OP2 Sequence

OP2: 「エグジスト」 (Exist) by ナノ (nano)

「絆」 (Kizuna)

So, BTOOOM! has reached its end, the anime that is. The manga is a few chapters (less than 10) ahead of the show as far as I know, so if you want to know how the game will continue from this point, now is a good time to read it.

Continuing from last week’s cliffhanger, seeing Taira trying to end his teammates’ lives did not come as a surprise to me. His actions felt honest, and it was easy to predict a betrayal coming from him after all those days he had to spend alone. Still, it broke my heart to see how these three characters that have gone through so much together, ended up like this. Taira was a great character – he was the first adult Ryouta managed to trust, he saved his partner’s life, he was kind and amusing, so it saddens me to see him die. It was something I had prepared myself for, but it’s still hard to not feel depressed when a character you’re attached to dies. What makes it even worse is that he loved Ryouta and Himiko; he was willing to go back to them until the komodo dragons showed up.

I found it quite amazing that Ryouta had grown so fond of Taira. While we knew he cared about the man, seeing his pain after losing a dear friend made me see just how much Taira meant to him. At least, it’s great to know that he died knowing that he had friends. He was respected by his friends, and he won’t be forgotten.

Speaking of friends, finally Ryouta and Himiko’s relationship has moved to the next level. It made me sad to see Himiko offering her life to Ryouta, but that was also good in a way that she has found a man to trust. Seeing how she trembled below him, scared but still courageous, made me smile. She truly loves Ryouta and it makes me happy to see that he loves her as well, and doesn’t take advantage of her. Ryouta’s progress from being a selfish, ignorant, and ungrateful NEET, to a kind and respectable gentleman is truly impressive. If there is one thing BTOOOM! should be praised for (and there are many things I could name), it’s the character development of Himiko and Ryouta. The two of them have truly grown through this series, and they’ve both become very likeable characters to me. I’m very happy to see that they’re finally a couple, both virtually and in reality.

Even though this was the finale, the anime left us with something quite close to a cliffhanger. This was not an ending, but definitely a proper and satisfying conclusion to one of the most exhilarating shows of 2012’s autumn season. Seeing how Tyrannos Japan ran into some technical issues and now have to fly somewhere makes me wonder what Ryouta’s friend, our little rebel, has done at the office. I guess we’ll have to wait for a long while to see what happens. The anime caught up with the manga, so a sequel is very unlikely to be made. Still, I enjoyed this episode, and I had fun watching it. While it wasn’t the end of the story, it left many doors open, so hopefully we’ll see more in the future. I know I’m up for a sequel if that ever happens!

Random thoughts:

  • I really like how the show was summarised in the new opening sequence!
  • It looks like Kousuke has found himself a team. I guess he is valuable now that he has BIMs again.
  • I haven’t been very happy with Hongou Kanata’s voice acting, but he did really well during the crying scenes. I could truly feel Ryouta’s sadness – it seemed so genuine.
  • It really broke my heart to see Taira’s son saying that he misses his father. Poor child… And Ryouta as well – it saddens me to see how neglected he felt as a child.
  • I assumed Himiko would reveal some more about herself, such as her true identity (spoiler, highlight to view: Her real name is Emilia), to Ryouta. She did so in the manga.
  • Continue? Yes, please!
  • Full-length shots: 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 25, 28, 35

Final impressions:

BTOOOM! has been an interesting ride. The show is very generic, there are several predictable moments in it, but still, it was one of the most entertaining shows of this season if you ask me. Being generic does by no means make a show bad. Perhaps it’s less interesting than the outstanding titles a season has to offer, but it’s still fun. And recycling old themes happens because something is appreciated by the general public. While I’ve seen many series that have survival games as a central theme, to me every single one of them has been unique. BTOOOM! stood out with its unique explosives and Tyrannos Japan’s conspiracy, but these are not the things that made me enjoy the show as much as I did.

To me, BTOOOM! has been more than just a survival game. This is a story about morality, love, humanity, and society. Most of the characters in this series are not as likeable as our protagonists. I think it’s great that criminals, felons, and stereotypical bad guys are so important in this show, not just because it’s a good way to raise the awareness of them in general, but also because they were portrayed as people we shouldn’t like. Oftentimes, villains in anime usually do something that might make them likeable, but here, the bad guys are very hard to support. While I do think that no one deserves to be in this game, I liked the fact that I could feel apathetic while watching some of the characters die.

