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 is the second prequel to BLAME! and is the story of how the world in BLAME! became shrouded by the Megastructure.
Biomega was originally serialized in Weekly Young Magazine from June 14 to September 6, 2004 (2004 #29~#41) but went on hiatus thereafter. Serialization resumed 2 years later in Ultra Jump on May 18, 2006 (2006-06).
The series 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.
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?).
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.
Infuriatingly incomprehensible most of the time. While I have to appreciate the amazing visuals, the complexity of them shouldn't negatively impact the legibility of the work and it does just that through what I would say was the majority of the issues.
Explosions and dust clouds and rubble and flesh morphing and gun flashes make each panel SO DENSE, it makes this nearly impossible to read casually and instead needs focus and attention to minor details. Often just the small trail of a bullet missed caused me to read the same page over and over trying to figure out how Zouichi suddenly killed this menacing
It breaks a lot of the immersion when something requires so much fine attention, so overall I didn't enjoy the actual reading of the book, but the visuals are so impressive that I can't say that it was a waste of time. Maybe a recommendation for someone more familiar with this style but as a newcomer to Nihei's work and any work of this style I couldn't recommend for anything else but appreciation of the art.
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.
Biomega is depressing and distressing. The most part of characters are without exspression and few talk. The edifices is very elaborated and dominate the landscape. In this view human aberration fight for change the world.
I love the style of the author Tsutomu Nihei. The design of Biomega is detailed, with gigantic structure that dominate the protagonist Zoichi Kanoe(but is same to Killy!). Is a artificial human, and search Ion Green a immortal human, for prevent the diffusion of the virus N5S as transform the human in zombi(call Drone in the manga).
Together with Knights of Sydonia this is the better manga of Tsutomu Nihei.