Btooom! – 12 (Fin)

Alone, fearful, and suspicious, Taira finally snaps, seeing hallucinations of his wife and son. Overcome by a need to get home to them, he attacks Ryouta and Himiko with homing bombs when they return to the hideout. He manages to main Ryouta’s leg with one, but Himiko stops the next bomb, while Ryouta stops the one after that. Taira runs and falls down a cliff. Surrounded by lizards, he blows himself up with his last bomb. That night, Himiko tells Ryouta they now have enough chips for one of them to go home, so she tells him to kill her. He won’t and tells her he’s finally realized she’s the Himiko from the online game. They spend the night together, but Ryouta doesn’t make a move, respecting that Himiko is still scared. He vows they’ll get home together and officially date.

First of all, while we felt like this story could have been told in the space of a single cour, we’re not begrudging the series for continuing for a second. Whether that will come next season or further ahead, in all likelihood we’ll keep watching. This episode finally disposes of Taira. That’s right, after all those close calls and food and supplies consumed, Taira ultimately falls victim to unlucky circumstances. He was injured in such a way that would have made bringing him along impossible  and every time Ryouta and Himiko came back for him then left again, the voices in his head got stronger and stronger until he couldn’t take it anymore. Taira really was a regular guy…and when looking death and despair in the eye and thinking of his family back home, betraying those who have helped him isn’t a big leap. When Ryouta and Himiko outsmart him and he ends up in a pit of lizards, he accepts it as karma for his treachery.

With what we’d seen thus far, wrapping everything up would have been a complete mess. Also, while Ryouta only needs one chip to call the copter, that one chip is in Himiko’s hand, and Ryouta is not so intent on getting home that he’ll sacrifice who could be his first true love. We also like how the younger Oda occupies his thoughts, including telling him to sleep with Himiko while the iron’s hot, but Ryouta stops himself, mindful that while Himiko loves him too and is trying, she’s still too traumatized by recent events for lovemaking – not even of the tender moonlit variety. The real Oda is still stalking the island with Kinoshita, and there are still quite a few people still in the game, though few have as many chips as Ryouta and Himiko. And then we have a helicopter going to the island to fix a “technical problem”, and lo and behold, someone who looks like his dad senpai from school is aboard. What exactly is that about?


Rating: 7 (Very Good)

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