Ryouta Sakamoto is unemployed and lives with his mother, his only real achievement being that he is Japan's top player of the popular online video game, "Btooom!" However, his peaceful life is about to change when he finds himself stranded on an island in the middle of nowhere, with a small, green crystal embedded in his left hand and no memory of how he got there. To his shock, someone has decided to recreate the game he is so fond of in real life, with the stakes being life or death.
Armed with a bag full of unique bombs known as "BIM," the players are tasked with killing seven of their fellow participants to obtain their green crystals, used as proof of their victory, in order to return home. Initially condemning any form of violence, Ryouta is forced to fight when he realizes that many of the other players are not as welcoming as they may seem. Teaming up with Himiko, a fellow Btooom! player who turns out to be his in-game wife, they attempt to get off of the island together, slowly coming closer and closer to the truth behind this contest of death.
In my effort to find animes that don't star some stupid little high school boy I decided to focus as much as I could on finding animes starring adults. My search didn't take that long surprisingly when I came across of a description "A 22 year old..." that my friend was how I discovered BTOOM!
I decided to give the anime a shot to see if I like it and ended up watching the whole thing in two days. :D Let me first talk about all the things I liked about it.
The story is about a guy who sits at home playing videos games all day,
he's one of the top players in a game called BTOOM! Eventually he gets kidnapped and taken to an Island where he has to play the game to survive and win back his freedom. I immediately thought of myself and my Killzone 3 addiction. lol! So I can sort of relate to the main protagonist. I also love stories like "The Hunger Games" where people are forced to fight each other for their lives.
The Characters are a the biggest draw for me as they are all real people...or they feel like real people and not just a bunch of anime archetypes thrown together. The main character, Ryouta is just a regular guy who is very selfish and tends to think only about how things affect him. He's not some goody two shoes but he's not the devil as well. What was interesting to me more than anything was finding out that everyone on the Island was sent there by someone they know and we do get a glimpse into the reasons why some of the characters are there and with the others you can sort of see why, based on their actions, why someone would send them. In other words, some are more deserving of their spot there than others and with Ryouta, it's up to you to decide if he should really be there or not.
The next main character is Himiko/Emilia a highschool girl who also played the game somewhat and even married Ryouta in the game. When I first saw this character I rolled my eyes because I wanted to avoid the high school kid thing but I was wrong. This girl is as real as it can get and someone I found myself rooting for and relating to a great deal. I love how her character was handled in some of the situations she was in. She was almost raped twice and it made her grow mistrusting of men in general, something that I know a lot of women go through. She just did bounce back and become some sex kitten, nor was she a damsel. she fought to maintain her purity in a world where men were eager to take it away from her. Even if it meant sacrificing her own life.
Anyway, the characters, even the ones I didn't root for all had something about them that made me feel a certain way about them whether it was love, hate, disgust, etc.The anime did not pull its punches showing how horrible some of these characters are and for a story premise about how these people were chosen by someone "who wants them to disappear" that's how it should be. The story is filled with betrayals and so on that constantly remind you of why they are there.
I really enjoyed the slow development of the relationship between Ryouta and Himiko. He's not some stupid shy little boy and she's not some super bitch or super sickly sweet chick. They are just two people thrown into a nightmare and they are trying to survive.
Now what I didn't like about it:
First I was happy that Himiko was called a foreigner. she was a character with blond hair and blue eyes, it makes sense. Then later she calls herself Japanese?? I don't know many Japanese girls named Emilia or at least that's not a common Japanese name. Why can't she just be a foreigner living in Japan?
The anime suffers from not being longer than 12 episodes. I would have liked to know more about the other characters and what was going on with the people behind BTOOM and this island version of it. It sort of reminded me of "Cabin in the Woods" the way they were monitoring them all.
The anime did way too many 'That could have been messy" moments. For example: Himiko manages to toss a bomb off of her while the timer was at 1 sec. That is ridiculous considering the fact that we have seen other characters die from the same bomb type from a farther distance and I doubt she was able to throw it that far that fast in 1 sec. This also happens to the Ryouta a lot. Too many close calls takes away from the suspense of having them.
