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Blame!: Volume 1 [Paperback]

Tsutomu Nihei
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

31 Aug 2005 Blame! (Book 1)
In a future world rife with decay and destruction, Killy is a man of few words who packs one very powerful gun. He wanders an endless labyrinth of cyberdungeons filled with concrete and steel, fighting off cyborgs and other bizarre silicate creatures. Everyone is searching for the Net Terminal Genes, but no one is quite certain what kind of power they contain. The answer may lie hidden among the scattered human settlements of this vast and desolate future world.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: TokyoPop (31 Aug 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1595328343
  • ISBN-13: 978-1595328342
  • Product Dimensions: 18.4 x 12.6 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,035,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lucas 27 Jun 2006
Tsutomu Nihei has really out done himself now because this is one manga no fan should over look. It may have a hard story to follow at first because of the lack of dialogue but once you've got past the first volume, the story is much easier to understand.

The Basic story line to this manga is a man named killy going through millions of levels of a cybernetic world in order to try and find someone with a special gene. Of course there are a few things standing in his way being silicon creatures (very nasty cyborg things) and safeguard (people who wanna kill most of the human race).

The artwork is amazing and the story line will drag you in because its such an over used plot but is still made to look original.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Blame! 16 Oct 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
absolutley inspired series.
first book is a little slow, but the following volumes are incredible.
truely awe-inspiring quality of artwork.

this book stands seperatly from the formulaic worlds of most manga, worthy of a lot of praise.
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
When recommending the series to people I usually suggest skipping the first volume and going straight to the second, as this one gives a poor first impression of what turns into an extremely interesting and original manga.
It seems as though a lot of the events in the early chapters were made up by Nihei as he went along, and on the whole most of what transpires in this volume doesn't have much bearing at all on the rest of the story. The proper introduction to this world, the main characters and the specifics of Killy's mission really comes in volume 2 and at the beginning of volume 3. Moreover, both Nihei's storytelling skills and the quality of his artwork improve immensely as the series progresses, and so it’d be a real shame if people let this put them off reading the rest.
That said, this volume shouldn't by any means be missed out entirely, should the second and third ones manage to hook your interest. Despite a very vague story, the artwork is still something special, and it's nevertheless a very interesting (if confusing) read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing 6 Jun 2006
By James J. Pyke - Published on
It's a bit pointless to review just one volume of a serialized manga, particularly one like this that really develops its continuity over its entire length. This can be a problem with manga books because if you like a series, you'll end up spending something like $100 or more to get the whole story.

In Japan, I've heard, they have Manga Cafes in which one can sit and read tankouban (as these collected volumes of previously serialized material are called). But a story like BLAME! deserves to be owned because of 1) the complexity of the storyline, and 2) the striking dark beauty of the artwork.

One of the things I enjoy most about Blame! is the way Nihei (trained as an architect) manages to create sublime images of calamitous, anarchic architectural spaces that are by turns claustrophobic and cavernous. And the substantial emotional impact of these spaces (the entire story, thus far, takes place within an oppressively infinite INTERIOR space) comes across magnificently even on these relatively small pages.

The story and characters are engaging as well, and in a way that binds them tightly to the space that surrounds them. Nihei succeeds in visualizing and "narrativizing" philosophical concepts about the interplay of (in)organic technologies and human(?) biology that rivals or even exceeds (or maybe it's just in a totally different dimension from) Shirow Masamune's (Ghost in the Shell) most interesting work - only without the "sexy" cyborg crotch shots on every page. And Nihei also achieves this without relying on tons of words on the page. His art speaks volumes - the linework is paradoxically crisp and filthy at the same time, and his sense of pacing is unparalleled - a breathtaking balance of panel-dense and show-stopping splash pages.

Lucky for us, there's alot more of Nihei's work currently available in Japan - just waiting to be translated for us English speakers (including a sequel to Blame! called Net Sphere Engineer).
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars cream of the cyberpunk crop 28 Feb 2006
By Thomas Raven - Published on
When manga was first getting imported to the US market, you could pretty much trust that everything that hit the stands was decent, since the first books to get translated were the cream of the crop. Then, we started to see the real diversity of titles available in Japan, and, unfortunately, with diversity also comes a certain level of mediocrity.

