Blame!

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Blame!
Blame! manga vol 1.jpg
Cover of the first manga volume
ブラム!
(Buramu!)
Genre
Manga
Written byTsutomu Nihei
Published byKodansha
English publisher
Tokyopop
ImprintAfternoon KC
MagazineMonthly Afternoon
DemographicSeinen
Original run19972003
Volumes10 (List of volumes)
Original net animation
Directed byShintarō Inokawa
Produced byKazuki Nakamura
Written byMayori Sekijima
Music by
  • Hiroyuki Onogawa
  • KIYOSHI (BORN'S) (#3)
StudioGroup TAC
Licensed by
ReleasedOctober 24, 2003
Runtime6 minutes
Episodes6 + 1 OVA
Manga
Net Sphere Engineer
Written byTsutomu Nihei
Published byKodansha
MagazineMorning Extra
DemographicSeinen
Published2004
Manga
Blame! Academy
Written byTsutomu Nihei
Published byKodansha
MagazineMonthly Afternoon
DemographicSeinen
Original runFebruary 25, 2004May 25, 2008
Volumes1
Original net animation
Blame! Prologue
Directed byShigeyuki Watanabe
Music byYuichi Nonaka
StudioProduction I.G
ReleasedSeptember 7, 2007
Runtime4 minutes
Episodes2
Manga
Blame!²
Written byTsutomu Nihei
Published byKodansha
MagazineMandala
DemographicSeinen
PublishedMarch 21, 2008
Film

Blame! (2017)

Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and manga portal

Blame! (stylized as BLAME!), pronounced "blam", is a Japanese science fiction manga series written and illustrated by Tsutomu Nihei. It was published by Kodansha in the seinen manga magazine Monthly Afternoon from 1997 to 2003, with its chapters collected in ten tankōbon volumes. A six-part original net animation was produced in 2003, with a seventh episode included on the DVD release. An anime film adaptation by Polygon Pictures was released as a Netflix original in May 2017.

Plot[edit]

Killy, a silent loner possessing an incredibly powerful weapon known as a Gravitational Beam Emitter, wanders a vast technological world known as "The City". He is searching for Net Terminal Genes, a (possibly) extinct genetic marker that allows humans to access the "Netsphere", a sort of computerized control network for The City. The City is an immense volume of artificial structure, separated into massive "floors" by nearly-impenetrable barriers known as "Megastructure". The City is inhabited by scattered human and transhuman tribes as well as hostile cyborgs known as Silicon Creatures. The Net Terminal Genes appear to be the key to halting the unhindered, chaotic expansion of the Megastructure, as well as a way of stopping the murderous robot horde known as the Safeguard from destroying all of humanity.

Along the way, Killy meets and joins forces with a resourceful engineer named Cibo. Their quest is indirectly supported by the City's Authority, which is unable to stop the Safeguard from opposing them. Together, Killy and Cibo meet a young girl named Sanakan and a tribe of human warriors called the Electro-Fishers. The Electro-Fishers restore Killy's ability to visually scan things including genomes, revealing that Sanakan is a disguised Safeguard, who then attacks. Killy and Cibo defend the Electro-Fishers by bringing them to the cylindrical megastructure of Toha Heavy Industries. Here they meet Mensab, an AI independent from the Administration, and her guardian Seu, a human. The megastructure is ultimately destroyed due to attacks by Silicon Life and Sanakan, but Mensab is able to give Cibo a sample of Seu's DNA.

Killy and Cibo next come to a region of the City ruled by a group of Silicon Life, where they ally with a pair of "provisional Safeguards" named Dhomochevsky and Iko. Seu's DNA is stolen by the Silicon leader, Davine, who uses it to access the Netsphere. Dhomochevsky sacrifices his life to kill Davine, but not before they download an extremely powerful Level 9 Safeguard from the Netsphere which manifests in Cibo's body. The Cibo Safeguard destroys the entire region.

14 years later, Killy's body repairs itself from the attack and he continues his journey. He discovers that Cibo, having lost her memory, was eventually rescued by Sanakan, who is now allied with the Authority against the rest of the Safeguard. Cibo's body is incubating a "sphere" which contains her genetic information. Ultimately, Cibo and Sanakan both die in a final confrontation with the Safeguard, but Killy survives and preserves the sphere. An AI he previously met whose body was destroyed is seen in a virtual reality, recalling his quest an unknown amount of time later. Killy finally reaches the edge of the City, where he is shot in the head and incapacitated, but a flood of water carries him to a vast ocean-like space where the sphere begins to hatch. In the final page, Killy is seen fighting in the corridors of the City again, now accompanied by a small child wearing a hazmat suit.