I really like this anime. I love the characters in it ad I really want to get to know more about them. When I finished the last episode I looked for a season 2 because there is just no way this anime is over. It pretty much finishes in the middle! However, sadly I read that it was one of the worst selling animes of 2012. *SMH* of course it is. Why am I not the least bit surprised that this anime was a poor seller. It isn't starring some idiotic high school boy who spends all day blushing at chicks and riding mechs. It isn't starring an equally annoying anime girl who is so sweet she might as well p*$$ maple syrup or a girl who is so emotionally devoid of life she might as well be a sockt puppet. Everybody's problems can't be solve by saying "Believe in me/us/him/her" Maybe it wasn't eechi enough for all the pervs. heaven forbid it shows a girl almost getting raped and gee golly whiz, not actually like it or sequel helplessly.
Oh well, I won't hold my breath for another season and considering where it stops off at you would probably be better off not even watching it. here is a manga though so I'll check it out.
Btooom! is one of those shows that tries to be as edgy and mature as it can simply for the sake of being edgy and mature, while at the same time tries to pull off a laughworthy plot with a straight face. Unfortunately the results are less humor inducing and more cringeworthy.
The setting relies far too much on the “humans are bastards” trope, wherein many of the characters resort to murder to survive when there really isn’t any need to. The players are simply given a bag of bombs, dropped off on a deserted island, and are told to go kill each other if they
ever hope to return home. That’s it. Nothing’s actually forcing them to partake in the game, so why not band together to survive on the island, and use their bombs to combat against the evil corporation facilitating the game? Of all the characters, only two of them are convicted criminals; otherwise it’s just a bunch of average people who were jerks to their family and coworkers.
The characters in general are horribly written. Ryouta is the archetypal chivalrous hero who manages to ward off evildoers and protect his woman each episode, giving us too stark of a contrast between the huge asshole we see in the flashbacks; Himiko is the useless damsel in distress most of the time, and Taira’s character gradually degrades from the brosky sidekick to someone who must be at Ryouta’s side at all times–otherwise he’ll go insane with worry. Most of the other characters are villains who, in accordance to the shows over reliance on “humans are bastards,” are much too cartoony to be taken seriously.
Sometimes the bomb fights themselves can be entertaining, but more often than not Btooom! will focus on the tactics of the fights, and there’s just not much to work with if you’re trying to make this a battle of the minds. Even with the variety of different bomb types, chucking multiple bombs while hiding in the bushes would be the most effective strategy in most cases, and yet the show tries to have to have the characters “outsmart” each other. They don’t even ever outsmart each other; once a character simply catches a bomb before it can detonate, and suddenly everyone acts as if he’s “outsmarted” his opponent. If anything this just makes them look even more unintelligent than they already do
Perhaps worst of all is that Btooom! is a series riddled with sexism and rape culture. There are quite a few scenes where Himiko is violated in some way or form, and although none of these scenes are as bad as they could be–especially in comparison to the pornographic source material–they’re still gratuitous and titillating to the point of being fanservice. And rape as fanservice simply isn’t something that belongs in a dramatic narrative.
The main problem with Btooom! in regards to rape however, is how it depicts Himiko and her virginitiphobia. For one, the writers seem to equate the phobia with misandry, and tries to make a point of how Himiko should learn to be more trusting of men; that alone is reason enough to believe that they don’t have enough respect for rape issues as they should. Yes, it’s obviously wrong to distrust every man you see, but trying to drive this point across with an episode about a woman who is alone, ugly, and crazy because she distrusts men, is pretty unsympathetic to people suffering from virginitiphobia.
Then there’s the several scenes where Himiko becomes suicidal in the heat of battle, either to protect her “purity” or because she’s simply lost all hope of winning. This is understandable seeing how she’s gone through several traumatic experiences, but problematic in how it only serves to make her a damsel in distress, and not to actually make a compelling character out of her.
As a mindless action series, Btooom! succeeds at being mildly entertaining. Otherwise, it’s easily one of the worst animes of 2012.
"This is where tomorrow brings a new game. It's time to learn that pain is gain. Ready FIGHT!"
Survival games have been very prominent in Japan. Normally, survival games will involve who gets killed and who will become the last man standing. Some of the survival games like Mirai Nikki, Fate/Zero, Danganronpa and others.
