Blame! characters and structures


Blame! characters and structures

The universe of the manga (and OVA) BLAME! created by Tsutomu Nihei is a home to the following fictional characters & locations.

Main characters

* Nihongo|Killy|霧亥 - the main character of the series. His task of finding a human with the Net Terminal Gene is the basis of the manga's plot.
* Nihongo|Cibo|シボ - The head scientist of the Bio-Electric Corporation in the Capitol, Cibo joins Killy on his quest for the Net Terminal Gene.

Other characters

afeguard

The Safeguard are a program independent of the netsphere. The netsphere was designed as a means of providing service to those who could logon. However the netsphere was thrown into chaos (the actual reason is not exactly known, but the prequel manga NOiSE implies that a small group of humans is at fault) and the Safeguard changed their modus operandi (prevent unauthorized users from entering the netsphere) to killing off anyone who does not possess Net Terminal Genes. The Safeguard have nine levels of hierarchy, Level 9 being the most powerful. However their Exterminator (originally the lowest level safeguard) system has a different form of hierarchy where "First Class" is the most powerful.
* Sanakan - A level six agent of the Safeguard who first appears as a short, young girl with black hair and finds Killy and Cibo in a tunnel after they pierce the impenetrable Megastructure layer with the Gravitational Beam Emitter.
* Dhomochevsky: Domochevsky is a Special Safeguard; the type that is not hostile to humans making him very similar to Killy. His body's capabilities also seem to be on a similar level to Killy's as well. He has a distinctive scar on his left eye where Schiff stabbed him. Alongside with Iko, they were recruited to protect a provisional level of the megastructure. A group of Silicon Life have invaded this level led by Davinel. Dhomo and Iko are insistent on the level's defense because only normal human genes are required for access to the netsphere. He is armed with a quad-barrel gun with many different projectile types. Dhomochevsy is heavily damaged and decapitated by the newly downloaded Level 9 Safeguard, which was instinctively responding to a threat.
* Iko: Iko appears as the thin, white whisp of a facial image. However, in the manga, it is suggested in a flashback of Dhomochevsky's that he had a corporeal shape once, but how he lost it, was never explained. Most likely, he was unable to gain a new body as the Silicon Life on his level captured the Substance Conversion Tower on which he and Dhomochevsky depended.. He acts as a guardian for Dhomochevsky, predicts the behavior of his opponents, healing him if possible. He transfers all his power to Dhomochevsky in a last ditch effort to stop Davinel as well as Cibo's transformation into a Level 9 Safeguard.

ilicon Life (Cyborgs)

