ANIME & MANGA - Article
13:09 - 24th June 2013, by David West

King Of Thorn

In the future, Acquired Cellular Induration Syndrome, a lethal virus that the US government suspects might have been created as a bio-weapon, is unleashed. ACIS quickly becomes known as the Medusa Virus because of the way it causes the human body to become petrified. The virus has an incubation period of 30 to 60 days from infection to the onset of symptoms, but once it moves to stage two, death follows within 12 hours. There is no cure and no vaccine.

Three years later, the world economy is on the brink of total collapse as the Medusa Virus has become a global pandemic. But there is a glimpse of hope for the future. The Venus Gate Corporation, run by Ivan Vega, has built a Cold Sleep Cryo Centre in a remote Scottish castle where 160 people will be put into a cryonic state. The plan is that these chosen few will sleep soundly, their bodies and minds perfectly preserved and the infection held at bay in the process, until science has advanced to the point where a cure has been found for the Medusa Virus. With so few places available, applicants are selected at random and one of the lucky chosen few is a Japanese teenager called Kasumi Ishiki. An anxious girl who has already lost both of her parents to the virus, Kasumi is hesitant to leave behind her twin sister Shizuku.. By 9pm on 13 October 2015, all of the chosen participants are safely asleep in their cryonic chambers. But when Kasumi wakes up without warning, the castle has become entangled in massive thorn vines, and freakish, man-eating monsters prowl in the darkness. Something has gone terribly wrong.

One of the concerns of the people chosen to enter the Cold Sleep Cryonic Centre was the question of what would happen to them if the people responsible for looking after the facility were to fall prey to the Medusa Virus. However, Ivan Vega foresaw such an eventuality and the entire CSCC operation is overseen by an artificial intelligence called Alice. It is her job to monitor the health and well being of all the people slumbering beneath her watchful electronic eyes, but based on the number of ravenous monsters on the loose, Alice seems to have been asleep at the wheel.

The presence of the huge thorn vines snaking their way over every surface of the castle suggest that Alice has lost control of the environment. The sheer size and number of the thorns lead Kasumi and the survivors to wonder just how long they have been asleep, but are the thorns intended to keep people out of the castle like the ones in Sleeping Beauty, or to trap the survivors within their deadly barbed embrace?

Find out the strange and terrible truth that confronts Kasumi in this twisted nightmare vision in King Of Thorn on DVD and Blu-ray from Manga Entertainment.

This is an extract of a longer feature which originally appeared in issue 110.

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