As for the good characters, I truly enjoyed seeing how our protagonists grew to become such likeable people. Their character development was handled very well. I think this anime balanced all kinds of development very good. I never felt that things were boring because of smoothly everything went. The story progressed very well, and so did the characters. Of course, there are many questions that are left unanswered but there isn’t much to do about that when this anime’s source material is far from completion. Many things were skipped in this show, but that never bothered me because it didn’t drop in quality because of that. I do think it’s quite weird that things were so censored in this anime though. Anyone can guess that this will be a brutal and violent show by reading the synopsis. It’s weird for things to not be gory when explosives are involved. I did get used to the lack of blood and intestines quite easily, but some of the actions scenes were really questionable because of it. But visuals don’t make the story, that’s what I think. And the story itself was exhilarating so I can’t say I’m too upset.

It’s easy to say that BTOOOM! may not be the most intelligent show this season, but it was definitely exciting and enjoyable. It’s a straightforward and honest story that is easy to follow, and it truly portrays the scum of society in a good way. This show had great character and story development, so it never felt boring. While the series is incomplete and leaves many doors open, the anime had a proper conclusion and left me very satisfied. I can honestly say that I will miss this show, so it was unquestionably worth watching. Hopefully, Madhouse will announce a sequel in the future. The question is – what will you do if that happens? Continue? Yes/No


  1. You got to be kidding, is this the end to one of the best anime shows WTF( what the fuck ) give us more episodes, is there going to be a season 2. This is so not cool if the series ends here.

    K C M
      1. There will be a second season just like Jormungand came back for season 2, Jormungand also had bad sales too but the second season has become popular and I’m sure the second season of Btooom! will be a hit.

        K C M
    1. @ anonymous.
      Just give it one year or at least next novenmber before we get to see fresh new episodes and maybe it could start from the beginning and by then the Manga should have had enough material for more episodes.

      K C M
  2. I think the character development between Ryouta and Himiko was easily one of the more gratifying aspects of the series. That and the battles (at least the ones involving Ryouta) were really great to watch at times not simply because it’s good quality action but also because of the strategy that is involved in a setting such as this. Definitely would not mind continuing when enough material is available.

  3. Definitely good anime, maybe not on a par with some of the more ambitious ones in this excellent season, but still with interesting cast for an action show – and some serious development of those characters. If I would have to compare, closest equivalent I find is Deadman Wonderland, similar in it’s premise of gladiatorial combat, and similarily ended up early in anime version. I hope for another season, but it is truly fool’s hope… I’ve lost count of shows that could do fine with another season!

  4. so taira having sanity probs to point seeing his own family that cause him boom ryouta & himiko.

    give ryouta wonder why cause of he leaving taira a lot during hurt leg so himiko to defend & ryouta leap save himiko to both find with ryouta telling shouting taira i’m sorry for everything.

    with taira hearing see big lizards he did own sorry boom himself with ryouta going crying for taira give all cause this game is evil how ruined a lot of lives.

    so after wonder himiko saying like take my chips but ryouta said no cue kiss with we will escape together & meanwhile evil company having some probs seem “someone” is rebel against evil company?

    only wonder left will it continue yes or no?

  5. First of all great review Stereoman, beautifully written.I loved this series from the start, but this last episode really exceeded my expectations, not just the content, but also the execution was really well handled.

    I’m not a big fan of survival shows(not to say I dislike them) and had doubts that this show might have too much gory content than I can handle, but those things were handled so well that I wasn’t even reminded of them during the entire show.Like mentioned by Stereoman this show is more than just a survival game, the way each character was designed, how their emotions/feelings were handled, how their past experiences had shaped them, those were things this show had portrayed incredibly well(among many others).

    Taira’s death was certainly saddening, I was really hoping he wouldn’t die.And Ryouta suffering because of that was also very painful to watch and surprising to see how much he had come to care for Taira.Also the scene where Himiko offered her life to Ryouta was heart-wrenching and heartwarming at the same time, and along with the explanation given by Himiko, I also believe that part of her was afraid that even Ryouta might finally betray her like Murasaki had warned(given their experiences with Murasaki,Date and Taira it is a valid fear) and wanted to get rid of her fear of that possibility by giving up her own life – which she didn’t consider very valuable, after her traumatic experiences, plus, cared for Ryouta very much – for someone she loved(better to die by your own wish for a loved one, rather than dieing with the pain of being betrayed by a loved one?).

    The action scenes were also very enjoyable, like @sakuga mentioned it utilized different strategys and not just pure,direct attacks.
    Overall this was a great show, definitely deserving of a second season.

