OP2: 「エグジスト」 (Exist) by ナノ (nano)
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!
- 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
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