List of Blame! characters
- Killy (霧亥 Kirii) is a fictional character from the manga series Blame!, by Tsutomu Nihei. He is tasked by an unknown agency with finding a human in the 32-AU radius Megastructure who still possesses the Net Terminal Gene, a genetic marker necessary for safe access to the Netsphere, from which the functions of the Megastructure may be controlled. He is equipped with a Gravitational Beam Emitter (GBE), a compact but powerful weapon capable of creating holes miles long in the Megastructure. He is soon joined by Cibo in his quest.
- Looking to be in his early to mid-20s, he is a glum-looking person, never smiling (except madly when shooting on occasion) and has a slight slouch in his normal standing position, he isn't afraid to fight, and readily shoots the GBE. He also often shows superhuman strength and endurance, being thrown through solid walls and floors before standing right back up with no apparent injuries. The GBE is so powerful that he is flung backwards by its sheer power, often into walls and the ground, but he always gets up. Even in its lowest power, his arm jerks up and back from the force of it. During the encounter with the giant Safeguard outside Toha Heavy Industries, he fires at the Safeguard with the GBE at Level 4 Extra power level. The recoil from the GBE is so powerful that he is thrown back a considerable distance, his right arm badly broken and exposing bone and tissue. He heals very quickly, as well, recovering from more serious injuries much more rapidly than an average human. In the times when it's quiet, he injects drugs into himself in the forehead, and when he is low on power, he may inject it straight into his hand.
- He has an electronic connector to create signals to stop Builders and to transmit information from one person to himself, and vice versa. He also has no memory of his past, or how he obtained the GBE. Killy distrusts Silicon Creatures on sight, and destroys them whenever possible; whether they are or are not hostile towards him or his objectives does not bear any weight on his judgement. In Blame!², however, he rescues Pcell (part of a new, relatively peaceful generation of Silicon Life) from the Safeguard, indicating either that his priorities have changed or that he no longer considers Silicon Creatures to be a serious threat.
- Cibo (シボ Shibo?) is a main character in the manga BLAME! by Tsutomu Nihei. She is the head scientist of the Bio-Electric Corporation in the Capitol and joins Killy on his quest for the Net Terminal Gene.
- Killy's first encounter with Cibo is in the lower levels of the Corporation in The Capitol, where she has been imprisoned for attempting to access the Net Sphere with an artificially created version of Net Terminal Genes. Her failed attempt to access the Net Sphere led to the appearance of the Safeguard, which destroyed the entire lab facility that Cibo was conducting the experiment in. The death and destruction resulting from Cibo's failed experiment led the governing body of the Corporation to convict and imprison her.
- Cibo's first form is the decaying upper torso of a woman kept alive by machinery inserted into her body. She convinces Killy to take her with him by stating that he needs her hacking skills to access the files he is looking for. Afterwards, she transfers herself to a replacement body and aids Killy in destroying the Corporation's President. Following that, Cibo leaves the Corporation to travel with Killy.
- She has a subtle connection with the Netsphere, but even if she were able to make a direct connection to it, the Safeguard would be invoked immediately.
- Later in the manga, Cibo's physical body is killed by the Safeguard, but her mind takes over Sanakan's body. However, Sanakan's consciousness still remains in the body, forcing the two women to share it. Cibo is able to suppress Sanakan's mind, preventing it from gaining control, although on several occasions the Safeguard managed to take over.
- After the encounter with the Silicon Life, Mensab and Seu, Killy is teleported to an alternate reality, where he meets Cibo in her old form. Both versions of Cibo face one another and wish to return to the original reality. During the attempt, the alternate Cibo is killed by a Silicon Life creature, while the original Cibo is severely damaged and Sanakan's mind uses the opportunity to resurface. When Sanakan discards away Cibo's genetic information (or mind), it is absorbed by the dead body of the Cibo from the alternate reality, leading to her revival in that body.
