I worry about Netflix. No, really, I do. I mean, I shouldn’t, they’re doing absolutely fine, but I worry they’re trying to be all things to all men.
Want to watch some stand-up comedy from around the world? Go ahead. Want to see a thought-provoking documentary? They got you covered. Horror, action and now Manga are all on the list. Can you do everything well?
Blame! Is based on some Japanese Manga and has previously been an, albeit short, series. Now Netflix has picked up this artistic full-length version for your viewing pleasure.
The story is set far in the future. Rather than humans telling machines what to do, they have simply turned on us and are extinguishing us like vermin. These machines have got hugely out of control and are just building and building and killing and building.
It has been going on so long that generations have passed and the remaining humans simply don’t know when this all started, why it started or why the machines are just continuously building this humungous city.
We pick things up with around 150 humans who have found themselves an area that, for reasons they don’t understand, the machines can’t enter.
However, they’re food is running very low and so they are forced to hunt, further and further away from this safe area, getting picked off as they do so by the Safeguard.
Zuru, a girl from the city, heads out on one such hunting trip with some young friends and ends up getting chased by some scavengers. She is saved by a mysterious man who appears from nowhere, Killy, who says he’s human and looking for any other humans who have the Net Terminal genes.
His arrival in the city causes confusion, not helped by the fact Killy barely says a word, and increased at the finding of a humanoid scientist who can help them find food and put them back in control of the machines.
There’s no denying that when it comes to this sort of animation and sci-fi, Japan rules the way. The attention to detail, the visuals, are all stunning. Very industrial, gothic and punk almost.
Watching Blame! evokes memories of Westerns with a mysterious, doesn’t-talk-much, stranger wondering into town with special skills and seeking a particular something.
It will, naturally, have you thinking of other movies in this genre, in particular Ghost in the Shell, given its recent transition to live-action.
It’s not as good as that particular animation though it follows much the same path. A dirty future, some hard-to-get-your-around moments and strong female characters.
Blame! is a visually stunning film with some great fight scenes and moments. If it suffers anywhere it’s with the story itself. I felt like it was explained to me about three times throughout the film, from a different character but without any new position.
This was unnecessary, I’d got what was going on, just get on and do it. The dialogue too can feel a little simplistic and the ending falls a little flat.
However, I’m being picky here as Blame! is a good film in you enjoy your manga. It’s not perfect, but it is showing that Netflix seems to be able to do everything ‘good’ if not everything ‘spectacular’.