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Anime / Blame!

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"The Netsphere is still expanding"
Blame! is a 2017 animated adaptation of the titular manga, which is set in the endless, labyrinthine City where humans are scattered after Contagion caused the city's Safeguard system to turn against them. One such tribe, known as Electrofishers, thrived on an artificial food source until it dried up to the point where many of their tribe members go on futile attempts to find a new source, which further dwindles their already low numbers. When a couple of young inexperienced Electrofishers decide to try and find a new food source, they meet Killy and things begin to change a lot for them.

Not related to a live-action 2017 film.

This animated film utilizes the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Any of the female Electro-Fishers that joined the expedition(s) is a good shot with the spear gun and will have downed a large number of Safeguard, with the best of them being Zuru.
  • Adaptation Distillation: Many examples, but given the manga's cryptic and nonlinear plot, it was somewhat inevitable. Including:
    • Killy's first appearance is marked by his rescue of three young Electrofishers from a group of Safeguards; in the manga, it is the opposite, as a severely weakened Killy and a defenseless Cibo are saved by a group of Fishers.
    • Cibo and Killy's first meeting has also been heavily changed: in the movie, he and some fishers investigate the mysterious and supposedly haunted "Rotting Shrine" (located under the fishers' village), only to find Cibo, reduced to a half-destroyed robotic torso buried in the rubble by a sudden attack from the crazed Safeguard. In the manga, Killy and Cibo meet much earlier, during Killy's stay in the settlement of Kaito; here, Cibo actively calls out for Killy, having been left nailed to a wall in a rotting body by her employers (CyberLife.Inc) after her attempts to enter the NetSphere. They meet with the Electrofishers only much later.
    • Blame!'s main antagonists, the Silicon Life creatures, are neither shown nor mentioned.
    • Killy and Cibo refer to the start of the City's actual predicament as the "Contagion". In the manga, the event (detailed in the spin-off "NoISe") is given no precise name.
    • In the movie, Killy carries a knife; in the manga, he lost that knife in the very first chapter (he stuck it in the head of a silicon creature who had stolen his Graviton Beam Emitter, then took the GBE back and blew her head off.) He spends the rest of the story focusing on brutal hand-to-hand combat when in close quarters.
    • The Electrofishers are given much more space and focus in the movie, acting as deuteragonists, whereas in the manga, while still having an important role, are more anonymous and are present only for a handful of chapters.
      • Zuru has a much larger role in the anime while in the manga only appears occasionally for brief periods during two volumes. In the anime she also is seen in Electrofisher armor from the start unlike in the manga where she only puts it on after Sutesu is killed by Sana-kan. Sutesu survives the events of the anime.
    • The Toha Heavy Industries complex, located under the Electrofishers' village and playing a vital plot role in the manga (being the Electrofishers' new home and also introducing charachters like Seu, Mensab, Ivy, and Maeve) is completely absent in the anime, substitued by the "Rotting Shrine", ancient ruins of a laboratory where Cibo is found.
    • Similarly, the battle between the Sana-kan-led Safeguard and the Electrofishers, allied with Killy and Cibo, is handled differently. In the manga, after Killy has defeated Sana-kan, the Electrofishers are attacked while journeying to their next home, the Toha Complex, and, together with Killy, face a swarm of Exterminators and a massive Safeguard led once again by Sana-kan. While Killy and the Electrofishers fight againist the robotic horde, Cibo connects to the NetSphere in order to somehow stop the Safeguards. Her efforts are successful, but she is soon killed by the digital guardians of the NetSphere. Meanwhile, Killy, as Sana-kan has been defeated by the Fishers' combined effort, draws power from the nearby dead exterminators to power up his GBE and fires a massive shot at the giant Safeguard, obliterating it. In the movie, there is only one fight: Sana-kan, after revealing herself, starts executing the Fishermen, calling on a swarm of Exterminators from the nearby Construction Tower. As the Fishers fight off the robots, Killy fights Sana-kan, but after a brutal combat she cuts off his right arm (the one wielding his GBE) and prepares to finish him off with her own GBE. However, with Zuru's help, Killy regains hold of his gun, firing a blast that destroys Sana-kan. Meanwhile, Cibo, who had previously logged into the Synthetic terminal (and having her body destroyed by Sana-kan), finds a "safe haven" for the Electrofishers with the help of an Authority agent. As she (now reduced to a spider-legged, talking arm) leads away the Electrofishers, Killy stays behind (the group having been spotted by a Tower), and the last the Fishers ever see of him is him firing his gun at the giant-sized Safeguard.
