Monday, 4 July 2016

All You Need is KILL: you had one job


It's been AGES since the last time I talk about my favorite things. Although I realize that many of you do not really care, but talking (babbling?) about hobbies is actually kinda a good therapy. Ya daripada capek menghujat anggota DPR terus... mendingan kan ngomongin hal-hal yang kita suka.

People who know me for years would know that I love books. And in this post, I will speak some bits about my latest read (and believe me: it's a good one). So, let me introduce you to this baby:

Sakurazaka Hiroshi's "All You Need is Kill".

It's not exactly a new kid on the block because All You Need is KILL was released first in 2004. And to be honest, I never knew about this novel before Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt's movie "Edge of Tomorrow" release back in 2013. The Hollywood adaptation was interesting enough and I got some good laughs, so I decided to check on the original material if I managed to get my hands on it.

....and the process took almost 3 years.

In my defense, the novel can't be found in my poor, third-world country Indonesia so I have to purchase it online. And to follow that defense, back then I cannot provide myself enough money to buy imported books (I have a job now so I'm allowed to step up my game, right?). By the way, I got the book from this page of bookdepository.com

Novel ini ternyata cukup booming di Jepang sampai-sampai berhasil diadaptasi ke dalam tiga bentuk medium berbeda. Ada graphic novel (tahu kan, novel yang ada ilustrasinya itu lho), kemudian film layar lebar Hollywood sebagaimana yang telah disebutkan sebelumnya, dan yang terakhir adalah manga, dengan Obata Takeshi sebagai mangaka-nya. The result is absolutely fucking gorgeous.


The storyline of source material (novel) and Hollywood movie adaptation is pretty much different, so I will not talk about that. What I want to ramble on about is how the novel and manga present themselves differently (even though they are basically telling the same story) and which that I like more.

Let's recall All You Need is Kill's plot briefly. 

The story revolves around a green Japanese military recruit named Kiriya Keiji, more or less an eighteen year-old guy. The world of mankind is currently at war, fighting a high-tech alien species called Mimics. In his first deployment to Kotoiushi Island, Keiji is killed in action after taking down a Mimic, but then he finds himself back in his bunk bed at military base... a day earlier before his first battle begins.

So basically All You Need is Kill is a sci-fi novel meets time-traveling (looping?) theme. And boy was it a good read. The pacing is great, the narrative is engaging and addicting I had a hard time putting the book down. The heroine, a Caucasian named Rita Vrataski is not useless character made just for the sake of being "the girl/the love interest". Not to mention that every page seems to ooze testosterone all over the floor; everything sounds very boyish and there are LOTS of profanities. LOL.

And don't forget this: the author decided to choose Indonesia as the very first nation to get attacked by alien Mimics' invasion on earth. Actually, I don't really mind if it comes true.

What a GNFI material.

If I have to choose between the novel and manga adaptation, I would undoubtedly choose the novel. Sure, the manga's art is awesome, but I think Obata-sensei over-romanticizes scenes between Keiji and Rita when he depicts them. Perhaps this is just me, but it makes the focus of the whole story kinda turns into a cheap, instant, silly romance.

However, the novel's narratives makes it so good. Somehow as I reader I come to realize that whatever thing happens between Keiji and Rita is not actual love (even when Keiji thinks so). It is purely their way to cope up with their lonesomeness. Sebab pada saat itu, tidak ada orang lain di dunia yang mengerti apa yang mereka alami, tidak ada yang memahami apa yang mereka rasakan kecuali satu sama lain. Mereka bukan jatuh cinta. Mereka hanya membutuhkan satu sama lain dan keduanya memutuskan menerjemahkan itu sebagai cinta.. karena interpretasi itu akan memudahkan segalanya.

I finished this book in three mornings. Nggak terlalu tebal juga sih bukunya, tapi karena kesempatan saya baca hanya pas di kendaraan umum sewaktu berangkat kerja, saya rasa lumayan cepat juga buku ini selesai dibaca. Dan jika saya harus memberi penilaian dari skala satu sampai lima bintang...

I would definitely give All You Need is Kill (novel) a 4/5. Four out of five. This shit is THAT cool. Damn.

z. d. imama

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