Blame! Master Edition, review: the ideal edition to get to know a cult

Blame! Master Edition, review: the ideal edition to get to know a cult

Blame! Master Edition, review

A lonely man wanders through a techno-organic nightmare, in a desperate search for the salvation of the human race. In these few words, the essence of Blame is contained! , manga with strong cyberpunk inspirations born from the genius of Tsutomu Nihei, which has become a cult and which today, twenty-five years after its release, preserves its disarming narrative force. Recovering Nihei's work is now possible thanks to Blame! Master Edition, a collection in six volumes, also available in a captivating box set, which Panini Comics, under the Planet Manga label, wanted to dedicate to this manga classic.

The idea of ​​recovering a classic like Blame ! it should not be underestimated. Like a good novel, even a comic preserves its own narrative vision, its heart, over the years, but runs the risk of being forgotten by subsequent generations, thanks to a variety of contents and proposals that often overly saturates the market, relegating the great classics to oblivion. Considering the proposals of the Planet Manga catalog in recent months, we must acknowledge Panini's foresight of wanting to offer a new generation of readers the symbols of the author manga, considering that over the last year we have seen Akira and 20th return to the comic shop Century Boys. And now, the work of Tsutomu Nihei also adds to these welcome returns.

Blame! Master Edition, prestige edition for Tsutomi Niehi's cult

The arrival of Blame! , in a way, he helped write the grammar of cyberpunk by pushing the cornerstones of the genre in a different direction, especially in comic fiction. Ironically, Nihei didn't have that purpose when she started his manga, which came as a makeshift in his working life after the failure of his stint in America as an aspiring architect. However, it is precisely this on working background that is the point of greatest impact on the first pages of Blame! , where the silence of this vertical desert of concrete and metal is offset by a visual spectacle of great impact. The initial experience with Blame! it is alienating: no preamble, no temporal or geographical framework. Only a solitary figure, Killy, who wanders silently in this surreal world with disturbing and vertical architectures, rendered with distressing perspectives that lead us to fear the arrival of some violent creature at any moment. In these early stages, Niehi's work seems to refer more to a psychological horror mechanic, in which the immobility of the surrounding world and the deafening silence are signs of imminent danger, in which a certain affinity for management is also recognized. of these atmospheres typical of Lovecraft's production. A challenge to the reader, if we want, who must allow the author to be able to baste his particular narration, trusting an almost total absence of references and plot.

A similar visual richness is reflected in the early stages of the manga of Niehi's experimentation with the medium. Blame! it was his first work, initially born as a one shot and only later serialized, as you can guess from the first chapter, which seems to be inspired by an autonomous narrative concept that recalls Dick's narrative, for its management of a potential open ending but at the same time solver. The transition to seriality, on the other hand, allowed Niehi to develop an essential plot, devoid of fancy flights and frills, but entrusted to a straight track from which Killy never deviates: to find a genetic specimen capable of connecting to the machines.

It must be recognized that from this point of view, Niehi seems to have made her own some of the narrative tropes typical of the sci-fi of the period, even in addition to cyberpunk. In his attempt not to give temporal or geographical coordinates (Maybe on Earth, Maybe in the Future says the subtitle of the work), the mangaka finds a way to rely on suggestions that emphasize the role of the machine not only as an enemy but also as a potential element. saving, which brings Blame! to the narrative suggestions of the second Terminator. They are authorial familiarities, which are however declined within a narrative body that exploits the environment and the relationship of the protagonist with it almost like a Dante's ascent towards a distant salvation, dotted with clashes and morally complex choices, to which the protagonist submits.

A cult of manga literature

Blame! even today, twenty-five years after its debut, it maintains that anguishing sense of wonder that glues the reader to the pages. Its simple but empathically perceptible plot is very current, if we let ourselves be captivated by its narrative subtexts, and the spectacularity of its tables is a testament to Niehi's artistic vision, capable of teaching and inspiring even modern artists such as the French Bablet. Niehi has been able to create a claustrophobic but compelling narrative universe, in which the stillness of an almost dying world and the few dialogues are a siphoned voice that breaks a suffocating silence, graphically scratched by powerful onomatopoeias. On the other hand, he must not deceive the easy juxtaposition of the title with the English term of the same name that indicates guilt (a theme vaguely present in the work) but by the same admission of the mangaka it is an onomatopoeia that recalls the sound of a shot. For the sake of completeness, it should be noted that Niehi later made a narrative prequel, Noise, but reading the latter risks depriving Blame! of its aura of mystery about the past of this incredible world.

There could be no better way to appreciate the work of Niehi della Blame! Recently released Master Edition for Planet Manga types. The complete cycle is collected in six paperback volumes of generous dimensions (18 × 26), embellished with a silver dust jacket, which it is advisable to remove while reading, enhanced by a graphic study that emphasizes the epic aspect of the story and offers a pleasant double-sided effect of the cover illustration. The paper used is a plain paper of good weight, on which Niehi's tables are fully respected especially in its vertical leaps, with the weight of the individual volumes, which consist of between 350 and 360 pages, which allows for easy reading.

While being able to buy each volume individually, the unique solution offered by the Blame box should be evaluated! Master Edition, which allows for the same price to have a solid rigid cardboard container in which to store your Blame! Collection. If we consider the caliber of Niehi's work and the fact that this curated edition of Planet Manga offers us more than two thousand pages of comics at a price just over 100 euros, the Blame! Master Edition represents an ideal opportunity to get to know and appreciate a great cult of modern manga.

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