- After Sanakan's transfer to the Governing Agency, a Level 9 Safeguard (the highest level) was illegally downloaded into Cibo, resulting in her ultimate transformation into the Level 9 Safeguard and the newly-bred Net Terminal Gene. The sphere that she stores in her lower abdomen carries the gene that can save the city if it's taken to its very edge where it can grow uncontaminated by the megastructure and its inhabitants. Sanakan mentions that the "child" is a product of hers and Cibo's combined DNA. Cibo is heavily weakened by Killy's GBE shortly after her transformation, reverting to a childlike state and eventually falling into the hands of the Silicon Creatures despite Sanakan's efforts to find and protect her. Sanakan asks for a return to the Base Reality without backup data, driven by a desire to protect her child and mate. She tears through Silicon Creatures to reach Cibo, and then encounters a First Class Exterminator. Killy destroys the Exterminator and recovers the orb, though the Exterminator destroys Cibo and Sanakan during the battle.
The Safeguard are a program independent of the netsphere. The netsphere was designed as a means of providing service to those who could log on. However, the netsphere was thrown into chaos (the actual reason is not exactly known, but the prequel manga NOiSE implies that a small group of humans is at fault) and the Safeguard changed their modus operandi from preventing unauthorized users from entering the netsphere to killing off anyone who does not possess Net Terminal Genes. The Safeguard have nine levels of hierarchy, Level 9 being the most powerful. However, their Exterminator (originally the lowest level safeguard) system has a different form of hierarchy where "First Class" is the most powerful.
- Sanakan - Sana-Kan is first seen as a short, young girl with black hair who finds Killy and Cibo in a tunnel after they pierce the impenetrable Megastructure layer with the GBE.
- Killy later discovers her true nature and she reveals herself as a level 6 Safeguard with a GBE similar to Killy's. At first, Sana-Kan behaves like any Safeguard intent on annihilating all humans without the Net Terminal Gene. This changes however, when she becomes a representative of the Governing Agency with the task of retrieving Cibo, who at that time becomes the illegal level 9 Safeguard unit. At this point, she adapts a more protective role.
- Sana-Kan's physical body was destroyed twice in the line of duty; First in order to destroy the Toha Heavy Industries' Central AI and for the second time while protecting Cibo from Silicon Creatures. She finally dies when she sacrifices herself in order to save Killy and the globe that Cibo carried from an Exterminator. Sana-Kan has been the second "mother" of the child with the net terminal genes, along with Cibo, who was carrying the globe with the embryo. There is, however, a popular theory pieced together from fan forums that Susono Musubi from NOiSE is somehow closely associated with Sana-Kan.
- Susono Musubi was a human during NetSphere's Beta phase, she was then captured and modified into a Silicon Life-form. The transformation was issued by the NetSphere officials (later the powerless Governing Body) thus the technologies were complete and superior in comparison to the Silicon creatures' knowledge from hacking the NetSphere archives. This is evident in both appearance and functionality. NetSphere body modifications enable the manifestation to maintain the outer appearance of human and self-repairing capabilities while illegitimate Silicon creatures do not.
- Susono was one of the first original Safe Guards deployed by the NetSphere to stop hacking attempts and annihilate illegal Silicon Creatures made from stolen NetSphere technologies. The NetSphere was originally designed to be a dream-realisation machine for the good of mankind, as it grants the registered End-User access to God-like privileges, but it was perverted by the Society Elites who thirst for more power and longevity. Later overwhelmed by hacking attempts from rebel groups, activists and profit-oriented criminals, the NetSphere crashed and went into Self-protective overdrive, that rejected its terminal authentication and stopped issuing new End-user licenses altogether.
- Susono's profile withheld in the NetSphere library became the Template that materialised into Sana-Kan, a sleeper type Safe Guard placed close to Toha Heavy Industries in order to sabotage the truce treaty Toha signed with the NetSphere. Since Susono was a Safe Guard before the NetSphere-crash, her digitized data was not categorized under normal Safe Guard groups. This is why Sana-Kan is the only Safe Guard within the NetSphere that the Governing Body had the administrative power to overwrite her old orders and assign her the new mission to protect Cibo. This could explain the sudden shift in Sana-kan's stance.
- The Template theory also made sense of Cibo and Sana-Kan's NetSphere accessible embryo. Susono's DNA data from the NetSphere Archive is the only profile with an End-User license, combined with access privileges provided by Lv9 Safe Guard Cibo to by-pass NetSphere firewalls, their embryo could potentially connect to the NetSphere and order The City to stop expanding and reset the NetSphere Alarm Status.
