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.


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Manga Collection – Part 1 (Return of the Turtle)

I’ve fallen away from my blog in recent months, and for those who read it regularly, I’m sorry. I really miss writing them myself so I am going to try my best to keep it going a bit. In one of my previous blogs I mentioned that I will do a collection list of my manga, so I think that will be as good a place as any to get back in the zone. I’m actually looking forward to this because I’ll get to look over what I have.

One Piece – Eiichiro Oda:
Kick things off with the only of the ‘big three’ series’ that I own. To date I own volumes 1-13, which is the entire of the East Blue arc and the start of Baroque Works. I started reading One Piece in about October of last year and been slowly working my way through the series. The second box set (volumes 24-46) is due to be released in November, so I’ll catch up by then and buy that.

Abandon the Old in Tokyo – Yoshihiro Tatsumi:
I’ve written a couple blogs about this collection, and if you’ve read them you will probably know that I wasn’t too impressed with some of the stories. I bought the collection off of Amazon UK when I was just starting to read manga after googling series for an older age group. Abandon the Old in Tokyo was suggested so I bought it. If you’re a sort of poetic person who enjoys looking as the hidden meaning behind stories, you might enjoy the collection. If you enjoy stories about men having sex with dogs, you too will enjoy this collection of one-shots… Moving steadily onwards.

Magi – Shinobu Ohtaka:
I only recently acquired the first volume of Magi while on a recent weekend trip up to Belfast. I’d heard a lot about the series on Facebook and YouTube so thought I would give it a try. I have to say, I really did enjoy this volume and I can’t wait to pick up some more of it. If you haven’t heard of magi yet, it is a retelling of the story of Aladdin, and the artwork is great. I would highly recommend this series to anyone. Volume 9 has just been released in English so It’s not too far into the story that anyone can catch up. In Japan volume 21 is the most recent available, so it will be a worthy read for the foreseeable future.

Maoh: Juvenile Remix – Megumi Osuga:
This is another series which I have posted several reflections on in the past. Last night I finished reading volume 8, and I cannot wait to pick up the last two volumes to finish the series. (A final review will be posted afterwards). As I mentioned in some of the reflections the series does start out very slowly and builds momentum as it goes along. In volume 6 the story really gets rolling and has me gripped. The series deals a lot with morals and questioning the norm of society. It’s a good read for anyone interested in reading stories about social division as well as action seekers, with an endless array of assassins appearing as the story moves forward.

Attack on Titan – Hajime Isayama:
I was a little late on the Attack on Titan band wagon, as I tend to be with most series. I have up to volume four right now, and intend on buying more. The story is fantastic, but I really don’t like the artwork. The artwork seems to be a major issue judging from other posts and videos I’ve seen in regards to the manga. However, I’ve been assured the artwork gets better in the newer volumes, so I’m going to hold out in hopes that it does.

Btooom! – Junya Inoue:
Btooom! is one of very few anime’s that I have actually watched, and it had me gripped from episode one. The same goes for the manga. I have already read all of the available chapters online and only recently started buying the volumes to reread. I’m up to volume four, but know that I will have more soon. The concept is very similar to Battle Royale (another series I need to get my hands on in the near future).

Pokemon Adventures – Hidenori Kusaka and Mato:
It’s Pokemon, do I really need to say anything else. I loved the anime as a kid. I loved the trading cards. I still love playing the games. Once I started reading manga, I had to own Pokemon Adventures. I only have volume one right know because for some reason every shop has volumes 3-7, but you can’t get volume 2 anywhere. It’s in my next order to be delivered in the near future, and I hope to get up to volume 7 then, completing both the Red and Yellow arcs.

FLCL – Hajime Ueda, Story by Gainax:
Everyone has the series that makes them go ‘What the fuck am I reading’. FLCL is usually that. It’s actually the series my friends forced me to watch to convince me to start watching Anime. It kind of worked I guess. I only got the first volume yesterday and read it all in one sitting. The second and final volume will arrive shortly. I think the description really sums up how odd this series is “-from beyond the stars drops an impish defender sent forth to stop alien robots from destroying the Earth. Where do the robots come from? Well, from Naota’s forehead for starters.”

Apocalypse Meow – Motofumi Kobayashi:
I spotted this series in a used book shop yesterday and knew I just had to own it. Partially because it looks awesome, and also because they were selling in for less than a quarter the price it is on Amazon UK. I haven’t had a chance to give them a read yet, but I will soon and I will get back to you about it when I do. Basically the series is about the Vietnam War, but the human characters have been replaced my animals.

That’s the end of my first shelf, so I think I will leave it there for today. I will post about the other shelf in the near future, so look out for that. Let me know if you have read any of the series I’ve mentioned here and let me know what you thought of it. As I said at the start, I am really happy to be back to the blogging community, and look forward to writing more and talking with some of you in the future.

(Back to kick some ass)

Reflection: Btooom! vol. 2


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.



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.


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



Reflection: Btooom! vol. 1



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!



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.



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.