King of Thorn / Ibara no Ou
Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans
Genre: Action, Adventure, Thriller, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Epidemic, Post-Apocalyptic
First Released: October 2009, 110-minute film
Summary: Medusa is a deadly virus that becomes a worldwide epidemic. The world’s population is quickly shrinking, and one solution is to place 160 individuals in a cold sleep, waking them up when a cure has been found. Kasumi is one of the lucky participants, but her twin sister Shizuku is not so lucky. The two share a heartfelt goodbye as Kasumi enters the sleep center, although they promise to find each other once she wakes up. Kasumi and the others wake up to a completely different world. The sleep center is covered in thorny weed and it appears to have shut down years ago. It is up to the surviving members of humanity to discover the truth behind what happened while they were asleep.
King of Thorn is not what I expected, in a great way. The story takes you through twists and turns, guessing where each bend will take you. The ending will leave your jaw dropped on the ground with someone else picking it up for you while you digest what just transpired. The concept of waking up in an unfamiliar place is a story that has been told, but King of Thorn throws a unique twist to it. The traveling companions in the sleep center complement each other well and the losses are felt in their own way. I love the worldbuilding with the world of thorn. The backgrounds are beautiful and the contrast between sleep center technology and nature reclamation is well executed. The soundtrack is another positive, capped by an appropriate ending song that perfectly portrays how you feel after watching this show.
You might enjoy this if: You can handle a post-apocalyptic survival story with several twists and heartache along the way.
You might not like it if: You are averse to blood, violence, and epidemics.
Note to the Viewer: If you are a fan of the film, make sure to read the manga. It is collected in six volumes and dives much deeper into the character’s backstories. Additional characters are introduced in the manga and it even has a different ending…
King of Thorn Trailer
King of Thorn Ending – Edge of This World by Misia
AMV – Sleeping Beauty by Vermillion AMV
(Warning, the AMV contains some spoilers)