Btooom!

TV (12 eps)
2012
Fall 2012
3.987 out of 5 from 26,979 votes
Rank #1,397

22-year-old Ryouta is an unemployed good-for-nothing who spends his days living at home and playing Btooom, a wildly popular online game that's sold over three million copies worldwide. Alongside other teammates, Ryouta battles it out with others using powerful bombs and sonar that can reveal hidden enemies, and his dedication has earned him the title of Japan's top player. But soon, Ryouta's pastime becomes a terrifying reality, as he and many others are dropped onto a tropical island and forced to play Btooom – but this time for real. Now, he and the rest must fight to the death by whatever means necessary, as the only way to win this deadly game is by killing seven of the other players.

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Episode 1

START

The Bloody High School Girl image

Episode 2

The Bloody High School Girl

Survival image

Episode 3

Survival

Best in the world image

Episode 4

Best in the world

Attack image

Episode 5

Attack

Night of Sacrifice image

Episode 6

Night of Sacrifice

Virtual Bride image

Episode 7

Virtual Bride

White Ghost image

Episode 8

White Ghost

The Strongest Player image

Episode 9

The Strongest Player

High Level image

Episode 10

High Level

Revival image

Episode 11

Revival

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Reviews

ThatAnimeSnob
3.5

PROPER MINDSET Oh look, another series about an antisocial hero who is very good at videogames. Trope of the year folks; you will lose count with how many like those were made in just a few months along with it. Anyways, this is yet another show about some waste of life who does nothing but playing videogames all day and all of a sudden being thrown in a life or death situation. And we are supposed to cheer for him despite being a total jerk. Sorry but I couldn’t do that for a completely ridiculous show. PRODUCTION VALUES Very good, coming from the king of anime shows, studio Madhouse. Everything looks a nod more realistic than your average anime, akin to Death Note in terms of atmosphere and cinematics. Soundtrack and voice acting are ok but nothing major; the main song left me with no major impressions, while the secondary cast has some really ridiculous pitches to their voice, like they are all retards. SCRIPT It’s about a videogame that is something between Counterstrike and Bomberman, getting real after the protagonist is sent to fight other players. Then it becomes Battle Royale in a Predators setting, meaning, a bunch of people that need to kill each other, sent via parachute to a remote tropical island. And yes it sounds interesting at first until you realize it’s all a bunch of nonsense. - When a bomb explodes right next to you, something happens to you even if you do a flip. From the noise, the shrapnel, the shock wave, etc. An explosion has a radius of several meters and not just the few square centimetres the bomb stands on. So imagine nothing happening to the protagonist three times in ten minutes. And the lolz part is that he wasn’t even trying to avoid them. He was literally standing still and unprepared in an open field all the time, attacked by someone who was prepared and dead-set on killing him. What would he do if he was prepared; fly in the air and fire lasers from his eyes? And of course this applies only the main character, who constantly survives without the tiniest scratch, while everybody else just dies in one hit. Plot armour ftl; the otherwise "real" death game loses its appeal in the very pilot episode it is introduced.- When someone gets blown up to pieces, you can take his remaining bombs that miraculously don’t blow up along with him. Sweet, extra ammo from enemy drops, this videogame is nice... Oh wait, this is not a videogame but a realistic death game… Supposed. - When you throw a videogame controller at a wall, it is the plastic controller that breaks and not the brick wall. - I also can’t help but facepalming at how they are trying to transfer the tactics of the game in reality. Each player has a sonar device on his hand that allows him to know where the others are. The thing is, the sonar is cancelled if someone else is using it at the same time. It is still completely stupid to have a guy getting frustrated for not being able to sense an opponent running around him in thick foliage. He doesn’t really need the sonar when he can just as easily hear or see someone a few meters next to him. - They are even trying to transfer the technology of the videogame in real life, and the result is ridiculous at best. Each one of those bombs must have cost a fortune, not to mention the whole kidnapping, and transfer operations. There is for example a mini black hole bomb. Can someone calculate how expensive such a thing is to be used like that in a silly death game that it’s not even paying back its expenses or even has an ulterior goal? As over the top the Gantz technology was, eventually it was excused just fine to be as such. Over here, it’s just some sadistic asshole’s playground. They even included a mechanism that doesn’t allow someone to use somebody else’s bombs, or remove the integrated sonar crystals on their hands, for as long as he is still alive. Yeah, sure, make it even more expensive with DNA signature triggers that go offline when they no longer receive the brainwaves of their original owner as confirmation code. - And on top of everything else, the show is full of continuity errors. People just disappear for no given reason, or teleport instantly to impossible places. Remember how theHunger Games had huge magical dogs towards the end? Well, over here all of a sudden giant man eating lizards appear out of nowhere. Because WHY NOT?