Title: Btooom! vol 2
Publisher: Yen Press
Author: Junya Inoue
Any good action/adventure story will have a change in pace. Slower sections allow you to catch your breath and process what took place in the faster more action packed sequences. Done right and the pace changes allow you to immerse yourself in the story, engaging with the characters whilst enjoying the action they get involved in. Done poorly and there seems to be no real flow and it is difficult to understand the characters.
Book 2 of Btoom! Starts by introducing us to new characters as is the norm for second books, and in this case they introduce to a personal favourite of mine. I do enjoy characters that are morally different from the norm as they create centres of unpredictability, as an example I cite the Joker as seen in the Dark Knight film. Here was a character that wasn’t able to be influenced in the ways that most people expect and Btoom introduces to a character that has that kind of feel about them.
The next thing to remember with Btoom! is that it is a mature rated manga and this volume pulls no punches reminding us of that fact. Visually vivid and detailed, no punches are pulled it terms of it’s graphicness.
On top of all this is the mystery aspect of the story which plays out the form a few short flash-backs and also gives a nice feeling that everything is being watched by some higher power.
All in all Btoom! book 2 continues the story on nicely and does enough to make you want to keep reading. For me personally it ticks all the boxes and is thoroughly enjoyable. Sure it is possible to see where its influences come from but the combination is put together in way that you just don’t care. It keeps up the good work set down in book 1.