BTOOOM! – 04

Come onnnnn, rare drops!

KA-POW! Another explosive episode of BTOOOM! coming right atcha! I’m still not quite a fan of the show, but it’s alright. I shall persist in my blogging endeavours unless it becomes unbearable. It kills time and pulls off some cool things every now and then, so there are a few things in the “pros” list to balance out the “cons.” One of those pros is Miyuki Sawashiro voicing a psychopathic kid. Oh baby!

Interpreting a situation where you run into bloody kid, a tree with a huge hole in it, and a dead body isn’t exactly intuitive, so episode 4 actually rewinds a bit before the cliffhanger from last week. We get to learn quite a bit about Kousuke, aside from the previously apparent fact that he was a remorseless murderer. Now we know why he’s a murderer! His father was an absolutely wretched human being who solved all of his problems with violence and yelling. I’m not a guy, but it was pretty painful to see his dad grab a handful of his son’s junk to torture him. For a split second I panicked because I thought a rape flashback was going to fade in with all the horrific impact of seeing a killer slowly swing an axe at my head. I saw my life flash before my eyes in that moment. Luckily, they went for the abuse route rather than rape. There’s the off-handed mention of him raping some girls he killed for added shock value, which comes off as more petty and forced than anything.

The whole situation with his father is supposed to make us feel a small shred of sympathy for Kousuke. He’s not just an outlandish villain, but an outlandish, misguided villain. He has reasons for his killing sprees, even if they’re rather horrible ones. Unfortunately, there aren’t many other releases from that kind of stress other than extreme actions. For Kousuke that was hunkering down for Btooom! marathons and…killing people. His dad not only inflicts so much mental and physical trauma that he drives Kousuke to this state, but he also teaches him the same set of deranged morals. Immediately after killing his dad for being so cruel, he acts exactly like his father did a second ago. He has become the very creature he created, much like how Dio in Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure was just as rotten as his dad despite trying so desperately to separate himself from him. It was an interesting twist, although I could have done without a disembodied head of his dad appearing to make sure we got the reference. It was even red too! Get it? ANGER!! BLOOD!!! BLARRGG!!

All in all, Kousuke is almost comically insane. I can’t take him seriously at all. The only thing that lends him any credibility is Miyuki Sawashiro’s excellent (as always) voice work. I won’t be too disappointed if this kid dies any time soon, although it looks like he’ll make a comeback since Sakamoto was merciful. His skills in Btooom! made the battle interesting, at the very least. I actually liked him more before he killed his dad because he switched from murderous, to cheerful (with the lawyer), and meek (around his dad). Once he’s alone, he only shows his sadistic side, and the lack of contrast just makes him a one-note character.

I also really enjoyed his initial talk with his lawyer, who calmly tried to instill some logic in him. He tries to tell him killing is wrong, but Kousuke cannot fathom why. He simply does not possess the same emotional aversion to death as most humans do – the hallmark trait of a classic “psychopath.” They can intellectually see the link in logic of the argument, but they don’t actually feel remorse or guilt since they are entirely unable to see life from someone else’s shoes. The almost accurate depiction of a kid with Conduct Disorder was of particular interest to me. Sadly, the whole thing devolves into Kousuke spouting nonsense and ALWAYS being in kill mode.

Speaking of things going wrong with you brain, Sakamoto smacks his head against a rock and enters a strange trance. Unfortunately, I can’t put a real life label on this one aside from maybe “hallucination” or “severe delusion.” Basically, he sees the island as a game and loses all of his inhibitions about killing people. Without these self-imposed restrictions, he fares a lot better against Kousuke, and actually almost kills him. It was the only really cool part of a rather dull hide-and-seek type battle. I really hope he gets concussions more often, because things got a lot better when he went all-out. I still don’t get why some of these bombs don’t kill people despite the fact that THEY’RE BOMBS. How am I supposed to feel like the battles are high stake events when you can lob a bomb with perfect trajectory at your target, have it explode in their face, and still only mildly injure them? It’s not a very consistent system.

Bonus Screenshots: Show ▼

Oh, Btooom!. You try (or do you?). We’re introduced to more detestable people this week, which means I still don’t really like any of the characters.  The best character is probably that old guy who hid in a bush and then stole a radar chip. He’s already doing better than Sakamoto! Clever, clever. In my first impressions post I said the only thing I was really expecting from Btooom! to be good was the action. However, even the action was a bit lacklustre. All the strategies used didn’t strike me as particularly clever. There was no game-changing move other than cancelling Kousuke’s radar, which just sounded so implausible that my mind gave up and turned off for the rest of the episode. He timed it exactly right each and every single time while running and hiding? You want me to believe that? Am I…missing something here? Well, at least Sakamoto might start to be a better player now. That much is good news.