- As if even that wasn’t enough, the directors are constantly using flashbacks from just a few episodes ago, to waste time and to further remind us of all the stupid things in this show. - And add to all that how the story is left incomplete, so nothing is really resolved. CAST Of course one could forgive all the nonsense and just enjoy the show for its characterization. It would be interesting just to see how each character would react in a life or death situation. And even that is impossible to do, since the very protagonist has character rewrites every 5 minutes. I mean really, it’s impossible to tell what his personality is, since he acts completely different in every scene. And no, I don’t mean he is cocky when he thinks he is in control but scared when cornered. He LITERALLY is a different person. - We are told he is great in the game yet all we see him doing is throwing bombs at defenseless players who don’t even try to fight back. That is hardly a way to show how good he is at it. - In one scene he knows how to use bombs, in another he doesn’t. He realized how a timer bomb works only five times after he tried it, even though he was playing the game for years. Top player material right there. - In one he is anti-social and angry, in the other he is very social and polite. - In one he acts as a leader figure, in the other like a dork who can’t even walk without tripping. - In one he is cunning and sets a trap to his opponent, in the other he gets surprised to witness the exact same trap being used on someone else. - And there is no bloody excuse for how a NEET like him can be so athletic. He was doing nothing but sitting in his house for years and yet can outrun or counterattack instantly people with far greater stamina and skills than him. It may have worked in a videogame by pressing buttons really fast, but in reality he wouldn’t be able to even run for 5 seconds without getting exhausted. In a similar way, every single character in the show has a personality that can be described in two lines. And even that is presented in an extreme way. They are all way too evil, or way too stupid, to the point they are indeed like videogame caricatures and not real people taking place in a real death game. - The deuteragonist for example is a sexy blonde school girl, which makes all people around her to wanna rape her at first site. Because WHY NOT; we need a slut in any cheesefest. She is the main source of fan service and the animators never miss the chance to go apeshit regarding her privates. As for her personality, it’s a joke like pretty much everything else in this show. She is supposed to be afraid of men but when the plot asks for it, she will trust them right away, only to have them betray her. Then she will hate them again, until the plot needs to trust them immediately once more, and so on. - Then there is the reason of why these people were chosen and sent to this death game. Turns out you can right down the name of someone you don’t like and he is soon kidnapped and transferred to that hellish island. Jigoku Shoujo anyone? And I would understand if you were to wanna get rid a person that had been sadistically tormenting you all your life, but turns out the reason can be ridiculous as heck. * The protagonist for example was chosen by his mother, because he was mean to her. Yeah, that is what parents do when their kids are impolite; they send them to be killed in some sadistic game instead of seeking help from any one of the thousands of humanitarian organizations out there.* The blond chick was chosen by her best friends. There was an incident where they got raped, but she escaped, called the police, caught the rapists, and saved them from becoming prostitutes or corpses. As thanks, they believed she should have stayed and gotten the same treatment like the best friend she was supposed to be, instead of the UNFORGIVABLE life-saving support she gave them. Talk about bad friends. LEGACY It is just another stupid show ala Deadman Wonderland or Future Diary. Do not expect anything deep or elaborate or realistic about it and just eat popcorn while laughing at how bad it is. And now for some excused scorings. ART SECTION: 7/10 General Artwork 2/2 (looks nice)Character Figures 1/2 (generic)Backgrounds 2/2 (basic but fitting with the feeling of the series)Animation 1/2 (basic)Visual Effects 1/2 (lots of cheap explosion filters) SOUND SECTION: 7/10 Voice Acting 2/3 (corny but fitting with the feeling of the series)Music Themes 3/4 (not great but fitting with the feeling of the series) Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)STORY SECTION: 2/10 Premise 1/2 (cheap Battle Royale imitation)Pacing 1/2 (erratic)Complexity 0/2 (tries to be complicating in psychological issues and fails miserably)Plausibility 0/2 (none)Conclusion 0/2 (doesn’t have one)CHARACTER SECTION: 2/10 Presence 1/2 (generic)Personality 0/2 (cardboards and unsympathetic)Backdrop 1/2 (generic and simplistic but it’s there)Development 0/2 (random mood swings)Catharsis 0/2 (incomplete story, so no catharsis)VALUE SECTION: 1/10 Historical Value 0/3 (none)Rewatchability 0/3 (just read Battle Royale instead)Memorability 1/4 (totally meh show)ENJOYMENT SECTION: 1/10 Art 1/1 (looks nice) Sound 0/2 (sounds meh)Story 0/3 (generic, badly written, and incomplete)Characters 0/4 (cardboards and unsympathetic)VERDICT: 3.5/10