Fortunately, there are still treasures out there for those willing to look for them, and BLAME! is one of those treasures. With unique artwork, a sinister and cryptic tale unfolds slowly before you and captures your attention in a way few manga can these days.

The first volume just misses the five star mark simply for the slow ramp-up, but it's worth it. I equate this first volume with the very first of Stephen King's Dark Tower books - it's a necessary intro, albeit a little clunky.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent series with a slow start 10 Aug 2005
By R. Gage - Published on
I've been interested in BLAME! ever since I found an art book on an import website. After readint through the volumes in Japanese, I must say I wasn't let down. This series is easily one of my favorites. Unfortunately, It also takes a while to get going.

The ten volume series tells the story of Killy as he wanders through the what was once the earth, and now is a gigantic city known as the megastructure which grows out of control. Despite it being a city, few humans are to be seen due to an infestation of beings known as Silicon Creatures (essentially cyborgs). Killy seeks the net terminal genes, or an individual who has them, in order to restore ballance to the city. He thus faces the perils of the megastructure armed with a superhuman constitution and a small pistol that punches holes two feet in diameter through whatever it hits.

What really sets BLAME! aside from many other manga is the unusual art style. Though it still contains the general feel of most Japanese comics the characters never seem to focus their eyes, which can be hard to get used to but adds to the lonely, hopeless atmosphere of the story. The also has a rather messy style, which may appeal to some but not to others. The factor that elevates the artwork though are the environments. From great bridges to monolithic towers the backdrops are truly masterpieces in their own right. The detail and depth is simply unmatched.

Unfortunately, the series suffers from a slow start, and thus the first volume is not up to par with the rest of the story. The artwork is still in its early stages, and visually improves as the series progresses. There are no monumental plot shifts in the story either. It's really more of an introduction. The story and artwork also appeals to only a limited audience, due to a story that requires a lot of thinking to fully understand (though perhaps not in this volume). Still, if you're looking for something unique with an art style that stands out and a story to match, BLAME! offers something that breaks away from the conventional.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Art + Action = : D 18 Oct 2005
By kuja.girl - Published on
Tsutomu Nihei's "Blame!" is a masterpiece. I've previewed the entire series before it was licensed in the United States and was amazed by 3 things:

1) the art - it's breath taking

2) the story - so many twist and turns! And,

3) the originality,

Blame! is a journey story at it's core. It's the story of Killy's quest to find a carrier of "net genes," but it carries a much greater depth than that. I'd tell you, but it would spoil the ride.

In this first book we are introduced to Killy, the main character who carries a very unique and powerful gun; the Cyborg race; Cibo, a female scientist turned adventure; the Guardians, an enigmatic force; and the terrible Safeguards among many others.

Blame! is 10 volumes long, each ~ 300 pgs. Tokyo pop is slowly releasing a new volumes every 3 months starting in August of 2005.

If you enjoy more than of the following, you will surely also like "Blame!:"

1) cyber punk novels (Neal Stephenson, etc)

2) good art

3) strange, but beatiful, stories

4) comics

For more information, read R. Gage's review.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars singular 23 Feb 2010
By Lars Kingbeard - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bilame is at once horrifying, disturbing, transcendant, and sublime. The monolithic subterranean cityscape that serves as a backdrop for the story inspires a pervading sense of oppressive grandeur and silent malignancy. Likewise, the bizarrely jabbering and deformed monstosities that haunt the depths of its concrete labyrinths are truly the stuff of nightmares. The sheer scale of the city dwarfs the few humans to no more than crumbs or specks.
Nihei's rough and expressionistic style bleeds raw emotion onto the page with savage scratchings and spatterings of ink, bringing to mind Piranesi and the etchings of Rembrandt. The storytelling is exceptional - novel camera angles heighten the drama and quick, sharp action sequences punctuate extended intervals of isolation. All in all Blame is a thoroughly entertaining and horrific read.
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