The City is the primary setting of Blame!. Unimaginably vast and always growing, the City is a labyrinthine world of concrete and steel. Most of the City is a barren waste, with each layer harboring only the odd human tribe or pack of Silicon Life, and patrolled at all times by vicious Safeguards.
While it is never explicitly stated how/when the City came to be, it is generally acknowledged that Blame! takes place many thousands of years after the City's growth became uncontrolled and chaotic, resulting in the chaotic and pointless architecture that makes up most of the strata visited in the manga.
In the past the City served as residential space for the native humans, who interacted with the Governing Agency via the Netsphere using their Net Terminal Genes. Humanity controlled the City's growth directly, building new strata according to their needs and desires.
However, at some point an unknown "infection" swept through the City, and the Net Terminal Gene seemed to vanish entirely. Since humanity could no longer connect to the Netsphere, the Governing Agency was powerless to stop the Builders as they continued to expand the City without rest. Humanity gradually became entombed in their respective strata, abandoned by the Governing Agency.
As time passed, and with no new instructions, the Builders' construction became erratic and nonsensical. Entire strata composed of nothing but columns, corridors, stairways, masses of pipes, doors to nowhere, broken machinery. Vast gulfs of empty space became so common that very few strata are distinguishable by the time Blame! begins.
The City is divided into enormous layers called strata. Each stratum is stacked on top of each other, separated from the next on the top and bottom by a layer of nigh-indestructible material called the Megastructure. Strata vary in size but are extremely large; it can takes upwards of a month of climbing stairs or ladders to reach the ceiling of a stratum. Assuming the City is spherical, that would mean that each successive stratum is exponentially larger than the last, which is a strong possibility.
It has been suggested by Tsutomu Nihei himself in his artbook Blame! And So On that The City is actually a growing Dyson sphere of gargantuan proportions. Its spherical circumference is speculated to be roughly the size of Jupiter's planetary orbit (32.675 AU), the radius being 5.2 AU. The prequel to Blame!, NOiSE, states that the structure has passed the orbit of the moon. In the last chapter of NOiSE, it is stated "At one point even the moon which used to be in the sky above, was integrated into The City's structure". In Volume 9 of Blame!, a room is even revealed to have a diameter roughly the size of Jupiter itself, reinforcing the speculation on the sheer size of the Megastructure.
While he never confirmed it, Nihei speculates in the artbook Blame! and So On that the City may have begun as a Dyson Sphere, a hypothetical shell built around a planet to harness 100% of the sunlight that hits it.
|General Terms||Base Reality * City * Factory * Language Matrix * Megastructure * Net Terminal Genes * Netsphere * Temporary Access Authentication * The World * Unofficial Megastructure|
|Creatures and Professions||Carriers * Dismantler * Exterminators * High-Level Exterminator|
|Technology||Anti Magnetic Cocoon * Electric Barrier Generator * Food Ration Bar * Forwarding * Gravitational Beam Emitter * Structure Conversion Towers|