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Blame! manga vol 1.jpg
Cover of the first manga volume
GenreCyberpunk, post-apocalyptic[1], science fiction
Written byTsutomu Nihei
Published byKodansha
English publisher
Original runNovember 25, 1998July 25, 2003
Volumes10 (List of volumes)
Original net animation
Directed byShintarō Inokawa
Produced byKazuki Nakamura
Written byMayori Sekijima
Music byHiroyuki Onogawa
KIYOSHI (BORN'S) (ep. 3)
StudioGroup TAC
Licensed by
ReleasedOctober 24, 2003
Runtime6 minutes
Episodes6 + 1 OVA
Net Sphere Engineer
Written byTsutomu Nihei
Published byKodansha
MagazineMorning Extra
Blame! Academy
Written byTsutomu Nihei
Published byKodansha
Original runFebruary 25, 2004May 25, 2008
Original net animation
Blame! Prologue
Directed byShigeyuki Watanabe
Music byYuichi Nonaka
StudioProduction I.G
ReleasedSeptember 7, 2007
Runtime4 minutes
Written byTsutomu Nihei
Published byKodansha
PublishedMarch 21, 2008

Blame! (2017 film)

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Blame! (Japanese: ブラム!, Hepburn: Buramu!), pronounced "blam", is a ten-volume Japanese science fiction manga by Tsutomu Nihei published by Kodansha from 1996 to 2003. A six-part original net animation was produced in 2003, with a seventh episode included on the DVD release. An anime film adaptation by Polygon Pictures was released as a Netflix original in May 2017.


Killy, a silent loner possessing an incredibly powerful weapon known as a Gravitational Beam Emitter, wanders a vast technological world known as "The City". He is searching for Net Terminal Genes, a (possibly) extinct genetic marker that allows humans to access the "Netsphere", a sort of computerized control network for The City. The City is an immense volume of artificial structure, separated into massive "floors" by nearly-impenetrable barriers known as "Megastructure". The City is inhabited by scattered human and transhuman tribes as well as hostile cyborgs known as Silicon Creatures. The Net Terminal Genes appear to be the key to halting the unhindered, chaotic expansion of the Megastructure, as well as a way of stopping the murderous horde known as the Safeguard from destroying all humanity.

Along the way, Killy meets and joins forces with a resourceful engineer named Cibo and several groups such as a tribe of human warriors called the Electro-Fishers. Cibo and Killy are often pursued by the Safeguard, who view any human without Net Terminal Genes as a threat to be extinguished on sight. Because of the size and nature of The City and the violent lives led by its inhabitants, there are virtually no recurring characters and any alliances made are short-lived.


Double page from BLAME!

The City is actually a structure that began on Earth. The mechanical beings known as Builders, which move around renovating and creating new landscapes, appear to have begun building without end, creating an enormous structure with little internal logic or coherence. The City appears to be organized into distinct floors, with layers of an unknown nigh-indestructible material called "the megastructure" between them. Traveling between floors is extremely difficult as the megastructure is almost indestructible and approaching the floor boundaries results in a massive safeguard response. Only a direct Gravitational Beam Emitter blast is known to have been capable of penetrating the megastructure.

Each floor consists of a crust of kilometers high buildings haphazardly built together. Above the crust is an empty sky all the way to the floor of the next level. Descending from the sky are staircases which take upwards of 10 days to climb. The floor of the next level is made of megastructure, but also serves as sunlight/night sky for the floor below.

The City, and the Builders, were once controlled by the Netsphere and the Authority but they have since lost the power to control the expansion of The City due to the chaotic and dangerous manner of its growth. Without intervention by a user with Net Terminal Genes they cannot reestablish control over The City nor the Safeguards, whose original job was to eliminate any humans who try to access the Netsphere without Net Terminal Genes. The Safeguard now attempts to destroy all humans without the Net Terminal Gene as the degradation of The City has corrupted their true goals.

