I should really be keeping a tally up over my desk. Welcome to yet another recent anime about an online multiplayer video game suddenly turning real. Somebody ought to come up with a name for these, because there’s more than enough to substantiate a proper sub-genre.
How about… Game Time’s Over? I’d hate to confuse these with GREAT TEACHER ONIZUKA, but we all know that all these shows would use that tagline if they could. GTO also just rolls off the tongue nicely as shorthand.
Every GTO is still a snowflake with owns precious distinctions, of course, and the titular game depicted in BTOOOM! seems to be more of the American frat game variety than a J-RPG. Drop HALO Spartan super-soldiers in a CALL OF DUTY map, then adjust the death match settings so everybody has to use grenades instead of guns, and you might have something just like the game, BTOOOM! The other switch is that players are forced to recreate the game in real life, instead of playing a simulation that can now kill them, so there’s another little detail to set this apart.
Anyway, little time is wasted before our lead gets into this most dangerous game. I expected a series named after an explosive onomatopoeia to be a little more over-the-top, but this winds up playing the death match fairly straight. So I have this funny scenario in my mind of the producer at some press conference, saying, “Our program is titled... BTOOOM” with the flattest and most serious inflection.
Beyond all that, there isn’t a ton to say about BTOOOM! It’s passable entertainment. Not bad, but not especially original, either. It’s about pro gamers flowing explosive little cubes at each other on a jungle island. To know that premise is the know the show, basically.
Watch this episode, "Start" here and decide for yourself.