O-New: Now Extinct Website

Btooom! Manga Quarterly Review 4

Hi guys. I’m really late on this because I had this as a draft for one and a half months.

Btooom! has a manga. I’ve followed it for one and a half years.

Btooom! also has an anime. I’ve followed it for one and a half months.

Thus, if you’re following the anime, there will probably be spoilers ahead; however, this is a shounen battle manga – you know that Sakamoto’s not going to die, and spoilers shouldn’t affect you at all. Unless you’re a 14-year-old psychotic teenager with a penchant for ravishing dead bodies. In which case you might be (excusably) shocked at my profoundly astute recognition of your identity:

(That said, a 14-year-old who isn't a teenager would be quite strange...)

We’ll start from bad to good to make you feel better about following Btooom!, because by the end you’ll have forgotten how shittily Btooom! treats its female characters.

The worst part was Ryota’s behaviour towards Himiko. And the crosshatching on their cheeks. This author cannot draw fanservice for shit, and the fanservice was indeed shit to the highest degree. What the heck was chapter 52? Kira just MURDERED these guys’ teammate and now they’re smothering his face with pussy and forcing him to join their team!? Never mind how Volume 7’s entire special chapter was devoted to rape victim porn. reeeeeaaaaaaaal classy

Dude, you don’t need to know that someone’s suffered serious rape-related trauma to know that touching people on the first date is seriously creepy, even if they’re obsequious harem slaves willing to sacrifice their life for someone they’ve spent four nights with. In their defence(s), they’ve gamed together over the internet, so that totally makes it OK, right? True love and all that! Except, no wait, Ryota was attracted to Himiko’s bloody ONLINE AVATAR (which just happened to look exactly like her) and TYPING. That’s not creepy anymore. That’s neckbeard-levels of sadness. Like me. :'(

Actually, that’s not the worst part. The worst part was his promise to ‘reform’ Himiko, because rape trauma is just a phase that people ‘get over’, right? Right…

Remember back when Taira was bitten and Himiko had to hold this fat sweaty man in place with her breasts? Neither do I, but all that scene did was belittle her past trauma as something mere willpower can overpower. I suppose if you were drunk enough, you could read it as Himiko having great willpower, but… YOU NEED TO BE REALLY DRUNK

As drunk as the artist when he drew chapter 52

Images signal topic transitions. You know this because these images have nothing to do with their neighbouring paragraphs, which sufficiently disrupt your train of thought to let me inject FRUITCAKE and MURDER into your subconscious. Specifically the absence of murder surrounding Date, which is a pun because dates are in fruitcakes and they also rhyme and forget it

Seriously, Date deserved to die. I don’t care that Murasaki’s personality is all forgiveness or whatever—does the author expect us to believe that Murasaki’ll just let Date live on? This is the person who framed her for murder, who raped her on the island, and who tried to MURDER HER—TWICE.

This is the person who trusted Tyrannos more than Murasaki, who trusted that they would free him… so that he could tell the world what happened on the island? He deserved to die by his naïveté alone: even if he was released, somebody’s just going to nominate him back again, cause society’s hate wouldn’t suddenly dissipate overnight.

Trying to pass it off as ‘unexplainable adult behaviour’ is just insulting our intelligence. Actually, perhaps not, because most of us are immature socially unadjusted weeaboos who don’t understand WHAT IS LOVE

Then again, it’s good that Ryota didn’t kill Date, so Murasaki’s nursing was an effective deus ex machina. Yes, I just said that. YOU CAN HAVE GOOD DEUS EXS IF YOU USE THEM TASTEFULLY.

Killing Date in case he kills them later leads to
Killing people in case they become threats later, leading to
Killing teammates who want to leave their group, leading to
Killing anybody who doesn’t join their group, leading to
Killing everybody.

Ryota and Himiko are the protagonists. This isn’t Battle Royale. Btooom! has moè faces and inopportune fanservice. Their consciences can’t be degraded. (I’m honestly surprised neither are much shocked by their previous kills, but gamers might disassociate themselves from realit-WAIT THAT’S REALLY BAD THAT’S LIKE HYPER SUPER MEGA BAD WOAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH)

kira used: poker face. it was not very effective...

Actually, there’s nothing really good about Btooom! I’ll distract your attention with some needless speculation, now that it’ll take like another year for the next MQR.

The mangaka was in the game industry as a graphics director for ten years (that’s like, half our lives) before writing manga, which explains the ‘realism’ with which Btooom! tackles the game. There are no magical immortal child sentient bug-AI-gods in Btooom!—the closest we get is Aida with his badass overheating, and by badass I mean wat and by overheating I mean overeating cause he’s fat except not really no, no, he’s not fat at all.

They confirmed the number of people at 32. We’ve seen 20 so far: 11 are dead, and the nine remaining are Ryota, Himiko, Oda, Kinoshita, Date, Kira, AV Girl, Rich Kid, and Impotent Ex-Policeman. That means there’s still 12 people who have never appeared yet… I find that somewhat unlikely, but there’s a good chance many are already dead (Impotent Ex-Policeman’s team seems to have killed many), so I only expect 5 more new characters. Btooom! is ending sooon… (that was a puuun, not a typooo)

I really hope more things happen in the ‘real’ world—government conspiracies! Company bureaucracies! Media attention/cover-ups! Rescue operations! Fifty-two 40-page chapters have already passed, and a grand total of ten pages were spent on Engrish’d American business magnates busying themselves with more violence.

The fat dude Himiko killed is actually the third-youngest person in the game (after Kira and Himiko); he’s 18. Ryota’s 22, so 22/2 + 7 = 11 + 7 = 18. The obvious conclusion we reach from this is that Ryota and dead-fat-dude are the perfect couple. The corollary is that Ryota’s a bloody pedophile. Dude seriously, 15?! Disgusting.

Better than Highschool of the Dead!

Whoops, I said we’d end on a good note. Uhhhhh I hope Kira doesn’t die because he’s cute. God, why is his backstory so disconcertingly incongruous? NOBODY KNOWS


2 responses

  1. Leave a comment

    2013/01/15 at 23:57

  2. Pingback: Btooom! 6 | O-New