Tsutomu Nihei
弐瓶 勉
Nihei at Lucca Comics & Games 2015
Born (1971-02-26) February 26, 1971 (age 52)
OccupationManga artist
Years active1995 – present
Known forBlame!
Knights of Sidonia

Tsutomu Nihei (弐瓶 勉, Nihei Tsutomu, born February 26, 1971)[2] is a Japanese manga artist. Nihei has been drawing comics professionally since the mid-1990s. In 1995 he was awarded the Jiro Taniguchi Special Prize in that year's Afternoon Four Seasons Award for his submission, Blame. After working as an assistant to veteran comic artist Tsutomu Takahashi, Nihei went on to launch his debut series Blame! in Monthly Afternoon in 1997. Following the success of Blame!, he next penned Wolverine: Snikt! (published by Marvel Comics) and Biomega. In 2009, Nihei returned to Afternoon to launch what would become his most successful series, Knights of Sidonia.[3] An architectural student, Nihei's early work were mainly wordless, relying on visuals and backgrounds to tell their stories. His cyberpunk-influenced artwork has gained a strong cult following worldwide.


Nihei worked in construction but quit to work on becoming a manga artist. He went to New York and studied at the Parsons School of Design. His experience in construction and design has shown up in his manga in his depiction of huge structures which are a strong theme in his manga works.[4]

Nihei has several sources of inspiration, including Manga, American comics and Bandes dessinées. Japanese comics that strongly influenced him include Akira, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and Ghost in the Shell.[5] He was also enormously inspired by Swiss artist H. R. Giger, best known for his airbrush images of humans and machines connected in cold biomechanical relationships.[6] Other sources of inspirations include Hard science fiction novels, Ridley Scott's Blade Runner, French artist Moebius[7] and Clive Barker of Hellraiser fame.[8] Nihei is also a big video games fan, and mentioned Metroid and the Halo franchise among his favorites. In the mid-2000s, during a trip to the United States, he met the Halo design team, who directly offered him to participate in the Halo Graphic Novel project when they found out that he was a huge fan of the game.[6]

Nihei designed the logo for the record label Lingua Sounda, formed in 2011 by the rock band Buck-Tick.[9] He was a special guest of San Diego Comic-Con International in July 2016.[10] He also received an Inkpot Award from Comic-Con International, the organization that runs San Diego Comic-Con and WonderCon. Given to creators for “contributions to the worlds of comics, science fiction/fantasy, film, television, animation, and fandom services,” the Inkpot Award is an honor that Nihei now shares with other comics, film, and sci-fi legends such as Osamu Tezuka, Moebius, and Ray Bradbury.[4]


Serialized works

One-shots and additional works



List of awards and nominations
Year Award Category Work/Nominee Result
1995 Afternoon Four Seasons Award Jiro Taniguchi Special Prize Blame! Won[15]
2006 Harvey Awards Best American Edition of Foreign Material Blame! Nominated[16]
2013 17th Japan Media Arts Festival Manga Division Knights of Sidonia Jury Selections[17]
2015 39th Kodansha Manga Award Best General Manga Won[18]
2016 47th Seiun Award Best Comic Won[19]
2016 Comic-Con International Inkpot Award Himself Won[20]
2019 Eisner Award Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia Abara Nominated[21]
2020 26th Salón del Manga de Barcelona Best Seinen Manga Knights of Sidonia Won[22]


  1. ^ "講談社漫画賞で本県出身2人受賞 世界観、高い評価". 福島民友 (in Japanese). Archived from the original on June 13, 2015. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  2. ^ @SIDONIA_anime (February 26, 2015). ""◆祝御生誕‼︎◆本日2月26日は..."" (Tweet) (in Japanese). Retrieved March 4, 2020 – via Twitter.
  3. ^ "Creator Spotlight Sale: Tsutomu Nihei thru 6/12". Kodansha Comics. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Aoki, Deb. "Interview: Knights of Sidonia Mangaka Tsutomu Nihei". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  5. ^ "『人形の国』1巻発売&『BLAME!』映画公開記念 弐瓶勉のセカイ". BookWalker (in Japanese). Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Interview manga de Tsutomu Nihei". planète bd (in French). Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  7. ^ "Interview de Tsutomu Nihei". Éditions Glénat (in French). Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  8. ^ Bayon, Arthur. "Tsutomu Nihei et ses marionnettes martyres". Le Figaro (in French). Retrieved September 9, 2020.
  9. ^ ""奇才レフティ"の異名をとる、BUCK-TICKのギタリスト今井寿の愛機『BT-MM』をフィーチャーしたBE@RBRICKとフォトTシャツが登場". Openers (in Japanese). July 10, 2022. Retrieved October 28, 2023.
  10. ^ "Comic-Con International: San Diego – Special Guests". Comic-Con International: San Diego. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  11. ^ "Knights of Sidonia's Tsutomu Nihei Launches Ningyō no Kuni Manga on February 25 (Updated)". Anime News Network. November 26, 2016. Retrieved November 30, 2020.
  12. ^ "Tsutomu Nihei, Polygon Pictures' New Anime Is High Fantasy Ōyukiumi no Kaina Next January". Anime News Network. January 20, 2022. Retrieved January 20, 2022.
  13. ^ "Knights of Sidonia's Tsutomu Nihei Launches New Manga on October 26". Anime News Network. September 29, 2023. Retrieved September 29, 2023.
  14. ^ "Untitled 3 page gundam story".
  15. ^ "Tsutomu Nihei's classic NOiSE is BACK in digital—read Chapter 1 here". Kodansha Comics. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  16. ^ "The Harvey Awards 2006 nominees and winners". The Harvey Awards. Archived from the original on May 22, 2007. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  17. ^ "Knights of Sidonia | Japan Media Arts Festival Archive". Japan Media Arts Festival Archive. Retrieved April 2, 2020.
  18. ^ Nelkin, Sarah. "Yowamushi Pedal, The Seven Deadly Sins Win 39th Kodansha Manga Awards". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  19. ^ Loo, Egan. "Girls & Panzer Film, Knights of Sidonia Manga Win Seiun Awards". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  20. ^ "Inkpot Award". Comic-Con International: San Diego. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  21. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn. "Abara, Laid-Back Camp, Tokyo Tarareba Girls, More Nominated for Eisner Awards". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  22. ^ "Ganadores de los premios Manga Barcelona Limited Edition". Ramen Para Dos (in Spanish). Retrieved October 30, 2020.