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All You Need is Kill (graphic novel)

Cover of All You Need is Kill

All the books I've read in 2019

13. All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka & Takeshi Obata

Did I finish it or abandon it? I FINISHED IT

Would I recommend it? YES

I first read the novel All You Need is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka's a few years back. I loved it and I read it in a single day. I also really enjoyed Live, Die, Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow, the film based on the book starring Emily Blunt and Tom Cruise. Of note, the book and the film have very different endings and I preferred the book's ending.

The premise is that the earth is under attack by an alien race intent on destroying all life. Humanity has united to fight this war and this is the story of Keiji Kiriya, a Japanese recruit fighting his first battle. Within the first few minutes, he is killed... but then wakes up again 30 hours earlier, about to fight the same battle again. Keiji becomes stuck in a time-loop, doomed to keep repeating the same events for all eternity unless he can figure a way out of it.

Author Hiroshi Sakurazaka said that he got the idea for this story from playing video games. He would get to the end of the game and be congratulated on being the chosen hero who saved the world, but the truth was that he'd died over and over again and he only by got to the end by remembering the actions of his enemies.

Like I say, I've already read the novel and seen the film, so it was with a degree of nostalgia as well as excitement that I picked up this graphic novel, illustrated by Takeshi Obata, the same person who drew the Death Note novels. I have to say, of the three formats, I enjoyed this one the least. It's essentially the same story, but the graphics made the story feel both racist and sexist in a way that I don't remember the book or the film being. I've written before about how violence in fiction doesn't excite me and so it proved in this book. Some of the action sequences were unnecessary and I found myself skipping several sections.

Despite these reservations, All You Need is Kill is still a great story that I enjoy, but I'd recommend you read the novel over the graphic novel.


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