Author: Yuji Iwahara
Series: King of Thorn #1
Published: 12 June 2007 by Tokyopop
Warnings: semi-graphic gore and violence
Summary : Twin sisters-separated by fate, drawn together by a horrific illness. Kasumi and her sister Shizuku were infected with the Medusa virus, which slowly turns the victims to stone-and there is no cure. Hope for salvation rests in Kasumi and a select few who are put into a cryorgenically frozen state until a cure is found. But Shizuku is left behind, and in the not too distant future, Kasumi awakes to find herself in an unfamiliar world with terrifying beings roaming the terrain. Resolving to unlock the mysteries of the disease and the fate of her twin sister, Kasumi struggles to survive in this treacherous world.
Review: Kasumi was infected with a virus called Medusa, an uncurable virus that turns its victim to stone. She is sent to be cryogenically frozen until a cure is found. Then she wakes up with thorns growing all around, and dinosaur-like creatures everywhere. The majority of the people waking up get eaten. She and a small group of survivors must work out what it takes to live in this new dangerous world. Kasumi is also looking for something else; her twin Shizuku who wasn't chosen to be frozen and saved. Kasumi now wants to know what became of her sister, which shouldn't be too difficult if they're in the near future. All this while slowly turning to stone.
The concept is very different to what I'd normally read. This is more an action/science fiction manga more than the romantic comedies I tend to read. So a bit different, but very good. The cover shows the main characters, a beast in the background, and a few thorns, without giving too much away.
The opening chapter happens very quickly, with the majority of the characters dying halfway through and a group of survivors being established by the end. The rest of the book follows these survivors break out of the cryogenics centre, find somewhere to shelter, and uncover a few secrets regarding one of the character's backstories.
So yes, a lot happens. And it's happening throughout. The characters get a couple of pages to rest, then are thrown into another life or death situation.
The characters were interesting. They had very clear personalities, and stories could be worked out from looking at them and their actions. Which is good, as we aren't explicitly told exactly who they were. I found it interesting how we only get told three names-Kasumi, Shizuku and the tattooed guy, who's name and backstory would be a spoiler, so I won't include it. I'm still deciding whether the lack of names is good or bad.
The art is almost completely in black and white, the shading being done with lines varying distances from eachother, and very occasionally being done with screentone. The action scenes are fairly detailed, but leave a little to your imagination. Which, with the amount of action, is very good.
Overall: Strength 4 tea to an action manga series I'll definitely try and find the next volumes.
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