January 3, 2013

Anime Review: Btooom!

So what do you do if you were suddenly thrown on a desert island with no way of going back home unless you play a death game featuring bombs based on a real game? You try to survive of course. The island is a kill or die zone where every moment counts.


In the blink of the mind's eye, Ryouta Sakamoto suddenly finds himself transported from playing the hit Btoom! video game to being stranded on a mysterious island, equipped with a day's worth of provisions, a bag of bombs, a strange crystal embedded in his left hand and a huge gaping hole in his memory. But it doesn't take long to figure out what's going on, especially after the first person Ryouta meets tries to kill him. Someone is attempting to recreate the ultra-violent Btoom! game in real life, and the island has been filled with an army of other unwilling players, each armed with one of the multiple variants of explosive weapons called BIM. Fortunately, Ryouta's an ace Btoom! player, but this insane version of the game has no reset switch or second lives, and there's only one way off the island: kill seven other people before they can kill you! Can Ryouta repurpose his game based skills fast enough to survive?


Btooom! takes an interesting take on an anime featuring an online game. Rather than throw the characters into a virtual world, the characters are thrown on to an island where they have to play the game for real. And no, it is not a family friendly game either. You blow other people up with various different types of bombs at your disposal. Ryouta Sakamoto is one such unfortunate guy. He is thrown into the game of life and death with this game. He manages to avoid getting killed at first but slowly finds out that this game isn't as easy as he thinks it is. With his previous experience in playing the online, he uses his skills and wits to overpower his opponents and to win the game. The story was quite good and featured plenty of awesome moments. I found the ending a bit rushed and I hope there will be a sequel or even an OVA to end the story properly. The story was really realistic and portrayed what human nature shows when one is desperate about saving their own lives. It goes to show the ugly side of a person. In the end, there were some nice scenes and good action to keep you entertained.

The art took a bit of time to get used to. It was really detailed in the environments and really showed a dangerous world just from how the backgrounds were drawn. The characters themselves were illustrated really rough and unpolished to show the true grit of this anime. I must say that the art was really well done and suited the anime perfectly.

The theme songs were quite catchy and reflected what the anime was all about. I didn't really care about the voice acting, but overall it was pretty good. Not excellent, but decently comprehensible and accurate to the situation at hand. There plenty of explosive sound effects and they did not felt reused or repetitive.

There were plenty of characters involved in the anime but I felt none of them had enough screen time to be memorable at the very least. Usually the characters will pop-up in a few episodes only to be killed off later. The main characters themselves are pretty much the only pair of people you come to understand fully. Other than that, don't bother researching into anyone else as it will just waste your time. Ryouta Sakamoto is one hell of a guy. It is cool, calm and collected. He knows what he is doing and what he is fighting for. You will come to like him as you watch the series.

Overall, I enjoy watching this kind of anime once in a while. An anime that features a realistic storyline with survival of a group of people. It contains many thrilling moments as well as bits of gory moments that maybe shouldn't be watched by younger viewers. Other than that, this is a pretty harsh anime, you will not get any sympathy from it. What is presents before you, you have to accept.


ART: 8