Ibara no Ou
- King of Thorn
- by Kazuyoshi Katayama
- based on manga
The story is about a worldwide epidemic deadly virus called ‘Medusa’. To escape from this virus, chosen people are put into a cold sleep in a capsule where they are hoping for a future cure. The young girl Kasumi is one of the chosen 160 people and is guided to the capsules which are located in an ancient castle. Indeed, she hopes for a reunion with her twin sister who is infected by this deadly virus. As Kasumi awakes, the ancient castle looks completely different: it is covered with thorns just as in ‘Sleeping Beauty’. Within other survivors, they got attacked by various monsters and many questions arise: how long have they been sleeping? what has happened? And so the adventures of the seven survivors begin.
The anime movie contains various genres: science fiction, survival and horror. In other words, the movie is made for almost everyone except you are not fond of bloody scenes. The storyline is very fascinating and creative. We really like the inclusion of the story of the ‘Sleeping Beauty’. The beginning of the movie is very impulsive as you can see a girl jumping out of the window and then the explanation of the virus Medusa follows. It is also a creative idea for a virus where people turn into stones at their final stage. SPOILER ALERT: The movie shows that dreams will get real which means they will become alive.
One of the characters (Marco Owen) indicates interesting thoughts and provoking messages. What if the ‘Sleeping Beauty’ never wanted to wake up? What if she never wanted to give up on her dream? What if she never wanted to go back to the reality where she cannot start over and over again just as in her dreams? We really like the assumptions of Owen regarding the fairy tale of the ‘Sleeping Beauty’. One can say it is a fight between reality and the dream world: what is better: to live in your dreams or in the reality?
Many fantasy and science fiction elements are included. Extremely big thorns coming from the ground and the different kind of creatures are only some of the elements. An interesting fact is that those monsters are the same as the ones in the little boy’s game (Tim). Also the well-known cold sleep procedure which you can see in many science fiction movies is also present in the anime movie.
We think that ‘Ibara no Ou’ contains a sufficient number of characters. Indeed, the characters differ in their personalities and we think the most interesting character is Marco Owen. He makes a lot to help everyone especially Kasumi. Moreover, a strong relationship between Kasumi and her twin sister Shizuku can especially be seen on their promises and strong bound. Their personalities also differ a bit. Whereas Shizuku is the more protecting and stronger twin, Kasumi is a bit more weak and helpless.
It is not only a horror, bloody movie but it also includes emotional scenes. Especially the flashbacks of Kasumi are kinda sad: you see how she suffers and how weak she is compared to her sister. Besides Kasumi, the trauma of a lady named Katherine Turner is also shown. SPOILER ALERT: A scene shows that she attempts to hit the little boy Tim which can be concluded that she might have hit her own son.
Nonetheless, we also have some negative critics. Many scenes are very confusing. The beginning of the movie is very exciting but then it jumps quite fast and you suddenly don’t know what is going on.
To sum up, we really like the movie because it consists of many suspense. It is filled with action scenes from the beginning till the end which means no boring scenes can be seen. The most exciting part is the ending which reveals everything and makes you definitely stunned.