  6. Ill take this as a good que to go back to reading the manga. I stopped at vol. 6 which was around episode 9-ish? The series got to vol. 8 based on the tankobon summaries on amazon, and theres only 9 volumes so far. I think they ended at a great spot. Even if it was sad, it was good to see some conclusion to Taira.

    Well theyve apparently only revieled like half the people in the game, so it will be years if they do make a second season.

    But seriously, if I could make a list of most needed sequels, Btooom is now in it.

  7. I really enjoyed this show, although as mentioned above it doesn’t tread new ground but was straightforward and entertaining. Now to check out the manga.

    I haven’t been very happy with Hongou Kanata’s voice acting

    To me, for some reason, every time he yelled “Taira-san!” it was just grating – not just in the last episode, but throughout the entire run. It’s a minor nitpick but I noticed the VA work was subpar in places. JMO

  8. Continue? YES. I would definitely watch a future second season. As a huge Battle Royale fan, I always enjoy a different take on the idea. I think the situation helps give way to good character development because people show their true colors when faced with death. I really liked the character development in this show and the virtual reality/video game elements. So, even if this show never goes further than one season, I’m glad I chose to watch it. And I fully intend on reading the manga until the end.

  9. The end looks like they’re keeping the option of having a second season open. It’ll have to be at least a year until it comes out though, since the manga has to build up more material.

  10. BTOOOM was to be my one mindlessly violent show for the season. As it turns out, it neither as mindless nor violent as I expected it to be. As Stereoman said, it is generic in the sense that the themes are typical of the genre but then again we wouldn’t expect it to be anything else.

    I guess I was always very sympathetic towards Ryouta. I know many weren’t, but having experience first hand some of the crap that he went though in his life and the withdrawing into gaming before being dumped on that island does make it slightly painful to watch.

    Admittedly, I do have a soft spot for crying girls. What I didn’t expect was for a crying Ryouta to affect me as much as it did. It was almost too painful to watch. It wasn’t too surprising to see that Ryouta quickly developing strong attachments in such a situation.

    So far as Himiko is concerned, it was clear from the previous episode that she was determined to get stronger for Ryouta’s sake. While it was admirable that she was willing to give her life so that Ryouta could leave, at the same time I could help but to think in some way she was giving up the fight.

    In the end, BTOOOM was not as gory and mindless as I thought. It was more emotional than I could’ve hoped for. Ryouta finally realising who Himiko is was unbearably sweet. Finally, am I the only one who finds Himiko’s face is quite wide compared to others? It makes her seem more child like, not that there’s anything wrong with that. I liked the show and I would definitely feed in more credits and press “yes” to continuing.

    So thank you Stereoman for covering this series, otsukare-sama deshita.

  11. They should have one more episode to make it more complete. I guess Madhouse wants to leave the ending open to imagination, much like a game which it is based on. I really liked the show, I thought it would just be another one of the SAO clones but it turns out to be better. It developed the characters perfectly.

  12. overall, interesting story but the “ending” leaves you with a wtf feeling. i wish they would not release these animes until there’s enough material to complete a full season. so stupid right? correct.

  13. The story has shown some insight into humanity. Characters transform according to the “logic” of the game– some for the better and some for the worse. At the end, only the strong survive. But betrayal and killing are not the only strategies to get out of the island. Ryouta worked hard to do it the “right” way. Unlike most shounen manga, former rivals don’t just join him to form a happy family after they are defeated. This adds depth and complexity to the situation. As Ryouta realized the shortcoming in himself, he also learned to forgive the shortcoming of other people. He didn’t become a “hero” in the sense that he hasn’t been successful in saving anyone besides Himiko. But he is not an anti-hero either. I think this makes him interesting, and makes the series above average.

    However, the basic premise of the story remains too far fetched to be believable fiction. Killings are mostly for the sake of killings. I still look forward to the second season. But I would not rank it on par with Sword Art Online.

  14. I really would like to see Ryouta and Himiko overcome the death game and escape the island. Mostly, I really feel for Himiko (and by extension Ryouta). No one really deserves to be put into a brutal and barbaric death game like this, but poor Himiko has just been through so much before the island and really none of that situation was her fault. Then she gets sent to this island where almost immediately she is in a similar situation with another animal of a man.

    Anyway, the scene where she is telling Ryouta to take her life and escape the island was heart-wrenching. The result of that conversation made me happy with Himiko and Ryouta clearing the air between them regarding their online relationship and the fact that two of them can rely on each other. Good on Ryouta recognizing that pushing the physical aspect of the relationship was not a good idea both for Himiko’s sake and the situation in general.

    I very much hope for a second season. Does anyone have an idea on how the BD/DVD sales are progressing?


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