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Blame! Directors Mr. Hiroyuki Seshita and Mr. Tadahiro Yoshihira Talk Adapting the 20-year-old Manga to Film.

By Flora  /  19 May 2017 (Friday)
Photo Credit: ©Tsutomu Nihei, KODANSHA/BLAME! Production Committee

The much-awaited animated film Blame! (pronounced as Blam), based on the popular manga of the same title, will be available on streaming platform Netflix from 20 May 2017!

20 years since its first manga published in 1997, the animated feature is set in the distant future where what’s left of the human race resides within the Megastructure, a vast and dangerous labyrinth that has grown wild and out of control. Thrown into this world is the mysterious Killy, a strange individual who is on a quest to bring civilisation back from the brink of oblivion.

In an online interview with Mr Tadahiro Yoshihira, co-director/CG supervisor, as well as director Mr Hiroyuki Seshita, they shared more about the creation of the animation, working with original manga creator Tsutomu Nihei, and adapting it to the small screen. 

“Our purpose is to bring this classic that came out 20 years ago and adapting it to a modern version animation,” said Seshita, who also directed other films like “Knight of Sidonia” and “AJIN: Demi-Human”. 

“This is not our interpretation of the classic world that came out 20 years ago. Actually, Nihei was involved from the very beginning - from the screenplay and also the filmmaking. It very much reflects what Nihei wanted to capture now, so this is very much an original piece.”

For the hardcore fans, fret not for the new movie is still somewhat similar to the manga, with “a lot of elements that are carried on from the original”. 

Director Seshita explained: “The basic aesthetics of the whole world that Blame! is based on is carried on from the original manga with Mr Nihei involved. At the same time, there is one big difference in terms of the storytelling: this time, the protagonist is the human whereas the original manga was Killy who carried the story.”

“To add to that, this was very much Mr Nihei’s wish of what we intend to do with this movie of Blame! is to make it more accessible and easier for people to understand and follow the story,” added Yoshihira. 

Photo Credit: ©Tsutomu Nihei, KODANSHA/BLAME! Production Committee

Although the highly-anticipated movie comes out 20 years later, both directors are excited about the release, and are confident that the film will not lose its appeal. 

“There is a huge following of his classic original manga all over the world,” shared Seshita.  “Also, I feel that the story is strong enough… and that the theme itself is relevant more than ever. It has a universal quality that will resonate with people all over the world.”

For Yoshihira, the challenge he faced was to find the balance between satisfying the fans of the 20-year-old manga, and introducing new audiences to the cyberpunk anime. “It was very important for us to create something that the people who have been loyal fans of the original for 20 years, and also for people are going to see Blame! for the first time. This is very important… We are not just taking a classic and recreating it, but we need to restructure and give it a new life.”

Blame! premieres on Netflix on 20 May 2017!
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