In the previous post I’ve written about the movie Edge of Tomorrow.  Since it is based on a Japanese light novel which has a manga adaptation, I read the manga as well.  This way I can find out the differences between the movie and the original story (assuming the manga is faithful to the novel).

So, how different are they?  Actually, the movie only toke a few basic ideas from the original story but otherwise the two are completely different.  The common ideas are:

  • People battle against an alien race known as Mimics
  • The male protagonist is in a time loop
  • The female protagonist is/was in a time loop
  • They are attracted to each other eventually
  • The time loop is caused by one of the aliens (but the specifics are different)
  • Human soldiers wear battery-powered suits

Besides these, everything else is different:

  • Story – the manga is rather short and does not have enough content for a fast-paced full length movie.  The movie greatly expands the story so there are many more interesting scenes.
  • Main characters – in the manga the background of the female protagonist is given, and we see how she discovers and understands the time loop, and takes advantage of it.  This part is totally absent from the movie in order to focus on Tom Cruise’s character.
  • Supporting characters – the supporting characters in the manga are relatively unimportant and most of them could be cut without seriously damaging the progress of the story.  In the movie, the supporting characters take more important roles.
  • Time loop mechanics – the reason for the time loop in the movie is easy to understand, while the version in the original story is harder to understand (and I’m not sure it makes complete sense), because it is designed to be a plot device for the original ending.
  • Ending – the movie ends with killing the central alien (or the brain of its race) (then followed by a nonsense epilogue), while in the manga the two protagonists are required to kill each other – there can be only one of them remaining, otherwise the time loop repeats and humanity cannot win this war.

So, which one is better?  I like the movie more, but the novel must be given credit for its Groundhog Day (1993) style alien invasion plot.