Set in the future, the plot follows Zouichi Kanoe and his AI companion Fuyu Kanoe, whose luminous form is integrated into the system of his motorcycle. They are agents sent by Toha Heavy Industries to retrieve humans with the ability to resist and transmute the N5S infection, which is spreading across the world, turning humans into "Drones"; disfigured, zombie-like beings.
Biomega was published in English by VIZ Media under the VIZ Signature imprint from February 2, 2010 to May 17, 2011 and in Italian by Panini Comics under the Planet Manga imprint from December 6, 2007 to September 13, 2009, which was re-released in a 2-in-1 omnibus edition from April 30, 2014 to July 26, 2014.
From the creator of dark mega structures of unknown origin, Biomega is the laidback easygoing cousin of the brooding and unintelligible Blame.
As usual, story takes a backseat to vision. This is not a criticism, but an acknowledgement of Nihei's trademark, sensibilities and priorities. You don’t check out this man's manga to get involved in a deep plot; you do it for the mood, the scope, the imagination in ambiguity. Having said that Biomega does resort to some exposition, and even 'story so far' and a chart of characters and organisations, its like Nihei feels sorry for us and is being generous, or maybe his editor had a go at him. Either way, visiting his world this time round is a bit more coherent and amazingly you just might get answers for questions that Blame might have made you swear under your breath.
It’s strange, but it’s like he usually just wants (or in this case previously just wanted) you to complete his stories for him, which any other time would be infuriating, but he teases you in just the right ways, like bedazzling you with amazing art, that you don’t care if you have to fill in the dots to make sense of his manga. The joy is in the journey, not the details.
I would say his manga are thought-provoking, but the surface definition of that would mean he challenges your perceptions of what you believe in, but instead the actuality is that in trying to fill in the dots, your imagination takes you to wild places as you desperately try to figure out how Nihei's architecture was built, where the technology came from, who those crazy looking bad guys are, why the good guys are doing what they're doing and just where the hell can we buy that motorbike?
Nihei takes a bike and does to it what he did to a gun in Blame. He makes that shit epic! It's a challenger to Kaneda's red machine from Akira, sleek like a bullet and just as effective as it traverses every terrain you can think of at incredible speeds. This manga has one of the best action set pieces I've ever read, absolutely incredible scope and imagination on display as Nihei aims for the stratosphere with the killer bike and ends up on the other side.
Biomega is packed with great crowd-pleasing action sequences that recall cinematic composition, aided by Nihei’s amazing ability to bring context to his stunning city designs, but above all else they're just great fun to read. Biomega really is Nihei let loose and having fun. Not that his other work isn’t without humour, his dialogue is so droll, so understated and played so straight its hilarious, but the humour seems more overt this time round thanks to the fast pace that allows for a bike to be taken literally anywhere the protagonist wills it. There is also a bear wielding a rifle, but you'll see for yourself. As ever though, characters mumbling totally mundane observations while insanity happens around them is the best source of mirth.
Biomega revolves around all the concepts and ideas Nihei's previous works concern themselves with: cut off civilisations, hyperhumanity and nonhumans bashing together with violence and indecipherable dialogue while contending with apocalyptic threats of nasty consequences involving body mutation. There is a distinctive sense of dread on every page. There is barely anyone to relate to, Nihei's vision of our future is bleak and populated by hyperhumans, synthetic in nature. There is no culture, no signs of art, literature, music, the world is drab and at the end of its tether.
The fact that you cant recognise anything at all in this future vision of Earth may be seen as a flaw in Nihei's manga, people need something to latch onto to emit their own reactions, but it is actually brave and very fascinating to read this nightmare of humanity's potential; extremely dangerous groups battling over the last remnants of whats left of our planet. At the end of the day what you're reading is the end of the world as we know it, not that we know it as Nihei drew it, but you get the idea. Yeah it's not happy reading, but that's what the bike is for. Nihei's chosen genre traits are sci-fi, cyberpunk, body horror and flat out action, and he's sticking to them damnit.
Biomega, lots of mega and lots of bio, connected by explosions. So expect lots of body parts flying around.read more
Biomega, one of the most recent and current works of Tsutomu Nihei, author of the acclaimed mangas BLAME! and Noise. If you read those two mangas and looking for something new from the author or just looking something Cyberpunk and extremely dark theme, than don't look further.