In regard to the scale of the structure, NOiSE, the prequel to Blame!, states in its final chapter that "At one point even the Moon, which used to be up in the sky above, was integrated into The City's structure". It has been suggested by Tsutomu Nihei himself in his artbook Blame! and So On that the scale of The City is beyond that of a Dyson sphere, reaching at least Jupiter's planetary orbit (for a radius of around 5.2 AU, or 778,547,200 km); this is also suggested in scenarios such as Blame! vol. 9, where Killy finds himself having to travel through a room roughly the size of Jupiter (roughly 143,000 km).[2][3]



The original Japanese manga was collected into 10 volumes (tankōbon) by Kodansha's Afternoon KC division. In February 2005, Tokyopop announced that it has licensed Blame! for U.S. distribution, with publication beginning in August 2005. After releasing the final volume in 2007, the series has gone out of print with several volumes becoming increasingly hard to find. In 2006 the Tokyopop distribution was nominated for a Harvey Award in the category 'Best American Edition of Foreign Material'.[4] In February 2016, Vertical announced that it had licensed the series.[1]


Tankōbon release
No.Japanese release dateJapanese ISBNEnglish release dateEnglish ISBN
1 June 1998ISBN 4-06-314182-9August 2005ISBN 1-59532-834-3
2 August 1999ISBN 4-06-314194-2November 2005ISBN 1-59532-835-1
3 December 1999ISBN 4-06-314218-3February 2006ISBN 1-59532-836-X
4 March 2000ISBN 4-06-314235-3May 2006ISBN 1-59532-837-8
5 September 2000ISBN 4-06-314251-5July 2006ISBN 1-59532-838-6
6 March 2001ISBN 4-06-314263-9November 2006ISBN 1-59532-839-4
7 October 2001ISBN 4-06-314277-9February 2007ISBN 1-59532-840-8
8 April 2002ISBN 4-06-314289-2May 2007ISBN 1-59532-841-6
9 December 2002ISBN 4-06-314310-4August 2007ISBN 1-59532-842-4
10 September 2003ISBN 4-06-314328-7November 2007ISBN 1-59532-843-2
Master's edition
No.Japanese release dateJapanese ISBNEnglish release dateEnglish ISBN
1 April 23, 2015[5]ISBN 978-4-06-377201-2September 13, 2016[6]ISBN 9781942993773
2 April 23, 2015[7]ISBN 978-4-06-377202-9December 13, 2016[8]ISBN 9781942993780
3 May 22, 2015[9]ISBN 978-4-06-377203-6March 21, 2017[10]ISBN 9781942993797
4 May 22, 2015[11]ISBN 978-4-06-377204-3June 27, 2017[12]ISBN 9781942993803
5 June 23, 2015[13]ISBN 978-4-06-377210-4September 12, 2017[14]ISBN 9781942993810
6 June 23, 2015[15]ISBN 978-4-06-377211-1December 12, 2017[16]ISBN 9781942993827

Blame! Academy[edit]

Blame! Academy (ブラム学園!, Buramu Gakuen!) is a spin-off series of Blame! by Tsutomu Nihei. Set in the same "City" as Blame!, it is a parody and comedy about various characters in the main Blame! story in a traditional Japanese school setting. Various elements in the main Blame! story are being parodied, including the relationship between Killy and Cibo, and Dhomochevsky and Iko. It was irregularly published in Afternoon. A compilation volume, titled Blame Gakuen! and So On was published by Kodansha on September 19, 2008.[17]


Blame!² (ブラム!², Buramu! Tsu), subtitled Chronicle of the Escape from the Megastructure by the Eighth Incarnation of Pcell (第八系子体プセルの都市構造体脱出記, Dai-hachi Keikotai Puseru no Toshikōzōtai Dasshutsu Ki), is a full-color, 16-page one-shot. Like NSE: Net Sphere Engineer, Blame!² is a sequel to the original Blame!, taking place at a point in the distant future. It was published March 21, 2008 in the second volume of Kodansha's Weekly Morning Special Edition magazine, Mandala. This one-shot was also compiled in one volume with Blame! Academy, titled Blame Gakuen! and So On in 2008. Set an undefined but long time after the events of Blame!, it follows an incarnation of P-cell. After Killy's success in Blame!, humanity has begun to dominate The City once more and began wiping out most Silicon Life. After P-cell escapes the extinction as the sole survivor of her kind (which is beset by humanity & the Safeguard), she is saved from death by Killy. She eventually makes it to the edge of The City, where Killy gifts her a digi-amulet holding the gene-data of her dead companions. It is implied she travels to another planet and restarts Silicon Life civilization.

NSE: Net Sphere Engineer[edit]

NSE: Net Sphere Engineer (ネットスフィアエンジニア, Netto Sufia Enjinia) is a sequel to Blame!. It was originally published as a one-shot in the Bessatsu Morning magazine. This one-shot was compiled in one volume with Blame! Academy, titled Blame Gakuen! and So On in 2008. NSE: Net Sphere Engineer follows a "Dismantler", a Net Sphere Engineer in charge of disabling the remaining nexus towers that summon Safeguard interference upon its detection of humans without the net terminal genes. Like Blame!², NSE is set in a long but undefined time period after the events of Blame! However, it is implied it is even later than Blame!² as Safeguards are now very rare encounters.

