KING OF THORN (Ibara no Ô, “King of Thorns”) (?????) • Yuji Iwahara (story and art) • TokyoPop (2007-ongoing) • Enterbrain (Comic Beam, 2002-2005) • 6 volumes • Science Fiction Horror Action • 16+ (language, graphic violence)
When medical science is perplexed by a strange fossilizing disease known as Medusa, a group of victims are placed in cold sleep to await a cure. They awaken to find themselves in an abandoned facility overgrown with thorns and infested by ferocious dinosaur-like creatures, which pick them off one by one, as they try to find a way out and discover the truth of what happened…before they, too, succumb to the disease. Although nominated for a 2006 Seiun (Nebula) Award for Best Science Fiction Manga, this postapocalyptic action movie in manga form most shows the influence of the “survival horror” genre, as typified by Resident Evil and of course, Dino Crisis. Most of the manga is a series of running fight scenes in creepy locations, cute kids in danger, and people arguing with one another. However, the pacing is dramatic, the heroes are sympathetic, and Iwahara’s unconventional, American-animation-influenced artwork–using black-and-white shading and crosshatching instead of screentone–gives the manga a bold, unique look. (Review by Jason Thompson and Mark Simmons)
Today’s review was written with a little help from my researcher friend Mark Simmons. In addition to looking up the publishing and summary information for “King of Thorn” for me back in 2007, he’s also an awesome artist — check out his website!
Today’s winner (really last night’s winner, since I get the data every evening) is Amber K. of Pennsylvania. I’ve also received a photo from a past winner, Eric:
Eric, thanks for giving it up (your picture, that is) for 365 Days of Manga. I edited Pretty Face, and it was one of the most fun editing jobs I’ve ever done… I’d had my eye on that manga ever since 2002, it just took awhile for me to convince Viz to translate it. Definitely one of the best twin-sister-incest tranny/cross-dressing manga ever! Hope you enjoy it!