The Archive



Tsutomu Nihei


I'm sure that I'm not the only one who hits the wall. You start out strong, watching Akira from someone's recommendation. Then you watch Ghost in the Shell. Someone points to Berzerk and then you find yourself vegetating on Dragonball Z fight scenes. You start to examine your life through Evangelion and publicly praise Studio Ghibli's works. You are running full speed when you finally hit it, wondering what the fuck you are doing with your life giving a shit about a stupid high pitched schoolgirl with even dumber problems. But every once in a while, I manage to find some so unique that sets me running again. Enter Blame! which is one of the most unique not only in manga and cyberpunk, but in science fiction all together.


The most dangerous antagonist in Killy's path

Blame! centers around Killy, the typical silent protagonist searching through the MASSIVE and seemingly abandoned structure for “Net Terminal Genes”. This seemingly endless labyrinth of tunnels and passageways that is constantly constructed is home to the sparce remnants of humanity, strange creatures, and dangerous cyborgs. If he can get past them, he will still need to get past the impenetrible structures known as the Megastructure that divide the layers of this cyber-dungeon; further still, they are guarded by the relentless beings known as the Safeguard. Armed with a small pistol with a ridiculous amount of firepower, Killy sets out to find these genes that hold the key to accessing the Net which controls all.

Though the artwork may seem inconsistant at times, it is amazing at depicting the loneliness of this massive structure and ensures that any fights scenes that ensue are nothing short of epic. The tale gets more involved as you follow Killy through his search and you feel like you are exploring with him at each new discovery. There is not a lot of dialog which also adds to the isolation, but can have the effect of creating steady tension. Overall if you are looking for a new science fiction series or just need a cyberpunk fix, Blame should be right up your alley.


Download Blame!



More from Tsutomu Nihei: Biomega, Noise