Setting[edit]

Double page from Blame!

Blame! is set in what is simply known as "The City", a gigantic megastructure now occupying much of what used to be the Solar System. Its exact size is unknown, but Tsutomu Nihei suggested its diameter to be at least that of Jupiter's orbit, or about 1.6 billion kilometers.[4] In the manga, this is also suggested by Killy crossing an empty, spherical room roughly the size of Jupiter, suggesting that the planet had been there but was disassembled as the City grew.[5]

As revealed in the prequel NOiSE, the City began as a much smaller structure on Earth, created by humans with the aid of the robotic "Builders." Humanity controlled the Builders through the Netsphere, a hyper-developed version of the Internet accessible only to those with an identificatory genetic marker known as the Net Terminal Gene. Any humans without the gene who attempted to access the Netsphere were exterminated by a special task force known as the Safeguards, to whom Killy originally belonged. Eventually however, a terrorist cult known as "the Order" released a virus that made all humans lose their Net Terminal Genes, thus cutting off their access to the Netsphere and their control over the Builders. Without specific instructions, the Builders began to build chaotically and indefinitely, while the Safeguards' programming degraded into killing all humans without the Net Terminal Gene whether they wanted to access the Netsphere or not.

By the time of the events of the manga, the City has basically become a series of layered, concentric Dyson spheres filled with haphazard architecture, largely devoid of life. These layers compose the supporting scaffold of the City, known as the Megastructure. The Megastructure is extremely durable, with only a direct blast from a Gravitational Beam Emitter being able to drill through it. In addition, the underside of each Megastructure layer periodically illuminates the overside of the one below to provide a day–night cycle. Traveling between layers is generally challenging due to the City's chaotic layout and the dangerous Safeguard response such endeavor may cause, with the means to do so being either climbing stairs for days or taking elevators that reach relativistic speeds. The buildings on each layer are largely uninhabited, although scattered human tribes, rogue Builders, and hostile Safeguards and Silicon Life can be found throughout the entire City.

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

Blame! is written and illustrated by Tsutomu Nihei. The series ran in Kodansha's Monthly Afternoon from 1997 to 2003.[6] Its chapters were collected in ten tankōbon volumes (tankōbon) by Kodansha's Afternoon KC imprint.

In February 2005, Tokyopop announced that it has licensed Blame! for U.S. distribution, with publication beginning in August 2005. After releasing the final volume in 2007, the series has gone out of print with several volumes becoming increasingly hard to find. In February 2016, Vertical announced that it had licensed the series.[1]

Volumes[edit]

Tankōbon release
No. Original release date Original ISBN English release date English ISBN
1 June 20, 1998[7]4-06-314182-9August 9, 2005[8]1-59532-834-3
2 December 16, 1998[9]4-06-314194-2November 8, 2005[10]1-59532-835-1
3 August 20, 1999[11]4-06-314218-3February 7, 2006[12]1-59532-836-X
4 March 21, 2000[13]4-06-314235-3May 9, 2006[14]1-59532-837-8
5 September 20, 2000[15]4-06-314251-5August 8, 2006[16]1-59532-838-6
6 March 21, 2001[17]4-06-314263-9November 7, 2006[18]1-59532-839-4
7 October 20, 2001[19][20]4-06-314277-9
4-06-336342-2 (limited edition)
February 13, 2007[21]1-59532-840-8
8 April 20, 2002[22]4-06-314289-2May 8, 2007[23]1-59532-841-6
9 December 18, 2002[24]4-06-314310-4August 7, 2007[25]1-59532-842-4
10 September 18, 2003[26]4-06-314328-7November 13, 2007[27]1-59532-843-2
Master's edition
No. Original release date Original ISBN English release date English ISBN
1 April 23, 2015[28]978-4-06-377201-2September 13, 2016[29]978-1-942993-77-3
2 April 23, 2015[30]978-4-06-377202-9December 13, 2016[31]978-1-942993-78-0
3 May 22, 2015[32]978-4-06-377203-6March 21, 2017[33]978-1-942993-79-7
4 May 22, 2015[34]978-4-06-377204-3June 27, 2017[35]978-1-942993-80-3
5 June 23, 2015[36]978-4-06-377210-4September 12, 2017[35]978-1-942993-81-0
6 June 23, 2015[37]978-4-06-377211-1December 12, 2017[35]978-1-942993-82-7