Ryota Sakamoto is a NEET which stands for Not educated, employed or trained. He plays a new game called BTOOOM! and he became one of the top players. One day, he woke up in a deserted tropical island and he realized that he is trapped in a real-life game BTOOOM with
other players including Himiko, Ryota's in-game wife.
Each players have a green gem which represents their life and if the gem is removed, the player might die. Basically, it is like a survival game. In order to win, you have to collect all the gems and make it out alive.
Basically, it is your typical survival game.
The animation is good. It portrays a dark and serious tone.
I loved the opening song "No pain, no game" while I liked the ending "Aozora". The opening plays like a rock and roll tune. The ending gives a smooth tune.
The characters are by far the weakest. Ryota and Himiko were predictable. Ryota can sometimes be a badass. Himiko is a typical damsel in distress. Although I sincerely understood her past when rape is a terrible thing to go through.
Kosuke Kira was a tragic character who lived a tragic life in his childhood.
Masashi Miyamoto looks like a soldier with a magenta pirate hat.
Kiyoshi Taira was a good character who helped Ryota and Himiko survive through this game. Although he didn't leave much impression.
So far, it is sad to say that the characters are bland and uninteresting.
I didn't enjoy this show a lot but I did appreciate the way how they make use of people being trapped into a virtual game where the only way to win is to be the last man standing.
Even the ending leaves no resolution to the plot. Normally, I see this in most anime I watched. There was no resolution.
That's all I have to say. If you enjoy survival games, you might enjoy this too.
That feeling when you get when you realized your life is now fucked up, turned from virtual fun into a bloody reality, and your only chance to survive is to trust in no one (I mean it here) but yourself. With only your disposal – a package of bombs, a strange gem on your hand, and your own intuition, you realize that your life has been changed forever with your new life now residing on a strange island in the middle of nowhere...
So, what should you choose to do?
A) Panic! Scream and hope someone will help you out
B) Try to team up with someone and
trust in him or her and hope that they will not betray you.
C) Do the opposite of choice B. In other words, when you find the first opportunity, KILL THEM after you've gained their trust
D) Just try to survive. Your life belongs to you and yours only
These all sound pretty horrifying, right? Well, that's Btooom! for you.
Btooom! is survival horror themed anime series based off the manga of the same name. It doesn't take long for the characters in the series to realize their lives have changed forever to be quite honest. The series takes itself from the very beginning and presents a game senario where in order to survive, you must kill seven other people before they can kill you. It's survival of the fittest and it's a every one for themselves.
The basis of the series is actually based off a game from the anime series itself called Btooom. But now, our 22-years old main protagonist Ryota Sakamoto's life has changed forever when he realizes the new situation of his reality. In fact, he used to be an pro gamer from the game itself. However, his new life puts on the edge between survival and death. The difference? It's real. In other words, there's no pause button, no restart, or bonus lives. No, now you're dead, YOU'RE DEAD.
The influence of the series seems to be based off of the classic deserted island theme. Only this time, the island itself becomes a battlefield for survival. And of course, series with themes like this isn't new especially in today's anime industry. Series like Mirai Nikki, Deadman Wonderland, and Gantz all have these themes where survival is absolute. Even in manga series, these themes are present such as Psyren, Mahou Shoujo of the End, and Cage of Eden. The fact is that these series all share a common factor in which an ordinary main male protagonist's lives are changed forever after a certain event. These events turn from peculiar, to dangerous, to tragic, to emotional, and one which will leave a memory in their minds for the rest of their lives.
Well, it's hard to describe them all but let's look at some of the most prominent ones, shall we? We begin with the main male protagonist -
Ryota Sakamoto. He is a 22 year old young man who has achieved mastery and fame in the Btooom world. In the game, he is ruthless but yet cunning as well as being infamous for his skills. In real life though, he is described as a NEET. In other words, he has almost no life but rather chooses to spent them playing the game. Yet, he is a brilliant, caring, loyal, and courageous young man if we look at him carefully especially during his time of playing the real Btooom game in the anime series.
