Btooom just wrapped up it's first season so I figured it was time to give my impression of the show.
I've only watched the series and have not read the manga. Although I might now since I don't know if/when the second season will air.
You can watch BTOOOM! on Crunchyroll in HD for free with my special link :D
Btooom follows the trials of tribulations of a handful of Japanese citizens who get placed on an island and forced to kill each other using explosives in order to escape the island. Players are given a fanny pack filled with one type of explosive, but many different types are available. A player must collect 8 chips embedded in other players hands, which only come loose when they are dead. The survival game they are playing on the island is almost identical to a MMO called "BTOOOM." The main character, Sakamoto, happens to be a world ranked Btooom player.
In short Battle Royale with bombs and adults. The series does take many elements from the classic, especially the introduction of the game which has an energetic and expressive host telling them the rules on a tv screen like it is a kid's game. Although it is in part an homage to Battle Royale, it is a distinct story.
The story mostly focuses on human nature and the will to survive. What happens when they are no laws? Who can you trust? How far will you go?
Ryota Sakamoto is a NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) who spends most of his time playing BTOOOM. You get so see this avid gamer come to terms with the death game he is placed in and try to hold onto his morals. He uses the strategies he has learned in the online game to survive. Ryota is constantly presented ethical problem forcing him to decide what kind of player he wants to be.
Himiko is a high school student who does not trust men and is repeatedly the subject of sexual assault on both the island and in her normal life. She is trying to survive her internal struggle to determine her self worth while fighting for her life on the island. Although she is a vulnerable character, she is not weak. She knows how to survive and would rather die than lose her dignity.
Rape is constantly brought up in this series, more so than necessary. All men on the island are presented as potential rapist once they come across Himiko. Although I get the premise that these types of situations brings out the worst in people, but in this case it is overkill. It also seems like a cheap plot devise to keep Himiko's fear of men strong throughout the show.
I find whenever you have these survival scenarios you get a plethora of crazies, which is more than what you normally find in real life. This is somewhat explained later in the show. As a result many characters aren't believable. Whenever someone new appears I just wonder: "What kind of crazy are you? Sociopath? Power trip? Self-obsessed?"
Madhouse animated the series and I don't have any issues with the art or animation. There isn't anything spectacular that stood out. It's basic anime fare. I do like how they decided to animate the "radar."
The character designs are pretty basic, no crazy hair colours or exaggerated features, but they are believable for the realistic approach they are taking for the series.
There are a few fanservice moments with Himiko throughout the series, which I could care less for. There are also a handful of uncomfortable moments as well. BTOOOM! is for mature audiences.
If all the talk about explosives didn't warn you, there is a decent amount of blood and gore in the series, so you may want to pass if that grosses you out.
I'm no explosives expert but some things are inconsistent and stand out in my opinion.
1. Everyone would have horrible hearing damage on this island from all the explosives going off. This is never addressed, granted it is seldom addressed in action movies either.
2. Some characters are bomb-proof. The extent of the blast and the related injuries often do not match. But I guess those are the perks of being a good guy.
Overall, I enjoyed the series. It's a good survival drama that has a few surprises up it's sleeve. The battles get better and better as the characters learn about the environments and start to strategize. The cliches are disappointing but the story carries the series. I'm looking forward to season two.
You can watch BTOOOM! on Crunchyroll and you can watch it in HD for free with this free trial link ;)
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