BLAME! Vol. 1 by Tsutomu Nihei
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Manga! Black and white! Off to explore new things…
I did not like most of this comic a lot. Mostly, because it lacked a recognizable storyline for me. It seemed to be issue after issue of showing the main character Kyrii climbing up inside some kind of gigantic metallic structure, meeting various of its inhabitants on each new levels and being chased and fired at by equally unrecognizable bad guys. And I couldn‘t even figure out, who or what those bad guys are. Or the good guys. Plus Kyrii was very one-dimensional, with no personality at all. Nothing to relate or to root for.
Good art, sometimes very good art. And sometimes art that was so chaotic that I couldn‘t recognize at all, what I was looking at.
So a very mixed bag at a 2+ star level for most of this edition. This only changed for me in the last two issues. Story telling! Motivation! Human interaction! I liked those two issues a lot and they bumped up my rating to four stars. I might even continue with the next volume!
Here is my blow for blow commentary of each issue. Sorry, it all got away from me somehow, it‘s really long…..:
::LOG.1:: NET TERMINAL GENE
I am confused. I don‘t have experience with Manga, so I guess I will have to get used to the story telling. Luckily I knew that Mangas are read from right to left—at least something.
::LOG.2:: THE MEMORY OF LAND
Yep, still confused. The artwork is manga-ish, I guess. Every now and then a panel is of higher resolution and quite pretty. More often I have a hard figuring out what I am looking at.
This set-up reminds me of the Matrix a little. Hiding away from and being chased by creatures that are oddly organic, but with mechanical components. Mentioning of a Net. It‘s all very mysterious.
::LOG.4:: THE ADMINISTRATION
Our hero (?) Kyrii is wandering through a massive structure, maybe underground? Moving up through „stratas“, meeting other humans, mostly humans, various aggressive creatures of some sort. There has been „a mutation“ and he is searching for genetic material from before that mutation. Not sure, who the good guys are.
::LOG.6:: SILICON LIFE
::LOG.7:: THE BUILDERS
Finally, a little story telling to give context to what the art is showing…
::EX-LOG:: ABANDONED NEST
Coloured artwork, that‘s a nice change!
::LOG.8:: THE CLUSTER ★★★★★
Now this I liked A LOT! Finally an issue with a proper plot! Build-up, action, an actual storyline I could relate to…
::LOG.9:: BIO-ELECTRIC, INC. ★★★★★
Also good. Introduction of an interesting new character, who feels as if it might stock around.
So, the first seven issues were not my thing. But this one and the previous one tell a story and actually made me want to continue.
Various other stuff:
Watch this Netflix trailer after reading the comic. It is very cool, but contains spoilers: https://youtu.be/hwy806RC2-Q
Interview: Knights of Sidonia Mangaka Tsutomu Nihei
Found via the above interview:
An interesting Manga website with free weekly chapters of various Manga series, with links to comiXology, no less! Very cool!
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