BLAME!

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kmull's avatar By kmull on Dec 10, 2009

Story: 1.5

Honestly, I felt a bit like Towelie as I watched Blame! (man I have no idea what’s goin’ on.) Seriously though, at first I got worried that the lack of story had something to do with me – maybe I just missed something; I mean, it was kind of late when I watched this series. The truth is, Blame! seems to choose some buzzwords (e.g. megastructure,) and string them together, so that we can all pretend that a plot exists.  Unlike other cyberpunk anime which sometimes leave gaps early on and fill them in periodically throughout the series, Blame! leaves its gaps wide open even in the end.  Blame! takes place in space, or that’s what it seems to me, and follows Cibo and Killy on their mission to save the Netspere (see, I wasn’t lying about these buzzwords.)

Despite the lack of story, which is generally the most important aspect for me, I obviously stuck this one out, and for two main reasons. First, Blame! is a whopping 37 minutes long, so once I started it, I figured it wouldn’t kill me to finish it.  Second and more importantly, Blame! struck me as (for lack of a better term) avant-garde, and the music and animation alone made the series bearable.

Why the possibly generous 1.5? Blame! is based on its manga, and my guess is that anyone who reads the corresponding manga will have a much better perception of the plot, and they may actually have a better chance at piecing things together than those of us who do not read manga. Also, if explosions count as plot, I guess you could up the rating to a 2.

Animation: 9

While the animation itself is not overly sophisticated, it (along with the sound) prevents Blame! from being a complete disaster.  If a crazy kid splattering paint could make an anime, I’m pretty sure this is how it would turn out, but I don’t mean that in a bad way.  Blame! is an explosion of color, vibrant and varying hues, and each episode tends to have one or two main colors throughout.  The colors seem to assist in making up for lack of plot – I don’t really know what’s going on, but I seem to understand what purple feels like, and red for that matter.  Mix in some grayscale scenes, and Blame! somehow draws on all sorts of moods, despite not being able to say it in words. There is nothing like a bright green explosion suddenly emerging from the contrasting purple walls, and Blame! exploits the concept of contrasting color over and over, and it never gets old.

Sound: 9

Despite missing the mark with the plot, the background music in Blame! provides as much contrast and beauty as its animation.  Rather than sticking with a single instrumentation or musical style, Blame! wanders all over the place, using different instruments and styles in each episode.  Whoever thought to use a trumpet played in a struggling manner is nothing short of a genius; don’t worry, though, not all the music is as painful as that heard in the first episode. The soundtrack of Blame! is as important for setting the mood as the varying color schemes, and the two together basically encompass every meaningful aspect of the series.

Characters: 1

Non-existent plot does not necessarily imply non-existent character development, but Blame! gives the gift of both (thank you for your generosity.) Cibo is, uh, this girl, and Killy is, um, this guy; they roam around and then a creepy-looking white guy known as a (buzzword alert) Silicon Creature attacks them. The dialogue is scarce; it does not really add or detract from the series, but as with the plot, do not expect much from characters in Blame!.

Overall: 5

If you are looking for plot, don’t bother with Blame!, but if you want to experience something different, something that evokes emotion and confusion rather than understanding, look no further.  Music fans (and I don’t mean the kind of music you hear on mainstream radio) should definitely check this series out, if for nothing more than its soundtrack.  Given its short duration, perhaps the lack of plot and the choice to focus on visuals and sound work well for this series. As I mentioned earlier, Blame! is best characterized as avant-garde, and viewed as such, it should be easier to appreciate.

1.5/10 story
9/10 animation
9/10 sound
1/10 characters
5/10 overall
Merryberry's avatar By Merryberry on Oct 4, 2009

Intro...

I normally like to introduce the anime just a bit and give some background on why my review is the way it is.  Unfortunately, that can't happen for this one.

Story: -1

I know what some people will say, that you can't have -1/10 (it wouldn't let me do this, hence the 0.1/10) .  However, for this show, you seriously can.  In terms of story, these 6 episodes offer in terms of time about 14 minutes in total.  The entire first episode has no dialogue and from there what "story" is shown is disjointed and simply not even worth the time that was spent making the thing.  Honestly, there are better shows out there in terms of story...in fact I'd put my foot in it and say that EVERY anime out there has a better story than this one.

Animation: 1

The futuristic landscapes are intersting, but that still doesn't get over the fact that on all 6 episodes, have of them is spent on the credits.  It does make you wonder if the series is about the credits rather than the actual storyline/animation.  However, the only reason why BLAME! gets 1/10 for this, is simply because it has animation.

Sound: 0.1

Speech is muffled and hard to understand throughout and the music is just hideous.  The only redeeming feature is some okay background sounds.  Not much else to say really.

 

Characters: 0.1

It has characters...who they are, what they are, their backgrounds, their daily lives, what they're doing there, how they got here....all that is unanswered throughout and this means that despite having some characters, you can't say anything about them as this series tells you nothing.

Overall: 0.1

I think I'm being generous in my offering here of 0/10 (once again it didn't allow me to do this, hence why it is shown as 0.1/10), since I just want the half an hour or so I spent watching this back.  A sheer waste of time with nothing going for it.  Trust me in this and don't even think of watching it.

0.1/10 story
1/10 animation
0.1/10 sound
0.1/10 characters
0.1/10 overall
Don9aldo's avatar By Don9aldo on Feb 12, 2012

I understand why people would give this a low score due to its complete incomprehensibiliy if you're not reading the manga alongside it - and as we already have a review stating this, I'm going to be taking the opposite viewpoint.

