Reflection: Btooom! vol. 5

btooom 5

-Btooom! Volume 5

-Junya Inoue

-Yen Press

Volume five of Btooom! starts out with a three chapter background of Himiko. The readers discover the history of her distrust of men, both on and off of the island. It is also revealed why she was sent to the island, by nomination of her ‘friends’ as she mentioned earlier in the series. I didn’t care too much for this part. I think it could have been shorter than the three chapters Inoue dedicated to it and that the graphics in a couple of the scenes at a little too much.

Anyway, the series regular returns after this sort of side story. We rejoin Sakamoto and Himiko in the abandoned medical centre after the fight with Natsume and Miyamoto. They decide it is too late to try and return to their camp where Taira was left waiting for them. The find a safe room to sleep but in the middle of the night Himiko is awakened by what she calls a ‘ghost’. After a long period of time searched the centre the pair finally uncover a hideout occupied by a mysterious woman who cannot be detected by their radar.

Overall, didn’t care much for this volume. I think the extent of the Himiko’s background is a little over the top, but hey that what’s the mangaka wanted, and so be it. Anyway, the series as a whole is still awesome so its not enough at all to make me stop reading it.

Turtle

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Reflection: Btooom! vol. 2

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Where volume one introduced the basic story and concept behind this series, volume two has brought in some more of the key figures in the story and given readers more of a backstory.

 

Synopsis:

Chapter Seven starts this volume and introduces the character of Kousuke Kira. From what is portrayed of his character I think it’s safe to assume Kira is Btooom’s equivalent of Kiriyama in Battle Royale. Although the title of chapter seven refers to Kira as ‘The Boy’, I can’t help but to feel ‘The Sociopath’ would be a far better title. Through his back story we learn that Kira was abused by his father so much that it eventually drove him to the point where he murdered and raped three women. Did I mention that he’s only fourteen? Accompanying the Young Kira is his father, Yoshihisa Kira, and their lawyer, Souichi Natsume.

Meanwhile, Sakamoto and his wounded companion, Kiyoshi Taira, continue their search for a supply crate, leading them straight to Kira. A battle ensures between Sakamoto and Kira, eventually culminating in Kira’s defeat. In the end Sakamoto spares Kira’s life, leaving him tied to a tree with no BIM or supplies.

Sakamoto and Taira barely have time to eat their instant ramen before they hear another explosion nearby. Following investigation they spot a dead body floating in the river and another, partially rotted body, next to a tree. The volume ends with Sakamoto once again coming face-to-face with the unknown, and heavily armed, schoolgirl from the first volume.

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My Opinion:

The battle scene between Sakamoto and Kira is fantastic. The illustrations are brilliant. And the story is just straight out addictive. I’m looking forward to reading on and luckily I already have volumes 3 and 4 bought, so I can.

 

Kill list – up to volume 2:

Yoshiaki Imagawa – Killed by Ryouta Sakamoto

Misako Houjou – Killed by unknown character

Yoshihisa Kira – Killed by Kousuke Kira

2 unknown characters – Unknown killer

 

Turtle

Reflection: Btooom! vol. 1

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Bombs, psychopaths and a middle aged man taking a dump in a bush. Btooom is awesome. Well not that last point. But seriously, check out Btooom!

 

Synopsis:

Ryouta Sakamoto is an unemployed 22 year old man who spends his days playing the online combat game Btooom! Sakamoto awakes one morning to find himself hanging from a tree on a tropical island with no memory of how he got there. After escaping the tree he finds a pouch full of small bombs and after using one attracts the attention of another person on the island. When Sakamoto calls out for help the other person throws a bomb at him and the pair become entangled in a battle using the bombs. Afterwards Sakamoto begins to make connections between the world he has found himself in and the online game he spent days at a time playing. Eventually Sakamoto meets up with another player, Kiyoshi Taira, who fills him in on the world they have been sent to. Taira explains how they were kidnapped along with 30 others and sent to this island and instructed that the only way off the island was to kill seven others and collect a chip implanted into their hands.

 

My Opinion:

Battle Royale was pretty awesome, but some bombs and a secret organisation into the mix and you have Btooom.   I have already watched the Anime and I can’t wait to read more of the manga, with another three volumes already bought and sitting on my shelf. The concept is a classic, but a great. Being sent to live in the world of a video game, with the lives of the main characters on the line. I don’t want to say too much here because I have seen the anime and know what’s going to happen over the course of the next couple volumes.

 

Rating:

Check of Btooom! It is seriously giving Bakuman a run for its money as my favourite series. Although you can’t really compare the two, but I think it really is. If you like Battle Royale or any similar series, you will love this; you have my word on that.