Saturday, 5 May 2018
ADVANCE ANIME MOVIE REVIEW: BLAME!
Released By: Manga Entertainment
Running Time: 106 Mins
Audio: English 2.0 Stereo, Japanese 5.1 Stereo, English Subs.
Release Date: 28/05/2018
Reviewed By: Sandra Scholes
In a futuristic setting, humanity is nearly at its end, a few hundred humans scramble to stay alive after an infection from the past had automated systems get out of control and start to hunt down the remaining humans as a system they know is Safeguard.
Based on the manga by Tsutomi Nihei, Director Hiroyuki Seshita gives us his version of what he saw in the manga and also what Executive Producer, Mr. Moriya found he liked about previous anime series, Knights of Sidonia: War of the Ninth Planet. Mr. Moriya wanted to give the viewers a more simplified version of Blame! as Knights of Sidonia had a complex plot some might not fully understand. Mr. Moriya started out by suggesting they put Blame! into Episode 8 of the series, seeing what audiences would make of it as a minute and a half of footage - the result was that it got rave reviews from an audience that welcomed it. This sparked the thought that it would be a good idea to make it as a movie. Mr. Nihei then did something many manga-ka rarely do, he wanted to be a part of the team and work with them on the project to bring the vision of Blame! out of thought and into reality.
Blame! (Buramu) is a movie written for science fiction fans in mind who want to enjoy a story without it being as complex as the manga or the anime versions. The producer and creative team thought it was too hardcore and needed to be accessible to all, instead simplifying it so it would reach a wider audience. Originally aired on Netflix, Blame! sets off with the action where a group of children are running from the Safeguard. A lone gunman, Killy saves them and takes them safely back to their hideaway in the City. He is hunting for the Net Terminal Gene that might help stop the Safeguard from killing humans, but so far he hasn't come across a single human who has it. In short, if a human possesses it, they can wonder around the City without the Safeguard seeing them as humans.
When he gets to their hideout, Killy meets their leader, one of a group of Electro-Fishers suspects him as the other group do, but as he has saved the children from harm and brought them food, they start to trust him as it seems he might make a difference to their struggle. And before we wonder why the children were out there in the first place, it is explained that every so often, some of the group are sent out to forage for food. These children could not find any that weren't dried up, and could have died, though for them it was lucky Killy had arrived. His gun is a powerful one called a Gravitational Beam Emitter that packs a punch.
What separates Killy from the others in the group is they haven't brought anyone from outside the village in years. They live inside the perimeter, keeping out of sight of the Watchers who kill them on sight. Zuru, Fusata and the other children needed to get food, but Killy hands over a bar that doesn't look much, but it comes with instructions to dip it into water. In true anime style, the bar grows to more than its size, being edible and able to feed all 100+ of the villagers.
Killy is a quiet type, strong, like Dirty Harry, but not unusual for shonen anime series or movies, he has a bishonen look to him that is sure to make the girls watching it squee for him. His visage reminds me of many handsome male characters from the Final Fantasy movies, so he doesn't look out of place here.
The villagers constantly speculate who he is and why he is there, though he understands that humanity can survive the Safeguard by tricking them into thinking they are anything but human. Blame! is cyberpunk at its best with a strong and silent lead character with other characters who you won't get the chance to get to know as they don't live that long. The animation is dark, the characters live in fear of death every day and know that one day they may all die early, but Killy is the one through all the pain and insecurity who could find the answer if he comes across a human with the gene.
What is important with this movie is that there is no happy ending, there is only hope that lies with Killy and his endless search. It's the people who have risked so much by trusting him. Bearing in mind, they didn't have to and the fact he has cyborg eyes. In a dystopian world like Blame! there has to be hope, and this is one dark movie I enjoyed with the light off.
Bonus Material: The Making of.
Summary: To think this movie started out life as a minute and a half of footage is amazing!