By Jeff Neuenschwander / January 31st, 2013
WARNING: Due to the graphic nature of BTOOOM!, discretion is advised.
Actual ending spoilers below.
Okay, so let’s throw out the terrible fan fiction I wrote last time and start back up near the end. Taira sacrificed himself to stop the pain, accepting that getting home is no longer a possibility after turning on Sakamoto and Himiko. Sakamoto blames himself for Taira’s actions and is nearly inconsolable. Himiko offers to sacrifice herself to let Sakamoto go home. And Sakamoto reveals that he knows Himiko from the game.
So, the two kiss and appear to begin having sex. But Sakamoto stops once he realizes that Himiko is forcing herself to go through with it. She may love him but she still has issues with men in general, even Sakamoto. The issues are to a lesser extent for Sakamoto, as evidenced by the two kissing, but still exist.
Then we get a weird scene where a teenage Oda starts to mock Sakamoto. And we see that Sakamoto has been trying to measure up to Oda since they met, even after the fight they had. Sakamoto realizes that doing that may have put him on the island in the first place and tells off the young Oda (or since it was his mind, would it be thought off?).
There is one positive thing to come out of Sakamoto doing that though: if he was never nominated to disappear, he would have never met Himiko. Himiko was against meeting in real life, believing that their relationship was more pure that way. Even if Sakamoto was never nominated, Himiko would’ve still been on the island. And given how average her fighting was, she probably would’ve died fairly quickly.
In short, going to the island not only allowed Sakamoto to meet the love of his life but potentially save her as well.
So, with the possibility of sex thrown out the window by Sakamoto, he proposes something else to Himiko (not marriage, mind you). When the two of them can get home, he proposes being an actual couple (i.e. going out). Himiko is excited for this prospect and hugs Sakamoto with pure joy, the first time the entire series we’ve seen that out of Himiko since the early minutes of episode 2 (The Bloody High School Girl).
But the episode is not over yet. As the credits begin to run, we see the Game Manager telling Iida and the nerdy glasses guy from the opening video to get the island back online. Something happened that caused some electronic stuff to not work. They don’t say what happened or to what extent but they do reveal one thing: Iida was behind it.
They don’t show any footage of him sabotaging anything but he feels apologetic towards Sakamoto, even thinking to himself that this was all he could do. My feeling is that Iida wants to attempt a rescue mission to retrieve Sakamoto.
Why would he go all that way to save one person on the island? Because he was going to hire Sakamoto to work at Tyrannos Japan before being told that Sakamoto had been nominated for the island. There is no other explanation.
And that brings more answers about certain actions that Iida has shown before in previous episodes. In episode 6 (Night of Sacrifice), I said that he looked rather robotic. What may have been the case is that he was scared and feared for Sakamoto’s life. In episode 8 (White Ghost), while in a meeting with the head of Tyrannos, he’s shown checking up on Sakamoto. And in episode 10 (High Level), he’s shown to be sad that Sakamoto was killed… at least, when he thought Sakamoto was killed.
I believe that after that moment, he realized that he needed to do something to save Sakamoto. He sabotaged something (again, they didn’t reveal what it was) and now has to go to the island to fix it.
But wait… this was the last episode. They can’t just leave it on an open ending like this. They have to resolve stuff and have someone go home a winner.
So, I was right earlier when I said that this would be a 24 episode series. Maybe.
Here’s the deal: there are no episodes planned for the winter schedule. If you look at Crunchyroll’s line-up, you’ll see that BTOOOM! is absent from the list. However, I believe they fully intend to make a second season. I don’t think they would just leave the ending open like that.
So, why would they just do 12 episodes if they intended to make a 24 episode anime? First reason: money. That seems to be the main sticking point in a lot of series’, not just anime. My favorite TV show, Farscape, was pulled off the air after four seasons (and on an open ending as well) because the then owners of The Jim Henson Company opted not to fund a half-season of Farscape (which would have filled in answers as to what happened and wrapped up the series). However, they were able to earn money from fan donations and make a mini-series (The Peacekeeper Wars) to put the series to rest – though not as well as a season/half-season would have done.
From my best guess, Madhouse was probably given enough to work on twelve good episodes for the series.
The second reason: to give the manga time to finish or get farther ahead of the anime. If you look at the bigger anime shows like Naruto, One Piece, and Dragon Ball Z, they have large amounts of filler when the show caught up to the manga. Perhaps they wanted to give Jun’ya Inoue time to finish his work before ending the series. I can’t imagine that it would take too much longer though.
Speaking of the manga, the 10th volume has been released in Japan recently. In addition, Yen Press will be releasing an English version of the manga starting in late February.
So, with that in mind, does BTOOOM! deserve a second season?
Well, yeah. The characters were well created and even likable to an extent. And there are even more characters on the island that have yet to be shown.
The story was well paced. No episode felt like it was getting rushed through nor did it feel like it was filler. Every episode had a purpose towards an end game for the series.
But that doesn’t mean that everything was perfect. On the next page, the negatives of BTOOOM! and something I’ve been meaning to talk about for a while now.
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