"Medusa," a deadly virus becomes a worldwide epidemic. In order to escape from this deadly virus, a handful of people are chosen to be put into a cold sleep, laying in a capsule hoping for the future cure. Kasumi, a teenage girl is one of the 160 chosen for this procedure, and is guided to a Cold Sleep Capsule Center (CSCC) inside an ancient castle. Understanding that it is hardly possible, Kasumi goes to sleep still anticipating for a reunion with her twin sister Shizuku, who also is infected with the virus. As Kasumi and the others awake, they notice that the CSCC is not as they remembered. Just like the story of "Sleeping Beauty," the castle is covered with thorn, and the awaken are attacked by unknown creatures and monsters! How long were they asleep? Where did the monsters come from? What has happened to the world?
Abandoned in the midst of an enigma, the escapade of the seven survivors begins...
Every now and then a manga well deserving of praise is adapted into a fairly mediocre anime; unfortunately King of Thorn is one of those adaptations.
The source material is six volumes long; a fine length to adapt into a film, and for the most part the pacing is handled with care. King of Thorn sees a colourful cast of cryogenically frozen characters awaken to a future ravaged by monsters. The introduction is well executed; it grabs your attention and gets you wondering. As the film progresses, it becomes rather typical of the survival horror genre, but the film exhibits a certain freshness as it isn't
a genre often tackled in anime. Despite certain predictable elements, it's an enjoyable venture away from the norm. The film can't keep up the momentum, however, and the plot drops in quality nearing it's final act; it becomes more tedious than exciting as the story treads mind-boggling territory. Ultimately, the plot evens out as fairly average despite a promising opening.
The animation and art is reasonably well done, but certain aspects let it down. The backgrounds and characters are drawn in a traditional anime style, but the monsters are computer generated and don't blend particularly well with the surroundings. The detail is certainly there, the monsters themselves look the part, but attempting to blend two different art styles is often going to yield fruitless results. It's something you get used to as the film progresses, but ultimately it's something that could have been handled better. The more traditionally animated elements are wonderful, however. The visuals are crisp and clear, the Scottish scenery looks beautiful and the action is well drawn and choreographed.
The sound and music is probably one of the stand-out aspects of King of Thorn. The music is used appropriately and is generally impressive, as are the sounds of the monsters; sound editing is an especially crucial aspect in a survival horror, and is utilised well in King of Thorn. The music - or lack thereof at times - builds great tension and helps create an eerie, isolated atmosphere. The more upbeat tracks used during the action segments add a sufficient amount of drama and excitement.
The characters - given the runtime - are fairly well developed, minus a few who are there to up the kill count; such is the nature of a survival horror. The leading lady, Kasumi, does at times come across as a little irritating and certain character motivations and actions are a little puzzling. The characters are an adequate aspect of the film, but they fail to defy convention and never leave their moulds. At times they feel unfortunately underutilised.
Up until the final act, King of Thorn is an enjoyable watch, with a couple of picky elements here and there. The survival horror aspect is a welcomed change from most anime productions, but the ending is very hit-or-miss. There is merit in there - certain redeeming factors - but overall King of Thorn comes across as an enjoyable, albeit satisfactory film.
When watching the trailer for this anime film I had big expectations about what I was going to see. Here you have a sci-fi/thriller with killer virus threatening society, survivors trying to stay alive and mysterious monsters inhabiting the area of the last set of people. It sounds good doesn't it? Science fiction happens to be one of my favourite genres of films and on paper his anime adaptation has the potential to be great, however this is one of those films that have a good idea but the way it is executed leaves a lot to be desired.
The first part of the film feels
good, the characters are unique and feel likeable and the way everything unfolds again feel just right. But as the film progresses and the true nature of the story comes out one feels starts to think differently about the film and by the end you'll feel like you were robbed. My main issue with the film was the story and the art. As I stated the film starts out fine but becomes tedious because of the speed of the film and focus on unnecessary people and there will be moments where you don't know where the film is going because of the pacing. In terms of the art the characters look good and the painted background look nicely detailed and suits the locations; however there is one fatal mistake that becomes blatantly obvious in certain parts of the film and that lies in the animation. At certain points the film tends to jump into the area of 3D animation with character models that look like they are cel-shaded and the movement looks terrible. The times when it switches are easily noticeable and just look bad.