Gzerble
7.7

Btooom! is unoriginal and stupid. The plot is ridiculous, the characters unoriginal, and it is yet another incarnation of the "play or die" type show. There are the standard angsty cliches. There is everything that is aimed at the middle-school boy. But you know what? Btooom! is plain awesome. It is fun, it is cool, it just rocks. Fast paced when it needs to be, slow paced when it doesn't. It starts with good, and then just keeps the pace. The animation is gorgeous, the sound top notch, and there is a distinct lack of pretentiousness to everything. Btooom! doesn't pretend to be a philosophical masterpiece. It is also not a self aware parody (*cough*Kill la Kill*cough*), but rather is just straight up what it seems. In a landscape where all anime seems to try its best to add a special twist to make itself stand out, there is a distinct lack of shows that just try things that are proven to work. Ironically, by adhering so much to tried and true tropes, Btooom! feels unique. Refreshing actually. The problem? There was obviously another few episodes left in the tank. If this was just the first season out of two, this could have been the best "play or die" series ever. Instead, meh. Writing (Story and Characters): What can I say, Btoom! is just well done but ultimately nothing special in the story and characters department. That being said, it doesn't intend to do anything special, it intends to do it right. And that it does, with flying colors. There are the parts which are over the top, as can be expected. But hey, they don't pretend that it's Melville. Childish, immature, aimed at teen men, unrealistic, ridiculous, you get it. You know what? This is also written in a way that turns of all disbelief and allows you to just enjoy the ride. Sure, like many types of anime, there is a lot of forced connection between the characters. Yes, there is an overdose of introspective monologues at times. It needs to be mentioned: the series ends in the middle. Btoom! could, and should, have been at least three episodes longer. And yet it isn't. While on one side, it ends without wearing out its welcome, it loses out on things like resolution and you know... actual story. Of course, the advantage of it is that it remains purely battle-arena-centric, rather than going out on grand philosophical notes (a failure of everything from Battle Royale to Fate/Zero). Art (Animation and Sound): What can I say? Madhouse have done it again. The animation is top notch, the sound effects are wonderful, the soundtrack is very fitting and keeps with the cool vibe of the series. Btooom! is a tour-de-force in how to produce anime. It doesn't use very artsy tricks, it doesn't use heavy effects, and it doesn't need to. There are very few parts where the lack of motion is something you will notice, and that usually ranks high in "things that annoyed the hell out of you without being able to put your finger on it". Actually, lack of movement is used very cleverly when it does happen, usually in situations where the tension is very high. It is not perfect - there are still the moments where you can see that a bigger budget (more animators) would have given us more dynamic backgrounds. But you know what? *CLOSE ENOUGH*. There are no aspirations for higher art, despite the occasional artistic spark that's used. That would be completely wrong for something like Btoom!. Of course, there are gorgeous backgrounds, amazing character designs, and even the obligatory stock characters (fat guy with big mouth, musclehead thug, etc) aren't pushed towards extremes and are given their own distinction. The sound production is tight, the voice acting is good (if over the top occasionally, just like the series itself), and overall, Btoom! is just rocking. Overall: So close. So close to perfection. Three to five episodes more, and this would have been the best battle arena / play or die / game to the death type series ever. Still, this is well worth it if you just want to let go and have some fun. Btooom! is earnest, clean, and most of all enjoyable to the extreme. I am just raging at the ending, as most people do.

WolfAngelus
9

A game of survival on an island and incorporating different styles of bombs along with the concept of trustability outlines what to expect here. There are a few ideas here that match ideas from other anime such as the reason as to why the people end up on the island, or the actual game itself has been seen in other shows. If the tags sound appealing then watch it for sure. Being a gamer, I found the theme rather relatable and many of the concepts throughout as well. A good portion of the anime is rather dark and violent. There is no disappointment on the amount of action either. The ending is pretty nice if you are a gamer and into the online relation idea. However, it doesn't truly end either as the game hasn't ended when the anime ends which leaves frustration. There are clues that could lead to either alternative as to whether the characters have to stay or their plan to leave works. There are also a few unanswered bits regarding a few characters. I liked the characters with some good variety, some having a dark sided story, some kind of sad. The only 2 issues I had was too much stereotype usage, especially when it came to Himiko, and also her being a bit too helpless. She is clearly smart, so many of her actions and giving up so easy isn't consistent. Overall I found this anime very enjoyable. It had a good mix of story in the form of a game with plenty of action, a bit of a romance aspect, and some twists throughout. A properly conclusive ending would have been nice, but definitely worth a watch if the tags match your interests.

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