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Review: All You Need is Kill

all-you-need-is-killThis week sees the release of All You Need is Kill, the official graphic novel adaptation of the book turned movie, tough the movie is titled Edge of Tomorrow. The graphic novel is written by Viz Media‘s editor of their Haikasoru imprint, and sci-fi author Nick Mamatas and features artwork by Lee Ferguson.

The original novel, written by Japanese author Hiroshi Sakurazaka is set in the future when aliens called Mimics invade. Keiji Kiriya is just one of the many recruits shoved into a suit of battle armor called a Jacket and sent to kill. But he dies on the battlefield after only a few minutes, only to reborn each morning to fight and die again and again. On his 158th iteration he gets a message from a mysterious ally – the female soldier known as the Full Metal Bitch. Is she the key to Keiji’s escape or his final death?

While I haven’t read the book (someone else on our site is doing that), I’ve known a little about this story through the various trailers for the upcoming film based on the story starring Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, and Bill Paxton.

The graphic novel is interesting, in at times it reads more like a poem with pictures, as it flashes through Keiji’s experiences. Since the character is Japanese, his dialog reflects that, and can come of stilted, creating an interesting flow to the narrative.

What to me was very interesting was the narrative as a whole, and the various themes of the story. There are parts that come off as a video game in story form, and below that layer there’s the story of discipline and the focus of a warrior. Overall, it’s a fascinating story, through all of the action, gets you think. It’s the type of story that’ll get you talking for hours with friends, and then seeking out others to do so (I’ve already been on the track).

How well this graphic novel adapts the book it’s based on, I personally can’t say. It’s been said in the press information I’ve gotten that it “stays true to the original source novel.” I’ve discussed my reading experience of the story with our contributor who read the novel, and what we took away varies greatly. The video game aspect to me came across stronger, something not taken away from the novel. Is that the story telling, or our experiences?

It’s fun to be able to experience a “the same” story in three different ways, graphic novel, book, and an upcoming movie, and each varying slightly. It’s especially cool, when the story is this entertaining.

Original Story: Hiroshi Sakurazaka Story: Nick Mamatas Art: Lee Ferguson
Story: 8.5 Art: 8 Overall: 8.5 Recommendation: Buy

Viz Media provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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