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  • King of Thorn is a new anime movie based on a short manga series about a new plague called Medusa that infects most of the planet. It's 100% fatal once you're infected and it turns people to a somewhat fragile stone-like state in its last stage. In this cataclysmic scenario, a company proposes to put in cryogenic sleep a few hundred people at a Scotland castle facility until a cure is found. After some preparations and farewells, the chosen (I'm still not sure how they were selected) start hibernating. One girl wakes up after who knows how long, in the dark with no one else awake and with giant thorn vines everywhere. I'm not revealing anything that isn't in the trailer, in fact, I say less. A big part of the appeal of this movie is the gripping suspenseful story about a bunch of people trying to survive in an unknown and hostile closed-in environment (the castle) while trying to discover what happened not only to them but outside. It might seem like just a chase for a while (albeit a good one) but it turns out to be more complex and metaphysical. The grand mystery is even more fun because the nature of their reality is uncertain. The survivors were well characterized and I enjoyed them. I was afraid 2 characters looked too much the same at the start but it turns out they were identical twins (not a spoiler : I just didn't catch that early enough).

    "King of Thorn" combines traditional animation for characters and 3d computer graphics for vehicles, most moving objects and certain creatures. They mix very well and seem to add depth to the proceedings. I think what helps is that the 3d objects seem to be drawn over or cell shaded most of the time so it's really not too jarring (far from Final Fantasy quality though). The characters are nicely drawn (yet traditional in style) and the action sequences are particularly exciting and dynamic with amazing direction. The decors are picturesque and/or sinister with of course lots of thorn vines everywhere. There's also a nice contrast between medieval castle (almost fantasy) look and sci-fi trappings. I would like to point out one of the last creatures seen (a gigantic green one) that was quite grandiose yet weirdly beautiful (perhaps more so because I did see this in a theater). This film has a nightmarish Sleeping Beauty castle aesthetic and that fairy tale is important story-wise. It also has a strong video-game influence in terms of structure and creatures as the young boy accompanying the group keeps reminding us. His enthusiasm is also responsible for the few smiles in an otherwise dark adventure. I haven't watched a ton of animes (especially the recent ones) but considering my elated reaction, it might deserve to become a new classic.

    Rating : 8.5 out of 10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The first 30 minutes of the movie was awesome (have to agree with the others). The way the audience was being brought into understanding of the emotional conflict going on in Kasumi. I like how the twins have totally different characteristics but still show strongly how much they love and are willing to sacrifice themselves for each other. (Heart wrenching moment with the harm that was self-inflicted) it just tugs on my heart strings so much.

    The middle part of the movie took the audiences' attention away with all the monsters and the survivors' need for survival. I like the action and suspense and all, but the monsters are a little too robot-like to be conjured up by imagination; I would have preferred it if it's moments were more fluid. On a personal note, I thought that there could be maybe one to two more species of monsters. "Demonasaurus" gets boring after a little while. (No offense, my personal thoughts) When small hints are dropped in the movie, like the staff personnel and Mr Vega, it got me thinking and trying to figure things out. Love the mystery and suspense. If there were a little more links while the characters were trying to escape, it would have been wonderful because then the audience might not have gotten lost in the action and forgotten the mystery. (Which to me is the main part)

    The last parts of the movie triggered the audience to start thinking and piecing the pieces together. The sub-plots come in at this part, and it's quite what I would call a "bombardment". Too many sub-plots makes it hard for me to sieve through the information and solve the mystery. Though I think that the sub-plots were great as stories(: and they were heart-wrenching too. Love the addition of these sub-plots but the timing of revelations could've been timed better.

    A previous review mentioned that there were too many ideas going on and were not fully developed. I must agree on that note. When I read that, I started comparing "Inception" to it, trying to understand why Inception had a much better review than this though they were similar in the themes of dreams, reality and human subconscious. The technical details aside, I understood why the review had mentioned that. The idea of the scar was presented and turned out to be an object of recognition (love the moment when it was revealed) but the idea of the thorns and much so the "King of Thorns" was not explained. Why thorns? Why these type of monsters? What is the symbolism behind these? And though I love the way little Tim compared the monsters to the monster games, I couldn't help but wonder if they were actually in a game. (Hmm, don't know if this is good or bad) and there was this weird moment where Alice took over Tim's mind. I kinda see no link in that. But it was a potential idea to develop because Alice had to protect "the patients" (which could have been more specific and said Kasumi, totally add to the suspense)

    So in a nutshell, the movie was great(: just a little too saturated with fantastic ideas. Would definitely recommend people to watch it! I think "King of Thorns" is one of the best animation movies that I have watch combining fantasy, action and love (sisterly love)
  • I knew nothing about King of Thorn going in, except that it is a horror anime. Its story begins to unfold with a sense of dread that is very palpable and unique. Nothing violent or apocalyptic occurs within the first 30 minutes or so but, without spoiling the story, those 30 minutes are very dreadful in terms of what looms on the horizon for a set of characters that have a mysterious disease. I remember feeling as emotionally frightened when I read the first third of The Stand, at a younger age, but King of Thorn managed a similar emotional tone without a story of massive, apocalyptic outbreak. The world of King of Thorn manages keep a tentative handle on the disease that plagues it and the dread comes from the sacrifice that the main characters decide on to find a cure, placing their well being in the care of a questionable corporation and tossing away their lives as they've know them.

