Posted on October 10, 2012 AT 03:47pm
It all began in 2012, a deadly plague is making its way through the human population, killing without discrimination. Dubbed the Medusa Virus, this disease turns its victims into statues, petrifying them. Fast forward to 2015 and with no where left to turn and no answers, a religious sect called Venus Gate has opened their cryogenics lab to 160 hand selected people. These people are the last hope for humanity and will be frozen for up to 100 years, their bodies cared for by “Alice”, the computer in charge of the whole facility. The dream is that this “ark” will save the human race by allowing these people to awaken in a world without Medusa. Among the chosen are a prisoner, a mother, a small boy, a soldier, a senator, and one half of a set of twins.
Upon awakening, the people find themselves in a strange world. The facility is covered in thick, thorny vines and creatures like nothing they have ever seen before, are hunting and killing them. How long have they been asleep? The 160 people, now whittled down to eight, try to find their way back to the surface and that is when the whole story behind Venus Gate begins to unfold. Nothing is as it seems. The truth about Medusa and Venus Gate must come to light.
The King of Thorn centers primarily around Kasumi Ishiki, the shy twin sister of Shizuku Ishiki, and Marco Owen. Kasumi is fearful of life without her sister and does not want to be the lone survivor of her family. She feels guilty about being the twin chosen to go into cryogenic sleep and would give anything to stay with her sister. Marco is British and it not all that he appears to be at first. He might seem like the tough, violent, heartless criminal but looks can be deceiving, as is everything about him.
The movie has a lovely “survival” feel to it and enough action to balance the whole thing out. The whole thing unfolds at a nice pace and there are enough twists and turns in the story to keep the watcher guessing right up to the very end. I was impressed with all the information they managed to pack into a two-hour movie but I did find I wanted to know more about certain characters and events. Since King of Thorn is based on a manga, I would assume the manga has the details I crave and I know they have to cut things out of stories to make it fit into the movie but it still would have been nice to know more about some of the characters’ backgrounds. People suffering “traumatic” events are hinted at in the movie but you aren’t really sure what events these people suffered and since these events are partially why they were chosen to go to cryogenics lab, it could be considered important information.
While there really isn’t anything remarkable about the art style used in the movie, the creativity is glaringly apparent. To create such a fantastical world within a familiar one is not an easy task. The artist wants the watcher to know that the characters are still in the cryogenics facility but needs to convey that the world around them has changed significantly. It was well done and well thought out. The sense of urgency and the surreal feelings the characters are experiencing are conveyed admirably through the artwork.
The voice acting is solid. Considering the characters are supposed to have come from all around the globe, the use of accents is important. If one is not careful, the accents can sound cheesy and fake but the actors they chose did a wonderful job. You can believe that the characters are really from the regions they are supposed to have hailed from. It also helps lend to that sense of desperation that the human race had to gather people from places to far away, just to try to preserve humanity.
SUMMARY: It’s a good movie and one I could easily watch over and over, in spite of the fact it felt short. The lack of character background and certain story details that were left out of the movie does it hurt it and makes it feel almost rushed, but these issues are not killers. In fact, I am tempted to read the manga now just so I can enjoy a fuller, more fleshed out story. King of Thorn was still enjoyable and entertaining. A little too violent for a family movie night but a nice, easy watch for anime fans in general.
- THE GOOD: Great Plot, Interesting Story Twists
- THE BAD: Missing Story Background and Information
- THE UGLY: Story Felt Rushed
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