Before we start anything out, we are going to mention some things about the Master Edition of Blame!. This master edition of the series is certainly that: a masterful rendition of the popular manga. It is heavy, the color and feel of the large book is incredible. If you are a collector of special editions of books, then this certainly needs to be added to your collection (unless you aren’t into science fiction violence). Now that we’ve covered that, let’s dive into the actual meat and bones of the manga.
I know I shouldn’t have to put this in here but, this review contains spoilers for the first and second volume of the manga. You have been warned.
As with most of Tsutomu Nihei’s stories, Blame! is set in a dystopian future. In this future, our main character (called Killy) roams a technological network / wasteland known simply as “the city” Killy is on a search for Net Terminal Genes; A genetic code said to allow humanity to plug into the network (maybe help the administration) of the city to fight against the safeguards. What follows is a long, grizzly path littered with gore and the desperate struggle for humanity to pull through. And for that reason, I can’t put it down.
Unlike the first book in the master edition series, the reader now has a clearer idea of what the plot entails. Additionally, the first couple chapters of volume 2 provide nothing but back story and the initial plot to get things really moving within the story. Specifically, this one starts off with a little bit of back story on Ciba and how she has been affected and molded into the person (cyborg?) we know now in the series. Compounded with the beginning of her companionship with Killy and a plot vehicle in the guise of an authority robot, and things get off to an explosive start (with a gigantic hole being blown through the roof of the megastructure).
I have discovered that there is a pretty common formula that the two main characters will inevitably experience from here on out. They will most likely:
- Meet a group of humans
- Find out no one posses the Net Terminal Gene
- Get a bunch of them killed thanks to the safeguard
- Move on through the megastructure
I’m perfectly fine with this formula though. It may get a little repetitive but there is plenty of room for more characters to be tacked on to the story. Additionally, this is only the beginning. Knowing Nihei, he will through something else twisted into the mix. For example, at the end of the volume with the death of Ciba and a whole cyber existence will surely make the coming books interesting.
If there is one aspect of the series that should be mentioned, it’s Tsutomu Nihei interesting art style. His depictions of futuristic and broken places certainly feel unique. No little detail is left out in his backgrounds and characters. Every detail down to the circuits in the android are well thought out. It’s definitely obvious that he studied architecture prior to becoming the manga artist we know him as today. To his credit, it is definitely one of the major aspects that draws readers into his work (if the story wasn’t enough).
Unfortunately, the entire first volume was spent purely setting the stage and just introducing some of the characters. But volume two was not! Which is what I have appreciated the most out of all of this, we finally have the depth we need to proceed. With the stage set, the main idea of the plot before us, and an established cast, we can move forward into the real adventure. The best part is that things are only just getting started. Who knows where else this demented journey will take us? I’m excited to find out.
Publisher: Vertical Comics
Release Date: Dec 13, 2016
Disclaimer, a copy of Blame! volume 2 was provided to BentoByte by the publisher for the purpose of review.Tweet