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From Tokyopop: Killy is a man of few words. He wanders, seemingly endlessly, through a lonely, gargantuan labyrinth of concrete and steel, fighting off cyborgs and other futuristic nightmares, searching only for something called Net Terminal Genes. And he has a very powerful gun, which he uses without hesitation whenever anything resembling danger rears its ugly head. Who is this quiet, violent, determined man and what are these Genes he seeks? The small communities he finds tucked into the crevices of this towering, dystopic ruin hardly give him leads on his treasure, driving him to find larger enclaves of civilization where people can reveal more about the world he lives in and the quarry he seeks.
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The lack of natural object in this manga is what makes BLAME! BLAME!. i.e. To really describe how cool this style is, words can approximate but you have to read BLAME!
Apart from visual arts, the world of BLAME! is so depressing and chaotic. It also shows how small and how low humans are. Like most reviewers, we have read it for the first time a few years ago and the flashback of this chaotic world remains in our memories. Pick it up again and love it, then write a review.
The plot is *not* ambiguous. Nihei is always like this, he left all the hints or details just about necessary, readers have to read it slowly and thoroughly to understand what is going on, it is intentional. The biggest challenge is on the cryptic or technical words, it is arguably part of theme though. If you can't comprehend the technical terms, then memorize them. Try digest the words again when you hit wall.
Difficult to say. A clash between memories.
Read this a few years ago. The art is amazing (well, since then I have been humbled by Kaoru Mori, Etorouji Shiono, In-Wan Youn, and more) mostly in term of a "cybernized" world. The story, while being almost devoid of dialogue, generated a heavy atmosphere of devastation and ruin with scattered semiconscious beings driven by instincts or obsolete eon old commands.
Well, as I recall, the whole story was - about or ended up being - the sowing of an embryo of hope into this world overtaken by death and darkness.
Truthfully, apart from the art and somewhat slowish pace, it was not as memorable as I thought. Nonetheless, still a great post "Ghost in the Shell" work.
Not sure what to think of this manga
I love it, I'm annoyed by it, I can't stop reading, I get bored of it. Blame is a cyberpunk manga that relies heavily on its visuals and detailed environments and not on dialogue, text, or facial expressions. The places and creatures are very beautiful but it's frustrating to not know what's going on. Either way, I think blame is worth the time to check out. Other details:
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
The plot is very ambiguous and often I don't know what just happened. Time has no meaning as the characters live for centuries and can exist beyond flesh or metal as data. They're also killed off at a rather high frequency (though whether they really die all the time can be questioned. Though, I think the plotholes are on purpose. Killa's mission propels him to continue on his journey and not stay behind to see the fallout. Therefore, he and the reader never know what has happened, will happen, or why.
Cyber and biopunk
First and still the best Nihei's manga. Blame! depicts a seemingly endless journey of Killy. But who is this Killy and what is the purpose of his travel? Does the author knows?
A border between cyberpunk and biopunk isn't clear. And right from the beginning some explanation may come in handy, Blame is cyber/biopunk in its pure form or it's close to that form. Before reading Blame! try to forget the modern (and wrong) "feel" of cyber/biopunk presented by various creators mostly of American nationality (you definitely know what exactly I am talking about). Cyberpunk is supposed to be confusing, ambiguous, somewhat inconclusive, with morally questionable protagonist. Nihei got every single damn thing right.
What's more expect great almost soundless atmosphere accompanied by excellent drawings. If possible I would like to take a little trip to the Megastructure.
And please, let Oshii Mamoru direct some movie adaptation of Blame!. Nihei plus Oshii would be the best possible combination. Come on, we're waiting for something like that to happen for years now!
... Last updated on October 15th, 2012, 4:20am
I'd like to rate this manga 10, but...
Too many plot holes and loose ends:
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Who is that cyborg with dog in first volume? What organisation stands behind her? Definitely not authorities or safeguards (Killy doesn't recognize them at first meeting). First authority was like a human child. But there are no more authorities of such model later on. Why did that child attack humans? That's what safeguards would do. Second time Killy meets authorities they look exactly like safeguard's exterminator model. Why Killy seeks for net-terminal gene? Why he abandons his search for clear genes? "Net-terminal gene" doesn't sound like "clear".
I can go on... But to say it simply. Nihei has no plan for whole story.
What saves this manga is gorgeous atmosphere and art. Lack of dialogs adds to atmosphere of desolate world. No humans - no dialogs.
... Last updated on December 28th, 2011, 10:29am
The whole Manga is hard to relate too because all the characters are alien in the true sense of the word. No character is acting with any sort of human perspective that the reader could relate too. Also not a lot of expiation is given so it wasn't until vol 4 that there was any sense of real plot. But due the alien nature of all of the characters is was more of looking at the pretty pictures and seeing what happened next then proving any real story or characters.
In short: it's an interesting art piece.
Don't go reading it expecting anything in the way of plot or characters.
Odd but good
The art is always good and, by the ninth volume, incredibly moving. It is difficult to tell what is going on-- and when-- for a number of reasons.
The main one is that you have to think while reading it. You have to actively ponder what is going on.
Blame! creates a very, very unique atmosphere that can be hard to get used to (though I loved it) It doesn't have a sense of time other than "endless." All we know is that a long time passed between certain points.
Characters tend to stick in your memory, and the story is filled with a bunch of symbolism
Definitely a series I'll have to reread
... Last updated on March 26th, 2011, 12:57pm
I have had high expectations from this one, because I like the apocalyptic atmosphere. But why I give it a 5? Because the story doesn't makes much of sense. The dialogues are very limited, it has more illustrations. The author seems to focus on the illustrations that I have to admit they are really unique. But you are getting lost .
If it had much dialogue, it would have been better.
A very good series
A very good series. It says much without a lot of dialogue. You get a real feeling for the size, space and emptiness of the setting because of the lack of dialogue. You feel that Killy has been wandering around the structure for a long time. The art is unique and interesting, but may not be everyone's cup of tea. I pretty much couldn't put it down. That said there are places where it suffers from a bit of incoherence and it breaks down a bit. Places where if things were better expressed would have helped the story. It sometimes gives off a feeling that it is a collage of ideas and settings stitched together. Still a very good series.
When I first began to read Blame!, it was mostly on a whim. It looked interesting. A few people here say they found the first bit boring. I got sucked in on the first page, by both the art and what little plot there was to be seen. I've read through the whole series twice now, and I am still fascinated by everything about it. From the dark environs to the sparse dialogue, everything seems intentional and purposeful, yielding some new hint about the plot that I might have missed. The entire world just sucked me in, and I honeslty think I lived, breathed, and dreamt Blame! style for several days after each read through. It just feels different from some lame, conventional plot where the author is obviously just making it up as he/she goes along; it felt intentional.