Tuesday, 9 April 2013


King of Thorn
Released By: Manga Entertainment
Rating: 15
Running Time: 109 Mins
Audio: English & Japanese DD 2.0
Release Date: 22/4/2013
Reviewed By: Sandra Scholes

Japan is known for its interest in the scientific as well as science fiction, and here with this movie they excel. A hundred and sixty people who are infected by the Medusa Virus are being cryogenically frozen while a cure is being developed. We follow Kazumi, and several other people's stories throughout the film, and this one mainly concerns why Kazumi's sister Shizuku could not be in the program with her (she had been taken away without knowing).

After a while they awake to find themselves in a dangerous situation, the facility they are in is covered by thorny vines and strange, evil creatures are out to get them. Kazumi has to fight to get herself out of the maze that is the facility, but are they fighting a losing battle? The seven of them have to group together if they are going to make it out alive, but there is also something else they have to consider - how long have they got to live if they do get out?

If you have watched the trailer for the movie, you will get the feelings of despair the characters share in the actual movie. The world has been in the grip of a petrifying virus that has the potential to destroy humanity, so you would think that there wouldn't be much room for humour, and you would be right. It is a complicated story that gives the viewer all the info they need about why the virus came about, and the aftermath of it - which would make anyone cry out loud with despair, or horror, or both. There is a very Resident Evil feel to this that becomes noticable as soon as the characters come out of hibernation. Ammunition is left around for anyone to use, and to be honest they have to in order to stay alive. They have several questions they need answering; how long were they in hibernation, what happened on Earth, how can they escape and why are there monsters running around after them wherever they go. Though there are a lot of characters who have gone into the project, the anime only concentrates on 5 throughout the anime. I suppose it is a way of making sure the viewers don't get too confused, as a mass of characters can sometimes do this.

As this is available on both DVD and Blu-ray, it is worth mentioning that the extras make buying it worthwhile as well as the crispness and clear look of the animation. There is also the issue of the packaging the DVD comes in, it is a standard Blu-ray cover with a special slip case showing the main characters running for their lives.

Although this is a doom laden science fiction style anime movie, it has enough danger, and suspense to keep viewers interested in what is happening all the way through.

Bonus Material: 30 Minute Director Interview and Talk Session, 11 Minute Interview Special with the Director, 2 Minute Pilot Movie, TV Spot, and US and Japanese Release Trailer.

Verdict: Dark, doom laden, and apocalyptic - it's just what you need to watch on a Friday night!