Anime Review – Btooom!

Btooom!-series-imageIt’s the hunger games that comes with a BOOM! But now that Katniss, *cough* Himiko, and the rest of the contestants have hung up their primitive weapons and instead use explosives it’s an all new game. *Looks around the room*…ok, it’s a very similar game.

But differences are definitely there. For one – the reasoning behind emerging in this new, sadistic game is an unknown to be uncovered. Some of the rules are a little different too, but ultimately it’s a fight to the death. It’s viscous, at times gruesome and surprisingly not quite as exciting to watch as it sounds.

While exploring the new battlefield was a little interesting it’s ultimately dragged down by lacklustre characters and art that was about as appealing as the idea of completing a 1000 piece puzzle of a tree. While the characters weren’t horrible I personally failed to connect with them. Heck, if a bomb exploded in the main character Ryouta’s face and he died halfway through the series I probably wouldn’t of batted an eyelid. And while some of the more messed up characters certainly evoked a strong feeling of hatred, the inverse can’t be said for the protagonists.

This anime is all about explosions – so if you like explosive action this is for you. Source: madhouse
This anime is all about explosions – so if you like explosive action this is for you.   Source: Madhouse

That being said some of the bomb-heavy fight scenes in Btooom! had the ability to keep you gripped, with the various types of bombs allowing for some interesting tactical displays and uncanny outcomes. This was complimented by the constant danger of the unknown environment, which further helped to maintain suspense and fit the dark tone the anime tried so desperately to convey. And while the sound worked well in these aspects I must stand by my former statement that the art was just too dull. A balance between making things gloomy without making them seem bland was needed and unfortunately while day time scenes weren’t bad, as soon as night fell on Btooom! island (yes, I’m going to call it that) I would squint at the screen trying to see. The all out approach on darkening the colours left a situation that max brightness couldn’t even save.

Struggling to see! I mean... the setting is darker than the Forbidden Forrest in Harry Potter. Source: Madhouse
Struggling to see! I mean… the setting is darker than the Forbidden Forrest in Harry Potter.   Source: Madhouse

But this isn’t the anime’s greatest flaw. Like a tragic fall metres before a race’s finish line, this anime stumbles hard at the ending. It leaves you with no resolve. Upon reaching episode 12 you’re left dangling on the edge of a cliff with no help on the way. You’re confused, tired and possibly hungry…and all you want is to know how the anime will end. But it’s just not happening.

Watch this anime if you love dark, action-packed settings and have no need for closure. Otherwise it’s probably worth your while investing your time elsewhere.

Thank you for reading my review!

Rating 6/10

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