Starring: Sora Amamiya, Kana Hanazawa, Takahiro Sakurai
Directed by: Hiroyuki Seshita
Written by: Sadayuki Murai
Rating: NR Running Time: 1 hr 46 min.
This is probably one of the worst, best looking films I’ve seen in years. It’s simply stunning, yet completely vapid. Having not explored the ten-volume 1998 Japanese science fiction Manga by Tsutomu Nihei, or the animated series, I was completely lost. Lost amidst dazzling visuals, wondering why I should care about anything happening in this story.
“The story” as such, centers on a lone traveler, Killy (voiced by Takahiro Sakurai) as he searches for humans with the Net Terminal gene, whatever that is. He comes across a group of Electro-Fishers, whatever they are, and they work together with an “engineer”, whatever that means. Nothing in this film is clearly set up and explained. Even the title of this film, Blame! didn’t make a lot of sense to me.
Based on what I saw, I would not recommend this film to anyone new to the Blame! world. It sets up your clichéd “loner” type, without any backstory, or reason to care about anything he does. Virtually no attempt is made to explain how the world turned into a dystopian cityscape nightmare, or why humans without the Net Terminal gene are such a threat to this new world order.
The entire production, while beautifully designed, languishes in vagueness. Vague motivations, vague characters, vague world. Blame! is nothing more than your bog standard western wrapped in gorgeous Manga armor, suffering delusions of grandeur as it haphazardly shoehorns in some metaphysical nonsense about a “Netsphere.” Something that Net Terminal gene equipped humans can access and control The City with. Not that we ever meet one, or see what that can do.
This is NOT for the Blame! uninitiated. If you’re a fan of the Manga series, I suspect you’ll find this entertaining.
This is a beautifully designed film. I was impressed by the Electro-Fisher suit design, and the Safeguard robots.