Biomega vol. 4 – Tsutomu Nihei

5 out of 5

Is it still confusing as all get out? Oh, you betcha: the two immortals-to-be vying for control, Niarudi and Narein, face off as Zoichi does his best to do damage control, shooting big guns in the midst of the melee, with Eon Green rocketing towards the somewhat safe haven of the satellite… And then origins of the reverse polymer, and mind-blowing pseudo science regarding some twisted type of mating between microorganisms, and the ability to recreate the world…

That last bit feels like a piece of fantasy fluff that found its way in to Nihei’s general sci-fi ethics, but the way he explodes it into a game-changing twist of settings and expectations completely sold me. This was the point at which I kicked over from being blown away by Biomega, but slowed down by the Tsutomu’s obtuse storytelling, into being wholly on board, kit and kaboodle. The same thing eventually happened in Blame!: you get saturated with all the different concepts and characters rattling around, and then the incomprehensible vastness of it just clicks, and you don’t get it, but you’re suddenly… good.

I’m good. I’m great. Incomprehensible vastness: check, and increased tenfold in this volume. The middle of the book is an insane chase up a winding snake of polymer, stretching into space, and it’s the most fabulous action setpiece, ever, that should and can only exist in a Nihei manga. This, in addition to the actual virus background details Nihei starts to juicily fill in – plus the aforementioned game-changer – make this an essential and excellent read in the already excellent Biomega series.