This collage of scenes from from the manga should be taken as just that, a mix of different points in the overarching story that, in this context, make no real sense. But when the manga is being read alongside them they become something different.

Like cutscenes in a videogame, they succeed in complementing the manga by adding action and colour to previously inert images - and in doing so also succeed in clarifying what a few of the unclear panels in the manga were trying to say. These "Logs" have another purpose too, in emphasising the tone of the story: dark, grim, dystopian, and all-together terrifying in its own right; through the use of suitable music and disconcerting, but varied and interesting, colour schemes.

So my final recommendation is this; if you're reading the manga, watch this after getting to around volume four or so - otherwise, skip it. You won't be able to get anything out of this unless you've had prior experience with the material. 

1/10 story
7/10 animation
8/10 sound
2/10 characters
7/10 overall
NicoNicoDesu's avatar By NicoNicoDesu on Jul 25, 2012

It's not often one comes across an anime with a total run time of half an hour. "BLAME!" fits this description quite nicely. At six episodes, each running for five minutes, it should be interesting and pretty weird, right?

Well, that was right on the money.

Story: Can I explain the story of "BLAME!"? Not really; there is no story. According to Anime-Planet's plot summary, Kirii (you spell that however you want) is a human who is surrounded by androids and clones. He is supposed to collect "net-genes" and try to find remaining humans. Whoever wrote this summary must be A.) the director of the anime, B.) the mangaka of the original manga, C.) Kirii himself, or D.) L Lawliet. Seriously. I have no clue what the plot of this thing is; one tag is "Abstract," but I think "Mindf*ck" might be more appropriate. So I can't really rate the story very high... but since it sounds interesting enough from the summary, I'll give it an average score (yes, three is low, but what did you expect me to give it?!).

Animation: Very monochrome color palate, but the artwork is fitting and, honestly? practically gorgeous. It looks like sci-fi artwork at it's finest, and the animation is fluid, if it's there at all (it often isn't). Character designs are fine for both characters. Not much else to say, though.

Sound: The characters' voice actors do fitting work, but neither character talks much. No English voice acting. (I want to say, "DUH!," but that might be rude.) The ending song... or opening song... or song which is played in most of the episodes... sounds effing awesome, so props to the series for that! Insert music fits.

Characters: Oh dear... this isn't going to go very well...

Characters: Boy in top picture: Kirii; girl in bottom picture: Shibo.

It was difficult to find a picture (I ended up just using two different pictures T.T)--most of them were motivational posters, stupid cartoony things, or Jamie Foxx.

Kirii: I can't really explain him as a character because he's, for the most part, silent and emotionless. He's not unlikable or anything, just... well, maybe if the series was longer he would develop/or get a backstory.

Shibo: She shows up later in the series, which is saying a lot, and she is emotionless, too. Read Kirii's overview to understand my views on her.

Overall: It is a difficult story to rate. The manga runs for ten volumes, apparently, so maybe that is more extensive than the anime. (Edit: I have now read the manga, and I can safely say that while it did have more characters, better art and a more developed plot... it was still quite confusing, and that plot wasn't much.) Did I enjoy "BLAME!?" I think so. Even if it is ridiculously underdeveloped, it has great art and music, so sure. Would I recommend it? If you want weird sci-fi, by all means, watch this show. If you really just want a short anime, I'd direct you to the ten minute "Comedy," instead.

3/10 story
7/10 animation
7.5/10 sound
4/10 characters
4.5/10 overall
lokieternal's avatar By lokieternal on Oct 21, 2013

Story

omz a GIANT FISH... and an EYE ! I'm sure they are oozing deep symbolism, reasonably sure at any rate. It starts off, just pulling you allong for the ride. As I staed for the review in the prologue, I will say again here, this was made for fans of the Manga. If you don't know anything about the manga, you should probably look it up. I started reading the manga a long time ago and never finished - I dont remember why. I was probably just really confused.

In ep 4, you get a short explination as to what is going on. For the most part these 'files' are like little windows to the manga. I remember reading it and thinking it was really interesting and I was very excited when I started watching this, but I already knew the 'story' and was familiar with the 'world' so to speak. Even though I dont think I read past vol 1 I raelly enjoyed watching this bring it to life.

The story is actually ... creepy.... off putting, and here is a snippet of infor, this 'city' aka the structure that thay are in, is so vast that there is a room the size of jupiter hanging out in it. Among other places. The moon is also an 'integral' part of the 'city' so there is your general idea as to the vastness of this place.

Animation

exeptional

sound

it fits perfectly for what is going on, even if the high pitched buzzing was less than a pleasant experiance for me

Characters

synthetics, clones and that guy Killi - the human

the synthetics are mostly out to destroy killi, so to me they seem hostile and angry. you do learn why they are doing this, so that is a bit of a releafe. These machine things dont really seem to have much more emotion than intense anger/violence.

there are a couple of synthetics here and there who do seem relitively benevolant and even try to help.

Cibo - a clone. soft spoken and she knows when to take action. she doesnt seem to have much of an emotional range past "I am serious."

Killi - a human, with an amazing gun/gravity thing that blows stuff up. he also seems to react very calmly about all these things trying so hard to kill him. I kind of like that. I suppose if 'people/things' are trying to kill you often enough you just get used to it.

I gave the characters such a low rating because... we dont really get to see much of them... we watch this and still have not much of an idea in regards to them.

overall

I enjoyed the experiance, but I still would suggest you read the manga or look it up before watching.

8/10 story
10/10 animation
8/10 sound
3/10 characters
10/10 overall