All You Need Is Kill

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All You Need is Kill is a manga adaptation of a Japanese sci-fi light novel of the same name (written by Hiroshi Sakurazaka).

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This manga adaptation is written by Ryōsuke Takeuchi and illustrated by Death Note‘s Takeshi Obata. I read this manga after seeing the Tom Cruise led film adaptation called Edge of Tomorrow last year.

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All You Need Is Kill Manga, Complete Edition | Buy from Amazon UK | Buy from Amazon US

About All You Need Is Kill Manga

Written by: Ryōsuke Takeuchi Illustrated by: Takeshi ObataPublisher: Shueisha IncOriginal run: January 9, 2014 – May 29, 2014Volumes: 2

Premise

The story is told from the perspective of Keiji Kiriya, a recruit of the United Defense Force. A technical alien species has invaded Earth, destroying entire communities. The mysterious species are called Mimics.

Keiji is seemingly killed in battle during his first run fighting the mimics in his battle armour. But when Keiji is killed, he wakes up again on the day before the battle took place. Assuming he was dreaming, Keiji relives his day at the UDF camp, preparing for their battle to take place on the next day. But the same thing happens again, Keiji dies in battle and wakes up on the previous day again, keeping all his memories with him.

Keiji quickly realises that he’s stuck in a time loop. He uses this fact to his advantage and gets better at fighting the Mimics through the experience of fighting them in each loop.

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But soon enough, Keiji begins to learn the truth about this loop, and a veteran soldier Rita Vrataski will play an important part in him figuring out how to break the loop.

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My thoughts on All You Need Is Kill

Just like the novel before it, and the Edge of Tomorrow move after it, this is a superb work of science fiction. It doesn’t spend a lot of time explaining what the mimics are, and it doesn’t need to. The story gets right to the focus of the story and continues to build tension throughout. There’s also an interesting bunch of support characters such as: Rita Vrataski, Shashta Raylle and Rachel Kisaragi.

If you buy the complete version that has the two volumes combined, the second half of this story spends a lot of time on the developments of Rita Vrataski, before getting back to Keiji’s own mission. Their two paths intertwine to make the final sequence meaningful.

Obata’s art-style never disappoints as his illustrations contain much detail. Sometimes, with the way the tiles are paneled it can take some concentration to fully understand what’s happening in a tile, but with manga you should be sometimes willing to slow down and absorb the art anyway.

My only complaint with this story is that the ending is abrupt to the point it feels rushed. It’s the only thing stopping this from being a 5 star piece of work.

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Verdict

The All You Need Is Kill manga is a phenomenal work of science fiction that is only let down by its abrupt finish.