- Iko - Iko appears as the thin, white wisp of a facial image. However, in the manga, it is suggested in a flashback of Dhomochevsky's that she had a corporeal shape once, but how she lost it was never explained. Most likely, she was unable to gain a new body as the Silicon Life on her level captured the Substance Conversion Tower on which he and Dhomochevsky depended. She acts as a guardian for Dhomochevsky, predicts the behavior of his opponents, and healing him if possible. She transfers all her power to Dhomochevsky in a last-ditch effort to stop Davinel as well as Cibo's transformation into a Level 9 Safeguard.
Silicon Life (Cyborgs)
- Ivy - Ivy is the leader of the contingent of Cyborgs attacking Toha Heavy Industries. He carries a massive weapon, which is essentially four swords, with two of them spring-loaded to swing out from the middle to bludgeon enemies. He is eventually defeated in a sword fight with Seu. (There has been some confusion as to which characters the names Ivy and Maeve are assigned to. This is most likely due to the artwork of the two characters reading: Ivy & Maeve, with the more feminine cyborg on the left and the other on the right. Apart from the text, the artwork is in original Japanese format, and in Japan, they read right to left. Also, in volume 4 their names are clearly distinguished by their dialogues.)
- Maeve - Maeve is Ivy's sidekick. She is more obviously female. The lower half of her body is sliced off by Seu in a fight. Later on, Ivy and some of his contingent discover the 'advanced' cyborg fused to a wall. They cut it out, wrench the cyborg's original head out and implant Maeve into the body. Later, as Maeve is about to execute Mensab/Mensierve, Seu attempts to kill her by throwing his sword and lodging it in her forehead. She seems almost indifferent to this, but before proceeding, she is killed by Killy who fires a Gravitational Beam through her heart. This happens just before the teleportation of Toha Heavy Industries.
- Blon - One of Davine Lu Linvega's henchmen. Blon is capable of creating worm-like creatures, possibly the same way the Safeguard use to 'download' common safeguards to any location. He can also release leech-like creatures, about a foot and a half long, which attach to a target's spine and render the target unconscious. Another of Blon's abilities is that he can use what is possibly alchemy to create radically different forms apart from his humanoid form. The first is a massive, metallic centipede-like creature which ravages Killy with multiple blades before Blon reveals his true form. As he finishes transforming into his humanoid form, Killy fires the Gravitational Beam Emitter at "Level 4" disintegrating all but Blon's head and the remains of his arms and legs. Several people believe that he dies here, but he actually appears later. His first defeat allows Pcell to detect the 70-kilometer long holes left by Killy's GBE. When Dhomochevsky, Cibo and Iko set out to find Killy and Davinel, Pcell appears to confront them at a large orbital transport hatch and minutes later, Blon appears in his third form at her command. The third form resembles a large, metallic, spider-praying mantis hybrid with Blon's face and his large chain-gun (Vulcan Cannon/Gatling Gun) on its left arm (where it is in Blon's humanoid form). When Blon attacks, he slightly wounds Dhomochevsky and is able to steal a capsule from Cibo containing Seu's genetic information. Blon is finally killed when Dhomochevsky, Cibo and Iko enter the hatch's portal and close the hatch itself while Blon is still in the hatch locking area. This crushes and destroys his entire body. The capsule lands less than a foot outside the hatch radius and is picked up by Pcell.
- Schiff - Schiff is another of Davine Lu Linvega's lieutenants. He seems to be a more humanoid version of the 'armored cyborgs', as he is clad in full armor. He wields two rectangular black blades on his arms in a style similar to Wolverine from The X-Men. Schiff is the first cyborg to attack Killy after Killy loses his GBE (and is forced to use more conventional safeguard weaponry). After a short hand-to-hand fight, Killy gains the upper hand and lands several punches which essentially mangle Schiff's armored face. While Schiff is clawing at his broken face, Killy administers the coup de grâce.
- Davine lu Linvega - Leader of a contingent of cyborgs who Killy encounters late in the series. The level on which he's present allows provisional access to the Net Sphere to any person having normal human DNA. Davinel wants to access the Net Sphere and tries to obtain the DNA sample in Cibo's possession (which is Seu's). Afterward he is able to infiltrate the netsphere in Seu's form. However, he fatally underestimates the GA's agent who cleverly slows the connection speed, giving enough time for him to be unaware during the attack on him. However, he manages to steal the level nine safeguard data just before Dhomochevsky kills him. Linvega's gender has been up to debate; Iko first refers to him/her as male. However, the side comic BLAME! Academy depicts Linvega as a girl.
