Anime Vice News

BTOOOM! - - Special Review

Game time's over, bro?

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.

Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

YotaruVegetaon Dec. 18, 2012 at 5:28 p.m.

Passable is perfect. This is a show going for the Battle Royale crowd, but even as someone who loved Battle Royale, I'm not really interested in seeing this to the end. The concept of taking a game and replicating its features in reality is interesting, but who cares about any of these people? I should at least want to see them die.

Also, rape-y.

Marshal Victoryon Dec. 18, 2012 at 7:56 p.m.

@YotaruVegeta: ya i agree here to "passable " fits it .An any anime i dont care for the lead characters i end up droping .If this was a comic it be at the bottem of my buy stack last thing read.

Animation gets good tho.Gamers in this are the exception not the rule.Nasty people the rule not the exception.People voted to put them there for a reason.Later on we see some character devlepoment.. way later.It probly will go more than 12 episodes.After seeing 10 i can say it can not end well.

Its ok above average animation just wish the story was up to that standard. Tho the opener the main character walks out at end of it like hes old an stiff.Stiff as the character development maybe?Fair to call it a two dimensional soap opera more than action adventure?

takashichea moderator on Dec. 20, 2012 at 3:52 p.m.

I didn't expect myself liking the anime at first because I'm queasy with blood and cringe at rape. Yet, after working on the wiki pages and dirtying my hands, I'm desensitized to these stuff. Plus, Btooom suffers from censorship (like Deadman Wonderland) if you, newcomers, are going to try it. Nudity and violence are toned down. All the gritty stuff is black out.

I haven't read Battle Royale or Hunger Games, but a lot of folks who love Btooom here, Crunchyroll, and Btooom Wikia are familiar with these titles.

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.

I compared Sword Art Online to Btooom a lot with my fellow teammates. It was interesting to see how games can turn stuff deadly. Though, in SAO, you died in a virtual world while in Btooom, you died in a real world, on an island isolated from the world.

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