If there’s one genre I’m always likely to love, it’s dark, heavy science fiction. As attested by the bitterly disappointing Ergo Proxy and Oshii’s philosophically-loaded Innocence, it’s a subset of anime that’s prone to artistic pretension of the highest order, but even still, when it works, as in the case of the viscerally despondent Texhnolyze, it’s impossible to ignore. The “Blame!” manga series is another example of such a beautifully drawn, deep science fiction story that’s just aching to be animated. Thankfully, the Japanese are beavering away on it right now and if these newly released clips (from which these snapshots have been taken) are anything to go by, we might just have another winner on our hands.
Though I’m not the biggest fan of CG anime, it’s perfectly suited to such a vastly-futuristic, almost-alien world like that which is at the heart of “Blame!”. “The City” is a megastructure (Dyson sphere) that’s long since grown beyond all human control; gigantic mechanical builders have been expanding its borders for hundreds of years, and now, even the moon is incorporated into the forever stretching landscape. By way of finding the last few humans born with Net Terminal Genes, Cyborg Killy’s mission is nothing less than to stop this constant building, but standing in his way are countless tribes of transhuman, twisted Silicon Creatures.
Though it sounds action-packed, so much of what’s so good about “Blame!” is simply in tagging along with Killy as he climbs through the empty, decaying levels of long-since deserted dystopia. It’s a skyless, desolate story constantly emphasizing the claustrophobic, limitless walls of metallic architecture and dotted with moments of organic, hopeless violence.
If the trailer is anything to go by, I can’t wait to see this animated.
14 replies on “Blame! Adventure-seeker Killy's Cyber Dungeon animated”
BLAME! has been on my ‘plan to read’ for a while, but I’ve always lacked the right combination of money, time and inclination. I suppose an anime adaption is therefore good news, but I might struggle with that amount of CG.
After the brief OAV of vignettes from BLAME! I’ve been waiting for a full animated series to be made. The prospect of CG kind of bothers me a little – I’m not sure how they’re going to accomplish the intense claustrophobia of the manga with slick, inherently spacey computer animation… but still, at least someone is mining the material. It’s been ripe for an adaptation for a long time.
I’m downloading the trailer now, so I’ll reserving judgement until I’ve seen it in motion. I’m definitely a little excited by this, though. BLAME! is fantastic in a horrendously alienating sort of way.
I wonder if it’s a tendency of people who live in densely populated, relatively tiny landmasses to dig this kind of thing. Brits tend to enjoy the denser, dystopian side of anime (GitS, Ergo Proxy, Texhnolyze etc) more than anything else, and we have a lot of eerie commonality with Japan. Personally, I blame Orwell. :3
That’s an interesting point, Hige. I’ve never really thought about of how my environment might affect my preference in anime, but pondering on it now, living in this “nanny state”, with CCTV cameras regularly trained our movement and a growing sense of being “crowded out” in highly populated areas has to contribute to this attraction to dystopia. There’s definitely a part of myself reflected in Blame!, and I think you’ve just nailed it.
@IKnight: Check out the trailers I’ve linked, but I totally recommend buying as much of the manga has you can get.
Neat. I have to say I’m pretty excited about this. Although is it going to be a movie or a TV show? I’m of mixed opinions about the CG myself. It seems pretty glossy for how I would imagine blame. But on the other hand, I would say even if it wasn’t CG I don’t think the creators could have avoided the gloss.
It’s a one-off movie, I think. But yeah, I definitely agree that there’s mixed qualities to CG anime, which seems capable of grandiose landscapes but really lacks the natural, soulful movement of traditional animation. The one saving grace, at least as far as Blame! is concerned, is simply that it’s set in such a artificial, futuristic world that you can imagine these cyborgs and machines moving in such a relatively unnatural fashion. Anyway, the more I watch these trailers (I’ve sat through them at least 7 or 8 times), the better it gets. To be honest, I’m just desperate to see this world on screen, I’ve been a massive fan of the manga for a good few years now.
I always thought the manga kind of seemed like Gulliver’s Travels in a giant underground city. It was a lot of fun to be sure. Although I’m not sure how much I’m really going to love a movie. (I’m not a fan of anime movies in general. Even the ones that everyone likes. Which I suppose makes me a bad person). But I’ll most likely buy it in the hopes that someone will do a series for it. Because that would be awesome.
I’d love to see the whole manga animated like this:
It looks… amazing. A shame it’d never turn a profit, really!
Agreed. That is awesome.
Oh god, that looks amazing…but they’re only five minutes each from what I understand. Ugh, a full series would be so goooood. >.<!
It looks pretty but I do hope there’s a plot. I haven’t read the manga and the”anime” just confused me to no end (I should probably just re-watch it and see if I can find something out of it.)
@Xerox: I feel your pain, but now this new movie’s coming out, there might be some added chance for a new anime TV series too. Fingers crossed! If you like how this looks, check out the manga… it’s even better on the page.
@That Girl Hates You: From what I understand, the anime “episodes” were intended to be used as encouragement for funding for a genuine movie, but that never materialized, so in the end, all we were left with were these random clips ripped from various different points in the manga storyline. I don’t blame you for being confused by it, I’d have no idea myself if I wasn’t already very familiar with the story. Anyway, I think this new movie should be a bit more coherent, but at the same time, I recommend reading the manga too, just because I seriously doubt that any movie can come close to rivaling the unique beauty of Nihei’s style.
that you tube clip is brilliant.
Im also obviously hoping for a full anime TV series of this.
For the record i also liked Texhnolyze, and perhaps more controversially, Ergo Proxy.
Ergo proxy gets criticized for being “pretentious”, but it’s story simply has many roots in philosophy. To me, that would be like criticizing a Philosophy class at College for being pretentious.
@Iio: Apologies for the relatively late response. Your defense of Ergo Proxy is a lot like the ‘Advent Children’ defense i.e. that it can be considered good, or even great, by the hardcore fans, despite alienating a lot of the watching audience. I have a lot of respect for Ergo Proxy for trying something new, but for me, it remains an ambitious failure in the sense that I never felt empathy for the characters, unlike with Texhnolyze, which works on a human, as well as philosophical, level. To further illustrate my example, I loved Ookiku Furikabutte, despite it being centered on a sport I know nothing about. It is, and should be, possible for Ergo Proxy to appeal to me, but it never really happened (regardless of the amazing opening sequence) 🙁
For me this just doesn’t do Nihei justice wheres the dirt and grit the feel of doom
thats captured in the artwork gets lost in all this specular shade. I do animation 2d and 3d and if i had my way a would make this 70% 2d and the rest 3d !