Blame! Gets HTC Vive VR Demo Based on Upcoming Film

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Film opens in Japan, streams worldwide on Netflix on May 20

HTC announced on Friday that shops that will demo its HTC Vive VR equipment beginning on Sunday will include a demonstration based on Tsutomu Nihei's Blame! manga. Polygon Pictures, the animation studio for the upcoming CG anime film based on the manga, is collaborating with HTC for the demonstration, and will include assets from the film.

In the demo, players take on the role of protagonist Killy, and will be able to view and move around in the environment from his point of view. Using the VR equipment's handheld controllers, players will also be able to operate Killy's Gravitational Beam Emitter. A list of shops that will have demos for the HTC Vive on Sunday is listed in HTC's site.

The film will then open in Japanese theaters for a limited two-week engagement on May 20. The film will also stream exclusively on Netflix worldwide on May 20.

Netflix previously streamed an English-subtitled trailer for the film in February, and another trailer in March.

The band angela (Knights of Sidonia) is performing the theme song "calling you." The movie's original soundtrack will go on sale on May 17, along with a Blu-ray Disc box for the earlier Knights of Sidonia and Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine anime.

Hiroyuki Seshita (Ajin), who previously co-directed the anime adaptation of Nihei's Knights of Sidonia manga series, is directing the film at Polygon Pictures. Nihei himself is handling the film's script and character design, and is also serving as "creative consultant."

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.

The manga is getting an upcoming new novel adaptation written by Tow Ubukata (Ghost in the Shell Arise, Psycho-Pass 2 series composition). The series is also inspiring 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).

The film itself is also inspiring a manga adaptation by artist Kōtarō Sekine (Ninja Slayer Kills) that debuted on April 26.

Source: Anime! Anime! (Katsunori Takahashi)

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