Preview:  Sakamoto reunites with his crafty friend and they become a lovely little trio. This probably only happens after a huge amount of persuasion and maybe a little bit of fighting though.

About

A mad scientist with a third degree black belt. The combination of these two things leads to blog posts combining a love for psychology, violence, anime and watching boys cry.
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26 Responses to “BTOOOM! – 04”

  1. Highway says:

    I’ve had it with this show. In this ep, at 7 mins in, when that bastard dad grabbed the kid’s balls, I said “I don’t need to watch this show anymore” and turned it off. Good job Btooom!, you drove me away. I know that one guy watching doesn’t matter much, but I just don’t need or want to see that, or pretty much anything else this show has shown me.

    Well, my schedule is lighter now. I think I’m down to 18 shows.

    • Overcooled says:

      I really don’t blame you. =_= I am considering just doing a series-end review instead of episodics since all I do is complain each week. But if I saw Deadman Wonderland to the end, I can probably survive Btooom!. Somehow.

      18 shows? WOW. That’s impressive!

      • skylion says:

        Not to one up Highway but I am at 22; this is after dropping My Little Robots and Code:Breaker, and prolly this one. So with a series end review, swing for the fences, perhaps I will come back to it.

        • Highway says:

          I’m still watching My Little Robots, the Shinki-1 Grand Prix was rather cute. And I never picked up Code:Breaker.

          Yeah, Btooom! was just too much vile, reprehensible actions, and ‘possibility of getting blown up by other vile reprehensible actors’ isn’t adequate on the other side of the morality scale.

        • BlackBriar says:

          22 animes in one season?! Whoa!! How are you going to fit all of that into your daily schedule. I count about 13 animes for myself this season and that’s not including the ongoing ones from Summer.

          • skylion says:

            I work my day job Tuesday-Saturday, the way this season’s schedule breaks down, I get to catch up alot on my Mondays. That is if the second job doesn’t get in the way.

            I count SAO in that list. And I just miscounted the files in my Fall Anime 2012 folder. So, I’m down to 21. And hour here, and hour there, I get thru it. I even watch two sub groups for Chu2Koi and Autistic Cat Girlfriend.

          • Highway says:

            Yeah, it’s not hard to watch that many shows. I mean, 20 shows in a week is only 10 hours, spread out over the entire week, so less than 2 hours a day. And if you watch 5 on each weekend day (under 2.5 hours each day), then you’ve only got 2 to watch each day the rest of the days.

            I work a pretty normal M-F 40 hr a week job, get about 2 hours of WoW in per day (if not more), do my studying for Japanese (90 minutes to 2 hours), and watch that many shows. I even blog 4 shows a week, which means I watch each of them at least two times, write the post (between 1 and 3 hours) and do screenshots (another 1-2 hours). But what other stuff do I do? Not too much. Some household chores, watch F1 races, watch football, watch football (the other kind). Band Practice. That’s the choices I make. And it still feels like there’s plenty of time to read in bed and read stuff on the web (and comment on Metanorn and other sites).

            • Overcooled says:

              I’m watching around 14, and I’m still falling behind. You guys have excellent time-management skills.

              …Or maybe it’s because I spend all my free time studying *sighs sadly*

        • D-LaN says:

          I ady having trouble with keeping up for 12 shows(including tht console war parody and BTOOOM!. No plan to drop it yet)

          I also wanted to check JoJo and some other show out but I don hv the time to do so…. Not to mention some backlogged show frm last season lk Jintai and KoroCon.

          This is one busy season.

          • Overcooled says:

            I’m struggling too =A= I will say that JoJo has been a really fun and outrageous show, so give that a watch whenever you can!

  2. Hazou says:

    I’m with Highway. This show has left a bad taste in my mouth and it isn’t about the ball grabbing. I desperately actually wanted to like this character. I have been in an abusive home in my life as well. Now I won’t say I go on murder sprees, I don’t if anyone wants to know, but it’s like oh my god. They could have done it better than this. I would have liked it if it was something like:

    Sakomoto and Kouske begin fighting, originally in kill mode

    As the situation between the MC gets more and more heated, mostly in the situation when Kouske originally gets hit by the first bomb I wanted to see them bring back his meek side.

    Think about instead of Kouske still being in kill mode, but suddenly crying about it hurting. Or somethinglike that.

    I don’t know. But it would have been a lot better than that. The only good thing about this episode was that I believe the voice actor for Mockingbird in Deadman Wonderland was Kouske voice.

    • Overcooled says:

      I imagine Kousuke was very over the top for someone who has actually had to cope with abuse in their life. I’m sorry you had to sit through that, especially given your past experiences.