* Ivy - Ivy is the leader of the contingent of Cyborgs attacking Toha Heavy Industries. He/she/it carries a massive weapon, which is essentially four swords, with two of them spring-loaded to swing out from the middle to bludgeon enemies. He is eventually defeated in a sword fight between him and Seu. (There has been some confusion as to which characters the names Ivy and Maeve are assigned to. This is most likely due to the artwork of the two characters reading: Ivy & Maeve, with the more feminine cyborg on the left and the other on the right. Lest we forget, apart from the text, the artwork is in original Japanese format, and in Japan, they read right to left.)
* Maeve - Maeve is Ivy's sidekick. More obviously female. She gets the lower half of her body sliced off by Seu in a fight. Later on, Maeve and some of his contingent discover the 'advanced' cyborg fused to a wall. They cut it out, wrench the cyborg's original head out and implant Maeve into the body. Later, as Maeve is about to execute Mensab/Mensierve, Seu attempts to kill her by throwing his sword and lodging it in her forehead. She seems almost indifferent to this, but before proceeding, she is killed by Killy who fires a Gravitational Beam through her heart. This happens just before the teleportation of Toha Heavy Industries.
* Blon - One of Davine Lu Linvega's henchmen. Blon is capable of creating worm-like creatures, possibly with the same way the Safeguard use to 'download' common safeguards to any location. He can also release leech-like creatures, about a foot and a half long, which attach to a target's spine and renders them unconscious. Another of Blon's abilities is that he can use what is possibly alchemy to create radically different forms apart from his humanoid form. The first is a massive, metallic centipede-like creature which ravages Killy with multiple blades before Blon reveals his true form. As he finishes transforming into his humanoid form, Killy fires the Gravitational Beam Emitter at "Level 4" disintegrating all but Blon's head and remains of his arms and legs. Several people believe that this is his death, but he actually appears later. His first defeat allows Pcell to detect the 70-kilometer long holes left by Killy's GBE. When Dhomochevsky, Cibo and Iko set out to find Killy and Davinel, Pcell appears to confront them at a large orbital transport hatch and minutes later, Blon appears in his third form at her command. The third form resembles a large, metallic, spider-praying mantis hybrid with Blon's face and his large chain-gun (Vulcan Cannon/Gatling Gun) on its left arm (where it is in Blon's humanoid form). When Blon attacks, he minorly wounds Dhomochevsky and is able to steal a capsule from Cibo containing Seu's genetic information. Blon is finally killed when Dhomochevsky, Cibo and Iko enter the hatch's portal, and close the hatch itself while Blon is still in the hatch locking area. This crushes and destroys his entire body. The capsule lands less that a foot outside of the hatch radius and is picked up by Pcell.
* Schiff - Schiff is another of Davine Lu Linvega's lieutenants. He seems to be a more humanoid version of the 'armored cyborgs', as he is clad in full armor. He wields two rectangular black blades on his arms in a style similar to Wolverine from The X-men. Schiff is the first cyborg to attack Killy after Killy loses his GBE (and is forced to use more conventional safeguard weaponry). After a short hand-to-hand fight, Killy gains the upper hand and lands several punches which essentially mangle Schiff's armored face. While Schiff is clawing at his broken face, Killy administers the coup de grâce.
* Davine lu Linvega - Leader of a contingent of cyborgs who Killy encounters late in the series. The level on which he's present allows provisional access to the Net Sphere to any person having normal human DNA. Davinel wants to access the Net Sphere and tries to obtain the DNA sample which is in Cibo's possession (Which is Seu's). Afterwards he is able to infiltrate the netsphere in Seu's form. However, he fatally underestimates the GA's agent who cleverly slows the connection speed. Giving enough time for him to be unaware during the attack on him. However, he manages to steal the level nine safeguard data just before Dhomochevsky kills him. Linvega's gender has been something of debate, Iko first refers to him/her as male. However the sidecomic "BLAME! Academy" depicts Linvega as a girl.
* Pcell - Davinel's subordinate, whose body is female in appearance. She is very skilled in combat. According to Iko she is the most dangerous of the invading silicon life. Pcell uses a 'Safeguard Sword', the weapon that features as Musubi's new weapon in NOiSE, as being the main weapon of the 'armored cyborgs'. Further more, she also makes use of an odd ability to withdraw herself from danger. There seems to be a very short-lived 'love affair' between Pcell and Dhomochevsky. However, after Cibo transforms into the Level-9 Safeguard, Pcell attempts to kill her with a gravitational emission from her sword and is killed by Killy in retaliation (v8 p174).
* Armored Cyborg Leader - The resilient and formidable leader of a special contingent of armored cyborgs. He/She/It is covered in armor resembling that of Schiff's (apart from the fact that the facial armor resembles a dark smile) and also uses the 'Safeguard Sword' as do the other members of the contingent, only he/she/it is far more adept with its use and even puts up a fierce fight towards Sanakan, killing her humanoid form. When she appears in her battle form, after a brutal battle, she manages to pierce the armor on his/her/its face and launches a 'Safeguard dart' which hits the cyborg's eye. The cyborg's body mutates violently to meet this change as its form becomes both Silicon and Safeguard. Still possessing the 'Safeguard Sword' and obeying Sanakan's command, it proceeds to execute the surrounding cyborgs. After succeeding in this task, it is finally killed by the female Silicon Creature General.
* Silicon Creature Generals - The two mysterious Silicon Creatures most likely responsible for most of the protagonists' hardships, these two male and female cyborgs appear to be the Leaders of the Silicon Race. Both carry staff-like weapons that are extremely similar in ability to that of the 'Safeguard Sword.' The male cyborg, seen wearing an armor plated trench-coat and various black, metal accessories, wounds Sanakan as he makes a final attempt to stop her. The female cyborg, seen with black and white hair and wearing black and metallic clothing, is last seen dismembering the rogue armored cyborg. It is left to the reader to decide whether or not Killy dispatches her.

