Two twins, separated by fatal illness and a selective cure. Kasumi and her sister, Shizuku, were infected with the Medusa virus, which slowly turns the victim to stone. There is no cure, but of the two only Kasumi is selected to go into a sort of cryogenically frozen state along with 159 others until a cure is found. At some point in the undetermined future, Kasumi awakens to find herself and others who were in suspended animation in an unfamiliar world with violent monsters. Resolving to unlock the mysteries of her current situation and the fate of her twin sister, Kasumi struggles to survive in a treacherous world.
Given the recent popularity of the horror survival genre in games and live action in the west, it’s a bit surprising that the east hasn’t shown too much keen in this rich genre, needless to say there will be some oddballs such as Iwahara Yuji who try to give it a go, and he achieved this with a few shocking results.
With a cure yet to be discovered, the disease Medusa scourges through the human race, leaving only suffering, sorrow and ultimately death in its wake. It is in such a world that Kasumi finds herself in, and with the disease already plaguing her, it’s only
a matter of time before it catches up with her. Hope however comes her way when she is among the lucky 160 patients diagnosed with the disease to undergo an experiment, they will be put into cryostasis where they will remain until a cure for the disease is found and they eventually get healed. However when the patients do awake they find their surroundings in ruin, covered in thorns and overrun with monsters unknown to the human race. Inevitably what ensues is a struggle to survive and to find out what happened to the world in the time they were in deep sleep.
One of the points that will really draw readers in is the whole mystery in the experience, this holds true not only for the reader but for the characters as well; not knowing what may lie in wait around the corner really creates that edge of the seat experience. Of course survival isn’t the only objective, they have to also discover what in the world is going on, which prompts them to look for clues and make those all important discoveries, most of which provide some very startling and interesting plot twists, it’s a nice form of storytelling in which both the characters and reader have the world open up around them, be it in a subtle or explosive manner. Dialogue and pacing are also on the positive side of things, you will rarely want to skip panels or quickly skim through as almost every conversation holds strong bearing to the story, be it how they choose to progress or brainstorming on some ill-fated secret they come upon.
Of course not everything goes according to plan, the monsters that roam the area are plentiful, each more fearsome and bloodthirsty than the last, when their paths cross, it leads the characters to some very tense encounters, sometimes characters are lucky enough to escape by the thin of a hair, but the opposite is also quite on the realistic side. Another nice note is that running maybe the primary, but is not always the only survival option, as most times the characters will have to scan their environments and use it to their advantage, this though isn’t as easy as it sounds as a few of the other monsters employ other means apart from sharp teeth to kill! Monsters are of course not the only thing to fear, the characters are all infected with the virus which is quickly spreading throughout their bodies, so its presumably both a race of survival and time. Equipment such as weapons, food and first aid are quite scarce to come upon, this prompts the characters to make smart usage of their limited resources and always have to stay on high alert, couple all these things together and you find that this is a manga that rarely has any dull moments.
A lot of detail was worked into the surrounding to really give it that post apocalypse feel, the thorns that run almost all through the facility really states to bare how long the place may have been deserted which is further emphasized with the abundant depictions of destruction all around. Character designs had a great depth to it but maybe a bit lacking in some areas but with the effort put into other areas this quickly becomes an afterthought. A large amount of praise has to be given to the paneling, the word lazy did not in any way cross the artist’s mind, you may find yourself surprised at how well the panels are well detailed and information moves almost fluidly from one section to the next, if not for the manga being in white and black, it can in more ways than one be mistaken for an anime.
In comparison to the story, the characters fell a bit short of expectations, while they all had a single objective, their personalities were nothing to get people charmed. Shizuku is an introvert and always wished she could be like her more open extroverted twin sister, her guilt over being chosen for the experiment instead of her sister often overwhelms her and threatens to throw her to lose her sanity, the frequent flashbacks to their time together is something that really could have featured a little less often. Marco Owen however is a computer hacker who after a short time in prison has come out as a macho ‘man of action’, his knowledge as a geek coupled with his new physical prowess makes him easily the most interesting character in the group. The remaining characters while are never forgotten and do make reasonable addition to the plot never come off as interesting enough to talk about.
However where the characters in my opinion more than redeem themselves is how they interact with their environment and each other. These people are all strangers to one another, given their current situations they have no choice but to cooperate if they intend to have any hope to come out of this alive, now being human you can tell that it will never always be flowers and roses. While they all move together as a unit, more often than not for some it’s a chance to use others as a shield to protect themselves, topics such as leadership of the group and what action to take next often lead to disputes or even a times fist fights, alliances are formed, betrayals are wrought and conspiracy is something that always seems to be in the air.
Take the survival horror genre that is so popular in the west and Europe and add in the more superior storytelling of the east and you have you a roller coaster ride that never stops. It’s a read that the seeds continue to sprout right from the first chapter and all the way to its grim conclusion. Placing so much emphasis on not just surviving but very detailed aspects of how this takes place coupled with some very interesting plot twists really shows what captivates most people about survival horror.
Sooo.... I just finished this series like a few minutes ago.
It was incredibly intense~!
I loved it, even though it didn't seem like something that really fit my style. So even if you're not into the whole "what happens in the future" thing, you should at least try it ^^
It was surprising. There were some things that I totally wasn't expecting. AT ALL. But that made it so much more enjoyable :D After all, nobody likes a predicable story ne?
Also, despite it being mainly action, there were some sentimental moments. Those moments that just make you cry. (kinda... ^^;;)
You could get pretty attached to
the characters (if you're like me and obsess over them ^^;;)
So anyway, I didn't give it 10/10 for a reason. It wasn't the ABSOLUTE BEST manga I've ever read, but it came pretty close but I can't go into decimals.
King of thorn is a manga where fiction, mystery and the will to survive blend in a pefect way. Each character has a story that is too hard and painful remembering it and some of them do suspicious actions that makes others feel distrust and unsteadiness.
What I like the most is the story. Even though the essence of the story is not something new (There is a pandemic disease, everyone wants to survive, there are a lot of mysteries to solves and some characters die in the way), the fiction parts is really good and unique. Also, every character has a past they don't want
to tell but as the story progresses, they solve their problems and traumas to keep it up with the others. Besides, slowly finding out the truth, they don't give up and they continue in order to find a way out. There are many dramatic parts, they have to fight with the monsters and the disease, to overcome their fears and help each other in order to survive.
The graphics are very cool too. The style is very good and the shadowing are represented by lines, not by grey flat colors.The author use only black colors to do shadowing most of the time and he only use grays color when is really necessary to differentiate colors, so it's unusual to see gray coloring in the background or the clothes ( Clothes and scenery are only white and black, there are not gray shading colors) Even though it look a little plain, he can portray the action withouth problems. It's good shounen style.
As a conclusion, if you like fiction mixed with mystery, a survival story with drama and action, this manga is the one for you to read.
Overall a pretty good read. Starts off pretty typically for the cryo-freeze people with incurable disease but jumps into the action very fast. Plot is great, it spreads itself out very evenly so you are given a good piece of information quite often without overloading it all at once. Lots of twists and turns. The end was good and pretty surprising but I feel they could have wrapped it a little bit nicer.
Art is pretty good
Characters were pretty good (not flat at all!)
story is pretty interesting
Overall it is pretty good. Not mind blowing, but for only 37 chapters, it is a nice read for a
long trip that will defiantly keep you entertained.