[First off, Holiday posts are put on hold, so the first one is getting pulled]
Definitely not what I expected
And that’s a DAMN good thing.
I’ll be honest, I completely overlooked Btooom as another SAO/Accel World type of series when I read the summary. The VR Simulator gone wrong and the hero accompanied a girl who’s way above him in the societal ladder usually defeats some internet troll/bully/guy who’s clearly not normal. Btooom’s setting was already in a much more darker place because instead of a fantastical or sci-fi world, we just have a military “Counter Strike with only grenades” with Accel World esque avatars. After I watched the first 2 episodes and caught up with the manga series, I was glad to conclude that this stands above the two series mentioned before.
Let’s dash through the summary: Sakamoto Ryota is a NEET who focuses his life on this one online videogame called Btooom. Following the onomatopoeiatic title, the game focuses on blowing people to bits rather than cutting or blasting lead into them. In a strange daze, he awakes to find himself on a tropical island, in the middle of nowhere. When he tries to get help, he recieves a bomb and he deduces that he is somehow trapped in the real life rendition of his favorite online game.
In terms of the last episode, Taira betrays our duo in thoughts of quickly returning home to his wife and child. Seeing how the two are outplaying his ploy, Taira runs off and finds himself too scared and ashamed of confronting Himiko and Sakamoto. He is cornered by komodo dragons and finds it fitting to aim his last BIM at himself. The series ends off with Sakamoto and Himiko confirming eachother’s feelings as the real life game developers hop on a helicopter to fix a “bug” in the system.
- Sakamoto: Sakamoto proves that being good at videogames helps you survive in a real life version of it (and all of the sudden, I think I’m ready to tackle post-apocalytpic America). Sakamoto on a serious note is a whole hearted “good guy” who tries to find the best way possible to overcome the violent and delusional situations he finds himself in while on the island. Back before the main story starts, he was a complete jerkwad who was addicted to videogames. I think this fight or flight experience on the island gave him some time to think over the small things in life to really change his character. If there’s one thing I have to nitpick about him though, is the fact that his voice is just a bit soft, hell everyones’ voice is a bit too soft.
- Himiko: I call Himiko, the “Failed Experiment”. Why is that? I personally got the feeling that Himiko was designed to be a female lead who could take care of herself and didn’t have to rely on the male lead “too much” to get something done. With all the rape going on around Himiko, I expected her to put up more of a fight. Instead, Sakamoto ends up saving her with every turn and she becomes extremely dependent on him. While her status as a “female lead” has fallen quite considerably, that doesn’t stop her from being eyecandy. What can I say? She’s a pretty girl trapped on an island, what can she do?
- Taira: Taira acted as the middle man of the series. Although he needed Sakamoto’s help on many occasions, he reminds us of the entire theme of “Trust” going on. You really can’t predict what people are thinking on doing in situations presented throughout the series, and Taira embodies the fear of a regular person who is stuck in these situations. His end was a tragic one, I wonder if they have a replacement “3rd” person to fill in for him. Plus, I completely called the part where he was gonna do something like that in the end.
- And Everyone else: Almost everyone else is named after a historical figure in Japanese history, maybe the naming department just got tired of making new names. Then again, it’s a total battlefield here. Let’s see…was there anyone really worth mentioning? I’m pretty sure I mentioned my thoughts on everybody in the preceding posts..whatever, I’m in a rush to get a lot of reviews done
I thought this would be a “trapped in virtual reality” sort of anime series. Instead it gives me the flipped version where instead of virutal simulation, real people are actually put on a real island to seriously kill eachother. That fact just turned my impression on the series upside down and lo and behold, I went off catching up with the manga. The manga hasn’t gone far from the anime just yet and seeing how this series can get violent real fast, I really can’t wait to see what happens next. Both anime and manga for right now cuts off with the real life developers leaving headquarters and heading toward the island on helicopter to fix a glitch in the system.
All in all, it’s a rather violent and horrifically understandable survival series. It’s comparable to Battle Royale or for some of you, The Hunger Games. The characters are relatable and the action is fast paced and actually require more than just pointing and shooting. Bombs being the only official weapon in the game makes things a lot tougher to deal with. Trajectory, blast radius, friendly fire, etc. It’s definitely entertaining and I would recommend it those who are searching for some good videogame centered anime after being disapppointed by SAO/Accel World