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Oct 30, 2012

Edits will be done in bold.

One day, the world decided what we really need is another "Battle Royale" rip-off.

Story: Sakamoto Ryouta is good at an online game called BTOOOM! Actually, he's very good. Actually, he's superb. Actually, he is so good he is unable to recognize a TIME BOMB. The antisocial guy finds himself on an island, where he discovers a few supplies and nothing else. He is confused, but drinks all of his tea because it apparently makes you less confused. He looks at his hand, sees a gemstone, and realizes this is like BTOOOM!. He looks in his pouch and finds little cubes. Apparently, awesome BTOOOM! guy is pretty stupid, because he doesn't recognize it. I immediately knew it it was a bomb. He clicks a button and it counts down. I then knew it was a time bomb. Artemis Fowl here can't figure out what it is. He has a suspicion that the numbers mean something, so he throws it and it explodes.


He is attacked by another guy with bombs which explode on impact. Not only does every single bomb dodge him (yes, the bombs dodge him. He sure as hell can't dodge the bombs), but one explodes in the air. Apparently, "explodes on impact" can refer to molecules. The other guy must be a really crappy BTOOOM! player if he can't use a bomb to kill a boy who's ten feet away. Ryouta takes a gamble and jumps into the sea. The other guy is waiting for him to surface when one of Ryouta's time bombs goes off from under the guy's foot. Screw the fact that the time bombs make noise!

Ryouta is relieved. And the moron survives to see another day!

We then switch perspectives to see the story of another BTOOOM! player, a little bitch by the name of Himiko, which is apparently Japanese for "f*ck me, please!" because this girl is a whore. She cowardly allowed her friends to get raped before the island, but now get's stuck with two older men. (Really smart. Seriously though, how stupid can you get? They could be nice, sure, but you might not want to risk it, especially if you're a pretty girl with a large chest who almost got raped before. LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES!) This just ends up with a man trying to rape her. She lays there until she remembers her bombs and tries to commit suicide and homicide, but the rapist runs away and she hits only him. She then thinks that all men are scum (didn't think of that before, didja? /:) and starts to wash herself in a waterfall. Ryouta sees her and she runs away. But if she and him get together and whatnot, I TOTALLY CALLED IT AND EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SEE IT COMING FROM A MILE AWAY!

Told you.

There's episodes one and two in a nutshell.

Am I supposed to BELIEVE this? The guy who is awesome at BTOOOM! can't recognize a BOMB, and a girl who almost got raped before can place enough trust in a man to allow him to lead her anywhere?

Later on we learn of how the people on the island got there. A happy-go-lucky man on a TV told them everything and blah blah blah. Long story short: It is a BLATANT rip-off of "Battle Royale."

But these plot holes play second fiddle to the really problem of this anime: BTOOOM! is one of the stupidest names I've ever heard. Another one: The dialogue is beyond cheesy! This is especially evident in episode six, which has some of the corniest speeches I have heard. Plus, our main cast (well, mostly Sakamoto, then Taira, then Himiko) seems to think that everyone is out to backstab them, even within their group! How many times has Sakamoto said, "TAIRA-SAN JUST LEFT US HERE TO DIE! Damn, I should have known--hey! Taira-san, ol' pal, where were you? Nice to see you again, ol' chap!"? Seriously, is someone keeping count?

Yet another one: DEUS EX MACHINA. Or, in simpler terms, PLOT DEVICE. This anime is so full of plot devices (especially episode nine) that it is almost insulting. Do people think that no one will notice these? That an unconscious girl could throw, in one second, a bomb far enough away from her to not even harm her (and she's in a forest, no less)? That a boy can have a bomb explode under his feet and remain unscathed? Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera? There is also some diablous ex machina, especially in episode 10 or 11.

Oh, yeah, and the ending is awful. I won't spoil anything, but it is bad. Really, terribly bad.

Animation: I've seen better and I've seen worse. Compared to the other Fall 2012 anime I am watching, it's pretty sad. Character designs are lackluster, from Ryouta's Yagami Light impressions to Himiko's blonde hair and big chest. Backgrounds fare a bit better, but are still rather nondescript. The explosions look cool, but everything else is only a step above average.

