Welcome to our Btooom! review! Have you ever wondered what would happen if your favorite video game suddenly became real? Would it really be as cool and exciting as it sounds, or would it maybe be the most horrific experience you could imagine…
This time we will be reviewing one of the most popular survival game anime out there, right next to Mirai Nikki and Danganronpa: Btooom! (yes, the exclamation mark belongs to the title). Before we get into the actual review and why you should (or shouldn’t) watch this anime, let’s summarize the plot first:
The story follows Ryōta Sakamoto, a 22-year-old NEET who still lives with his mother. He doesn’t have any motivation when it comes to his education and career and spends the entire day in front of a screen in his room. But although he didn’t achieve anything in real life yet, he does have an accomplishment online: he managed to become one of the best players in the new and popular video game called Btooom! He even met another player and married her online without seeing or meeting her beforehand. He basically created the life he dreamed of in a game – but all of that changes when he suddenly wakes up in a deserted island in the middle of nowhere. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know how he came there or who even brought him there – all he knows is that he has a bag full of bombs with him which resemble the ones from Btooom! quite a bit. And soon he notices that someone recreated the video game in real life, and the only way he could escape his terrible fate is to kill 7 other players on the island.
I’ll start with some negatives.
Now that you all know what this anime is about, let’s get right into the review! And let me start by telling you that I absolutely love this anime! It is one of my favorites of all time and probably will be that for another while, which is why you shouldn’t expect too many negative statements in this review. So, because I don’t have that many bad things to say about Btooom!, let’s start with some things I didn’t like about this anime:
The length of the anime
Btooom! belongs to one of the shorter anime with only 12 episodes. And I really don’t mind watching short anime, in fact, I actually prefer those over ones with hundreds of episodes. But there are some shows that just need a few episodes more, and Btooom! was one of them.
What I really like about survival game anime is that it already has a fixed start and end, basically. The anime starts when the game starts and it usually ends with someone winning or the game being over for some reason. And even though it’s always almost the same, it’s not. Because the story in between is what makes the game so exciting and different every time. And I just find it a little sad that Btooom! kind of “rushed” a bit with the story. There’s so much they could’ve gone deeper into, like the background story (the reason why they’re on the island), the love story or even just the stories of the side characters. I mean, they were all told to some extent, but I’m just a fan of depth in stories. So, you might not have a huge problem with this, but to me this is one of the main reasons why Btooom! may be one of my absolute favorite anime, but definitely not my favorite survival game anime.
The open end
Yes, I’m sorry for the spoiler, but Btooom! doesn’t end in the anime, sadly. I don’t have a problem with open ends and cliffhangers at the end of a season, but I do have a problem with it when the story isn’t continued in another season. And, unfortunately, this is the case with Btooom! The anime came out in 2012 and there’s still no second season in sight…
Now on to the Btooom!’s strong points.
Alright, I think I’ve mentioned the two points that bothered me the most about this anime, so now let’s finally talk about the good stuff:
The story is one of the strongest traits of Btooom!, because it’s not only unique but also just incredibly interesting. And what I mean by interesting is that you don’t know why the survival game is happening at first, but as you continue to watch you’ll find out – and, let me tell you, the answer is insane!
The psychological aspect
Most survival game anime touch on the psychological side of the world a little bit, which I absolutely love, and I think Btooom! just did an amazing job with that. The way they explained their truly horrific story through the more realistic art style and mature characters is really good and it just gives you that feeling you get when you watch something psycho. This is something I really love about this anime – the creators weren’t afraid to step out of a normal person’s comfort zone and show the true insanity that hides behind the walls of the human mind.
Even though it’s unlikely that something like this will happen in real life (although you never know..) the anime still managed to come so close to reality with its characters and art. And this is a huge plus point for me, because I really like realistic anime. The characters didn’t have overly exaggerated traits or didn’t make decisions one would never even think of in real life. They actually showed what a human would do in a life-threatening situation and presented us with the ugly side of humans, which I find fascinating!
So, all in all, I highly recommend Btooom! if you haven’t watched it yet – this is an anime especially for fans of the survival game/psychological genre, who also don’t mind a little romance on the side. And if you’re into a more realistic art style and characters, then this anime is also for you! But if none of the above fits to you, I still think you should give it a try and watch Ryōta fight his way towards victory, because it’s just something you shouldn’t miss out on!
If you like my Btooom! review, check out…
my top 5 best romance anime list if you want more great anime like Btooom!.