Humans

* Technomads - Humans who encounter Killy while he is still quite low in the City. They have lost all knowledge of their heritage, and have some connection to their Planter/Electrofisher relatives. Each group wears similar armor and the Electrofishers and Technomads share a stylized tribal appearance, though it is unclear which group is descended from which. The Technomads travel from safe haven to safe haven, never venturing outside their shelters without heavy protection.
* Laborers - Humans who dwell in the Power Corporation city near the top of a megastructure. Prone to heavy body modification, their appearance depends greatly on their occupation within the corporation. Ordinarily, they have evolved to be quite large, dwarfing the average sized Killy by three to four feet. The Power Corporation has excavated a great deal of technology from the surrounding megastructure, emulating the technology of the Safeguard, Authority, and Silicon Life. These further affect their culture and appearance, as they devote a great deal of time researching and developing this part of their culture.
* "'The Dry Men" -- While it is unclear whether they are truly human or a benevolent off shoot of Silicon Life, the Dry Men exist as a aboriginal race in the megastructure. Their name -- given to them by the Laborers, stems from the long cracks in their skin. They are often persecuted by organ harvesters, who trade them in for their low transplant rejection rate.
* Planters - Humans originally working as laborers in Toha Heavy Industries.
* Electrofishers(originally Nihongo|Denki-Ryoshi|電基漁師) - A people descended from the Planters. They have been locked out for many generations, and have lost all knowledge about why they are there and what Toha is. Their appearance has evolved in that they have tribalized the traditional Planter armor with markings, beads, and, sashes. They are able to fight the Safeguard using powerful bolt-firing rifles similar to Spear guns. The methods they use to survive is unknown, although it is implied that they have traveled throughout the megastructure surrounding Toha, scavenging. For a time they had the technology to preserve the personalities of deceased fishers and transfer them to new bodies. However this skill has long died out by their entrance in the narrative. The Electrofishers are a very short-statured race of humans, unlike Cibo who comes from a race with tall heights.

Minor characters

* Mensab - Mensab is the AI Controller for Cave 8 inside Toha Heavy Industries. She is expelled from the collective AI, although the reason is not exactly clear. She normally acts and appears quite calm, but her appearance also mirrors her mood. Also, as Cibo departs from Toha Heavy Industries, she bestows her with a small capsule containing Seu's genetic information which, surprisingly enough, can partially access the netsphere.
* Seu - A Planter, who serves as Mensab's protector. He is a powerful swordsman, and loyal bodyguard. Whenever he is severely injured, Mensab takes him to be restored by equipment which can heal any damage and also synthesize any substance (however, he loses memory each time he is healed in this way). As only Mensab's people survived the silicon creature invasion, and they were likely killed in the destruction of Toha Heavy Industries, Seu could have possibly been the last Planter alive. He eventually withdraws with Mensab and the recorded personalities of the remaining Planters into a time-space rift, ensuring their safety. However, the nature of this escape guarantees their entrapment in the rift, as technology has stalled throughout the City and Toha is destroyed.
* Mori - a person whose mind was downloaded into an emergency preservation pack resembling a Killy stumbled on him. Interestingly, Mori is not his name and we never learn this character's real name. Mori was the name of the manufacturer of the emergency preservation pack, and was printed on the device itself. Killy, acting as a Good Samaritan, takes him along his quest. Mori's main task is seems, is to do most of the talking for Killy in Cibo's absence. Shortly after Killy obtains Cibo's 'child', Mori is taken by the Governing Agency to a storage area. Here, Mori is shown being worn on the neck of a young girl bearing resemblance to Sanakan and Cibo - though who the girl was isn't clear as it is stated the data has been overwritten several times.

Factions or groups of note

* Safeguard - The Safeguard is the completely independent defense system of the Net Sphere. The Safeguard's original purpose was to prevent unauthorized access to the Netsphere by those without Net Terminal Genes. However, due to the Order breeding and using humans without Net Terminal Genes to make more Silicon Life, the Safeguard have taken to destroying all humans without the Net Terminal Gene as a preemptive measure. Safeguard are often seen to materialise from the substance of the megastructure using substance conversion towers. Even humans have been turned into safeguard after coming into contact with Safeguard weapons designs to put them in contact with the towers. There are more powerful special agents, like Sanakan, Dhomochevsky, Iko, and Killy who may derive from core personalities residing in the Netshpere. and the bio-mechanical transporter that attacks the Electro-Fishers.

* Exterminators - A subset of Safeguard which is made up of black and white colored, silicon based, bio-mechanical, humanoid robots. These often use primitive, close range weapons as a means of attack, but because of their formidable armor, it is not much of a problem. They come in different classes of power, though the hierarchy is never explained. The lowest, most common safeguard attacks with just its hands. A higher types attack with larger, clawed hands. Another with large shear-like weapons. There are defense exterminator types, feminine in appearance, with four clawed arms and powerful brute strength designed to prevent travel between certain levels. Finally, there is "Class One", encountered in one of the chapters. It is larger in size and is capable of telekinesis, regeneration, and powerful beam attacks.Safeguard Exterminators seem to run on a different protocol of command than the higher level of Safeguard such as Sanakan and/or Dhomochevsky (though Dhomo did have a contingent of them assigned to him before Schiff destroyed them). At one point, the Exterminator Class One even targets Sanakan as it deems her a threat or obstacle, but does not decide to kill her. It is up to speculation as to why - perhaps either it no longer saw her as a threat, or perhaps it was because she too was a Safeguard.
* Governing Agency or Authority(originally Nihongo|Touchikyoku|統治局) - The ruling level of the Net Sphere. It tries at times to assist Killy and Cibo, against the Cyborgs, and against the Safeguard. It has powers identical to the Safeguard, but cannot directly control the Safeguard - although it can hinder them. It wants a human with the Net Terminal Gene to be found to stop the Builders which are the cause of the runaway growth of the City.
* Builders (originally Nihongo|Kensetsusha|建設者, meaning Architect) - Machines which construct the City. They are not connected directly to The Net Sphere or Safeguard, therefore a human with net terminal genes is only capable of their activation. They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Killy remembers their language in the village of the Fishermen, and Cibo uses her knowledge about them to learn to control them completely. A group of builders in the higher megastructures of City have been modified, possibly by long deceased humans, to behave socially, conversing with the beings they encounter and taking moderately humanoid appearances.

