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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Btooom! – 10

Ryouta fools Oda into thinking he’s closer to the booby trap than he really is, then avoids Oda’s shuriken BIM by diving into the water. Oda runs off with the supplies, but not before asking if he’s Ryouta. Ryouta then realizes his foe is Oda, a former close friend in high school who betrayed him by sleeping with the girl he said he liked. Taira’s wound isn’t healing due to the lizard venom, so Himiko suggests they return to the complex to find medicine. Himiko goes to meet with Murasaki. She races back and implores Ryouta to drop the case he’s carrying, as Date placed a BIM in it to kill him.

The first one to move wins. Stay on the defensive, and you’ll lose your chance.

So says Ryouta’s high school chum Oda, while Ryouta is hesitating to ask out a girl he likes, Aiko. Oda excels at everything: grades, sports, music, th’ladies. Everything seems to come painfully easily for him. That can invite quite a bit of admiration, and Ryouta certainly admired him and trusted him enough to open up to him. But it also invited scorn and envy from those who didn’t like him, so Oda eventually ended up getting voted onto the island where he reunites with Ryouta, his former friend. What’s interesting is that once Oda realizes this guy is Ryouta, he’s in no greater hurry to finish him off.

He said he felt bad about sleeping with Aiko, and he probably still does, to the extent he wouldn’t blame Ryouta for hating him forevermore. But he did warn Ryouta that passively waiting around for things to happen will get him nowhere in life, and believing what anyone says is just as dangerous. Trust is nice and all, but on the island, trusting someone you know as little about as Date could be lethal. Date finally moves first, sick and tired of the admittedly pretty good niceguy act he’s put on. We’d be surprised if his trap actually did Ryouta in, so assuming he’s alive, here’s hoping the experience teaches Ryouta a lesson everyone else on the island has already learned.


Rating: 7 (Very Good)

P.S. The naked evilness of the Tyrannos staff watching the game unfold with relish is rather chilling. Why the hell are these people so evil? We know, because the plot requires it, but we wish there was a more satisfying reason.

Btooom! – 09

Ryouta and Himiko return to Taira to find he’s been fixed up by Date, who agrees to side with them but plans to kill them all when the time comes. A plane makes a food drop, and players race to it. Ryouta hopes to scare the others off with his intent, but one player, Oda, matches him step for step. Meanwhile Himiko is attacked by Kinoshita, Oda’s ally. Himeko gets trapped in her hold but manages to escape, and Date throws a bomb to break up the fight. After jumping from a cliff into the sea, Ryouta watches Oda take out another player with a booby trap. Ryouta falls for another trap, but manages to survive.

Everyone has their own way of playing the game. Date smiles and pretends to be everyone’s friend, but then uses them before destroying them. Himiko knows he’s not to be trusted, and for once she’s not being overly cautious. Oda seems to utilize direct confrontation and attacks, but everyone he’s killed so far has fallen for his booby traps. Kinoshita pretends to be vulnerable and womanly, but is a skilled, vicious fighter who’s sided with Oda, perhaps the strongest player still alive – and when she can’t safely use BIMs against Himiko, she relies not just on martial arts, but devastating verbal attacks. Lil’ Kira is standing back and waiting for the adults to kill each other.

But while everyone else is busy trying to kill them, the core of Ryouta, Himiko and Taira remain committed to escape by spilling a minimum of blood. Their adversaries aren’t making it easy, however. The “crimes” that got them voted on the island aren’t as severe as other players’, what with Ryouta’s mom simply snapping, Himiko’s friend blaming her for not getting raped, and Taira just being a jackass at work. As for Date? The son of a bitch is on the island for the second time; he’s clearly scum. Kira can’t help what he is, but he can’t function in society. Oda and Kinoshita are the main threat to Ryouta & Co, but learning about them will have to wait until at least next week.


Rating: 6 (Good)