Review by: John Fragglepuss Evans
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi, Psychological, Game, Explosions!
First Aired: Fall 2012, 12 episodes
Summary: Ryouta Sakamoto is an unemployed NEET (Not in Employment, Education, or Training) and lives with his mother. He spends the lion’s share of his time playing “Btooom!”, a popular online game of battling team vs team using bombs to defeat the enemies. He is a natural at the game and has just become the number one player in Japan and the first Japanese player to crack the top 10 worldwide leaderboard. All the sudden he wakes up stranded on an island and has no memory of how he got there. He is in for a rude awakening when he is attacked by an individual that is not looking to be his friend. It appears someone has recreated “Btooom!”, but for real with life or death consequences! Armed with a few bombs, known as “BIM”, and his knowledge of the video game, it’s time to follow Ryouta as he learns the rules of the high stakes world and see if he gives into the desire to hunt the most dangerous game.
Btooom is a fast-pace series that hardly allows the characters a chance to stop and take a breather. Every episode introduces a new character or two, resulting in constant bomb battles. I enjoyed how the battles were not only physical or based on firepower, but wit and strategy as well. Everyone has their own type of bomb and they are in limited supply. It’s important to not be wasteful and use your bomb type to your advantage. The mind games between combatants was one of my favorite parts of the series. The animation was bright and vibrant, which I appreciate, but fairly standard. The intro and ending songs were great. My only major qualm with the series is that it’s been five years and we don’t have a second season! They left it open with many questions unanswered and I want to know! I mean, what’s going on with this Btooom world? I know what you’re thinking, “Read the manga”. Fine, if you’re going to be pushy, maybe I will! All right, my rant’s over.
You might enjoy this if: You are into survival games. Think Battle Royale or The Hunger Games. There is a similar vibe to Btooom.
You might not like it if: You don’t like to see the darker side of humanity and what individuals are capable of when brought to their breaking point. Also, there is the occasional fan-service moment.
Note to the Viewer: If you’re like me, you’ll immediately want to know more about the Btooom game. Bombs are known as “BIMs” and several types exist: Cracker, Implosion, Timer, Flame, Blazing Gas, Homing, Barrier, and Remote Control.
Btooom! Opener – No Pain, No Game