    That is the feeling I had in the first act of this movie. By the second act things become a bit more conventional. The second and some of the third act become survival horror in the vein of similar Japanese stories like Resident Evil. This does not take from the compelling nature of the story and its mystery, but did not feel as rare a story experience as the first act.

    The third act however, is filled with exposition that is difficult to follow and otherwise loses interest for me. At one point things become more "anime sci-fi" (a concept I simply cannot explain well), which is not a problem; expect that I didn't feel the story up to that point was building toward it. It felt less creditable for me.

    The last 20 minutes, things become very muddled and subplots for the remaining survivors and their true motivations get tangled up in a more and more nonsensical plot. Things become more fanciful for the sake of animation visuals and sci-fi explanations for such events, if not ignored, seem to be quickly served out. More interesting, if you can trudge through these problems, is the ultimate twist ending involving the young female protagonist.

    And my major complaint with King of Thorn, however, is that many action scenes switch from the otherwise traditional 2D anime style, to a cell shaded CGI animation process. It's 3D computer animation that is processed to look flat and try to mesh with the majority of the rest of the movie's hand drawn style. No doubt this was a cheaper way for the animation team to create complex action scenes and have more control, but the two styles do not mesh well. The cell-shaded CGI is not as glossy in color as the 2D animation and also misses many drawing details, like grime and dirt on the characters faces. Inexperienced anime viewers might not pick up on the switch all the time, but may still feel the action scenes have an odd movement and don't quite sit right.
  • This anime feature started well, with a story about a mystery virus that turns people to stone starts sweeping the planet. A select few are chosen to be put into a cryogenic sleep until a cure can be found. When they wake up suddenly it seems that years have passed and something terrible has gone wrong.

    The early scenes were quite good but once they awoke the film steered into a new area, which didn't work as well. Ideas of dreams and alternate realities abounded and became very confusing as the few survivors try to escape monsters and find their way out of the castle among a sea of massive thorns. This blend of fiction and fantasy just didn't work for me, using so many ideas and notions left me bored and confused, not entirely sure what was happening or really caring. I was also annoyed by scenes at the start where none Japanese characters spoke Japanese, with no hint to their native language, it might be a Japanese film, but that seemed a pointless choice.

    There are some nice animation sequences and some slight humour through the character of the young boy who compares everything that happens to computer games. However this is one anime film that is not worth the effort.
  • Snootz22 May 2017
    If one were to be introduced to anime via this film they would either love it or never watch another. If the viewer is into gore, violence, and a storyline that while ultimately resolved and explained is confusing throughout and way outside the box of "weird", this movie fits the bill.

    However, if the viewer dislikes decapitations, an English dub that is full of profanity (whereas almost none exists in the original Japanese), or anti-God sentiment, this will be most objectionable.

    The storyline is somewhat interesting but is so over the top and jump the shark it becomes ludicrous. The body count in this is "Jurassic Park" on overdrive. While it does have a final plot twist (somewhat predictable) that almost redeems the movie, the resolution of that plot twist and the ultimate resolution of two main characters is more than most audiences can swallow. Only the most hard-core anime fan will be able to stomach this, and even then we note this doesn't get a high rating.

    I'll admit I'm a little more demanding in my anime than some, as I am in all movies I choose to watch. This is basic horror schlock done poorly and repetitiously. The inexcusable English dub which turns the Japanese drama into foul-mouthed slop makes one wish they'd have used Google Translate on this one.

    The final scenes are just unbelievable (I won't include any spoilers, but it's way outside the realm of "I'll buy that could happen"). Had I come here and read the reviews and Advisory before watching this I'd have given it a pass.
  • December 2012 . Starting mass panic in the world. People in all the cities of the world are dying of unexplained illness , turning into stone statues . The virus affects all humanity scientists call the term " Medusa " or the abbreviation AC I. D. - Acquired hardened cells. UN declares state of emergency .

    At the same time a leading corporation in the field of chemistry «Venus Gate» offers its residents a panacea Earth. Their project " cryogenic sleep ," the essence of which is to put a few dozen people in the capsule for long-term sleep - can save humanity . Venue experiment underground laboratory hidden under the old castle . Among the elected girl Kasumi and arrived with her in order to hold it before a long sleep , her sister Sadzuki . They lost their parents during World disease , but because they are given a parting hard. Their personal nobody knows the history of relations largely affect the further course of events . The experiment takes place and after some time the participants wake up to find himself surrounded by monsters.

    In the animated anime film " King of Thorn " the authors with amazing fantasy story beat tale " Sleeping Beauty" in the scenery postapocaliptic horror. In the center of the story a few survivors of the experiment. Once alone in the battle with the monstrous creatures , they try to find a way out of the past and find out the reasons of the accident. All laboratory facilities , including an ancient castle itself , orgy spiny tentacles plants , and someone upstairs in the castle tower , watching them , controlling their every move .

