Story of Die, Reborn, Die and Reborn Again in Edge of Tomorrow

Did you know Edge of Tomorrow is a 2014 American science fiction film based on  Japanese military science fiction light novel All You Need Is Kill (オール・ユー・ニード・イズ・キル Ōru Yū Nīdo Izu Kiru) by Hiroshi Sakurazaka with illustrations by Yoshitoshi ABe?

The story is told from the perspective of Keiji Kiriya, a new recruit in the United Defense Force which fights against the mysterious 'Mimics' which have laid siege to Earth. Keiji is killed on his first sortie, but through some inexplicable phenomenon wakes up having returned to the day before the battle. This continues and he finds himself caught in a time loop as his death and resurrection repeats time and time again. Keiji's skill as a soldier grows as he passes through each time loop in a desperate attempt to change his fate.

This book is very dark, very violent, very intense at points. This is part of what makes me love it. It is a far cry from Slum Online in terms of content, but the writing and themes are still great. Like his other book, it's got a bit of cliche subject matter, but still does it somewhat uniquely. Be aware, this is a gritty book though. Dark, and at times humorous in unexpected ways.

This book has some great contributors as well, that in my opinion should of been used to sell the book. Yoshitoshi aBe who created Serial Experiments Lain, Haibane Renmei, and others, contributed the cover art.

The setting is familiar to those of us who enjoy science fiction: in the not too distant future an alien race known as "mimics" threatens to overwhelm humanity and reduce our world to a barren wasteland. The war has been going on for some time, and while humanity seems to be keeping the monsters at bay, they are nonetheless slowly losing ground. The story revolves around two soldiers: a young recruit to the United Defense Force, Keiji Kiriya, and his polar opposite Rita Vrataski, a veteran of almost superhuman status who is regarded as a nigh-invincible Valkyrie on the battlefield.

Keiji is a very likable character due to his dark sardonic humor and his status as an Everyman thrown into a horrific and unexplainable situation. Perfectly on par with the book’s running themes, Sakurazaka illustrates Keiji in a manner that comes off as genuinely human. He has his triumphant moments of bravado as he faces down the odds, yet these instances are also pared with moments of vulnerability that help connect the reader to the character. This emotional investment makes Keiji’s struggle to escape his personal purgatory in time all the greater; for only through killing his enemies can Keiji have a shot at escaping his fate, hence the title of the book. Just like in real war, the only way you’re walking off the battlefield alive is by ensuring your enemy doesn’t.

The premise is simple. As the film poster puts it: Live. Die. Repeat. This is basically Groundhog Day meets Starship Troopers. Keiji Kiriya is a fresh recruit in a war against alien invaders. He's thrown into battle, barely prepared, and comes to a pretty quick end. But then he wakes up and is pretty sure it was only a dream. Except he re-lives the events of the dream in startling detail until the sense of deja vu is overwhelming and only explanation is that it wasn't a dream. He's actually stuck in some sort of time loop.

In his first battle, this weapon comes to affect Keiji. Dying in the arms of Rita Vrataski, the Full Metal Bitch - yes, they call her that in the military, while the civilians call her the Valkyrie - he is slipping away when he sees an enemy that he just senses he should kill. He does so to save the Bitch (who, despite her diminutive size, is the most deadly, decorated warrior on earth) and dies himself. 

All You Need Is Kill (also titled as book-to-movie)-Edge of Tomorrow by Hiroshi Sakurazaka.  The Action/Sci-fi movie is rated PG-13 by the MPAA movie guidelines (from IMDb [18]), obviously, due to violence, blood, and death shown on screen.