in theaters in Japan on May 1, 2010 in Japan and was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc in Japan on October 27, 2010 and worldwide in November 2010. The film was directed by Kazuyoshi Katayama from a script written by Katayama and Hiroshi Yamaguchi, with characters designed by Hidenori Matsubara and monsters designed by Kenji Andou.
The film retains the same characters from the manga, but it takes major liberties when it comes to the plot and storyline. All of the main characters' backstories are drained down and their different storylines are changed from their counterparts in the manga. Zeus, who is a major antagonist in the manga, does not appear in the film. Alice, the young Russian girl, does make an appearance, but is deceased in present time. and then, Terry Notary (In the English Dub) portrays the monsters in his CGI suit while Toru Nara (In the Japanese Dub) voices them. The film also has a different ending from the manga.
The ending song for the film is "Edge of This World" by Misia.
The anime has been licensed by Funimation Entertainment in North America,Manga Entertainment in the UK and Madman Entertainment in Australia and New Zealand.
The English edition of King of Thorn was named by the Young Adult Library Services Association as among the 10 best graphic novels for teens for 2008.Volume one was praised by Publishers Weekly as "a gripping entry in the genre of violent survivor manga," and praised Iwahara's art for conveying the character's claustrophobia without confusing the reader. Theron Martin of Anime News Network found both the writing and artwork effectively convey the characters' tension and danger, but claimed that Iwahara's borrowing elements from many sources did not initially create an original work, but that as the series progresses it "offer[s] some intriguing twists on sci fi and horror gimmicks." Iwahara's art was singled out for praise, especially for conveying action scenes. The film was nominated for the 4th Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Animated Feature Film.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it.(September 2008)
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