By Jeff Neuenschwander / October 25th, 2012
WARNING: Due to the graphic nature of BTOOOM!, discretion is advised.
Well, after the rather disturbing last episode (The Bloody High School Girl), things seem to calm down in BTOOOM!… comparatively speaking. We still get an on-screen death, another off-screen, two people getting a taser to the head, and a bit of a disturbing image at the end. But, at least I don’t have to talk about sexual assault.
At least for now.
We start the episode with Ryota Sakamoto getting a partner. Unfortunately, it’s not Himiko. She, understandably, ran off before he could say anything. Instead, Sakamoto teams up with Kiyoshi Taira, a real estate agent from Osaka. And from all appearances, he has never played the BTOOOM! video game.
He also has information on where they are and how they got there.
This BTOOOM! “game” is being played out on an island in the southwest Pacific, around the areas of Micronesia, Melanesia, Indonesia, and the Philippines (they weren’t specific). There are about 30 players starting, with someone needing 8 chips (the radar crystals on the left hand) to escape the island. And what’s more, Sakamoto may know the person behind it.
Sakamoto stood up as one of the more vocal passengers on the cargo plane. He spoke directly with the deranged man behind this almost as if he knew the person. At least, that was what Taira took from it.
Unfortunately, as you may remember from episode 1 (START), Sakamoto has no memory of this. He was disciplined by the guards with a high voltage shock to the head. This also explains the blood that was on his head when he woke up on the island.
And if you’re wondering how he was able to open a parachute while being unconscious, don’t. The parachutes were designed to open automatically. This would explain why he woke up hanging from a parachute in a tree.
After hearing Taira’s explanation of the events, Sakamoto begins to suspect Tyrannos Japan, the company behind the BTOOOM! video game, as the masterminds behind this endeavor. It’s a fair guess, as the rules are very similar to the video game. Also, how many random people would have ¥3,000,000 to just give away (for the record, that translates out to about $40,000 USD) as well as hire a number of guards, pay for a cargo plane, and continuously send supplies to a deserted island in the South Pacific.
I do find it interesting that the man on the screen had a chip on his left hand. Something about that just doesn’t seem right. You’d imagine that he could have just as easily shown it by just holding it up. I get the feeling there’s going to be a face-off of some kind near the end with this guy.
Anyways, Taira offers to team up with Sakamoto, which he accepts (though only after trying to get a glimpse of the bombs Taira has). The two then see another plane fly over. This one, just like the one in episode 2, is dropping supplies for those on the island. Sakamoto races off to get to it first.
Unfortunately, he was too late. A young lady with curly hair got to the case of supplies before him. However, she was not first. After picking up the supplies, the lady was blown up by a mine. We then see who set it: a man with shoulder length hair wearing a sleeveless shirt and sunglasses. He apologizes, picks up the case — as well as everything else on her, including the chip — and takes off.
Sakamoto is distraught by this turn of events, knowing that if he had been there before her he would have been killed. It’s good to see him still not fully accepting his situation. Remember, we may have seen this over three weeks but he’s just starting day 2 on the island. Also, I think the sunglasses guy may have done this before. He did regret doing it but was a lot more calm about it than, for example, Sakamoto in episode 1.
Anyways, after a brief discussion with Taira, they decide to cautiously go after a different supply case that hadn’t been claimed yet. After running through dense forest, they make it to the drop point… only to find a bloodied kid and a headless man next to a tipped over tree with the case. Unless I’m mistaken, they will have to kill this kid in the next episode.
Things to take from this episode:
First off, Taira is probably not going anywhere. He is one of seven guys that seem to be featured in the opening animation. He will more than likely play a major role in this series.
For the record, the other six are Sakamoto (obviously), Himiko, the bloodied kid, bandana guy from last episode, the sunglasses guy, and a man with a slender build and glasses that we’ve only seen in clips so far. We’ll probably be introduced to him soon enough.
Second, the man from the plane is part of a Triumvirate running this. If you look at the opening and stop right as the guy pops up, you’ll see two guys flanking him. The guy on the left (Iida; interviewed Sakamoto in episode 1) is tall with a suit and straight tie. The guy to his right has glasses, suspenders and a bow tie. Though we have yet to be introduced to the guy on the right, my guess is that we’ll be seeing the three of them quite a bit before the end.
Third, keeping on topic of the guy on the screen, I heavily believe that he’ll have something to do with the ending of this. After all, why would he have a chip implanted on his hand?
…HOLY-CRAP-WHY-DIDN’T-I-SEE-THIS-SOONER?! Go back to that picture of the Triumvirate and look at Iida. He has a chip on his left hand as well. What is going on at Tyrannos Japan?!
Fourth, it will be interesting to see how supplies play a role in this series. With the first drop, we saw the teacher die from arguing about using up the supplies too quickly. Today, we’ve seen two people die (so far) over a couple of cases. The strategy over this will be interesting to see.
Fifth, the kid was shown in the opening (outside of the mug shot in front of the title) but I’m not sure how long he’ll last. There will more than likely be a fight between him and the Sakamoto-Taira pairing, particularly if you listen to the teaser for the next episode (or read the subtitles like those of us that don’t understand Japanese).
Finally, with everyone needing 8 chips to get off the island, there’s something that I’m wondering: where are the chips from the fat guy and the crazy, blond-haired guy? I’m certain that the bandana guy picked up the teacher’s chip after stabbing him in the neck, but what about those two?
The fat guy fell off the cliff after getting blown off by a bomb from Himiko. Knowing that she needed it to get off the island, did she go and pick it up? Would she even have wanted to after what that guy did? What about Sakamoto? He didn’t have any memory of the flight. Would he have just left the chip with the rest of the body bits or did he pick it up on a whim? We’ll find out these things soon enough.
BTOOOM! is developed by Madhouse, published by Showgate, and licensed in North America by Sentai Filmworks. You can catch new episodes every Thursday night through the simulcast on Crunchyroll.