Blame! Academy[edit]

Blame! Academy (ブラム学園!, Buramu Gakuen!) is a spin-off series of Blame! by Tsutomu Nihei. Set in the same "City" as Blame!, it is a parody and comedy about various characters in the main Blame! story in a traditional Japanese school setting. Various elements in the main Blame! story are being parodied, including the relationship between Killy and Cibo, and Dhomochevsky and Iko. It was irregularly published in Afternoon. A compilation volume, titled Blame Gakuen! and So On was published by Kodansha on September 19, 2008.[38]

Blame!²[edit]

Blame!² (ブラム!², Buramu! Tsu), subtitled Chronicle of the Escape from the Megastructure by the Eighth Incarnation of Pcell (第八系子体プセルの都市構造体脱出記, Dai-hachi Keikotai Puseru no Toshikōzōtai Dasshutsu Ki), is a full-color, 16-page one-shot. Like NSE: Net Sphere Engineer, Blame!² is a sequel to the original Blame!, taking place at a point in the distant future. It was published March 21, 2008 in the second volume of Kodansha's Weekly Morning Special Edition magazine, Mandala. This one-shot was also compiled in one volume with Blame! Academy, titled Blame Gakuen! and So On in 2008. Set an undefined but long time after the events of Blame!, it follows an incarnation of P-cell. After Killy's success in Blame!, humanity has begun to dominate The City once more and began wiping out most Silicon Life. After P-cell escapes the extinction as the sole survivor of her kind (which is beset by humanity and the Safeguard), she is saved from death by Killy. She eventually makes it to the edge of the City, where it is implied she travels to another planet and restarts Silicon Life civilization using the stored gene-data of her dead companions.

NSE: Net Sphere Engineer[edit]

NSE: Net Sphere Engineer (ネットスフィアエンジニア, Netto Sufia Enjinia) is a sequel to Blame!. It was originally published as a one-shot in the Bessatsu Morning magazine. This one-shot was compiled in one volume with Blame! Academy, titled Blame Gakuen! and So On in 2008. NSE: Net Sphere Engineer follows a "Dismantler", a Net Sphere Engineer in charge of disabling the remaining nexus towers that summon Safeguard interference upon its detection of humans without the net terminal genes. Like Blame!², NSE is set in a long but undefined time period after the events of Blame! However, it is implied it is even later than Blame!² as Safeguards are now very rare encounters.

Blame!: The Ancient Terminal City[edit]

A trailer revealing a special Blame! short, appearing at the beginning of the 8th episode of Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine (the second season of the anime adaptation of Knights of Sidonia), was released in November 2014. The episode aired in May 2015. The short is contextualized as a TV program that the people of Sidonia tune in for.[39]

Film[edit]

Plans for a full-length CG animated film were announced in 2007.[40] However, this proposed CG film project was not released before Micott and Basara (the studio hired) filed for bankruptcy in 2011.[39]

It was announced in November 2015 that the series will get an anime theatrical film adaptation.[41] The film is directed by Hiroyuki Seshita and written by Tsutomu Nihei and Sadayuki Murai, with animation by Polygon Pictures and character designs by Yuki Moriyama. It was released globally as a Netflix original on the 20th of May 2017.[42]

On October 5, 2017, Viz Media announced at their New York Comic Con panel that they licensed the home video rights to the film.[43] They released it on Blu-ray Disc and DVD on March 27, 2018.

Reception[edit]

Manga[edit]

Jarred Pine from Mania.com commented "is not an easy task" to talk about the story in the first volume as "it leaves quite a gamut of questions open for the reader, nothing on the surface to give the reader a sense of direction or purpose."[44][45] Pine said Blame! doesn't have a mass appeal and "there will be quite a strong line dividing those who love and hate Nihei’s unique and convoluted cyberpunk journey."[45]