On the other hand, there's Himiko (also known as Hemilia). She is the main female protagonist with a pair of big boobs but with a small interest in the opposite sex. As a matter of fact, she hates the male population in general for fear of her past. It's for this reason that she carries a stun gun throughout the series as a warning sign to any men who dares to approach her. In her mind, every men in the game (and possibly on the planet) is her enemy and that she is their prey. This is especially true in the beginning episodes where some of flashbacks are shown in a dark fashion.
The other contestants of the Btooom game all have different ideologies, goals, and personalities as we see the series progresses. What they all have share in similarities is their desire to win the game and get off the island. As such, most of them are willing to hurt, betray, and even kill to ensure that their goal is achieved; well, most of them anyways. For people like Kiyoshi Taira, there seems to be hope and friendship. But for others, there exists hatred, dominance, power, and intellect as part of their characteristics.
For example, Kousuke Kira, a young boy at the age of only 14 holds a hatred for his father due to his childhood. It turned him into a child murderer and one that lacks empathy. Then, there's Masahito Date who is willing to do anything to ensure his successes throughout the game and becomes its victor. Then, there are some others who uses their brains rather than their brawns such as Nobutaka Oda who has mastered his usage of the Remote Control type BIM. The point is that every one the island wants to get out of it and return to their lives.
Yet, they know their lives won't be the same again...
The games' concept involves survival and thus, there are some science fiction themes mixed in with the brutality of violence, strategy, and a little bit of luck. After all, a game is never easy when there are others with skills that matches your own. To add to the game, there are the BIMs or bombs that players use as their main weapons of destruction. These bombs all have different abilities that can lead to the death of an opponent. It reflects the science fiction side of the series. The horror side? Those would be some of the flashbacks of the characters as well as the reality of what the players face. They realize that it's not a game anymore and once they're dead, it's game over forever.
Now, the series isn't as good as it sounds. Make no mistake because every survival series has a lack of something that should have been there. In this case, Btooom has them too. The series lacks a diversity in which how the game is played. In other words, there is only bombs that are the primary weapons for the contestants. It does play on its main title as “Btooom!” seems to be synonymous to “BOOM!” That's of course what happens when one of those BIMs goes off and your body splatters. As gruesome as it sounds, the series tries too hard occasionally. Furthermore, the main male protagonist often comes with cases of deus ex machina. It's almost as if he is protected by the “main protagonist should not die” shield. Other problems I've run into the series is that the seemingly rushed sequences. Some of the contestants are killed off in a single episode with little to no screen time given beyond their performance in the game. In other words, they don't stand out as much as the main protagonists. In the end, they're just more like obstacles for them to get by and almost a way for them to “level up” or gain experience in the game.
The artwork of the series is fine but nothing unique. What it does reflect though is the nature of the game of Btooom and its survival themes. These include the abandoned buildings, the tropical forests, the shallow waters, the high mountain cliffs, and other things you typically see on an abandoned island. In fact, most of the characters' outfits reflects this as well in their casual wear and their battle scarred clothing. Most of them are dressed in ways in which they are of themselves which means that none of them were prepared for a real life version of Btooom. And of course, the battlefield has left ashes and bombs going off is usually visually represented with its spectacular explosions. Nothing else is more than that though as I found the artwork to be typical but gets to the point.
The soundtrack of the series is presented with its action paced OST. In most scenes involving action, there is the rhythm. There is hardly any comedic or lighthearted soundtrack in this series as it doesn't fit within those grounds. Yet, it does occasionally have emotional melody especially for flashback scenes of the contestants; more often these are represented as being tragic. The OP song, "No pain, No game" by Nano is a classic for this series. That's right, no pain means no game and in the world of Btooom, there's both of that. On the other hand, the ED song, "Aozora " by May'n is presented in a more soft paced style especially featuring one of the main characters, Himiko.
Ultimately, Btooom is one of those survival horror series that can be enjoyable but at the same time, becomes frustrating with its strange twists. The cliffhangers and occasionally plot twists have become predictable especially in later episodes. At the same time, there is a feeling of explosiveness (more than just the BIMs) when we watch the action scenes. It's not intelligent but packs that feeling of survival horror where your life really is at stake here. In the world of Btooom, it ultimately comes down to how to play the game. If you play your cards right, you'll win. If not, then game over for you and no second chances.