- Pcell - Davinel's subordinate, whose body is female in appearance. She is very skilled in combat. According to Iko she is the most dangerous of the invading silicon life. Pcell uses a 'Safeguard Sword', the weapon that features as Musubi's new weapon in NOiSE, as being the main weapon of the 'armored cyborgs'. Furthermore, she also makes use of an odd ability to withdraw herself from danger. There seems to be a very short-lived 'love affair' between Pcell and Dhomochevsky. However, after Cibo transforms into the Level-9 Safeguard, Pcell attempts to kill her with a gravitational emission from her sword and is killed by Killy in retaliation (v8 p174).
- Armored Cyborg Leader - The resilient and formidable leader of a special contingent of armored cyborgs. He/She/It is covered in armor resembling that of Schiff's (apart from the fact that the facial armor resembles a dark smile) and also uses the 'Safeguard Sword' as do the other members of the contingent, only he/she/it is far more adept with its use and even puts up a fierce fight towards Sanakan, killing her humanoid form. When she appears in her battle form, after a brutal battle, she manages to pierce the armor on his/her/its face and launches a 'Safeguard dart' which hits the cyborg's eye. The cyborg's body mutates violently to meet this change as its form becomes both Silicon and Safeguard. Still possessing the 'Safeguard Sword' and obeying Sanakan's command, it proceeds to execute the surrounding cyborgs. After succeeding in this task, it is finally killed by the female Silicon Creature General.
- Silicon Creature Generals - The two mysterious Silicon Creatures most likely responsible for most of the protagonists' hardships, these male and female cyborgs appear to be the Leaders of the Silicon Race. Both carry staff-like weapons that are extremely similar in ability to that of the 'Safeguard Sword.' The male cyborg, seen wearing an armor plated trench-coat and various black metal accessories, wounds Sanakan as he makes a final attempt to stop her. The female cyborg, seen with black and white hair and wearing black and metallic clothing, is last seen dismembering the rogue armored cyborg. It is left to the reader to decide whether or not Killy dispatches her.
- Technomads - Humans who encounter Killy while he is still quite low in The City. They have lost all knowledge of their heritage, and have some connection to their Planter/Electrofisher relatives. Each group wears similar armor and the Electrofishers and Technomads share a stylized tribal appearance, though it is unclear which group is descended from which. The Technomads travel from safe haven to safe haven, never venturing outside their shelters without heavy protection.
- Laborers - Humans who dwell in the Power Corporation city near the top of a megastructure. Prone to heavy body modification, their appearance depends greatly on their occupation within the corporation. Ordinarily, they have evolved to be quite large, dwarfing the average-sized Killy by three to four feet. The Power Corporation has excavated a great deal of technology from the surrounding megastructure, emulating the technology of the Safeguard, Authority, and Silicon Life. These further affect their culture and appearance, as they devote a great deal of time researching and developing this part of their culture.
- The Dry Men - While it is unclear whether they are truly human or a benevolent offshoot of Silicon Life, the Dry Men exist as an aboriginal race in the megastructure. Their name – given to them by the Laborers – stems from the long cracks in their skin. They are often persecuted by organ harvesters, who trade them in for their low transplant rejection rate.
- Planters - Humans originally working as laborers in Toha Heavy Industries.
- Electrofishers (originally Denki-Ryoshi (電基漁師?)) - A people descended from the Planters. They have been locked out for many generations, and have lost all knowledge about why they are there and what Toha is. Their appearance has evolved in that they have tribalized the traditional Planter armor with markings, beads and sashes. They are able to fight the Safeguard using powerful bolt-firing rifles similar to spear guns. The methods they use to survive is unknown, although it is implied that they have traveled throughout the megastructure surrounding Toha, scavenging. For a time they had the technology to preserve the personalities of deceased fishers and transfer them to new bodies. However, this skill has long died out by the time of their entrance into the narrative. The Electrofishers are a very short-statured race of humans, unlike Cibo who comes from a race that is very tall.
