Monday | 15 APR 2024
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Date: 2023-12-29
Tags:  manga, scifi

Blame! is a science fiction manga written by Tsutomu Nihei. It's set in the distant future and is absolutely stunning. The artwork is great and it focuses on such large structures and huge swaths of time that it is overwhelming.

I read it quickly and missed how big things were and how long things were taking. The story is about a lone being that is searching for someone to control the chaotic city that everyone lives in. The manga doesn't have much text and lets the artwork do all the lifting.

Once I finished reading, I read the wiki and read some summaries and that is what pushed the manga into a place where I would definitely consider it one of the best sci fi stories. I've started to read it again and now that I have some grounding, the manga feels much easier to parse.

The core idea is that the world has been engulfed at some point with tech and people were bred and evolved with the net terminal gene. This gene gave them the ability to mix the digital world with the real world and soon people with this gene were the majority.

There were other people however and chief among them were the ones that called themselves the silicon life. They were cyborgs and were getting pushed out by the majority of the society. And so they attacked back with a virus that would remove and get rid of the net terminal gene.

This worked fantastically for them and wiped away the people that controlled the city. Unfortunately, the city continued to exist and everything in it continued to function but now without a human to control it, it was far more chaotic. The builders continued to build and build. The administration couldn't do anything as they didn't have any real authority without the net terminal gene. The safeguards were killing humans without the net terminal gene and the silicon life.

This continues for thousands upon thousands of years. Entire generations of people have evolved and died without ever being outside the city. The city is so large it spans the solar system. This is a society that grew and evolved for so long and that his been in a decay forever.

That is the backdrop in which the manga takes place. The pages of the main character walking is him walking across a city that spans a solar system. There is no vehicle save for a few elevators that he did use to cross massive distances but for the most part it was all just walking.

Something that was just a panel could have been decades of time and that is suffocating.

I'm sure a re-read is going to result in learning and seeing so much.

Some of my favourite pages are below.