OP: 「No Pain, No game」 by ナノ (nano)
BTOOOM!’s first episode sure was a blast! Puns aside, the premise of this show was very entertaining, attractive, and promising. I’m hooked!
Games become reality. Everything is a matter of life and death – all for the sake of someone else’s entertainment or some sort of political punishment. I think most of us are familiar with this concept as it has become a very popular one in modern media. The titles that I relate this concept to are Battle Royale, Gantz, Mirai Nikki, Sword Art Online, and also The Hunger Games, although the latter is not part of Japanese media. And now, I’m adding a new one to that list – BTOOOM!
I am a huge fan of the BTOOOM! manga, and as it seems now, I might be able to say the same about the anime in the future. I think the introduction episode was done very well. The presentation was very simple, but less is more. The aesthetical appearance of the show is very appealing to me and the black contrasting shadows bring out the harshness of this series, so applauds for Madhouse!
There isn’t much to say about the characters because hardly any of them were introduced. We only have Ryouta so far. When I heard that Hongou Kanata would be voicing him, I was quite surprised. I’ve seen Hongou in various movies and dramas, and I didn’t think his soft voice would suit Ryouta but I was proved wrong today. Hongou did a great job voicing Ryouta considering that this is his first time acting as a seiyuu. Despite having a soft voice, he made Ryouta appear as he should – pathetic and impudent. However, Hongou isn’t new to this concept. He has starred in various shows that involve killing people off such as the live-action adaptations of Gantz and Mirai Nikki.
It’s easy to feel empathy for Ryouta who has been thrown into a nightmare but at the same time, as he is now, he isn’t a very likable person. There is nothing wrong with being a NEET or playing games (and finding comfort in the virtual reality, such as a virtual wife) all day, but disrespecting someone for trying to help or being ungrateful to people who only want what’s best for you (and probably paid for everything you have) are not things to be encouraged. Ryouta doesn’t deserve being in that game, no one does, but in a way, this game might help him open up his eyes and see how precious his life is. And hopefully, if he manages to stay alive till the end, he will appreciate what he had, but brutality should never be the way to teach people lessons because that will just leave scars and fear. A socially unacceptable person can’t be fixed by cruelty; that would just cause mental damage.
But this explosive game of hide and seek isn’t about changing people. The game seemed to happen very randomly so I don’t think it has a political reason behind it. As far as I can tell, its purpose is to serve as entertainment for whoever that created this madness. While it is cruel, it’s undeniably interesting as a setting for anime. I think the first episode of BTOOOM! was great and I really look forward to the second one where we’ll find out a bit more about the blonde girl near the end who seems to be Ryouta’s wife from the virtual game (according to the opening sequence). From what I’ve seen in the preview, her story does not look bright, so more cruelty ahoy!
- The first seconds of the opening sequence make Ryouta seem very bow-legged.
- I really liked the opening sequence. Nano’s voice is incredible!
- Cool guys don’t look at explosions!
- If you have time, please take a look at BTOOOM!’s manga covers. They’re very unique and interesting.
- Ryouta’s design slightly reminds me a bit of Yagami Light from DEATH NOTE.
- That gamepad is probably more lethal than any of the BIMs in Ryouta’s possession…
- IRL waifu?
- Full-length shots: 1, 2, 7, 9, 12, 22, 23, 24, 36
Note 1: The first two episodes of BTOOOM! pre-aired; that’s why there have been discussions about them on various sites (I was asked why my post wasn’t up yet).
Note 2: The BTOOOM! manga has been licensed by Yen Press – the first English volume will be released in February.
ED: 「アオゾラ」 (Aozora) by May’n