For a more in-depth movie review, I highly recommend Neon Dystopia’s excellent Blame! review, but in my opinion this review is best read after watching the movie, since it describes all the acts of the movie and contains a bit of broad spoilers. For a spoiler-free review with the impressions from yours truly, please read on!
Blame! is set in a dystopian future where nature is a thing of the past, and the world is now consumed by an endless stretch of metal city, going on as far as the eye can see. A small human village is the last visible remains of humanity, scouring for food and trying to survive the attacks of the city’s robotic safeguard, who see the humans as illegal residents.
In comes the character Killy, who is looking for something and decides to briefly help the humans as he continues on his quest. The rest of the movie involves the humans working with Killy and another character, Cibo, in surviving the robot world and figuring out what happened to make the world the way it is.
In the first few minutes of the movie, I was immediately reminded of scenes from the Matrix and Animatrix. The vast open industrial fields, devoid of any plant life or non-artificial life, were very similar although different. Also, the watchtowers that the humans had to hide from, felt very similar to hiding from the watchful eye of the Squids in the Matrix, and the exterminators also felt similar even though they were not airborne.
The soundtrack to this movie does little to add or enhance the movie, which seems content on delivering the story and scenes by themselves. I should also add that the soundtrack is appropriately Japanese in sound, with the dramatic vocals and Asian-sounding stringed instruments.
Where Blame! truly shines, however, are in the action scenes and the visuals of the setting. The plot runs at a steady pace with the right amount of suspense, as the viewer is constantly scared that this last vestige of humanity might be wiped out or seen by the deadly machines chasing them. It also masterfully keeps the viewer in the dark, and very little is formally explained to the viewer as they try to discover, along with the main characters of the story, how the world came to be the way it is.
The action scenes contain a bit of CGI, but are masterfully interwoven with the anime in true action-packed anime form.
I only had a couple issues with this great movie. The first, was that the dialogue felt very basic and at times outright painful with its simplicity. Killy is a master at silence, brooding, and looking cool while not caring what others think of him. The humans seem to be very simple in their thought process, and take a while to come to conclusions that the viewer may have already realized from scene to scene. This, however, is a complaint that I already have with most anime, so maybe it’s just me.
The other issue I have with the movie is that although the pacing is great in general, sometimes the movie trips on itself in situations where they are running away from a pursuing enemy in one scene, and then all of a sudden stop to have a chat in the middle of what should be a fast-paced escape. This could have been remedied by having them talk while moving, or just limiting the at times asinine dialogues they have with each other completely.
Aside from these two minor things, however, the movie is a delight for those who enjoy seeing a rich dystopian world, fast paced action, and a quick plot rich in suspense and mystery. Overall I would give it a solid 9/10.