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Blame! Gets Novel By Tow Ubukata, New Manga Adapting Upcoming Anime Film

posted on by Kevin Yuan
Tsutomu Nihei's manga also inspires anthology of short stories by sci-fi authors

The March issue of Kodansha's Shonen Sirius magazine announced Thursday that Tsutomu Nihei's Blame! manga is getting a novel adaptation written by Tow Ubukata (Ghost in the Shell Arise, Psycho-Pass 2 series composition).

Additionally, the manga is also getting an anthology of short stories, written by the following science-fiction authors: Issui Ogawa (The Lord of the Sands of Time), Nozomu Kuoka (Escape Speed light novel series), Tobi Hirotaka (Autogenic Dreaming: Interview with the Columns of Clouds), Denpō Torishima (Kaikin no Tada), and Mado Nozaki (Babylon, know). Kodansha and Hayakawa Publishing will simultaneously publish the novel and the anthology respectively.

The issue also announced on Thursday that the Blame! anime film (pictured right) will receive a manga adaptation drawn by Kōtarō Sekine (Ninja Slayer Kills).

2017 marks Nihei's 20th anniversary since his debut as a manga creator. He is launching the Ningyō no Kuni (Country of Dolls) manga (pictured below) in the April issue of Shonen Sirius, which will ship on February 25. This is the first time Nihei will publish a manga in a shōnen magazine.

The Blame! anime film is premiering this year as a Netflix Original film. Hiroyuki Seshita (Ajin), who previously co-directed the anime adaptation of Nihei's Knights of Sidonia manga series, will direct the film at Polygon Pictures. Nihei himself will handle the film's script and character design, and is also serving as "creative consultant." Nihei discussed drawing new sketches for the film at the "Spotlight on Tsutomu Nihei" panel at Comic Con International in San Diego in July.

The film's official site describes the all-new story:

In the distant technological future, civilization has reached its ultimate Net-based form. An "infection" in the past caused the automated systems to spiral out of order, resulting in a multi-leveled city structure that replicates itself infinitely in all directions. Now humanity has lost access to the city's controls, and is hunted down and purged by the defense system known as the Safeguard. In a tiny corner of the city, a little enclave known as the Electro-Fishers is facing eventual extinction, trapped between the threat of the Safeguard and dwindling food supplies. A girl named Zuru goes on a journey to find food for her village, only to inadvertently cause doom when an observation tower senses her and summons a Safeguard pack to eliminate the threat. With her companions dead and all escape routes blocked, the only thing that can save her now is the sudden arrival of Killy the Wanderer, on his quest for the Net Terminal Genes, the key to restoring order to the world.

Nihei launched the science-fiction action story Blame! as his first manga series in Kodansha's Monthly Afternoon magazine in 1997, and ended it in 2003. Tokyopop published the 10-volume manga in North America. Kodansha published a new "master's edition" of the manga in Japan in 2015 that had six volumes. Vertical is releasing this new version of the manga in English, and it shipped the second volume in December.

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