BLAME!, which was published in Kodansha’s Afternoon from 1997 until 2003, is the debut work of Tsutomu Nihei who won Kodansha’s 39th Manga Award with Knights of Sidonia. The monumental work, legendary for its science fiction aspects, was considered impossible to adapt into anime. However, 20 years after the start of its serialization, we will finally see an anime movie adaptation! The movie will be released for a period of 2 weeks from Saturday 20 May 2017.
Set in a dark dystopia where humans are exterminated for being ‘illegal residents,’ the explorer Killy goes on a dangerous solo journey in the ever expanding multi-layered city.
In preparation for the movie’s release, there was a stage greeting event on Thursday 4 May at Marunouchi Picadilly in Tokyo. Takahiro Sakurai (Killy), Mamoru Miyano (Sutezou), Sora Amamiya (Zuru), Hiroyuki Seshita (director), and Tadahiro ‘Tady’ Yoshihira (assistant director) attended the event.
‘Killy is cool!’
The work was pre-scored, which means the dialogue was recorded before the animation. Sakurai commented, ‘When I’m acting, I end up imagining a lot of things, but the completed product far surpassed what I imagined. In any case, I was very touched. I also thought Killy was very cool [laugh]. Science fiction works are considered difficult but it is not a work with a high threshold, but a dramatic and fantastic work.’
It was Amamiya’s first time doing a pre-score. She reflected on the process, ‘While watching the film, I was very tense. It was a cycle of hope and despair and when I finished watching it, to be honest, I was tired but I was also very satisfied.’
While making his entrance, Miyano livened up the crowd with a line from the movie. Then he commented, ‘First off, when I watched the movie I thought, “So it was this kind of science fiction!” and I was very moved. At the studio, we all shared our impressions saying things like, “This scene will definitely be like this” but when I watched the finished product, I thought it was very cool, fast-paced, and thrilling. I was impressed with everyone’s acting. I once again thought, “Voice actors are amazing!” [laugh]’. I highly praised the film’s degree of perfection and the voice cast’s acting.
Without a moment’s delay, Sakurai quipped, ‘No, no, you were great too!’
‘There is persuasiveness even without dialogue’
Miyano quoted his favorite line, ‘Hey!’, repeatedly from the beginning of the event, and Sakurai backed him up by saying ‘It’s been great recently. It’s the best “Hey!” in anime history.’ Director Seshita continued, ‘Those in the generation that know old spaghetti westerns will understand – that cool moment.’ Sakurai then commented, ‘I watched that scene over and over again.’
‘Hey, heey!’ Miyano bashfully joked with Sakurai. Then, Miyano talked about how great Sakurai is. He said that Killy doesn’t have many lines, but Sakurai has a certain persuasiveness in his pauses and breathing. The ‘persuasiveness’ in his words after a long pause is impressive. He complimented him saying, ‘Even if you search the whole word, the only person who can do that is Takahiro Sakurai!’ When Sakurai proudly said, ‘Just because there aren’t many lines doesn’t mean it’s easy’, the audience supported him with an applause.
In the middle of Sakurai and Miyano each complimenting the other’s acting, Director Seshita said, ‘There is something that Sakurai said to me that I will never forget.’ Just as everyone was wondering what kind of compliment this would turn out to be, Director Seshita said he was asked ‘What is Killy even thinking?’ Miyano retorted that it was bad timing to bring that up while they were complimenting each other and the venue was enveloped in laughter.
‘Enjoy it many times at the theater!’
At the end of the exciting talk, the guests each outlined the highlights of the film.
‘It is a film that makes you feel like there are many robotic aspects but humans are alive! The highlights are the fight scenes and there is no doubt that you will be drawn into them.’
‘It is not a difficult story and there isn’t a lot of jargon. It is a film where you can follow the emotions of the characters. In any case, Killy is very cool so enjoy it!’
‘The charm is how large the scale is. I think it is a shame that the movie will only have a limited release. I would like if you all would watch it repeatedly and get fully immersed in the film’s world.’
‘It is an inexpressible feeling just to have been able to do an adaptation of Tsutomu Nihei’s work. It is thanks to the fans of Knights of Sidonia that we were able to do an adaptation in the first place. I think we created a film that everyone can love. Really, thank you very much.’
‘I’m very happy to think that we worked hard for 2 years making this film. I would be pleased if you could immerse yourself in this science fiction world while watching on the big screen in the theater. You can properly enjoy a human drama.’
Opening Stage Greeting
It was announced that on the premiere date, Saturday 20 May 2017, there will be an opening day stage greeting. Please check the official site for more details!
Anime movie ‘BLAME!’
Release: Saturday 20 May 2017
Official Website: http://www.blame.jp
Running time: 105 minutes
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