It’s time for another top notch entry in the sci-fi manga genre from the legendary creator that brought us BLAME! and Knights of Sidonia – Tsutomo Nihei. On the artificial planet known as Aposimz – Eo, Biko and Etherow, residents of the White Diamond Beam, are in the middle of combat training when suddenly a girl appears, Rebedoan Empire soldiers in hot pursuit. The girl asks for their help in keeping safe a “code” and seven mysterious “bullets.” This chance encounter marks a major shift in the fate of the entire planet.
If you are familiar with Nihei’s previous work, you should have a good idea of what to expect. The post-apocalyptic worlds he creates are often sparse locations mired with machine coils and cities that sometimes appear to be more like the insides of a body than a habitat for people. The monsters (in this case people suffering from an ailment know as Frames disease that reduces them to a decayed like state and automatons) are just as unsettling as the Gauna from Knights of Sidonia and the tech designs are dependably great.The settings and aesthetic may seem familiar, but Nihei as usual manages to give them a unique quality that differentiates it from his previous creations. Whereas most of Nihei’s other works (especially BLAME!) make heavy usage of shadows and negative space, Aposimz goes in the other direction with the settings and characters being mostly brought to life through white and lighter shadings. It manages to create that isolated feeling that Nihei is known for in a totally new way, to the point where it almost resembles a nuclear winter. It’s all the bleakness that you’d expect in a Nihei manga, but in a remarkably different approach.Where Nihei shakes it up a bit is with his protagonist. Unlike BLAME!’s mostly silent hero Kyrii and Knights of Sidonia’s mostly by the books Nagate, Etherow is a far more impulsive character. Running in to situations before properly assessing them, he is quite the change of pace from the most stoical heroes Nihei usually has. He also has to rebuild his abilities from scratch having lost his arm and accepted the choice to become a Frame, taking the series in a direction out of the norm from what you’d expect of Nihei.
This is a must-buy for any fans of Nihei’s previous work and another great example of why he is one of the all-time greats working in sci-fi manga. Anyone who has an appreciation of the genre should definitely give this new series a look.
Aposimz Vol. 1 is out now from Vertical
9781947194304 – P/B – £10.99