The music isn't too memorable nor is it a soundtrack worthy of brilliance, it's decent enough as it adjusts to each situation and works on a whole. The characters in the films start of okay but then feel like they just be killed off because their credibility falls over time. The little boy provides humour in some places and while Kasumi feel like a likeable lass because of her shyness and care for her sister Shizuku, but through her memories and the way she acts I found her just to be a worrywart and lost interest after quite some time. In terms of how you'll enjoy the film is entirely down to your preferences really, fans of complex sci-fi films and maybe disappointed with end result purely because the film doesn't fully give you the experience that you felt that would. The feeling of loneliness, claustrophobia, isolation and danger is done well for the most part eventually it just feels tedious then exciting and thought provoking.
Overall the film is something that can be watched but just doesn't feel like it gives out what it planned to. It had all the right ideas and feels good for the first part but progresses questionably and leaves you feeling robbed at the end like you were expecting more.
So my opinions is based on the anime only: Overall, I felt robbed of 2 hours. If you do not mind having some sort of twisted development that leads kinda away from what seems like an obvious plot, then you can watch it. I HATE HOLES in logic, even if its ANIME FANTASY LOGIC, I enjoy tightly constructed story lines.
The art was decent, good enough action scenes, but the main character, honestly I sometimes question why almost half the anime world is made of main characters like this one. (weak, self righteous, adds nothing immediately to crew but somehow manages to survive past more capable
characters) I also was more interested in HOW humanity would have cured the disease or WHO plotted it to be a bio terrorism weapon, not like oh let me show one character who seems to be in charge of this whole scheme, have that person monologue and then choose not to continue with life... to sum it up, if you have no idea what this is about, like me, do not expect anything because the beginning makes the story seem worth it and exciting, but it just trails into something where the end product didn't justify the time it took to watch it. The ending made me feel like the creators got tired or sick of their own story and found mediocre ways to finish it that didn't even suffice......
i gave high scores for the art, the sound, and some characters, but story and plot development and character development is most important to me, and this story lacked that... its strongest element is the suspense that later proves less than satisfying, and the action/art. With so much good anime out, this falls short of its stack.
Like buying a Popsicle or ice cream bar and after finishing it, you kinda are more angry with eating a below average food while wishing you spent the calories and money on something else.....
maybe the manga is much better as everyone else is saying, but after watching this, I don't want to spend time reading the manga even if it is better than the anime, because how much can it possibly deviate from the manga? Not enough for me to waste time to watch it -_- . Sorry King of Thorns! cool title and could have had potential.
Now I came into this movie thinking ok make sure you have your brown underwear on because the manga was just that good. The move followed the manga completely... well actually for about the first 15 minutes. Then people who were supposed to be main characters died left and right.
For example the Senator dies after he finds put that Medusa will kill him and sits in a hall to rot/ petrify. some other people do die but Katherine plays a very important role in understanding what Medusa is. Tim doesn't get controlled by Alice (who is alive, and explains her story in the manga),
the main villain actually shows up to the party, and Marco does a better job of leading everyone.
All of the bad plot mishaps aside anyone who has not previously known about King of thorn will think this is a solid movie, and it is. Instead of the this is what happens aspect, Sunrise decided to take a Sleeping Beauty of Anime stance on the story. Now was the story any better than what i t could have been? I don't think so, but the voice actors of the Dubbed version are awesome. The accents are spot on and the results show near perfection.
The only main issue I ever saw was the flip flop of animation and CG which is disappointing. Sometimes characters would be in CG right next to hand drawns and nearly all of the monsters were in CG. I'm not looking for Redline quality but if you were to buy a DVD or Blu-Ray it would be more than noticeable and very distracting.
I would always recommend this movie on the coontingency that after the movie start straight in to the manga. The story in the manga is unbelievable and so worth your time. With only 6 books in the series why not?