Imagine cyberpunk filtered through the lens of H.R. Giger told through the travels of a Clint Eastwood-like loner, and you’ll have a fairly accurate description of Tsutomu Nihei’s first manga, the scifi seinen BLAME! The series follows the adventures of Kyrii (or Killy) as he travels a vast world of interlocking futuristic architecture in search of a mystery called the net terminal gene. Like its hero, BLAME! is a manga of few words, and the secrets it gives up, it gives up over time, exploration and discovery prized over exposition.
Today sees the English release of its third Master Edition volume. It’s not to be missed.
Also unmissable—if totally unlike BLAME!—is Goodnight Punpun, Inio Asano’s visually whimsical but thematically grim coming of age series featuring a main character who is very much a boy but appears to the readers as a bird. The two manga serve as a good contrast of how different two excellent manga can be. But fair warning: Goodnight Punpun can make you cry.
The much anticipated fifth volume arrives today.
If your tastes run more towards the classics, you’ll be pleased to know that the tenth volume of Master Keaton is also fresh off the presses. This manga’s titular character is a globe-trotting insurance investigator (trained as an archeologist at Oxford University), and if you’ve ever read or watched Tintin or Indiana Jones, you’ll find the same type of entertainment with Master Keaton. He’s always got a new mystery to solve, and you can solve it with him.
Other Notable Releases
Also out and noteworthy this week are the fantasy action assassin manga Akame ga KILL! ZERO 5 and Terra Formars 17, a sci-fi seinen about reclaiming Mars from giant mutant bugs! (I’ve still yet to see the Terra Formars movie that came out last year. I’ve heard it’s awful, but I’m a big fan of the director, Takashi Miike, who’s adapted quite a few manga, and usually very well.)