14 March 2014 | accountcrapper
Nice addition to the comic
Blame! is a strange one. The story is about an artificial human called Killy who has been created in order to find original humans possessing a special gene that allows them access a special network. Access to this network allows the user to control the megastructure/city the Blame! universe exists in.
The Megastructure is a large vertical city that seems to have originated on Earth but houses areas the size of Jupiter. Some of the megastructure was created by and for humans and most was created by machines. A chaotic virus has infected the megastructure causing it to build itself into increasing bizarre forms with no end in site.
The megastructure is populated by various beings - artificial humans, half human machines, silicon creatures, control creatures, clones, some kind of normal humans (lacking the required gene), and something called the safeguard.
The megastructure is out of control and the only way to fix the problem is to access it's control command network. The only people who can do that are original humans who have the special gene. Stopping anybody or anything else from accessing the control network is a body called the Safeguard. They are trying to protect the Megastructure from anything that is not an original human. However it is not at all clear that there are any original humans left so the safeguard kill everything and they cannot change their programming. It is Killy's job to find an original human to stop the safeguard and correct the megastructure - and so he travels through this seemingly endless and mostly empty vertical city searching for humans that once existed but may have died out long ago.
The Manga itself is a bizarre Gothic sci-fi set in the far future - a mix of horror, genetics and cyberpunk. The art is outstanding - the storyline is confusing and sometimes there is a total lack of coherent narrative with instead outlines of the megastructure itself, pages and pages of Killy walking through desolate tunnels and briefs introductions to creatures that never repeat in the storyline.
The anime based on the manga is more like a postcard from the Blame! universe rather than a linearly structured story. Without reading the Blame! manga first the Anime cannot make sense and like I said the Manga can sometimes be very confusing on it's own.
All that said Blame! is fantastic. Yes it is confusing, yes it doesn't have a linear story, but it makes up for that with image, feeling, and the sheer audacity of the idea's presented. The Blame! universe could be seen as a counter to Iain Banks Culture universe. A universe where things went horribly wrong and continued to go wrong even after there were no humans left. In some places there is evidence of earlier human existence - it other places it is totally synthetic and new. If you read Blame! treat it like a road movie - it has no start, no middle and no end - it is about the journey, the characters you meet and the sights along the way. There is no personal resolution as Killy is a machine, there is no real end as the Megastructure is essentially infinite, there is no meaning as this is the remnants of human technological decay and chaotic viruses.
I loved the Manga and the Anime can be seen as an enjoyable addition to the universe. In and of itself the Anime is not great as a service to fans of the Manga - I like it. 10/10 for the Manga - 7/10 for the Anime