Also, this anime goes out of its way to include fanservice. A bomb bounces off of Himiko's moonbounce of a breast. Himiko's panties are pink, if you care. In addition, I have never understood why an anime girl blushes when a guy sees her naked after she runs out of the shower. Of course, that scene happens here, with Himiko (and her stupidity) emerge from a shower, only to have her... yeah... be censored by a well-placed leaf.

Sound: The OP isn't as bad as I make it out to be (it might be the best part of the anime). However, this point still stands: The OP is forgettable and so is the ED. Insert music is mediocre. The voice acting is on par with many other series. I cannot applaud it, but it serves its purpose. No voice actor in particular stands out as exceptionally good.

Characters: Development may improve as the series progresses. No.

Main characters: Boy with blue vest: Kira Kosuke, old man: Taira Kiyoshi, girl with blonde hair: Himiko, man with short hair and glasses: Date Masahito, man with long hair and sunglasses: Oda Nobutaka, boy who looks an awful lot like Yagami Light: Sakamoto Ryouta. 

Sakamoto Ryouta: The guy who's "really good" at BTOOOM!, as he tells us every fifteen seconds. I would be better suited to the survival game, and that is saying A LOT. He's a love-him-or-hate-him kind of character, and he'll hopefully become more likable. Well, he doesn't become more likable, all he does is become more and more naive. Eventually, this makes him into a hypocrite.

Himiko: Unfortunately, this is not "GANTZ" and a sexy female character probably will not be killed off. (Minor spoiler for "GANTZ?" A bunch of minor spoilers?) I hope she dies. I've never liked the damsel-in-distress role. (And her fanservice role sure isn't helping.) Her backstory is just too unbelievable to be tragic; I know rape is a horrid and prominent part of many people's lives, but her past seems forced.

Taira Kiyoshi: He is, in a nutshell, pointless. As far as athletic ability goes, he is by far the weakest character of the bunch. It would have been a good idea to have given him psychological balance instead (or make him go crazy, that would have been interesting!), but he is simply a spineless old man, relying on Ryouta to save him multiple times. It is also hinted at that he will abandon the gang (actually, it is much more obvious than just "hinted at"), so all credibility for anything he does is lost.

Date Masahito: He brings the word "asshole" to new lows. He is manipulative and selfish, and couldn't care less about the people he says he loves/wants to protect. Unfortunately, a large amount of plot devices, a lack of logic and a whole lot of moronic characters surround him. Overall, not a good villain.

Oda Nobutaka: Poorly fleshed-out character. I can't describe him.

Kosuke Kira: He's a 14-year-old boy who raped and killed three women... and he has a sexually and physically abusive father... and he is crazy...

Murasaki Shiki: She has a backstory stolen straight from "Battle Royale," and she really doesn't do anything worth mentioning.

Overall: Hopefully, this series will improve. I give up. Don't bother watching this series.

3.5/10 story
5.5/10 animation
5/10 sound
3/10 characters
4/10 overall

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CoolHandMike Jul 10, 2013

Hilarious review. The kind of things you describe about the drama and action are all the things I find annoying and boring in these animes and I'll give it a WIDE berth.

NicoNicoDesu Mar 15, 2013

Because I am a grade A hypocrite, I will spam up your inbox with this response to your second comment on my "BTOOOM!" review page.

Hey, I don't mind if your "straight-forward"--that's what you want to be when posing an argument, right? As for the "rude" part, you were not NEARLY as rude as you probably think you were (and as I originally thought you were... yeah... -.-''), and I like that you actually put forth the effort to start an argument and give me some constructive criticism!

Okay, you backed me into a corner with that "rip-off" point. Yes, I was acting really haughty when I made that comment, and I was, for lack of a better idiom, riding a high horse. Oh, but since I'm not a huge fan of losing, I'll bring the "BTOOOM!" manga into this: The "Battle Royale" similarities are basically lampshaded in it: In a description/in-story advertisement for the game, BTOOOM! is remarked as having a "Battle Royale"-style plot. (I would find the actual quote, and I can, if you want me to.)

