Tsutomu Nihei (弐瓶 勉 Nihei Tsutomu, born 1971) is a Japanese manga artist. His cyberpunk-influenced artwork has gained a strong cult following. He has a relatively large community of fans in Germany where his manga Blame!, NOiSE and Biomega were published by Ehapa. Blame! was also published in France and Spain by Glénat, in the US by Tokyopop and in Italy by Panini Comics. In 2009 Abara was released in Brazil also by Panini Comics.
At first he studied architecture and later it is shown up in his manga works with drawing huge structures. This became one of his general theme that makes his manga unique. His works are usually in black and white. He is also an avid fan of Western video games (Metro 2033, Elder Scrolls: Morrowind, Halo etc.) over Japanese or Asian video games.
- Blame! - Nihei's most popular work, detailing the adventures of Killy as he searches for a human with compatible genes to save the world. Originally published in Afternoon.
- NOiSE - A prequel to Blame!, in which a police officer investigates the murder of a gang. Originally publishing in Afternoon.
- Abara - Published in Ultra Jump, Abara follows Kudou Denji, a man able to transform into a Gauna – a creature with bone-like armor and weaponry.
- Biomega - Zouichi Kanoe and the AI in his motorbike set out to find humans resistant to N5S, a virus that turns people into zombie-like "Drones". Originally appeared in Young Magazine.
- Knights of Sidonia - Nihei's latest series about mecha and the Gauna, published in Afternoon. It is currently ongoing.
One-shots and additional works
- Abba - A short one-shot about a man looking for his brother.
- Blame - A one-shot prototype for Blame!, collected in NOiSE.
- Blame!² - A full color, 16 page one-shot published in Kodansha's Mandala Vol.2, following up on the story of Blame! with one of Pcell's future incarnations.
- Blame! Academy - A comedy featuring the characters from Blame! as students in a school. Published infrequently.
- Dead Heads - First issue of a canceled series; collected, as thumbnails, in Blame! and So on.
- Digimortal - A two part one-shot about a mercenary hired to assassinate a leader of a new Inquisition. Originally appeared in Ultra Jump, published in Vol.2 of Abara.
- Halo: Breaking Quarantine - Set in the Halo series, the untold story of Sergeant Avery J. Johnson and his escape from the bowels of Halo and the Flood.
- Negative Corridor - A short one-shot, collected in NOiSE.
- NSE: Net Sphere Engineer - A sequel to Blame!, about the Net Sphere. Series ongoing, though only one chapter has been published to date.
- Sabrina - A short one-shot about a man coming across a girl whose arm is stuck in a hole.
- Wolverine: Snikt! - A 5 issue limited series of the X-Men character Wolverine. Originally published by Marvel Comics.
- Winged Armor Suzumega - A short one-shot about a battle between alien beings.
- Zeb-Noid - A short one-shot about a hostile encounter between two different species that takes an unexpected turn.
- Bitch's Life - An erotic illustrations book, featuring contributions from over twenty manga artists; four of which come from Nihei.
- Blame! and So On - Published in 2003, Blame! and So On contains artwork and sketches for Blame!, Noise, and Wolverine: Snikt!, amongst others; it also contains the illustrations Nihei provided for Bitch's Life and the aborted Dead Heads as thumbnails.