Blame!, the first manga written by Tsutomu Nihei, was serialized on Kodansha’s manga magazine Afternoon from 1997 to 2003. Nihei is also famous for his manga series Knights of Sidonia (Sidonia no Kishi), which won the Kodansha’s 39th Manga Award. 20 years since its first release, Blame! will get an anime film adaptation, and it will be shown in theaters for two weeks starting from 20 May.
In commemoration of the release of Blame!, Knights of Sidonia The Movie (Gekijouban: Sidonia no Kishi) will have a rerun throughout theaters in Japan, showing the beginning scenes of Blame! as a bonus. In order to show both of the movies on screens with the best sound and music, a special sound system called Toha Heavy Audio (Toha Juon, a pun on Toha Heavy Industries from the series) will be equipped at the theaters. This new system will be made just for the two movies, and it will be supervised by the director of audiography, Yoshikazu Iwanami.
On 13 May, ‘BLAME! x Sidonia Screening Event’ was held at Kawasaki Cinecitta, with the Toha Heavy Audio Inauguration Ceremony. At this event, the movie of Knights of Sidonia was screened and the beginning scenes of Blame! were shown for the first time. There was also a stage greeting segment titled Toha Heavy Audio Inauguration Ceremony.
Despite the fact that it was raining and the event started early in the morning at 9:00, the seats were filled with 500 enthusiastic fans. The stage greeting guests were: Hiroyuki Seshita, the director of both films; Kazuyoshi Iwanami, the director of audiography; angela, who sang the theme song for both movies; Ryouta Ohsaka, who voiced Nagate Tanikaze in Knights of Sidonia; and Aya Suzaki, who voiced Tae in Blame! and Shizuka Hoshijiro in Knights of Sidonia.
The guests up on stage, who we shall call ‘the Sidonia Family’, talked about the films with great love towards Sidonia, and the event was filled with a fun and cozy atmosphere from beginning to end. There were moments where the members joked around and made the fans burst out in laughter. The guests also spoke about the fascinating points of the two movies and the fans got to hear some rare inside stories.
‘I think it is very rare and valuable for an anime to be loved for so many decades. I am really happy to see so many fans today. Although Sidonia’s anime and film have not come to an end yet, the original manga has been completed, so I hope in the future that the anime will get a Part 3 as its concluding episode. I also hope for Tsutomu Nihei’s works to be loved by more fans! In order to realize these goals, we first need Blame! to become a big-hit! Everyone, please watch Blame! about 150 times [laugh].’
‘I am so excited about being able to stand on this stage with the members of the Sidonia team! To be honest, I couldn’t sleep last night because I was so anxious! I am very happy about receiving all the support from fans and being able to be here again with everyone! In Knights of Sidonia, I got the opportunity to voice Hoshijiro, who is the heroine of the story, so Sidonia is one of my most memorable anime. I will continue to love this work forever. I hope for all of you to look forward to watching Blame!’
‘It is no exaggeration to say that, thanks to Sidonia, angela was able to come this far as a band. Knights of Sidonia is a treasure to us, so I hope it gets a Part 3 as the sequel! I heard that BLAME! was created because Sidonia became a great hit, so my dream is for Blame! to become a great hit, too, and thus Sidonia to get a Part 3. However, there is one thing that I’m worried about… I heard that Nihei’s new manga, Ningyou no Kuni (Country of Dolls), is getting so popular that it’s getting reprinted, and the supply is not catching up with demands. My dream is for Sidonia to get a Part 3, but I’m worried that Ningyou no Kuni may get a film adaptation before Sidonia [laugh]. Director Seshita, I beg for you to create Sidonia first, please!’
‘I always feel that Nihei’s works pull out the aspects of angela that even we, the members, have never seen before. We were able to create our song ‘Sidonia’ because we met Nihei’s work. I believe that we became the way we are right now because of this special encounter. It has been three years since we made the song ‘Sidonia.’ Knights of Sidonia has changed angela, and I am very grateful about that. We made the song ‘Kishi Koushinkyoku’ (Knight March), the opening theme of TV anime Knights of Sidonia: Battle for Planet Nine (Sidonia no Kishi: Dai Kyuu Wakusei Seneki), as a song that sounds like a national anthem or a military song of an Eastern country. There are many Japanese anime songs from the 70s that sound like a military song, so we thought that it may be interesting if we arrange them in a modern way. For the ending theme of the movie Knights of Sidonia, we believed that a soothing song would match, and that is why we made ‘Ai, Hitokakera’ (A Piece of Love). Finally, we had a very hard time in making ‘Calling you’, the theme song for the new film Blame! To find out what was so difficult, please watch Blame!, which will be released on 20 May, and listen to our song!’
Director of Audiography, Kazuyoshi Iwanami:
‘In general, the majority of movie theaters in Japan use loudspeakers made in the United States, as many movies are made in Hollywood. However, this Kawasaki Cinecitta uses LIVE ZOUND, which are speakers made in Germany. In concerts and music events, 90% of the loudspeakers are made in Europe, and the ones at Cinecitta are those high-quality types perfect for concerts. Six such high-quality line array speakers are placed on both sides of the theater, and in the center behind the screen. In total, there are 18 speakers. Also, in Cinecitta, there are four Super Woofers (J-SUB of d&b audiotechnik) under the screen, which release the heavy bass sounds. In a normal theater, they only have half this number. Cinecitta is such a wonderful environment for watching a movie! Also, you can watch Blame! from 20 May in theaters in Makuhari and Nagoya with the surround-sound technology, Dolby Atmos. I hope for people to watch the movie in many theaters to check out the difference in sound, and I also hope the viewers feel that this movie must be seen in theaters! I will be in Makuhari, Chiba Prefecture, on 20 May! I’m the director of audiography who you can meet in person! I am looking forward to meet everyone at Makuhari! I hope for all of your support. Thank you!’
‘Thanks to everyone’s love towards Sidonia, we were able to make this new film, Blame! This film has inherited the best aspects of the Sidonia Team, my best team members, and was born with the power of the fan’s energy. I hope the wave of your powers become bigger and bigger, making the film to succeed!’
Anime Movie ‘BLAME!’
Released in Theaters throughout Japan on 20 May 2017 (Running for Two Weeks Only)
Distribution: Clockworks (105 Mins.)