In 2006 the Tokyopop distribution was nominated for a Harvey Award in the category 'Best American Edition of Foreign Material'.[46]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Vertical Licenses Blame!, Dissolving Classroom, Immortal Hounds Manga". Anime News Network. February 13, 2016. Retrieved February 13, 2016.
  2. ^ Martin, Theron (May 23, 2017). "Blame! - Review". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 6, 2020. the 1998 cyberpunk manga Blame! Although it was adapted into a series of six ONA shorts back in 2003
  3. ^ Santos, Carlo (July 29, 2005). "Blame! DVD - Review". Anime News Network. Retrieved April 6, 2020. the setting of Blame! isn't so hard to understand; it's the usual post-apocalyptic science fiction fare.
  4. ^ "Translation from the Blame! artbook". Archived from the original on 2008-03-09. Retrieved 2008-03-15.
  5. ^ Blame!, Chapter 57
  6. ^ 弐瓶勉が劇場版「BLAME!」のために描いた設定資料が1冊に、本日発売. Natalie (in Japanese). Natasha, Inc. May 22, 2017. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  7. ^ BLAME!(1). Kodansha (in Japanese). Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  8. ^ Nihei, Tsutomu (9 August 2005). Blame! Vol. 1. ISBN 1595328343.
  9. ^ BLAME!(2). Kodansha (in Japanese). Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  10. ^ Nihei, Tsutomu (8 November 2005). Blame! Vol. 2. ISBN 1595328351.
  11. ^ BLAME!(3). Kodansha (in Japanese). Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  12. ^ Nihei, Tsutomu (7 February 2006). Blame! Vol. 3. ISBN 159532836X.
  13. ^ BLAME!(4). Kodansha (in Japanese). Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  14. ^ Nihei, Tsutomu (9 May 2006). Blame! Vol. 4. ISBN 1595328378.
  15. ^ BLAME!(5). Kodansha (in Japanese). Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  16. ^ Nihei, Tsutomu (8 August 2006). Blame! Vol. 5. ISBN 1595328386.
  17. ^ BLAME!(6). Kodansha (in Japanese). Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  18. ^ Nihei, Tsutomu (7 November 2006). Blame! Vol. 6. ISBN 1595328394.
  19. ^ BLAME!(7). Kodansha (in Japanese). Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  20. ^ BLAME!(7)限定電装版. Kodansha (in Japanese). Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  21. ^ Nihei, Tsutomu (13 February 2007). Blame! Vol. 7. ISBN 978-1595328403.
  22. ^ BLAME!(8). Kodansha (in Japanese). Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  23. ^ Nihei, Tsutomu (8 May 2007). Blame! Vol. 8. ISBN 978-1595328410.
  24. ^ BLAME!(9). Kodansha (in Japanese). Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  25. ^ Nihei, Tsutomu (7 August 2007). Blame! Vol. 9. ISBN 978-1595328427.
  26. ^ BLAME!(10). Kodansha (in Japanese). Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  27. ^ Nihei, Tsutomu (13 November 2007). Blame! Vol. 10. ISBN 978-1595328434.
  28. ^ 新装版 BLAME!(1). Kodansha (in Japanese). Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  29. ^ "BLAME! 1". Penguin Random House. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  30. ^ 新装版 BLAME!(2). Kodansha (in Japanese). Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  31. ^ "BLAME! 2". Penguin Random House. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  32. ^ 新装版 BLAME!(3). Kodansha (in Japanese). Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  33. ^ "BLAME!, 3". Penguin Random House. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  34. ^ 新装版 BLAME!(4). Kodansha (in Japanese). Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  35. ^ a b c "BLAME!, 4". Vertical Comics. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  36. ^ 新装版 BLAME!(5). Kodansha (in Japanese). Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  37. ^ 新装版 BLAME!(6)<完>. Kodansha (in Japanese). Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  38. ^ "Archived copy" ブラム学園! アンドソーオン 弐瓶勉作品集 (in Japanese). Kodansha. Archived from the original on December 13, 2013. Retrieved November 28, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  39. ^ a b "Tsutomu Nihei's Blame! Anime Previewed With English Subtitles". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2014-11-24.
  40. ^ "BLAME!, Cyberpunk CG Animated film Announced". twitchfilm.net. Archived from the original on 2010-07-12. Retrieved 2008-08-11.
  41. ^ "Tsutomu Nihei's Blame! Manga Gets Theatrical Anime Adaptation". Anime News Network. 2015-11-19. Retrieved 2016-07-24.
  42. ^ "Blame! Movie Adaptation Coming to Netflix Original in 2017". Nagame Digital. Archived from the original on 2016-10-09. Retrieved 2016-07-10.
  43. ^ "Viz Media to Release Blame! Anime Film on Home Video". Anime News Network. Retrieved October 5, 2017.
  44. ^ Beveridge, Chris (May 3, 2005). "Blame! (also w/T-shirt)". Mania. Archived from the original on March 9, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  45. ^ a b Pine, Jarred (September 1, 2005). "Blame! Vol. #01". Mania. Archived from the original on March 15, 2013. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  46. ^ "The Harvey Awards 2006 nominees and winners". harveyawards.org. Archived from the original on 2007-05-22. Retrieved 2008-03-15.

External links[edit]