I'm not going to elaborate too much on the Sakamoto/Light similarities, because (as we both realize) it's irrelevant to the story as a whole. And, while I may have been thinking of the "rip-off" idea as I wrote it, that wasn't my intention.

I read this after writing my apology, and now when I look at your comment, I just feel like a jerk. (And please don't let this make YOU feel like a jerk. There isn't enough jerkiness to go around.)

Gee, now that I look at the quality of my response, I have only one thing to say: "You win this time."

Tolle Mar 4, 2013

... Ah, feck. I forgot: As far as I can see, I didn't write anywhere that it was a problem that you "rip off your parents" - so did I. The point was, as you correctly understood, that getting inspired is a part of life and that it shouldn't be concidered ripping anyone off.

Tolle Mar 4, 2013

Thank you for taking your time to actually write a response - I appreciate that. And to start off, I'd like to apologize for being so straight-forward/rude in my previous comment. I would still like to comment, though:

I could continue the argument regarding the bomb, the surreality of the situation and whether Sakamoto should be able to recognize it or not, but we're of different opinions, so we won't reach an agreement on that case - so let's leave it.

Next, you apologize for using the term "rip-off" instead of "unoriginal plot" and agree that it sounds stupid, yet you still insist I "misunderstood"? Maybe there's some annoying jargon being used here that I'm not aware of, but when people write that something is a "rip-off", I expect it to be that and not just something similar.

Concerning Yagami Light, I have no problem with you saying that Sakamoto looks like him. I believe I was thinking that you were considering him a rip-off too, and thus did the, in my opinion, same mistake with him as with the show itself.

Lastly, I was not aware that ElyOfIce was your friend, and thus probably had a better understanding of your point of view. However, I do think my commenting on her remark is still fair, seeing as other people might read it and be influenced by it.

I guess that's it on my part -- this time with less mad.

NicoNicoDesu Mar 3, 2013

I think it's about time I respond to your response to my "BTOOOM!" review.

Yes, I admit that my review is a rant. I have a habit of making my negative reviews into rants (just look at my "11eyes" review [shameless promotion!]--it makes this rant look tame).

I apologize to Sakamoto right now. I am now made aware that the poor young man had no reason to not recognize that bomb. He probably thought it was a papaya, or maybe a hairbrush. I kid, I kid. Yes, I had a good reason to recognize that bomb, but he did, too. As a self-proclaimed BTEXPERT, he should have seen that time bomb about 396501 times before. Now, real-life is MUCH different from a RPG, certainly, but his genuine confusion was almost laughable. Obviously, you did not laugh, so that laughableness was my humble opinion.

What's next... ah. Ah, yes. That rip-off comment. Now, I'll tell you an important thing about that well-worn point--we (being myself and the others who use it) don't always mean it to be 100% true. I use it more as a substitute for an "unoriginal plot" comment. I can see why you would misunderstand it (I actually would be more confused if you actually understood it the way I intended for it to sound), and I'm sorry for using it. It DOES sound incredibly stupid.


Your continuation really does nothing to help your argument. I am no expert in formulating essays, but your response is rather petty. I must go apologize to my parents for being a rip-off. That being said, I understand the point you're trying to make, and I do agree.

... Yes, "inspiration and themes" is a better (and kinder) way to describe the relationship between "BTOOOM!" and "Battle Royale."

And I don't care how "annoying as hell" it is, but the main character does look like Yagami Light. I'm sorry. It's a pointless, stupid comment, and I feel less intelligent just knowing that I wrote that, but it's true. And I regret nothing.

Well, there you go. In short, if you don't like my writing style (and I won't blame you at all--even I sometimes look at something I wrote and want to punch myself in the face), you don't like my writing style. Don't read what I write, don't associate with me, heck, spam up my page with "F*CK YOU" comments, WHATEVER. But your comment about ElyOfIce was uncalled for. She's my friend, and I didn't brainwash her to not watch this show. When I do is the only time you can call her out for liking my review.

I'm done with my own little admiration letter/hate mail/rant.

Oh, but please don't spam up my page with "F*CK YOU" comments, if you can help it.