- Mensab - Mensab is the AI Controller for Cave 8 inside Toha Heavy Industries. She is expelled from the collective AI, although the reason is not exactly clear. She normally acts and appears quite calm, but her appearance also mirrors her mood. Also, as Cibo departs from Toha Heavy Industries, she bestows her with a small capsule containing Seu's genetic information which, surprisingly enough, can partially access the netsphere.
- Seu - A Planter, who serves as Mensab's protector. He is a powerful swordsman and loyal bodyguard. Whenever he is severely injured, Mensab takes him to be restored by equipment which can heal any damage and also synthesize any substance (however, he loses memory each time he is healed in this way). As only Mensab's people survived the silicon creature invasion, and they were likely killed in the destruction of Toha Heavy Industries, Seu could have possibly been the last Planter alive. He eventually withdraws with Mensab and the recorded personalities of the remaining Planters into a time-space rift, ensuring their safety. However, the nature of this escape guarantees their entrapment in the rift, as technology has stalled throughout The City and Toha is destroyed.
- Mori - a person whose mind was downloaded into an emergency preservation pack resembling a USB drive. His/her/its corpse sat undisturbed for a long time before Killy stumbled on him. Interestingly, Mori is not his name and we never learn this character's real name. Mori was the name of the manufacturer of the emergency preservation pack, and was printed on the device itself. Killy, acting as a Good Samaritan, takes him along on his quest. Mori's main task, it seems, is to do most of the talking for Killy in Cibo's absence. Shortly after Killy obtains Cibo's 'child', Mori is taken by the Governing Agency to a storage area. Here, Mori is shown being worn on the neck of a young girl bearing a resemblance to Sanakan and Cibo - though who the girl was isn't clear as it is stated "the data has been overwritten several times". A possibility is that this girl IS Mori since Mori is silent for this part of the story, the device on her neck is probably a symbol of her digital identity.
Factions or groups of note
- Safeguard - The Safeguard is the completely independent defense system of the Netsphere. The Safeguard's original purpose was to prevent unauthorized access to the Netsphere by those without Net Terminal Genes. However, due to the Order breeding and using humans without Net Terminal Genes to make more Silicon Life, the Safeguard have taken to destroying all humans without the Net Terminal Gene as a preemptive measure. Safeguard are often seen to materialise from the substance of the megastructure using substance conversion towers. Even humans have been turned into Safeguard after coming into contact with Safeguard weapons designs to put them in contact with the towers. There are more powerful special agents, like Sanakan, Dhomochevsky, Iko, and Killy who may derive from core personalities residing in the Netsphere, and the bio-mechanical transporter that attacks the Electrofishers.
- Exterminators - A subset of Safeguard which is made up of black-and-white-colored, silicon-based, bio-mechanical, humanoid robots. These often use primitive, close-range weapons as a means of attack, but because of their formidable armor, it is not much of a problem. They come in different classes of power, though the hierarchy is never explained. The lowest, most common safeguard attacks with just its hands. A higher type attacks with larger, clawed hands, another with large shear-like weapons. There are defense exterminator types, feminine in appearance, with four clawed arms and powerful brute strength designed to prevent travel between certain levels. Finally, there is "Class One", encountered in one of the chapters. It is larger in size and is capable of telekinesis, regeneration, and powerful beam attacks.
Safeguard Exterminators seem to run on a different protocol of command than the higher level of Safeguard such as Sanakan and/or Dhomochevsky (though Dhomo did have a contingent of them assigned to him before Schiff destroyed them). At one point, the Exterminator Class One even targets Sanakan as it deems her a threat or obstacle, but does not decide to kill her. It is up to speculation as to why - perhaps either it no longer saw her as a threat, or perhaps it was because she too was a Safeguard.
- Governing Agency or Authority (originally Touchikyoku (統治局?)) - The ruling level of the Net Sphere. It tries at times to assist Killy and Cibo against the Cyborgs and against the Safeguard. It has powers identical to the Safeguard, but cannot directly control the Safeguard - although it can hinder them. It wants a human with the Net Terminal Gene to be found to stop the Builders which are the cause of the runaway growth of The City.
