Title: Btooom! vol 6
Publisher: Yen Press
Author: Junya Inoue
This was a strange book for me. So far I have enjoyed Btooom! I have found it fun and an interesting take on a well used genre, but with book 6 I found that I needed more than one read through before it won me over. This book is the most action packed in terms of battling and initially I didn’t really enjoy that. I enjoy this book for its detailed characterisations, something that can be overlooked in manga. I particularly like the fact that no character is flawless, they all have a side of them that isn’t perfect and for me that kind of characterisation draws me deeper into a book. I personally don’t like hero characters that have no flaws or weaknesses. To me in makes them less human. Likewise the best villains have no morals and can therefore not be bought off with emotions like being compassionate or being noble, even more so if they cause chaos for the sake of causing chaos. With this series everyone has some flaw or has made a choice that they wish they could undo, after all that is what has gotten them into this situation in the first place.
The other problem with this particular book in the series is that to me it felt like it was beginning to fall back on the occasional common cliché, something which I hadn’t expected. You see another of my pet hates in stories is when the audience knows more than the character especially when it comes to knowing about other characters. To be fair though it is hard to portray a character that isn’t to be trusted without giving the reader the knowledge that they can’t be trusted. At best all you can do is leave the reader suspicious of a character rather than tell the reader the obvious.
It may sound like I don’t particularly like this particular book, but it does some good points especially when it comes to tactics used in fights and battles. Again something I particularly like is a contest, fight or battle where thought has been into the tactics required to win. The more the character has to think about how to win the more I enjoy it.
Btooom! book 6 isn’t the worse thing I have ever read, there is plenty of others I could think of, but to me it feels like the weakest in this series so far, but maybe that also comes from the high standards set by the previous five volumes. If this were the first book in the series then I would be disappointed but coming where it does means that it gives me wonderment as to what will follow. This series has the potential to go back to what it does best and I hope it does because this book did leave me feeling flat.