Blame!: The Ancient Terminal City[edit]

A trailer revealing a special Blame! short, appearing at the beginning of 8th episode of Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine (the second season of the anime adaptation of Knights of Sidonia), was released in November 2014. The episode aired in May 2015. The short is contextualized as a TV program that the people of Sidonia tune in for.[18]


Plans for a full-length CG animated movie were announced in 2007.[19] However, this proposed CG film project was not released before Micott and Basara (the studio hired) filed for bankruptcy in 2011.[18]

It was announced in November 2015 that the series will get an anime theatrical film adaptation.[20] The film is directed by Hiroyuki Seshita and written by Tsutomu Nihei and Sadayuki Murai, with animation by Polygon Pictures and character designs by Yuki Moriyama. It was released globally as a Netflix original on the 20th of May 2017.[21]

It was announced in June 2017 that the Netflix original Blame! movie would be receiving a sequel and it was already 'in the works'. [22]

On October 5, 2017, Viz Media announced at their New York Comic Con panel that they licensed the home video rights to the film and plans to release it on Blu-ray Disc and DVD.[23]



Jarred Pine from commented "is not an easy task" to talk about the story in the first volume as "it leaves quite a gamut of questions open for the reader, nothing on the surface to give the reader a sense of direction or purpose."[24][25]

Pine said Blame! doesn't have a mass appeal and "there will be quite a strong line dividing those who love and hate Nihei’s unique and convoluted cyberpunk journey."[25]


  1. ^ a b "Vertical Licenses Blame!, Dissolving Classroom, Immortal Hounds Manga". Anime News Network. February 13, 2016. Retrieved February 13, 2016.
  2. ^ "Translation from the Blame! artbook". Archived from the original on 2008-03-09. Retrieved 2008-03-15.
  3. ^ Blame!, Chapter 58
  4. ^ "The Harvey Awards 2006 nominees and winners". Archived from the original on 2007-05-22. Retrieved 2008-03-15.
  5. ^ 新装版 BLAME!(1). Kodansha (in Japanese). Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  6. ^ "BLAME! 1". Penguin Random House. Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  7. ^ 新装版 BLAME!(2). Kodansha (in Japanese). Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  8. ^ "BLAME! 2". Penguin Random House. Retrieved April 16, 2016.
  9. ^ 新装版 BLAME!(3). Kodansha (in Japanese). Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  10. ^ "BLAME!, 3". Penguin Random House. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  11. ^ 新装版 BLAME!(4). Kodansha (in Japanese). Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  12. ^ "BLAME!, 4". Vertical Comics. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  13. ^ 新装版 BLAME!(5). Kodansha (in Japanese). Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  14. ^ "BLAME!, 4". Vertical Comics. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  15. ^ 新装版 BLAME!(6)<完>. Kodansha (in Japanese). Retrieved February 29, 2016.
  16. ^ "BLAME!, 4". Vertical Comics. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  17. ^ ブラム学園! アンドソーオン 弐瓶勉作品集 (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved November 28, 2012.
  18. ^ a b "Tsutomu Nihei's Blame! Anime Previewed With English Subtitles". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2014-11-24.
  19. ^ "BLAME!, Cyberpunk CG Animated film Announced". Archived from the original on 2010-07-12. Retrieved 2008-08-11.
  20. ^ "Tsutomu Nihei's Blame! Manga Gets Theatrical Anime Adaptation". Anime News Network. 2015-11-19. Retrieved 2016-07-24.
  21. ^ "Blame! Movie Adaptation Coming to Netflix Original in 2017". Nagame Digital. Archived from the original on 2016-10-09. Retrieved 2016-07-10.
  22. ^
  23. ^ "Viz Media to Release Blame! Anime Film on Home Video". Anime News Network. Retrieved October 5, 2017.
  24. ^ Beveridge, Chris (May 3, 2005). "Blame! (also w/T-shirt)". Mania. Archived from the original on March 9, 2014. Retrieved February 17, 2013.
  25. ^ a b Pine, Jarred (September 1, 2005). "Blame! Vol. #01". Mania. Archived from the original on March 15, 2013. Retrieved February 17, 2013.

External links[edit]