- Builders (originally Kensetsusha (建設者?), meaning Architect) - Machines which construct The City. They are not connected directly to The Net Sphere or Safeguard; therefore a human with net terminal genes is only capable of their activation. They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Killy remembers their language in the village of the Fishermen, and Cibo uses her knowledge about them to learn to control them completely. A group of builders in the higher megastructures of The City have been modified, possibly by long deceased humans, to behave socially, conversing with the beings they encounter and taking moderately humanoid appearances.
- The Megastructure (originally chou-kozoutai (超構造体?)) - These are large plates that lie between levels of The City and are made out of an unknown, nearly-indestructible material. They are part of some kind of major isolation system between the gargantuan floors of The City. Attempts to approach the megastructure result in a massive safeguard response so as to prevent trespassing. Bypassing the safeguard is pointless, as it is nearly impossible to even scratch the megastructure. Only a direct Gravitational Beam Emitter blast is known to have been capable of tearing a hole into a megastructure.
- The Netsphere - A possible future incarnation of the internet available only to those with the Net Terminal Gene and guarded by the Safeguard. According to the opening of the Net Sphere Engineer, it was meant as a new world order, and could fulfill the desires of the people. It is posited in NOiSE that it was in fact a New Social Order designed to exclude the infected. It can only be accessed by those possessing Net Terminal Genes.
- The City - The City is actually a structure that began on Earth. The mechanical beings known as Builders, which move around reforming and creating new landscapes, appear to have begun building without end, creating an enormous structure with little internal logic or coherence.
- The City, and the Builders, were controlled by the Netsphere and the Authority but they have since lost the power to control the expansion of The City due to the chaotic and insecure manner of its growth. Without intervention by a user with Net Terminal Genes, they cannot reestablish control over The City nor the Safeguards, whose original job was to eliminate any humans who try to access the Netsphere without Net Terminal Genes. The Safeguard now attempts to destroy all humans without the Net Terminal Gene as the degradation of The City has corrupted their true goals.
- It has been suggested by Tsutomu Nihei himself in his artbook Blame! And So On that The City is actually a growing Dyson sphere of gargantuan proportions. Its spherical circumference is speculated to be roughly the size of Jupiter's planetary orbit (32.675 AU). No evidence contradicts this speculation, and the prequel to Blame!, NOiSE, even states that the structure has passed the orbit of the moon. In the last chapter of NOiSE, it is stated "At one point even the moon which used to be in the sky above, was integrated into The City's structure". In Volume 9 of Blame!, a room is even revealed to have a diameter roughly the size of Jupiter itself, reinforcing the speculation on the sheer size of the Megastructure.
- Toha Heavy Industries (originally Toua-juukou (東亜重工?)) - A massive edifice or possibly vehicle separate from the megastructure. Toha Heavy Industries was mentioned as the benevolent organization in Biomega as well as a mecha manufacturer in Knights of Sidonia. It is inhabited by humans known only as the 'planters', and is the origin of the splinter group, the 'fishers'. It is controlled by a central AI, and has a collective of thirteen other AIs; one controlling each cave. The Collective AI was created in an effort to prevent insanity, however, in the end it didn't work out. The central AI shows increasingly irrational behavior with its use of teleportation technology, and its gravity furnace. The AI isolated itself from the outside using a treaty from the Governing Agency because of the seriousness of the Silicon Creature's disease, and excommunicated those who did. Toha Heavy Industries is crucial because the planters may be netgene carriers.
- Structure conversion towers - These buildings appear to be autonomous energy reserves and/or producers which are independent of the Megastructure. They're apparently capable of synthesising any form of matter, mainly Safeguard units. However, when Davinel acquires a group of them, they produce tainted, once-Safeguard exterminator units which make up the bulk of Davinel's army.
- Net Terminal Genes (originally Net-tanmatsu-idenshi (ネット端末遺伝子?)) - These are the special genes which allow those possessing them full access to the Netsphere. However, the Net Terminal Genes are incredibly rare by the time period where BLAME! begins. The Net Sphere protection agency, also called the Safeguard, is under standing orders to kill any human found who does not possess these genes; also, any illegal access to the Netsphere is responded to by downloading a Safeguard to the location of the illegal access point and having it kill the person who attempted access. As very few humans in BLAME! possess the Net Terminal Gene, the Safeguards are essentially under orders to kill all humans (a goal that is shared by the enigmatic Silicon Life).
Notes and references