Review: Btoom!, Episode 1 – Start

By Syaoran

Caution, there are spoilers ahead.

In an instant, Ryouta Sakamoto finds himself transported onto a desolate island and is forced to live out in reality the hit game Btoom! where he was the tenth best player in the world. The objective of the game and island is survival. How does one survive? You survive by bombing the other opponents before they bomb you. The goal seems simple enough, however, the problem in the first episode is that Ryouta has no idea how he ended up where he is or why. Now, if you ask me, I think the main character has a few screws loose and is rather annoying. For example, who awakens, finding themselves stuck in a tree in some strange jungle, crawling with strange creatures, and then eats all of the only food he has in his backpack? Clearly, this dude has never been lost before, otherwise, he would know that he should have rationed his provisions. Then he finally notices another package he is carrying with him. There are these small boxes and when pressed a timer goes off. Now I give him credit for getting an immediate bad feeling as the timer counts down from ten. However, who is stupid enough to keep holding onto that same object until two seconds are left? Stupid? I think so. In another situation, he finally comes into contact with the only other person he has seen all day, only to notice the other player throwing some small object towards him as he greets the other player. If it were me, I would have run like I was about to poo in my pants. Alas, that baka did not, nearly dying in the process. Now, I would have probably scrammed after getting my wits together, and not continue trying to talk to the other player. However, again, this protagonist seems to defy logic and does exactly this. Could anyone be more dense and irritating than this? Furthermore, when he decides that his only other option is to fight bomb with bomb, he takes forever to realize that the reason his bombs were either duds or were going off at the wrong moment is because there is a freaking timer. What the heck is the matter with him? Is it not common sense that when something is ticking off numbers, counting off from ten, then naturally, it would follow that something will only happen after it reaches zero?

Overall, Btoom! episode one is not impressive. The character is annoying, stupid, and slightly hard to identify with—for me at least. The beginning of the episode was rather confusing, especially if one was not aware of what the premise for the story is. The story itself seems to be lacking something. Perhaps it is originality because nothing about this story stood out for me. It seems to be another typical protagonist mysteriously waking up in a game sort of story, where the end result is going to be him coming to some epiphany that he only went into this fantasy because he was escaping reality. In the end, he is finally going to grow up and face the challenges of the world. Cheesy enough? I think so, too. Btoom!, please prove me wrong.


Currently, episodes one to two are available for viewing on

The anime adaptation is by Madhouse.

It has been licensed by Sentai Filmworks