Blame! Manga (Spoiler Free Thread)

I recently finished reading a manga by the name of “Blame!” created by author Tsutomu Nihei. Other popular works of this author include Knights of Sidonia, and Biomega

I found it to be very good. I left it feeling very joyful and satisfied yet with a bit of conflicting feelings. The ending although very subtle wasn’t as conclusive as it could have been. And there are many events that were left unexplained and outright unanswered leaving me to go “What the Hell?”

If someone were to ask me of this manga makes my recommendation list? My answer would be: Absolutely!

Even though it wasn’t perfect, it is still worth reading. After Berserk, this would be my second recommendation for people to read. The experience it left me with overall was, Satisfaction. The world, the concepts, art design, the creature, etc. were all great. The weakest part of this manga would be it’s character development and to a lesser degree the overall story. There is very little amount of dialogue in this story.

In terms of it’s main character Kirii, he hardly get any character development even throughout the entire series only rarely showing any type of emotion. Such as when fires his gun he might rarely smile. Overall he remains a blank slate and rarely talks. The other main character Cibo does most of the talking and is the one that show the most emotion and character development throughout the story.

In terms of the overall story it manly suffers from being inconclusive on a few areas, thus leading to 2 type of questions. What the Hell, and what the Heck type of questions.

For the what the Hell type of questions, those are questions that I feel like needed to be answered but were not addressed at all. For example you never find out the real reason/motives behind any of the factions / groups in the story. The what the Heck questions aren’t so much as necessary, but things I would have liked to know and if answered would have add a far greater level of depth into the world.

The strongest aspects of this manga are its environment, concepts, and most strikingly its atmosphere. For me I personally felt like its atmosphere invoked the same type of feeling to that of the first time watching the “Matrix” movie.

The art design of this manga i found it to be very unique an interesting. As for the quality of of art, I found it to be consistently very good throughout the entirety of the manga, especially that of the the environment and creature design. The weakest part of the art would be the human characters, who almost always look bland and have very little details about them. See image bellow for the typical looking human vs a “creature”

If you would like more spoiler free information about Blame! and about a new movie releaed for it on Netflix I would recommend watching this YouTube video

If anyone here has read this manga I would love to discuss with you more in depth my thoughts about the story in another thread.

I’ve only read Knights of Sidonia, but it looks like it’s not dissimilar from Blame! The main draw for that manga is the quality of the artwork and the weird mix of mecha + body horror themes. The story and the world building are interesting enough, but in terms of characters it follows the usual anime trope where you have a male protagonist who, despite being clueless and hopelessly dense in regards to romance, somehow stills ends up becoming a romantic interest for just about every girl in the cast. Unlike what you said about Blame! however, Knights of Sidonia does have plenty of dialogue and at least some character development. The manga’s story is also inconclusive though, plenty of things are left unanswered and the ending feels like it leaves things open for a continuation.

From what you’ve said, I don’t think I’ll end up reading Blame!, but that’s mostly because I kind of know what to expect from the author already and it’s probably not interesting enough for me to invest time into.

I can’t believe I forgot to mention that part. This sort of thing is one of Tsutomu Nihei strongest themes and is shared across all of his work and gives them a cyberpunk feel. The other strong aspect that makes his mangas interesting and appealing is the story concept and the world building he creates for them, along with the quality of artwork as you also mentioned. His greatest weakness however is definitely his characters’ that lack depth or are very generic, along with a main storylines that always seem to be missing important explanations.

I have not read Knights of Sidonia, but I have watch the two seasons of its anime and again like all of Nihei’s work I found the concepts and world to be very interesting. I too found the main character to be incompetent, and not very well constructed. However, unlike Nagate in Knights of Sidonia, the main character of Blame! although for the most part is a blank slate, he does come off as competent. Also there is no romance or cringey humor (or any for that matter) in Blame!

If the lack of explanation in Knights of Sidonia’s story was a big deterrent for you than I would say that it would be better for you not to read the manga. For the most part I would have the same feelings as you but ever so rarely I can sort of overlook a stories flaws such as this and enjoy it for the concept and world building.

If you are in the least bit interested to find out what the story is about, I would recommend watching the new Blame! movie recently released on Netflix a little over a month ago.

P.S. Just a side note, but Blame! was the author’s first story.