Btooom! – 01

22-year-old NEET Sakamoto Ryouta spends all his days playing BTOOOM!, an online-fighting game using bombs. He’s ace of the #10 ranked team in the world. One day he wakes up hanging from a parachute, and finds himself on a deserted jungle island. He has been given a set of bombs that run on 10-second timers, and when a second castaway attacks him with his own bombs, Sakamoto realizes he’s been thrust into a real game of BTOOOM! He kills his rival, is shaken up about it, and the next time he wakes up he encounters a beautiful high school girl bathing in a jungle pool.

BTOOOM! didn’t make the most explosive impact compared to a couple other Fall series we’ve started on. Part of that may be our post-Accel World fatigue – after just finishing a battle game series in which there’s lots of not-always compelling inner dialogue, we’re understandably weary of starting another one right back up. Part of it may also be that shows with similar nonsensical titles like Gantz and Durarara! were more impactful right off the bat.

BTOOOM! stumbles in a couple places: Sakamoto’s would-be killer either has horrible aim or his bombs’ bark are far worse than their bite; and it takes too long for Sakamoto to figure out something that should have been immediately apparent: that the numbers on his bombs were a countdown. In fact, he did notice that when he threw his first away…only to forget in the heat of battle. But BTOOOM! is also straightforward and accessible, it doesn’t try to do too much too soon, and it’s by Madhouse. Hotshot video game kid thrust into a real life game of life and death is always intriguing if pulled off right, and despite some minor missteps, BTOOOM! isn’t altogether unintriguing.

Rating: 6 (Good)

Car Cameo: There’s a conservative sedan of  indeterminate make and model in the cold open, within the game. Has both Toyota Crown and Nissan Cedric characteristics.