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Netflix first teased its new anime, Blame!, in a completely different series

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The connection that got the movie made

If you’re a fan of Netflix’s anime series Knights of Sidonia, you probably already know about Blame!

Blame! is the newest, feature-length anime film that hit Netflix today, but it also had a special appearance in the second season of Knights of Sidonia. During one particular scene, the show’s main characters gather around a television set to watch a totally different anime. The throwaway scene featuring friends watching a television series together may not seem very important, but it’s a reference to Tsutomu Nihei, the man behind the original Knights of Sidonia manga and Blame!, the manga that snippet is based on.

Blame! was the first manga that Nihei ever published. When the scene in question, which featured the main character Killy, played on screen, it seemed like an homage to the creator’s past work. The reaction to the scene from fans was so strong, however, that director Hiroyuki Seshita and Nihei decided to embark on adapting it as a feature film.

“People were talking about this piece so much that we decided ‘Why don’t we do a movie?’,” Seshita told The Verge.

Blame! follows the gunslinger-type Killy as he wanders through a vast, futuristic city trying to find a specific group of people who carry a specific gene that can help them control and destroy the army of dangerous robots that roam freely. It was released 20 years ago and, because of that, changes have been made to make it feel more modern. The goal was to make Blame! a good starting point for those who wanted to break into the world of Nihei’s works but didn’t know where to start.

“The movie is more like a door that welcomes people into this world,” Seshita said.

More than anything else, Netflix producing and carrying the feature is further evidence that the streaming service is committed to building its own exclusive anime library. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings told Wired in 2015 that it was his goal — along with the company’s — to create at least one great, original anime series.

Blame! is available to stream right now.