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King of Thorn
King of Thorn
King of Thorn
Anime Review

King of Thorn goes places anime doesn't normally go -- they did a straight-up HORROR FILM. That said, the film uses many of the tired tropes of a horror or thriller, but then again, if you weren't using the same tropes, the result might not be recognizable as a horror film.

Also, I have to admit, as I'm not a horror fanatic, I found some of the plot twists to be a surprise, although upon further reflection, I realized that anyone with a smattering of experience in this genre may actually guess many of the plot points as the film rolls along. Nevertheless, it was entertaining until it became convoluted.

Essentially, humanity is being ravaged by a "medusa virus" that turns people into stone, and there's currently no cure. So, a multi-billion-dollar company called Venus Gate plans to send 160 randomly selected humans into cryogenic hibernation where they will hopefully revive 100 years later when there is a cure.

King of ThornWhen they wake up, it feels like a lot more than 100 years have passed, as they are immediately attacked by strange new forms of life, which whittle down the 160 to just 7 in a 10-minute, gory bloodbath of extreme violence. Of the remaining, they all the fit the standard horror movie stereotypes, who then proceed to get cut-down one by one in a fight for survival. Except the young kid recognizes the monsters as being from a videogame he played. And then they meet up with others who weren't frozen, and then we find out that really, only 48 hours have passed.

So, how did all this happen in just 48 hours? Well, that's where things get convoluted. We don't want to reveal the entire plot, as I said, some of the twists were unexpected and that's half the enjoyment of watching this anime.

All throughout the film, the fairy tale of sleeping beauty is used as a metaphor, hopefully, that will give you some clues as to what is going on, but be aware that everything that happens early on in the film is also a clue towards the ending.

Anime is a good medium for this, as you can do a lot that you can't get away with easily in a live-action film. That said, I still think some work in making the plot comprehensible would have gone a long way towards making this film easier to digest. For horror/thriller/action fans, this is a good start, and I hope we see more anime in this genre.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, November 2012

Below: Scenes from King of Thorn.

a screen capture from King of Thorn

a screen capture from King of Thorn

a screen capture from King of Thorn

a screen capture from King of Thorn

a screen capture from King of Thorn

a screen capture from King of Thorn

a screen capture from King of Thorn

a screen capture from King of Thorn





King of Thorn

King of Thorn Website Links:


King of Thorn official website

King of Thorn at Funimation


King of Thorn (manga) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia

King of Thorn (movie) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia

King of Thorn entry at Wikipedia


Below: French cover illustrations for the King of Thorn manga.

French cover illustration for the King of Thorn manga

French cover illustration for the King of Thorn manga

French cover illustration for the King of Thorn manga

French cover illustration for the King of Thorn manga




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