BLAME! Movie - Reviews

WaveMasterJohn's avatar
Jun 8, 2017

No spoilers:

With the backing of a major multimedia company (Netflix) Blame! has been boosted forward into the spotlight. As many know, Blame! is an older manga series that was adapted into this movie. With that, unfortunately, we cannot see the true depth of the story and characters. All this movie needed was an hour and a half to bring in and capture your attention,
and it certainly did such.

 Like most of the Anime movies, you don't have much to go on when you first start. However, it doesn't take long to grasp the dystopian
world that the characters live in. Scratching only the surface of the manga, this anime still serves a great adaptation getting the essential parts of the plot and leaves the viewers wanting more.

The animation is heavily set in 3D which may put some people off, I thought some parts were fairly noticeable but the overall scenery surrounding made up for it. This could be related to the Knights of Sidonia style of animation. After a few minutes, you should get used to it and focus more on the story. Though some might view 3D rendering as a disadvantage, I think here, it serves this action/adventure style really well and I look forward to seeing many more uses in future films.

Overall, with the time allotted, Blame! is a great choice for both new and veteran followers to the series. An easy story to get into but enough action to keep you pulled into the story. Character time might be limited but there is only so much they can do in an hour and a half. 8/10

9/10 story
10/10 animation
8/10 sound
7/10 characters
8/10 overall
Epimondas's avatar
May 21, 2017

Blame bears some resemblance in look and style Blade Runner, I-Robot, and even the Matrix but it's story is similar in some ways to the Terminator series.  Some of the main characters that fight as allies with humans do not appear to be human themselves.  Kiri has robotic eyes with a HUD and he apparently feels no pain or discomfort from severe injuries which he can somehow heal from or repair himself afterwards.  It is unclear just how human he is or if he is some kind of superhuman,l cyborg, or even a full android himself.  Even though he declares himself human and is not affected by devices intended to weed out the hostile AI from approaching humans.  Cibo is much the same way but looks even more mechanical.  How she got that way or if she was ever human to begin with is unclear.  Since the movie leaves so many unanswered questions and has a somewhat murky ending that will make some viewers a bit angry with no sense of a full ending, this affects the rating score.  Like many anime series and movies, the viewer is thrown in to a world without a sense of full disclosure or to be more precise, as if you are put into the middle of a story so fast it makes your head spin and are not given a full setting to understand the story.  Often stories like this throw you into several chapters into the story as if you already read a fair amount of it before watching the movie. It works more negatively than other stories because you will probably feel a bit unsatisified by the end due to lack of information and answers submitted from the get go.

We know and learn little about how the humans of that society got there or how they survived.  The concept is more muddled by Cibo's quest to get a type of anti AI cloaking device which is implied the humans either already possess or are protected by.  This is further made confusing by the destruction of a power source and the wasted effort of Cibo to install another device.  Other missing revelations come from the fates of at least 3 major characters.  If compared to the mangas and original source material, many of the main characters in the movie are not even mentioned.  The ending is made a bit murky by the revelation of the narrator which, we as viewers are not even aware of existing until nearly the end.  It is further infuriatiing, that the narrator who somehow takes over the story fails to reveal the fates of several other major characters.  What happens to the major character Tae is quite perplexing.  Something is shown happening to her but the sequence offers few clues what exactly that is and nothing further is ever divulged.  So in essense, aside from a handful of major characters and sadly, mostly those that die before or by about half way through the movie are the only characters whose fates are disclosed to the viewers.  In all fairness, most of the main characters, we have little to no clues what happens to them by the end.  The movie looks good artistically and graphically sharing similar visual style to the Sydonia series that Netflix also produced.  It is a brilliant blend of CGI style art with a sense of realism and traditional style anime characters.  The landscapes look like more mainstream style work but the characters are a near perfect blend of CGI, realism and the cutesy type looks most anime characters possess.  Sounds are loud, clear, well timed and voice work more or less matches the characters.  The only complaints are maybe how a few of the major characters always sound frustrated at the world or perpetually pissed off.   It lowers their depth as characters showing a narrow range of behavior and emotion.

The story is quite refreshing except that it lacks resolution to the destinies of most the major characters and a detailed enough setting or at least a detailed enough grasp that is not even revealed enough later on.  What we do see of the characters are pretty likeable even if they are missing a few details like their fates, pasts, or personal motivations and information.  The characters are displayed for the most part as communal with out much of a sense of personal individuality.  It gives the feeling of being manufactured as a story and perhaps even rushed to some extent.  We almost need another story or OVA follow up to understand this movie adequately.

6.5/10 story
10/10 animation
8.5/10 sound
7.3/10 characters
7.8/10 overall
Halex's avatar
May 14, 2020

Blame! offers one of the best and most intriguing settings in sci-fi, the concept of a Megastructure, that is, a structure so large that "At one point even the Moon, which used to be up in the sky above, was integrated into The City's structure". It has been suggested by author Tsutomu Nihei himself in his artbook Blame! and So On that, the scale of The City is beyond that of a Dyson sphere (a hypothetical megastructure that completely encompasses a star and captures a large percentage of its power output.), reaching at least Jupiter's planetary orbit (for a radius of around 5.2 AU, or 778,547,200 km); this is also suggested in scenarios such as Blame! vol. 9, where Killy finds himself having to travel through a room roughly the size of Jupiter (roughly 143,000 km)." -Wikipedia

The structure started on Earth and was created by humans that at some point lose control of the city, who had kept expanding at an uncontrollable rate for an unspecified amount of time, creating a massive labyrinth and since then, treating humans as vermin to exterminate. The main protagonist is looking to regain control of the city, while humans doing their best to survive this hostile environment, not knowing if there are others out there.