    • In the movie, the Fishermen are protected from the Safeguards' attacks by an "electronic barrier", later revealed to have been built by Cibo to defend herself and her fellow scientists from Safeguards while experimenting with the Netsphere; in the manga, due to Cibo's backstory being different, no such device appears.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness: Pretty much everyone compared to the Manga, but especially so for Killy, Cibo and Zuru. Even Sana-Kan arguably looks better with a prettier face and highly detailed body, even if she's still creepy.
  • An Arm and a Leg: In a similar manner to the manga, Oya-san's forearm is cut off by Sana-kan, as she assumes her true form. Later, during their fight, Sana-kan cuts off Killy's right arm, although, given his High-Level Safeguard physiology he has no trouble reattaching it later on. Also during the fight Sutezo loses a leg after narrowly dodging a laser blast from Sana-kan. Inverted in the case of Cibo, who is reduced to just a robotic arm by the end of the story.
  • Anti-Mutiny: The Safeguard only turned on humanity because the Contagion eliminated the Net Terminal gene, which served as their connection to the Safeguard and proof of residency. Without it, the Safeguard deemed them invaders and targeted them for elimination.
  • And the Adventure Continues: Less than half the Electrofishers survive the Safeguard attack, but Killy successfully escorts the survivors to a safe haven where their great-grandchildren still thrive and pass on the tale. The City remains a cold, unresponsive place, but the Fishers choose to believe that Killy is still out there, searching for a way to fix their broken world. Cut to Killy walking through the vastness of the City.
  • Back from the Brink: The epilogue is told by Zuru's near-identical granddaughter who tells how their village is thriving ever since they left their old home into the sector abandoned by the Safeguard and Builders.
  • Big Bad: Just like in the arc of the manga the movie is based on, Sana-kan ends being the main antagonist of the movie, leading the low class Safeguards in the climax of the film after infiltrating in the Electrofisher village by taking Tae's form.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted. One reason why the Safeguards are so dangerous to the Electro-Fishers. Besides their spearguns being rather underpowered, Electro-Fishers can only carry a limited number of spears even when they're not foraging and they don't have the technology to manufacture more batteries. A sufficiently large number of Safeguard can easily overrun them.
  • But Now I Must Go: In the typical fashion of a Spaghetti Western protagonist riding off into the sunset, Killy tells Zuru that he can't stay with the Electrofishers because he still needs to find humans with Net Terminal Genes.
  • Canon Foreigner: Besides the three main characters of the manga ( Killy, Cibo, and Sana-kan, and in smaller part the Electrofishers' leader Oya-san and his son), most of the characters originate in the movie, like Tae ( who is also somewhat of a counterpart to Sana-kan's child form in the manga).
  • Cast from Hit Points: Unlike the manga, Killy can only increase the power of his Graviton Beam Emitter by injecting himself with "Internal Power Accelerant", which usually leaves him incapacitated afterwards. (In the manga, he would inject himself to help fall asleep.)
  • Costume Porn: In this part of the manga, Killy and Cibo's outfits were basically black jumpers. Here Killy wears a leather jacket full of belts and straps, and Cibo has a cute black dress made of metal. Even Sana-kan has this in the way that her body is clearly robotic with a high degree of detail rather than the simple black leather bodysuit appearance she had in the manga.
  • Creepy Monotone: Somewhat fitting for the art style, Killy (both in the Japanese and English dub) speaks in a slow, nearly emotionless tone.
  • Deflector Shields: Sana-kan has a tiny one in the palm of her hand, it can be seen generating small crackles of energy. With this, she can deflect a low-power beam from Killy's Gravity Beam Emitter
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Cibo's new body has a white right arm and a black left arm. The black left arm is also where the interface ports for the artificial Net Terminal are located, which foreshadows that Cibo wanted to protect against being headshotted by designing this body so that its brain is in the left arm, not the head.
  • Funny Background Event: In the epilogue, it's been three generations since the events of the movie. Cibo is still living with the Electrofishers in their new village, and she's still a disembodied arm — a choice of lifestyle which diverges sharply from the literally Undying Loyalty she displays toward Killy in the manga.
  • Genre Shift: With its emphasis on the way the Electrofisher villagers react to Killy, the movie resembles a Spaghetti Western in a cyberpunk/dystopia setting (with Killy as Clint Eastwood) more than the manga does.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Doubles as a head scratcher. Its pretty much stated the city security was set up to kill people without the Net Gene. So... when the population loses its Net Gene, security reacted accordingly.
