Warning! The review has some spoilers!

The World of Btooom!

In Btooom! the action takes place on an remote island. The game has been recreated for real life and survival will bring out the ugliest side of all players involved. The players are equipped with a set of bombs with different effects. The cool radar crystal from the game pings like submarine sonar and it tracks down moving players. The radar crystal is imbedded into a person’s hand, and you need eight of them to leave the island. The only way these crystals come off is when a person is dead, and that triggers everyone trying to kill each other. In order to leave the island you have to kill and survival becomes a game. The players are constantly pushed to their limits, and you will question every single character because no one is a saint.

Of course, with real life people, they need real life resources and incentive to fight. To prompt actual fighting the masterminds behind the game send down briefcases of supplies, and the fight to get what you need turns into a battlefield. The island has bombs going off and death can be lurking at every turn since you cannot trust anyone.

Here is where Btooom! can get a little tricky. The masterminds behind this is a video game corporation called Tyrannis Corporation, and they took in requests for making people disappear. Therefore, players were sent to the island when someone requested them to disappear.

In other words, the players are handpicked from a batch of people who are hated. Now, I found it hard believe that a video game corporation has gotten away with mass mafia-style kidnapping. I asked myself why isn’t anyone trying to stop this? Or why isn’t anyone trying to investigate the disappearance of these people? Nevertheless, this can be overlooked since the action is so good and characters are well-developed.

Can’t You See I’m Playing Btooom!

Sakamoto is the man, and one of the top Btooom! players in the world. He even has a virtual wife that he met online through Btooom! On the other hand, his life in the real-world is full of issues. He has a terrible attitude and just wants to be left alone. He seems to blame his failures in the real world on his loved ones and he takes his anger out on them. Seriously, do not approach this guy when he is playing Btooom! or he’ll throw his XBOX 360 controller at you like a 99 miles per hour fastball.

However, everything changes when he suddenly wakes up and he is stuck in a tree on a remote island. With no recollection as to how and why he is on the island, he is instantly met with the struggle to survive. It’s game on, when Btooom! comes to life and Ryota is one of the many players who will have to kill or be killed.

Btooom! is meant for a mature audience and the content is very dark. Btooom! will make you think of movie The Condemned, and it’s similar to Call of Duty games. Btooom! explores the ugliest aspects of human nature such as lust, or deception.

The Group Against Everyone Else

Now, Ryota Sakamoto serves as our main protagonist, but he is not perfect. Be on the lookout for unlikable traits he may display. He decides to lead a group of people who are against killing and he wants to find another way to escape the island.

You’ll find out the truth soon enough…

Himiko plays a major role because she brings deep emotional trauma and the occasional fan-service. After escaping two rape attempts she has declared all men are her enemies. But, in order to survive she has to trust Ryota.

Himiko, what’s the bomb for? Oh, right… You have to defend yourself.

Kiyoshi Taira is a businessman in the outside world and, he believes in Ryota. He does not have the heart to kill someone, but you will wonder about him…

This is the face of concern… I’d get use to it if I were you.

Mercenaries, psychopaths, or ruthless players will do anything to survive. These three are in constant danger, and if anything, the island is just lurking with ways to die. In the course of twelve episodes the group will be tested and everything they do will put their lives at risk. Btooom! teaches you that there are some decisions that you can’t come back from, once you made it.

Thoughts, Action, and The Overall Quality.

The characters minds are constantly going through stress and insanity is a legitimate threat along with getting blown up. You will find romance, and hope, but trust and betrayal go hand in hand as Btooom! is a cruel game filled with deception. The past always finds a way to resurface in Btooom! and a part of the game is facing your past, but it gets ugly with some characters.

Murder isn’t a problem for this child psychopath…

Overall, action scenes are done well, and MADHOUSE brings scenes to life with great animation, voice acting that captures emotions very well, and music. I’m okay, with how characters look, maybe too bulky, but overall it’s not a problem. The music starts off typical, but it picks up especially with specific battles. The island is beautiful, but it can become hell on Earth in an instant with constant explosions coming from different angles.

However, some action scenes lose momentum when half the battle is explaining simple actions. Sure there are tactics involved, but stepping forward or not stepping forward should not get too complicated. And, explaining the rules of bomb use, and deactivating bombs can get confusing. Sometimes the obvious things get an explanation, which makes Btooom! not always an action pack thriller, but rather a psychological thriller. The stand still moments are calculative, and serve as a calm before the storm, but your patience will be tested.

Every character is an open book for the audience, and their thoughts and emotions will be on full display. Getting into the mindsets of these characters can be a blessing and a curse. The instances where their thoughts are a blessing is when we learn more about the character. Their thoughts are constantly going to show character growth and some thoughts are going to rattle us. But, it’s a curse when thoughts should have been said, and when they don’t say what they are thinking, it can get frustrating.

Btooom! will instantly shock the mess out of people the first time they see it. In twelve episodes they paced it very well so you will get the most of it and lots of depth. The darker themes explored in Btooom! make it well worth watching, but be warned there are disturbing aspects of Btooom! that cannot be overlooked. If you are interested in human nature and the struggle to survive then check it out, but if you feel it gets too unnerving there is no shame in passing on this one. The upside of a second season creates much anticipation to dig deeper into how characters get out of this hell.

Grade: 7/10 (Adequate)

Characters are realistic and stand out with questionable thoughts and decisions.

The situations are tense and memorable.

Action is Explosive. (The PUN is 100% intended)

Too much thoughts slow the anime down and I’m sad when a good action scene gets paused with internal thoughts.

It can get too disturbing, dark, and uncomfortable for viewers.

To Be Continued… 😦

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