Story/Art: Junya Inoue
Backgrounds: Tomoya Itou & Jun Kobayashi
Finishing Touches: Sachiko Kisaki, Sonoe Fukusawa, & Nariko Uehara
Translation/Adaptation: Christine Dashiell
Lettering: Terri Delgado
What They Say
“BTOOOM!” picks up to a breakneck pace!! After Ryouta Sakamoto is deposited on an island and forces to kill others with unique bombs called BIMs in order to stay alive as a player in live-action “BTOOOM!”, he and his newfound ally, Kiyoshi Taira, search for a way off the island. En route, he encounters a heavily armed teenage girl, who, suspicious of his motives, unleashes a vicious barrage of BIMs in his direction. Though initially unwilling to engage, Ryouta decides to fight back. But will earning another victory on the island lead to him losing more of his humanity and committing yet another unpardonable sin?
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
BTOOM! volume 3 starts right in the thick of things. Having left volume 2 with the appearance of a fair-haired and buxom beauty trying to rid the world of our intriguing protagonist, Ryouta, we get to pick up volume 3 as the smoke clears, quite literally. Thank god for tazers and a bit of quick thinking, or we might have been short one morally questionable youth.
One of the highlights of volume 3, in my humble opinion, is the amount of time we spend watching Ryouta struggle with his sometimes less than scrupulous moral compass. Granted, he seems to win out against his darker desires throughout the volume, but he’s going to slip up eventually. I’ll give credit where credit is due, though. I don’t know many teenage boys facing nearly certain death on a deserted island that could have resisted the change to cop a feel on a pretty, defenseless girl, but Ryouta manages it.
Volume 3 also spends a lot of time on the theme of trust and betrayal. While both Ryouta and Taira profess to trust one another, each experiences moments of sincere doubt, believing their counterpart to have let them to fend for themselves. And while each of them returns, proving the other wrong, I find that I still have some serious doubts about the trustworthiness of Taira. There’s just something devious about the man, or perhaps it is that I think he’s smart enough to play Ryouta, and willing to do it to stay alive.
Aside from the emotional roller coaster of moral ambiguity and trust issues, volume 3 offers some pretty interesting new revelations, along the way. Our, identity still unrevealed, boxom—and terribly unstable—new female cast member reveals to Ryouta And Taira that everyone on the island was nominated to be there. As in, someone decided that they were such uber massive drains on humanity that they would be better off dying a horrible death than walking the streets of polite society. That’s a whopper. On top of that, the readers get a glimpse inside of Tyrannos Japan, the game studio that released “BTOOOM!” and that is behind this live-action version, and it seems the real fun has yet to begin.
Volume 3 also introduces a spiffy new BIM that locks onto its target’s thermal signature. It’s not strong, but it does the job. We are also offered a few nip slips and a molestation scene or two in our damsel-in-distress’ flashbacks. The art continues to be good quality, and the backgrounds still amaze me with their detail. I’m madly in love with the way the artist uses the backgrounds to break a tense moment, or offers a softer panel to add emphasis to a strongly emotional or intense moment, generally giving a sense of time slowing for an instant—maybe just because I can’t pull my eyes away.
The volume wraps up with a 2 page short about the creator of the manga, Junya Inoue, which isn’t quite as fun as the previous two wrap-ups, but hey, who am I to complain? The rest of the volume had me from “I… killed again…”.
So what’s the word on volume 3 of BTOOOM!? As our cast grows and the plot thickens, the quality of both the art and writing of this mature, action-packed series holds steady. The explicit content warnings are no joke, and things continue to ramp up in the nipples and panty shot department.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to volume 4.
Content Grade: A
Art Grade: A
Packaging Grade: A
Text/Translation Grade: A
Age Rating: Mature
Released By: Yen Press
Release Date: August 20th, 2013