For me, this is the first and only time I had ever heard of a concept such as this in any media. I've been wanting to see this story in anime form for quite a while. This movie's story is not an adaptation of the manga, but rather a new original story created by the author himself, and it serves really well as an introduction to this world. The upcoming movie is supposed to start adapting the manga story, but we'll have to wait for its release to confirm that.

This concept is not explained in the movie, but it helps to know it in order to appreciate what you are seeing.

The animation has incredible visuals, Polygon Pictures really has excellent 3d technology and they know how to leverage what 3d does best, like photorealistic backgrounds, camera movements in a 3d environment, interesting textures, shadows, and lights. Add to that a good choice of artistic composition to every frame and interesting color palettes. This movie's visuals are the best 3d has to offer!

The audio is of exceptional quality as well, from sound effects to interesting music that helps to set the mood for each scene without being overwhelming or distracting. The dub is excellent! And I highly recommend it so you can focus on the visuals (unless you speak Japanese of course).

The story has no comic relief, instead, every character is serious about doing their best to survive, bringing a sense of reality and we still see some character development, despite the short timeframe the story takes place.

Overall, I would recommend this to anyone who likes sci-fi, action, serious plots, mysteries, and hypothetical theories about the universe we live in.

10/10 story
10/10 animation
10/10 sound
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
Varagauzer's avatar
Aug 5, 2018

I hate this movie, but at the same time I can't deny its a good movie. Strange isn't it? But allow me to explain. This movie completely betrays its source material, it basically took everything that made the manga so good and simplifed it, heck they even shuffled around several events that happened in the manga to sort of create this new storyline that revolves around the electro-fishers and not killy, and he's the main character! But at the same time this movie does have some superb production and the story itself isn't that bad (unless if you compare it to the story in the manga, in that case this story is terrrible)

All right its time to start ranting.  Skip the next 5 paragraphs if you want to get to the actual movie review.

I hate what they did, they butchered the manga. Why on earth would you choose the electro-fishers to base the story on? They only appeared in around 7 chapters in the manga, all they did was follow killy around, they barely had any relevance in the story, yet this whole movie decides to focus on them. They aren't intresting not here and not even in the manga.

Why not set the movie in Toha heavy industry? That's where Killy and Cibo found the Net terminal gene, or why not the part with Dhomochevsky? That guy was cool as fuck and his arc was amazing! What about that epic conclusion and battle with Davine when he tried to break into the Netsphere? Not to mention there's no silicon life? None of the biomechanical monsters? Come on Netflix and Polygon, why did you choose the least most relevant characters to make your movie on? 

Why the hell is there romance!! That was never there in the manga, Blame! was never about romance, romance doesn't make the characters more complex. Why does Zuru like killy? She was barely present in the manga and she had no intrest in killy. Why does she look like one of those typical "cute" anime girls? She looked nothing like that. I was fine with Killy and Cibo's design even though they did change a lot of it, it was ok. 

I mentioned before how they shuffled around several events from the manga. Killy met Cibo before the electrofishers, Sanakan didn't attack until they reached Toha heavy industry. Why did they change Killy's backstory? These may sound irrevalent, but all of this changes everything in the source material. One of the biggest allure of Blame! was its surreal enviroment and the story was told through the drawings, here at the very beginning, they just explain it to you, why? Blame! was supposed to be this world where you never really knew what happened, everything was how you interprepted it to be, all of that is gone.

I know I'm bitching a lot and yes changes must be made when adapting a manga, but its just such a shame when you gut out what made the original so amazing and replace it with a bunch of familar and clichéd tropes, also I don't have a problem with CGI, in fact this movie handles it excellently, but that takes away the feeling from the manga were everything was kind of dirty and sketchy, I think it would've been better on with traditional animation. 

So onto the actual movie review now, that was just me ranting as a fanboy of the manga and just how much they changed. The story revolves around Killy as he searches for the Net terminal genes which is supposed to bring the city to a halt, as builders keep on expanding it. On his way he meets the electro fishers which is a small community living in  the city and one thing leads to another and the story takes off from there. 

The vast majority of this movie focuses on the electo fishers and not on the main character, in fact he doesn't even find what he's looking for at the end, which is fine as this kind of shows us just a small part of his journey but at the same time it means that this movie has no real conclusion and that may trip some people off.

But the strongest part of this movie is its production, Polygon has improved quite a lot, the style is similar to Knights of Sidonia (another manga by the same author), but its noticeably better, there's some excellent usage of lighting and some fantastically detailed models and the actions scenes are cool as fuck. The mustc as well is excellent.

I must reiterate, I still hate this movie, but on its own, its a pretty good movie. I'm just angry because they took everything that made the manga great and just replaced it with a shallow husk. But again, it's not a bad movie in fact its pretty good and yes its worth watching. But if you want the real experience, forget everything you saw here and go read the manga.

6/10 story
10/10 animation
8/10 sound
7/10 characters
8/10 overall
Archert's avatar
Jan 26, 2020

Nada mal para una joven Netflix en este mundo, me quedo con ganas de más. No es una serie por lo que esta claro que no voy a ver una gran profundidad en los personajes pero si me hubiera gustado que me contaran un poco mas de Killy y su parte humana. Espero su segunda parte donde podre dar una valoración mas objetiva.

7/10 story
7/10 animation
7/10 sound
7/10 characters
7/10 overall
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