Our hero finds himself trapped on a deserted island in a game. The only way to survive is to kill seven other players with bombs and his wits.
Btooom! has a setup it could do some interesting things with. It could focus on the political entanglements, the endless betrayals and doubts the characters face. It could focus on the fighting itself— the combat with bombs leads to some interesting possibilities. It could focus on why the characters were sent to the island, and learning to overcome their shortcomings. Or it could focus on the relationship between the video game world and the real world. Focusing on any one of these components could have led to a good show.
Unfortunately, Btooom! doesn’t succeed at any of them. The political maneuvering basically boils down to “Everyone is evil and will betray you at the tip of a hat! Except hot blonde girls with huge boobs and the loser gamers who no one likes except hot girls (just like the people watching this show!)”. The combat can be interesting when they want it to be, but it usually seems to boil down to traps and tricks which the viewers can’t even see until after the fact. The psychological component is the worst of all, basically boiling down to every member of the human race going crazy and murdering each other when they are given bombs and told to do so. The gaming component leads absolutely nowhere.
The show is entertaining in a pulpy sort of way. But I wouldn’t call it good by any means. The show itself, just like the characters in it, is running away from reality. It strives so hard to entertain that it ends up with nothing to say. It’s a repeated sequence of betrayals, deaths, explosions, and rape. Which doesn’t exactly bring it to the top of the list of shows I’d like to watch. To add insult to injury, the show doesn’t even reach the story’s ending.
- Storytelling – D – Cheap pulp thrills.
- Voice – D – Doesn’t feel that distinctive.
- Characters – F – Generic Guy and Breasted Blonde
- Attention Grab – C – All the cliffhangers keep your attention, but leave you disappointed afterwards.
- Production – D – Should have made better crazy faces
- Overall – D+