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Rated 4 out of 5 stars
Battle Royale part 2
Length: 12 episodes
"In the blink of the mind's eye, Ryuta Sakamoto suddenly finds himself transported from playing the hit BTOOOM! video game to being stranded on a mysterious island. He's equipped with a day's worth of provisions, a bag of bombs, a strange crystal embedded in his left hand and a huge gaping hole in his memory. But it doesn't take long to figure out what's going on, especially after the first person Ryuta meets tries to kill him. Someone is attempting to recreate the ultra-violent BTOOOM! game in real life, and the island has been filled with an army of other unwilling players, each armed with one of the multiple variants of explosive weapons called BIM. Fortunately, Ryuta's an ace BTOOOM! player, but this insane version of the game has no reset switch or second lives, and there's only one way off the island: kill seven other people before they can kill you! Can Ryuta repurpose his game-based skills fast enough to survive this ultimate world of warcraft? The action is ultra-violent, ultra-graphic, and ultra-lethal as the ultimate blood sport is unleashed in BTOOOM!"
Wasn't really planning on getting this series, but Bestbuy was running it on sale for $27, and I couldn't pass that up! The description for BTOOOM! fits it pretty spot on except that it leaves out anything about the other main character, Himiko. I won't spoil anything about her or Ryuta aside from the fact that they team up to try to escape the island that they're trapped on.
Plot: It keeps it interesting and fast-paced, but it's also got some holes in it. Whether it's player against player, or just trying to survive against the island's inhabitant kimodo dragons, there's an abundance of the "ultra-violent" action. However, aside from the action, it's hard to get behind a lot else. Ryuta is a shut-in NEET that does nothing but play video games. Apparently that also keeps him in tip-top athletic condition as well. Himiko is sexually assaulted, but they keep using her for fanservice as well. If a bomb bounces off of your breast, I don't foresee the average woman having a flustered/moaning expression. Usually a huge fan of fanservice, but not when the person in question was assaulted already.
The graphics are pretty good here. Ultra-violent is pretty correct. Several people die by the end of it, and the show doesn't try to hide much. Slit throats, blown off fingers/limbs, charred corpses, etc... they're all here. However, it stops from getting to a gore category. There's plenty of blood, but you don't have to deal with someone's insides falling out or seeing the bones popping out. The environments are made very well, too! Nothing like a tropical backdrop to feast the eyes on.
Overall, the series was definitely enjoyable. I watched the first 9 episodes in one go and then finished the last 3 tonight. Sadly, the anime leaves off at a stopping point where I'm sure the manga continues. There's no conclusion here and no 2nd season has been green-lit, yet. I might have to check out the manga to see how it ends up. So far, it feels very similar to Battle Royale except that bombs are the only weapons. Enjoy!