tructures

* The Megastructure (originally Nihongo|chou-kozoutai|超構造体) - These are large plates that lie between levels of The City and are made out of an unknown, nearly-indestructible material. They are part of some kind of major isolation system between the gargantuan floors of The City. Attempts to approach the megastructure result in a massive safeguard response so as to prevent trespassing. Bypassing the safeguard is pointless, as it is nearly impossible to even scratch the megastructure. Only a direct Gravitational Beam Emitter blast is known to have been capable of digging a hole into a megastructure.

* The Netsphere(originally Nihongo|Net-tanmatsu-idenshi|ネット端末遺伝子) - A possible future incarnation of the internet available only to those with the Net Terminal Gene and guarded by the Safeguard. According to the opening of Net Sphere Engineer, it was meant as a new world order, and could fulfill the desires of the people. It is posited in Noise that it was in fact a New Social Order designed to exclude the infected. It can only be accessed by those possessing Net Terminal Genes.
* The City - The City is actually a structure that began on Earth. The mechanical beings known as Builders, which move around reforming and creating new landscapes, appear to have begun building without end, creating an enormous structure with little internal logic or coherence.

:The City, and the Builders, were controlled by the Netsphere and the Authority but they have since lost the power to control the expansion of The City due to the chaotic and insecure manner of its growth. Without intervention by a user with Net Terminal Genes they cannot reestablish control over The City nor the Safeguards, whose original job was to eliminate any humans who try to access the Netsphere without Net Terminal Genes. The Safeguard now attempts to destroy "all" humans without the Net Terminal Gene as the degradation of The City has corrupted their true goals.

:It has been suggested by Tsutomu Nihei himself in his artbook "Blame! And So On" that The City is actually a growing Dyson sphere of gargantuan proportions. Its spherical circumference is speculated to be roughly the size of Jupiter's planetary orbit (32.675 AU) [ [http://www.randomisgod.com/blame/82.html Translation from the "Blame!" artbook] ] ] . No evidence contradicts this speculation, and the prequel to "Blame!", "NOiSE", even states that the structure has passed the orbit of the moon. In the last chapter of NOiSE, it is stated "At one point even the moon which used to be up in the sky above, was integrated into The City's structure". In Volume 9, a room is even revealed to have a diameter roughly the size of Jupiter itself, reinforcing the speculation on the sheer size of the Megastructure.
* Toha Heavy Industries(originally Nihongo|Toha-zyukou|東亜重工) - A massive edifice or possibly vehicle separate from the megastructure. Toha Heavy Industries was mentioned as the benevolent organization in Biomega. It is inhabited by humans known only as the 'planters', and is the origin of the splinter group, the 'fishers'. It is controlled by a central AI, and has a collective of thirteen other AIs; one controlling each cave. the Collective AI was created in an effort to prevent insanity, however, in the end it didn't work out. The central AI shows increasingly irrational behavior with its use of teleportation technology, and its gravity furnace. The AI isolated itself from the outside using a treaty from the Governing Agency because of the seriousness of the Silicon Creature's disease, and excommunicated those who did. Toha Heavy Industries is crucial because the planters may be netgene carriers.
* Structure conversion towers - These buildings appear to be autonomous energy reserves and/or producers which are independent of the Megastructure. They're apparently capable of synthesising any form of matter, mainly Safeguard units. However, when Davinel acquires a group of them, they produce tainted, once-SafeGuard exterminator units which make up the bulk of Davinel's army.

Plot devices

* Net Terminal Genes - They are the special genes which allow those possessing them full access to the Netsphere. However, the Net Terminal Genes are incredibly rare by the time period where BLAME! begins. The Net Sphere protection agency, also called the Safeguard, is under standing orders to kill any human found who does not possess these genes, also, any illegal access to the Netsphere is responded to by downloading a Safeguard to the location of the illegal access point and having it kill the person who attempted access. As very few humans in BLAME! possess the Net Terminal Gene, the Safeguards are essentially under orders to kill all humans, a goal that is shared by the enigmatic Silicon Life.

Notes and references


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