      I would have liked Kousuke to show more emotions aside from “sadistic” during the battle too. Crying out in pain could have worked. And yes, it’s the same seiyuu as Mockingbird from Deadman Wonderland.

      • Hazou says:

        It was just like, at first I was kind of hoping to find a character I could connect to. But nope. I can’t continue Btoom. I’m like, does the writer of this even know how or what it’s like to be an abused?

        -You got the playing a game[reading, writing,etc] to escape the world

        -You got the conflict of emotions and sometimes things don’t make sense

        But then you decide to play as what a joke?

        Btooom wants to bring these complicated ideas, these complicatd stories, but it fails in making them complicated.

        -Rape once, no we need to do it twice

        -Abuse, yeah but the abused child turns into a psycho killer with no emotions

        Really?

        Screw you Btooom screw you. Is all I have to say.

  3. skylion says:

    Miyuki Sawashiro’s presence was this episodes only saving grace; it’s too bad she had to voice such dreadfully simplistic lines; she gave it a good going, but the show is dreadfully simplistic.

    You’ve made the correct assessment OC, this show tries for nuance but fumbles in the final yards.

    • Overcooled says:

      I wonder if she was cringing as she spoke her lines…

      • skylion says:

        If she was, then more credit to her for a professional delivery. If she wasn’t, then credit to her for a pro attitude. As it is, none of the VA are missing any marks, and the production is quite good. Very well made derp.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    If BTOOM! is accomplishing anything, it’s showing the ugly side of human beings when the laws of society no longer apply. But it does it a very depraved and unsightly manner. If it was like Shiki, Mirai Nikki or Another, I would’ve enjoyed watching it but this version of human cruelty leaves an overly bitter taste in the mouth.

    I don’t entirely blame Kosuke. Growing up with an abusive parent will mess with a kid’s head but killing then raping people (yes, in that order), that’s all on him. Instead, he became the very person he hated and then some. Also, he now shows similarities to Accel World’s Nomi. He was abused and taken advantage of by his older brother but when he had enough and saw an opening, he slaughtered him mercilessly and became decadently depraved and immoral.

    • Highway says:

      If BTOOM! is accomplishing anything, it’s showing the ugly side of human beings when the laws of society no longer apply.

      It’s not like these people all of a sudden started acting like this when they got onto this island. The only one who seems to have had any sort of change of heart is Mikoto, and that was to turn distant and uncaring after being assaulted. All of the rest of the characters seem to be acting the exact same way they were shown to act prior to being carted off to the island. So I don’t think it’s that all of a sudden the restraints of society were lifted from these people and they turned into depraved individuals. It’s that they are, pretty much through to their core, depraved individuals. Whatever their personal reasons, whatever the circumstances, a lot of these people are just scum with no place in any society.

      • Overcooled says:

        ….Your comments must be super tasty.

        What I liked about Shiki was that they questioned to morality of killing in a believable way. Here it’s more like “Hmm…am I in the mood to kill this dude right now? Eh, guess so.”. It’s mostly because everyone is already in that killing/vicious mindset, so there’s no dissonance with their core beliefs when they go and blow someone up. It’s not a big leap to make.

    • Highway says:

      Spammy ate another comment. Bad filter!

      • BlackBriar says:

        LOL. You really do seem to be the spam monster’s favorite target.

  5. D-LaN says:

    The complains for this show is interesting… Judging by the comment here & there it seems like this show is too brutal for ppl liking? Too simple characters? Simplistic plot?

    • Highway says:

      The show is too brutal, and the characters – from top to bottom – are just too depraved. So many of them revel in their inhumanity, and the show seems to glorify that. It’s just not appealing at all.

      • BlackBriar says:

        They express the very mentality of people who lived in ancient Rome. They revelled in their inhumanity and depravity out in the open without a care (murder, incest, abuse, rape, blackmail and all of the above) because they knew the whole city was consumed by negativaty. It was a breeding ground for suffering and injustice, the same as it is being depicted out on the island.

        • Overcooled says:

          Not feeling the same, D-LaN? At least someone likes Btooom! lol.

          My issue is how tasteless the violence is, which is saying a lot since I generally love bloodbaths. Brutality and gore is fine, but this might as well be a slideshow of abuse, rape and explosions with no context. It’s just thrown in there to be shocking, and it isn’t there to enhance the story.

          • D-LaN says:

            Well I try my best to not drop anything halfway… (I am guilty of Horizon and Arcana Famiglia though)

            To be honest, I am not a fan of bloodbath and I cringe a lot throughout the episodes. But atm, this show is entertaining enough for me to keep watching.

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