FlashBlack Manga Review #1: Btooom!

What’s up everyone! It has been faaaaaaaaar too long since I last posted something and so I’ve decided to blog more often…like every Friday. And what’ll this blog consist of? REVIEWS! Yeah, I do video reviews/vlogs on Youtube every Friday as the FlashBlack (We’re flashing back and I’m Black) and while my reviews aren’t viewed by as many people as I’d like, it still feels good to get my thoughts out! While I’ve already done my video review for the day, I’ve decided to do another review on a manga since I’m bored and I need something to do don’t I?

Today’s review will focus on the Seinen manga called Btooom!Image

Btooom is written by Junya Inoue and focuses on Sakamoto Ryota, a 22 year old unemployed gamer living at home with his mother. He has no desire nor intention to find a job and is quite content to lounge around all day long playing the online game called Btooom which is a Halo type game in which the players try to kill each other with bombs and only bombs. Ryota makes the ever classic wish for real life to be as simple as the game he’s so obsessed with and sure enough when we next see him, he’s hanging in a tree on a tropical island. After stumbling around he comes to the beach and sees someone walking towards him. Assuming that it’s someone there to rescue him, Ryota calls out to the figure who responds by throwing something at Ryota and that something is a bomb. Ryota soon finds out that he and many other people were nominated by those that hate them for this real life version of the game he’s so good at. Each person is given a type of bomb and a small glass…chip…thing in their hands that can be used as radars. Collect 8 chips and you win yourself a trip back home, but this means that you need to kill 7 other people because the chips will only come out if the person it belongs to is dead. Can Ryota survive and use his knowledge of the game in order to win or will he be (pardon the pun) blown away?

Stylistically (and really take this with a grain of salt since I know all of jack shit about art), Btooom is one of the more realistic looking manga which is probably because of it being a more mature series for a mature audience. I mean I’ve seen manga with realistic looking characters before like Bloody Monday and Death Note but this probably the best looking with it’s character designs in my opinion. The tone of the series is almost constantly serious which is good if you’ve been looking for a series like that. Although Btooom does have comedic and fanservice moments most of them are brief.

Now if I had to compare this series to something else….it’d probably be the Hunger Games or Battle Royale…just with bombs and on a deserted island. The characters

are adverse to taking the lives of others even if it does mean that they get to live longer, but it doesn’t take long for our main character to kill someone and freak out about it. One of the interesting things about this whole series as far as the characters and their interactions go is Ryota’s memory loss and their back stories. One of the most interesting things to me however was learning of the circumstances that brought these people together and those running the whole thing. I got through all of what was available on MangaFox in 2 days but now I’m stuck waiting for more.

Now…if you’re sick of typical Shonen series and you’re looking for something a bit more mature and thought provoking to read, Btooom should be right up your alley. It’s action packed, intelligent, deep and it takes itself completely seriously. This was the very first Seinen series that I’ve ever read and I’m really enjoying it. That’s all I’ve got to say about Btooom! Give it a read, it’ll be a BLAST!

  1. So this is that series I heard so much about. Not completely sure how I feel about this kind of Kill Everyone series, but I may have to check it out later.

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