  • Instant Mass: Just Add Water!: When Killy is welcomed to the Electrofishers' village, they are quick to mention that they're almost out of food. Killy hands over an eight-cubic-inch-long block of... something that clinks like a brick when one of the kids bites it, and only then notices there's something written on it; pictures showing a container being filled with water, a piece being snapped off into it, and something rising from the container. The kid then drops the whole blasted thing into a 20-gallon sink filled with water; cue ominous bubbling followed by the sink being turned into a cake pan filled with about eight cubic feet of spongy "food". Kid was lucky that didn't happen when he was biting it...
  • Kill and Replace: Sana-kan does this to Tae in order to infiltrate the Electrofisher village.
  • Lost Technology: Much of Electrofishers' gear—namely HUD helmets and spear guns—are irreplaceable and losing them is considered a heavy expense.
  • Magnetic Weapons: The Electro-Fishers spear guns are clearly propelled by electromagnetic force and rely on their steadily declining supply of batteries. It shows how tough the Safeguard are in that if often takes multiple spears to critical locations to ring one down and higher-end Safeguard like Sana-kan are so well-armoured they're not harmed by spears shot from long range.
  • Matter Replicator: The Automated Factory that Killy and the Electrofishers carry Cibo to. She claims that it can produce anything, and she proves herself right — she built her experimental network connection terminal there, and when the Electrofishers ask for food she is able to produce more of the "portable rations" Killy shared with them - a rectangular stack hundreds of meters wide, twice as many long and over four stories high; billions of them - and she even builds herself a new body.
  • Mythology Gag: Cibo leads Killy and the Fishermen to an Automated Factory, a place that "can make everything you want", in order to make food and a Synthetic Netsphere Terminal. In the original manga, the Automated Factory was a machine, located within Toha Heavy Industries, that could "make everything you want", where Cave 8's AI, Mensab, brought her human bodyguard Seu to heal him whenever he was critically injured, with the unwanted side effect of progressively making his mind revert and having him suffer from memory issues, without however compromising his combat abilities.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: The Safeguards that appear in this film are indeed low class Mooks (except Sana-kan), but from the humans' point of view they are terrifying beings.
  • No-Sell: Killy's GBE blasts through everything on a setting as low as 1 until Sana-Kan blocks it with her hand. When Killy powers up and attempts it again she smugly raises her palm to repeat the trick but this time he's up to level 3 and her entire body is obliterated.
  • Off with His Head!: Happens to one of the younger Electrofishers when the Safeguard show up in the intro. Later inverted when Sana-Kan is destroyed by Killy's level 3 GBE blast and her head is the only part of her left intact.
  • Percussive Maintenance: Killy reactivates Cibo's cyberbrain inside her decomposed torso by banging her skull against a piece of concrete.
  • Puppy Love: The Electro-Fishers designate Zuru as one of the children and she quickly develops a strong crush on Killy ever since she saw him rescuing the kids ill-fated expedition.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Pops is quick to trust Killy and Cibo, and agrees to cooperate with their plans in the hope of ensuring his village's survival, unlike his son Sutezo who is more skeptical of outsiders.
  • Robo Cam: Killy is able scan objects far away with his eyes and is even able to read the DNA of others by looking at their eyes. In the anime he can do this from the start while in the manga he gains this ability after meeting the Electrofishers while recovering from his previous encounter with the Safeguard. It is implied that he had this ability but couldn't comprehend what the symbols meant until after Sana-kan reactivated his powers. As a cyborg Cibo also has a HUD built into her vision.
  • Robotic Reveal: Tae is revealed to have been killed and replaced by Sana-kan during the expedition to the Automated Factory, allowing her to infiltrate the perimeter of the Electrofishers' village. This differs from the manga where Sana-kan was found by Killy and Cibo pretending to be a child who they bring with them. It is after Cibo finds a way into Toha Heavy Industries and Killy regains his dormant Safeguard abilities that Sana-kan transforms into her full-size form and goes on a killing spree.
  • The Stoic: If you filter out all the dialogue and emotional reactions aside from the main character’s, the movie might get to a full 10 seconds of run time. Even that number seems a bit high.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The civilization that created the robots. Its heavily implied there’s nothing wrong with the actual robots, and their programming always had them kill people without the Net Gene. So if you actually have the Net Gene, you need to avoid getting caught between a murder bot and its prey. On a bad day... well... that started the plot.