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Jason Thompson's House of 1000 Manga - Blame!




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One-Eye



Joined: 08 Mar 2011
Posts: 1252

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 1:41 pm Reply with quote
Funny that this column should happen to focus on Blame! at this time as I'm in the middle of slowly picking up the OOP volumes after years of putting it off. I always figured someone might re-release it and now that prices have really started to get ridiculous I'm trying to get them all.

When I first read Blame I really loved it. I felt that you get a real feeling for the size, space and emptiness of the setting because of the lack of dialogue. The lack of dialogue or silence in the story made you focus on the art and how that made you feel. For me it translated to the sensation that Killy had been wandering around the structure for a long time. I thought the art had a unique look, but it may not be everyone's cup of tea. I pretty much couldn't put it down. I did think there were 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. For me, it sometimes gave off a vibe that it was a collage of ideas and settings stitched together. Like I said it made me feel the story instead of reading a story.

I hope someone puts it out again, its too much of a classic in my eyes. All I need is vol.7 to finish my collection, but after this article prices will probably go higher <sigh>. Laughing
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No Comment



Joined: 19 Jun 2012
Posts: 57

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:01 pm Reply with quote
Cool, my library has all 10 volumes! It always seems like my library has no problem carrying the ultra-rare OOP series or volumes of various manga. It's especially funny when it's a manga where some volumes are much harder to find than others; they'll have the ones that you would have to trek to the ends of the Earth for, but not the ones that are $0.04 cents on Amazon.

Anyways, Texhnolyze got me hooked on ridiculously dark sci-fi, so I'll definitely have to check this out. Thanks.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 1076

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:54 pm Reply with quote
Blame! is truly a series that you end up experiencing more than anything. Nihei's ability to make such amazing, sprawling environments out of generally gigantic, empty, & barren worlds is just amazing (the fact that he was originally an architect before doing manga definitely helps), and he's able to tell really interesting stories with little to no dialogue. I really, really liked reading Blame! when TokyoPop released it and I would love to see it get re-released as well so that others could "experience" it.

At the same time, though, Blame! also works on sheer cool factor, too. Killy is just such an enigmatic main character & his GBE is simply pure awesome in such a small shape. If anything, Blame! really feels similar to Eat-Man, another absolute favorite of mine, in that both feature mysterious lead characters that rarely speak but affect their worlds in such strong ways (they both are also capable of massive destruction if the need arises, too). The only real differences is that Blame! is cyberpunk & has a linear story while Eat-Man is a mix of fantasy & sci-fi and is episodic. Coincidentally enough, the creators of both titles, Tsutomu Nihei & Akihito Yoshitomi, are equally amazing at drawing absolutely stunning & engrossing environments; Nihei is architecturally amazing while Yoshitomi can create downright visually-insane worlds.
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ptolemy18
Manga Reviewer/Creator/Taster


Joined: 07 May 2005
Posts: 339
Location: San Francisco

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:59 pm Reply with quote
Lord Geo wrote:
Blame! is truly a series that you end up experiencing more than anything. Nihei's ability to make such amazing, sprawling environments out of generally gigantic, empty, & barren worlds is just amazing (the fact that he was originally an architect before doing manga definitely helps), and he's able to tell really interesting stories with little to no dialogue. I really, really liked reading Blame! when TokyoPop released it and I would love to see it get re-released as well so that others could "experience" it.

At the same time, though, Blame! also works on sheer cool factor, too. Killy is just such an enigmatic main character & his GBE is simply pure awesome in such a small shape. If anything, Blame! really feels similar to Eat-Man, another absolute favorite of mine, in that both feature mysterious lead characters that rarely speak but affect their worlds in such strong ways (they both are also capable of massive destruction if the need arises, too). The only real differences is that Blame! is cyberpunk & has a linear story while Eat-Man is a mix of fantasy & sci-fi and is episodic. Coincidentally enough, the creators of both titles, Tsutomu Nihei & Akihito Yoshitomi, are equally amazing at drawing absolutely stunning & engrossing environments; Nihei is architecturally amazing while Yoshitomi can create downright visually-insane worlds.


Aaaaah, Eat-Man!! I had almost forgotten about that manga. Too bad Viz only released two volumes. I have to say I prefer Nihei's work because it's got an ongoing story and because Eat-Man is so shonen and upbeat, relatively speaking. But I also liked Yoshitomi's medical manga "Ray" a lot.
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Lord Geo



Joined: 18 Sep 2005
Posts: 1076

PostPosted: Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:07 pm Reply with quote
ptolemy18 wrote:
Aaaaah, Eat-Man!! I had almost forgotten about that manga. Too bad Viz only released two volumes. I have to say I prefer Nihei's work because it's got an ongoing story and because Eat-Man is so shonen and upbeat, relatively speaking. But I also liked Yoshitomi's medical manga "Ray" a lot.


Have you read anything beyond those two volumes of Eat-Man? The '98 anime series covers some stories from volumes 3 & 4, but as the manga went on some of the stories got less upbeat, with some, often the best ones, even having somber (or at least bittersweet) endings. But, hey, that's the difference between a seinen manga (Blame!) & a shonen manga (Eat-Man), I guess. Bolt always had a cast of characters he could interact with, whereas Killy only had Cibo, and even then she wasn't always around, or even in the same body...
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Tenebrae



Joined: 26 Apr 2008
Posts: 127

PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:20 am Reply with quote
Still one of my favourite mangas, even after all these years (I think I picked the fan translations somewhere around 2002). There's something strange and unique there that pulls me in; the silence, the towering cityscapes, the extreme dystopia, the creatures, the mysteries. And of course the characters; sullen, silent, machine-like Killy; inquisitive, humane Cibo; mysterious Sanakan; the provisional safeguard Dhomochevsky on 250-year mission, and all the rest.

Surely, a crime against humanity that this remains out of print.
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noblesse oblige



Joined: 22 Dec 2012
Posts: 100
Location: Florida

PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:44 pm Reply with quote
One-Eye wrote:

When I first read Blame I really loved it. I felt that you get a real feeling for the size, space and emptiness of the setting because of the lack of dialogue. The lack of dialogue or silence in the story made you focus on the art and how that made you feel. For me it translated to the sensation that Killy had been wandering around the structure for a long time.


I got a similar feeling reading a one-shot called "Hotel". Except instead of giving you that sense of emptiness via scale and space, it gives you that feeling by contrasting human history to the endless flow of time. It's a sobering and unforgiving tale about the consequences of humanity's mistakes, and I would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoyed "Blame!".
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