I decided to check out BTOOOM! after seeing a post about it on Sankaku Complex (in retrospect, that’s probably not the best way to discover anime). According to the Wikipedia entry, BTOOOM! is about a group of people who are trapped on an island. The only way to get out is to kill each other, because the whole premise is based on a video game. Does that sound familiar? Have we seen this show before?
BTOOOM! is also a manga that has been running for a few years. I read the first three volumes before checking out the anime, so I do know some things that aren’t in this first episode. I can say so far that this series just oozes Gantz. It’s a less gory, more rape-y version of Gantz. Like, so much rape. I expect this will be toned down for the television version, but it won’t really do much to combat the heavy-handedness of this type of story. If I were to tell you “a bunch of people are thrown on an island and have to kill one another to leave – now give me a list of cliches”, you’d pretty much have most of the plot points. For now though let’s just look at the first episode.
We have Ryota Sakamoto, an ace player of the online game BTOOOM! who is more or less a NEET in real life. One day he wake up on a jungle island with no memory of how he got there. He finds that he’s armed with time bombs. Upon meeting another person, Ryota is immediately attacked with explosives, and he realizes it’s just like the game BTOOOM! So naturally, he uses his skills in the game to survive in real life.
The premise is like Battle Royale but stylistically the series is a lot like Gantz. As the protagonist adjusts to his situation, he slowly begins to learn the rules and how to use the tools he’s been given. When he runs into other people, we learn that humans can be real bastards when there’s no social order. This is such a profound revelation, I might have to take a break from writing.
I have plenty of real criticism built up from reading the manga, but as this is just a look at the debut episode, I’ll finish with the shocker that our hero survives his first encounter. Roll credits, then BOOBS.