Tsutomu Nihei

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Tsutomu Nihei
Tsutomu Nihei - Lucca Comics & Games 2015.JPG
Nihei at Lucca Comics & Games 2015
Born (1971-02-26) February 26, 1971 (age 48)
OccupationManga artist
Years active1998 – present
Known forBlame!
Knights of Sidonia

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 overseas where his manga Blame!, Knights of Sidonia and Biomega were published by Vertical Inc. and Viz Media.


Nihei worked in construction but quit to work on becoming a manga artist. He went to New York and studied at the Parsons School of Design. His experience in construction and design has shown up in his manga in his depiction of huge structures which are a strong theme in his manga works.[1]

Nihei was a guest at San Diego Comic Con International 2016.[2]


Serialized works[edit]

  • Blame! – Nihei's first work, detailing the adventures of Killy as he searches through a massive city for a human with special genes that could save the world. Originally published in Afternoon, it also gained a 6 episode ONA. Movie released 19 May 2017.
  • 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 Denji Kudou, 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 – An original story set in the far future about a human colony ship's war against an elusive alien race known as the "Gauna". It was published in Afternoon and is the first of Nihei's works to be adapted into a TV series. In 2015, Knights of Sidonia won the "General" category of the prestigious Kodansha Manga Awards.
  • APOSIMZ – Also known as Ningyō no Kuni (人形の国, lit. "Country of Dolls"). Set on an artificial planet where people on the surface face harsh conditions such as extreme cold and "Frame Disease," which slowly transforms people into biomechanical creatures, while people in the core live in luxury. It is licensed by Kodansha Comics, which releases chapters digitally, and Vertical Comics, which releases print volumes.

One-shots and additional works[edit]

  • Abba / Parcel – 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.
  • Ningyō no Kuni – A short one-shot set on a frozen planet about an encounter between a young man and a mechanical being.
  • NSE: Net Sphere Engineer – A sequel to Blame!, about the Net Sphere. Series ongoing, though only one chapter has been published to date.
  • Numa no Kami – A short one-shot about a man encountering a lake Goddess.
  • Pump – A short one-shot about the last Humans reproduction process.
  • 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 / Sphingidae – 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.
  • Idaho - A one-shot published in vol. 2 of Akai Kiba

No summary as of yet.


  • 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.


  1. ^ "Interview: Knights of Sidonia Mangaka Tsutomu Nihei". Anime News Network. 26 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Comic-Con International: San Diego – Special Guests"". Retrieved 2017-01-04.

External links[edit]