    The gloomy atmosphere and a dizzying events well keep the viewer in suspense . The film did not reduce the pace , throwing up new heroes of this anime encounters with monsters and unexpected plot twists . Bored while watching you just do not have .

    Characters from the authors went out interesting and memorable . Boy Tim, who constantly compares all monsters and all that happens to a computer game . Catherine Tan experiencing maternal feelings for him . Mysterious and picturesque ( not only his character , but also tattooed body ) male Marco Owen .

    Do not hesitate , if you should watch the movie "King of Thorn " or not. This is a good intense mystical horror , dynamic fighter and touching drama , imaginatively something in common citations and happening on the screen with many favorite fairy tale. It is unusual , original, witty and not boring.
  • This is a good adventure mystery movie. The plot progresses well, the characters are interesting and the conclusion, while unusual, is acceptable. While I would not class this as a classic or a movie you can re-watch, its certainly worth a single viewing. It deals with adult themes, so its no Disney movie, so children may find it a bit scary.
  • It seems, that last generation of Japanese writers are obliged to create story around school-girls and huge bodybuilders. They got great ideas and smash em at the dumbest characters. After interesting prelude outline and impressive visual you had to watch talking patterns until you eventually start scrolling timeline.

    Compare to this decade King of Thorn not that bad. Good visual, multicultural characters, lots of fanservice, but with zero art ambitions. I understand why.. but still is a shame.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Knowing nothing of the movie, I looked at the box art and thought that this might be an interesting, thoughtful sci-fi/fantasy with dark fairy tale elements. It's not.

    It's schlock.

    A space-born virus is petrifying (literally) the human race so a zillionaire sets up a cryo "ark" deep underneath a Scottish castle to send a handful of lucky randoms to live in a better future. Of them are Japanese twin sisters Kasumi and Shizuku, who has not been chosen and is only there to see her off. The sleepers are rudely awakened by horrific creatures (who are apparently CGI and rendered in a lower frame-rate) who tear them apart as they attempt to escape the castle, which has now been infested with thorny vines.

    It's an intriguing premise up until this point, but then it all begins to fall apart, quickly. With each attempt at explaining the mystery it becomes more and more moronic. Horrible dialogue and a muddled, confusing plot turn it into a borderline comedy. The allusions to Sleeping Beauty are ill-conceived and just don't work. If anything, this movie is much more like Resident Evil than the thoughtful fantasy I wanted it to be. An attempt at a plot twist just about saves this from a lower score.

    It's a Sunday afternoon mild distraction while you do the ironing or the dishes. Don't go into this nonsense expecting a Miyazaki epic.
  • joaosantos2023 August 2020
    It's not for everyone's taste that's for sure. Absolutely surreal, brilliantly told story that mixes sci fi with that bizarre dream like stories we find in some good animes. A company that tries to control nature, the end of the world, the deal with the loss of loved ones, heroes and friends. An amazing jorney.
  • dragoncherie16 August 2020
    Maybe it's because I'm a twin but I loved this movie! The twist was neat and the characters likeable. Give it a shot!
  • For an Anime, then "King of Thorn" ("Ibara no O") was actually quite alright.

    The storyline was interesting and captivating, well at least it was for three-fourths of the movie, right up to the point where the enormous winged Godzilla-like thorn monster rose from the castle, from then on it just went fast downhill.

    "King of Thorn" is about a strange virus, named Medusa, that is fast spreading and causing those infected to become ill and eventually die from petrification. A selected few, 160 people, have been chosen to be put into sleeping chambers until a cure can be found. However, those people are abruptly awakened from their slumber to find the facility overgrown with thorny vines and strange monsters are lurking in the hallways.

    I enjoyed the story, right up to the last quarter of the feature, then it just fell to the floor and became ridiculous.

    The animation was good and fluid, lots of really nice scenes and lots of action as well. There is a very dynamic feel to the animation in "King of Thorn", which really works out quite well. Lots of adrenaline and a constant good flow throughout the story.

    However, some things did puzzle me with the Anime though. For starters, just how long were the group of people asleep in this sleeping facility? And what was up with the monsters, where did they come from? Don't get me wrong, they were really interesting in design and great to look at, impressive and awesome, but just where did they come from? And finally, for a technical and medical facility to hold sleeping recipients, the design of the compound was rather strange. Sure, I can understand the incorporation of the castle, but come on, certain parts were just a bit too much.

    One of the stronger sides to "King of Thorn" was the characters. They were really nicely drawn and were full of characteristics and personalities, which was really great, where as it might as well have been the opposite; generic characters that had no personalities. There is something unique and admirable about all of the individual characters.

    But again, to put a finger on a crucial point, why were everyone speaking Japanese? Even the Scottish, British and American. It was just a tad too stupid. At least have the common sense to have people speak with the proper native language given their nationality. It was just a minor thing, but still a nuisance factor.

    In overall, then "King of Thorn" is actually a fair experience, and worth the time to sit down to watch (aside from the last quarter, in my opinion). The Anime had a great concept idea, good execution from idea to screen, great characters and interesting monsters. So all in all, well worth a watch if you enjoy Anime in general.