Comic Book Spotlight of the Day: All You Need is Kill Omnibus – November 2014 (Viz Media)

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TITLE: All You Need is Kill Omnibus

YEAR: November 2014

COMPANY: Viz Media

Writer: Hiroshi Sakurazaka

Artist: Takeshi Obata

Storyboards: Ryosuke Takeuchi

Original Illustrations: Yoshitoshi ABe

In 2004, Hiroshi Sakurazaka and Yoshitoshi ABe would create the Japanese military science fiction light novel “Oru Yu Nido Izu Kiru”.

The light novel earned critical praise and the light novel would receive a live film adaptation titled “Edge of Tomorrow” directed by Doug Liman and starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. This would lead to a two-part manga adaptation written by Ryosuke Takeuchi and featuring illustration by Takeshi Obata (“Hikaru no Go”, “Death Note”, “Bakuman”) and released in Japan back in January and May 2014.

The US release of the manga adaptation for “All You Need Is Kill” will be released as a single omnibus containing both manga releases courtesy of Viz Media.

“All You Need Is Kill” revolves around a rookie named Kenji Kiriya at the United Self Defense Force in Japan. The military is doing all it can to defeat alien entities known as Mimics which are trying to slaughter all humans.

Kenji has a nightmare in which he is dying and a woman named Rita Vrataski, wearing a red battle suit comes up to him and asks if it is true that the green tea served in Japan is free after a meal?

Kenji awakens and not sure why he would have such a dream but when he wakes up, the unit is told that U.S. Special Forces have arrived and they need to go through physical training. Something that Kenji had remembered in his nightmare but didn’t think much of it. But when he sees the U.S. Special Forces, he sees the decorated warrior Rita Vrataski, a soldier known for wearing red armor and instead of using a blaster, she uses a huge axe. But as quickly as hours passes during the day, he and his unit are sent on the battlefield to fight against the Mimics and he is blasted by a Mimic and dies.

But instead of dying, Kenji awakens.

Scared about what transpired, Kenji then tries to escape from military base and tries to run into civilian territory but while running, he is once again caught by a Mimic and is killed. But again, Kenji reawakens.

This time he gets a gun and kills himself and again, he reawakens. And realizes that each time he dies, time loops but his memories are still intact.

Knowing this, Kenji feels he can use this to his advantage by getting training necessary, learning from his mistakes and hopefully fighting and defeating the Mimics. But why is Rita in his time loop and is there a connection between him and Rita?

While the storyline of time loops is not new and stories have been seen in television and film from “Star Trek: The Next Generation” to “Groundhog’s Day”, “All You Need is Kill” is fascinating because it deals with the state of war between humanity and aliens who are hell bent on destroying humanity.

As the first half of the manga series deals with Kenji learning about the time loops and using it to his advantage to make him a better fighter, we eventually learn the importance of Rita Vraski and why she shows up in the time loops, why she became the best soldier out in the field and why she carries such a large axe.

The storyline seems straightforward but its efficacy lies within the storyboards by Ryosuke Takeuchi and having the talented Takeshi Obata create the emotion of the character and the feeling of destruction, hopelessness, fear, anger, courage and also signs of hope.

Obata is a master mangaka who has accomplish such feats in “Hikaru no Go”, “Death Note” and “Bakuman”, and his artwork takes a story that could be ruined easily by a not-as-talented artist and makes it to one of the coolest looking manga series out there!

We have to understand the hell that Kenji must go through to become a great warrior. Earlier in the series, he is a rookie that seems he doesn’t know what he is going through, but after many time loops, we see the change in his eyes, his demeanor and his fighting style.

The same can be said about Rita Vrataski through her storyline and seeing how this young woman would become a fighting machine.

Because of the sheer amount of action vs. dialogue, many will find themselves going through Obata’s artwork quickly and being in awe of the entire work.

And it’s definitely easy to follow as the story is not part of a long running series, the whole entire story is contained in this one omnibus.

Overall, the storyline of “All You Need Is Kill” is action-packed, exciting and visually appealing thanks to the manga art of Takeshi Obata. As a manga fan, especially for anyone who is a Obata’s work, “All You Need Is Kill” is simply a must-buy, must-own omnibus!



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