All You Need is Kill
Author: Nick Mamatas
Publisher: Haika Soru
Illustrated by Lee Ferguson.
Based on the novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka
This is a triple tie-in: novel, movie, and graphic novel, all reviewed on this blog. I have to ask - the title: is it a play on the old Beatles anthem, All You Need is Love? (Also note that the graphic samples shown here are not in any order - don't want to give too much away!).
This illustrated version is not the same as the movie The Edge of Tomorrow (reviewed here) which was derived from the same original novel upon which this graphic version is also based. The ending is different in the movie, and the movie version does not have quite the same basis as this one does, but nevertheless, the original tale is well-worth reading, and it's told well in this graphic version. The dialog is amusing with subtle pop-culture references here and there, and the art work is really top notch.
It begins with Keiji Kiriya, a Japanese soldier, waking in his bunk after experiencing a really weird dream. His morning training session is interrupted by a visit from the Full Metal Bitch, aka Rita Vrataski, a legendary soldier who looks like a teenager when out of uniform, but who looks deadly as a cobra in her red armor. She starts to bond with Keiji. Indeed, she has been looking for him, which is why she wears distinctive armor - she doesn't want him to miss her.
Over time (!) Keiji comes to realize that there's more to her than the more to her which meets the eye, and he realizes that she has gone through the same repetitions that he has, but she is not doing so any more. As he notches up one repetition after another, and gets better at what he does, he also comes to realize what she has long known: in order to end this horrifying rinse and repeat, one of them will have to die.
Don't think you know the ending if you've seen the movie. You don't. Not having read the novel yet, I don't even know if this ends the same way as that. I'll let you know when I review the novel! Meanwhile, I recommend this graphic version for the dialog and the art work.