The situation of the story is a little like the Resident Evil game theme, where a person must survive or search a person in a city overrun by peoples that are infected with a virus. Kanoe Zouichi, a biker agent from a powerful organization, Toh-a Heavy Industries, with AI-Companion motorcycle, Kanoe Fuyu, where they must retrieve humans with the ability to resist and transmute the N5S infection that is spreading across the world.
The story is easier to follow compare to BLAME!, because it was hard to follow and to figure out what is happening with the characters with his or her dialogue-less text. Where readers must try to piece together different part given in the manga. But in Biomega from start to the most recent chapter, you can easily follow the story. Each characters talks more with each others and, sometimes, they gave information about a specific subject of the storyline so the readers can understand what is happening, like his Noise manga.
If you loved the BLAME! and Noise mangas series or your the type of person who likes lots of details in characters and buildings in each page with a dark, gloomy atmosphere and "macabre" feeling or in another words "cyberpunk-influenced", Biomega is your choice.
The author puts lots of effort in each page with so many fine details in each scene, fighting, etc. If you read BLAME! before, you'll notice that Tsutomu Nihei art style in Biomega is more refined and cleaner. For those who haven't read BLAME! or Noise, the author put more effort in the art of the architecture of buildings.
Each characters has each their own charisma, especially Kozkof El Grevnef, a talking bear. Every characters in the manga have a important role in the story and you don't get the feeling a character seems useless. Even the bike's advance Ai-companions of Kanoe Zouichi, Kanoe Fuyu, and of Mizunoe Nishu, Mizunoe Shin. Quite an original concept.
After reading chapters after chapters, I always want to read more. The action is exhilarating , the art is a really eye-candy and every character are as cool from the start to finish even some of the villains designs are quite nice. I enjoy each chapters of this series like it's my first time enjoying my first manga!
In conclusion, if you like dark-cyberpunk-influence theme or looking for a good manga with awesome artworks or just a fan of BLAME!. Biomega is your best choice. I really enjoy it reading it and even I recommend it for people who are looking for something new and unique.
Typical Nihei: gorgeous if extremely repetitive black-and-white art (in contrast, the few color illustrations come off as childishly garish and ugly) typically showing explosions and combat (rarely varied or exhibiting any imagination - if I had a nickel for every time Zouichi busts into a room and instantaneously shoots everyone in the head, I could probably afford to buy the entire printed manga), Nihei's obsessions like improbably powerful guns, borrowing of fantasy tropes that are wildly inappropriate (eg swordsmen and duels), a story that verges on gibberish (can anyone explain how the bear's wish could possibly lead to transforming the Earth into a megastructure?).
It's difficult to see why _Biomega_ exists when _Blame!_ does almost everything it does. Literally: the zombies are effectively the same, the biotech/body-horror pushes all the same buttons like the skull-mask-faces, the art is the same, most characters could be swapped with their counterparts with no loss, the fetishization of young women and the protagonist's inexplicable attachment to them is present in full force, some elements like "Toha Heavy Industries" are identical, and in particular, the protagonist and setting and AI companion are so exactly identical that all the way up to the ending I assumed the big twist was going to be that _Biomega_ is actually the prequel for _Blame!_ explaining where Killey and The City come from (there are some differences like the gun's phlebotinum being 'brainwaves' rather than 'gravitational beams' but nothing that a good writer couldn't retcon or handwave away).
To some extent, _Blame!_ is better: at least, the conception of The City megastructure is, like Niven's Ring, a resonant idea, and the greater obscurity of _Blame!_'s story means you can at least fool yourself that it is deeper than it looks. But on the other hand, this leavens the ridiculous bodycount and numbness that a reading of _Blame!_ produces and - _Biomega_ has a bear.read more
It's strange for me to read 18+ rated Manga since I am 14 but I did love the thought of the story so I brought the first the 2 volumes.
The art may seem as though it is weak and dark, but the widescreen shots of the surrounding landscapes are excellent I think they give the series a light feel, when looking at the landscapes I feel an overwhelming feeling of nostalgia which makes me love the series more.
Unfortunatly I found the characters inhuman and wooden, I could not see emotion (even though the main character isn't human) but still a little emotion can go along way to make the story more alive. The only character that has real emotion is the grizzly bear which adds some light humour to the series.
Overall I enjoyed this series, the story is enganging and also with little words and more visual storytelling it ticks most of my boxes. I would recommend it to those who love gore because it is in abundance through the whole series, and with needed humour too it is a must read before you die.