Given how episodes 1 and 2 have been pre-aired, I have heard slightly favourable views about BTOOOM so far. Having watched this episode though, I have to admit that I am slightly disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad, but given how the other titles are shaping out to be thus far, BTOOOM feels rather average in comparison.
In Soviet Russia, the game plays you!
It is a fine line between reality and games isn’t it? Sakamoto Ryouta (Kanata Hongou) is 22 years-old and a current NEET. This particular NEET excelled at playing an online game with the same title as the series, even ranking top 10 in the world. Suddenly (or not quite so as whoever was responsible had to hit him on the head, proceed to embed whatever that thing is on his hand, board a plane before throwing him off with a parachute), he finds himself stranded on an island where he is forced to play the very same game with a twist, he is now participating in a real-life version of the game without knowing how or why. Survival game anybody?
Oh, boobs. I mean, after
claiming fragging someone who was after his life despite Ryouta’s attempts to make peace, he chanced upon a hot blonde girl with blue eyes. (How did he managed to remain unnoticed is something beyond me, he wasn’t camouflaged and he was standing in the open in broad daylight!)
Disclaimer: I have not read the manga as at time of writing, impressions are based on what I’ve seen.
Post edit: Marathoned the manga after, it is actually pretty good, just remember that for this post I’m speaking about BTOOOM as an adaptation.
As you can see, this episode was very straightforward in terms of execution without any confusing shenanigans going on. The (game) settings and Ryouta’s character was established over the course of this episode, although I personally think that they should’ve included a little more especially in the second half. The showdown between Ryouta and his unknown enemy felt dragged out to me considering how long the whole process took (almost half the episode to be exact). I’m not sure if I should rant on realism, or the lack thereof in BTOOOM, but one does not simply eat bomb blasts in the face and escape nearly unscathed, multiply that a couple of times while we’re at it. The time taken for Ryouta to figure out that he is in a life or death scenario where it is “kill or be killed” also felt a little unnatural. Yes, he might be bewildered having no recollection of what in the world just happened, but when someone is throwing bombs and trying to get you kill, I’m sure as hell going to either fight or take flight.
This whole “game turned reality” theme isn’t quite that original, in fact the character designs/art and premise do remind me of Deadman Wonderland/Zetman more than any other titles, both which are seinen in nature too. The larger picture is as usual, kept a mystery for now, as Ryouta struggles to accept the reality that he is in. Another bummer for me is that the animation looks to be strictly average, it might just be me but I didn’t find anything noteworthy about the animation used here. The VAs for both the male and female lead are kinda new to the industry so not much to comment about that.
At this point, the only bit I’m looking forward to is the romance aspect (which is ironical given its genres), between Ryouta and Himiko (yeah I found out about her name). The different types of bombs do intrigue me a little, although it is kinda obvious that the one that explodes on impact is superior as opposed to the timer-based bomb that Ryouta is using. Thankfully, guns isn’t the weapon of choice here and we have bombs instead. Why? Guns kill way too quickly, save for characters with plot armour who never seem to get hit no matter what. Bombs are more flashy, gives more bang for buck (pun intended). Who doesn’t like explosions?
Again, I have to emphasize that BTOOOM is in no way terrible or anything like that, it just fell a little short for me. With the introduction of a heroine at the end, I’m confident that the plot will develop quickly and start to focus more how they ended up there and why they are forced into playing this “game”.
- Darn, Ryouta must have been knocked out for an awfully long period of time, seriously.
- Darn, Mom what happened to you?
- Probably the second best part of the episode – Game controllers being embedded into a wall. Nokia phones? Nah, I’ll have those instead.