Friday, 20 April 2018

Battle Royale 2 - Blitz Royale (Manga Review)

You wanted cute girls doing cute army things
with traumatic drama? Well, fuck you, buddy.
I intended to write this review back when I had read the manga not too long ago, but I only got around to it now. Anyway, while this was bad, it wasn't the worst thing ever. Lots of people complained about the art and said that it was pretty bad, but it's regular Tomizawa if you ask me. Nothing really noteworthy aside from the usual things from Mr. I don't like doing backgrounds, and that it looks more obviously traced over 3d models than his other works and looks kinda off-model from time to time. The main fault of this is its rushed story, shallow characters and lack of overall development. However, I'll agree on the art is bad part when it comes to the adults as they're stupidly cartoonish, and while that is intentional, it just doesn't work well in this art-style. And lastly on the art, it is understandable why so many hated the art after coming from the BR 1 manga because the difference is drastic. And while I'm on BR 1, the BR 2 manga is devoid of any sort of comedy that the first one had, but one shouldn't let such things influence what they think of this one too much.
At any rate, on to the characters and plot. Now, the characters are given a thing or two, but everyone's just so badly written and one-dimensional outside of like 2 characters who at the same time are still not done well. The MC Makoto or who I like to call not Yuri naturally has bad luck, but has a charm to counteract this a bit which is stolen by a cartoony-looking soldier first thing, and then her bad luck apparently rubs off on everyone and they blame her for all sorts of shit including the whole ordeal which is rather realistic. Because anyone in that situation especially children would automatically look for someone to take the blame for why they're in such a mess. She's not very good as a main character as she really doesn't do much, but the guilt of her thinking that her bad luck caused everything leads her to in the end shoot herself, so there is that. Although, she doesn't die by that.
I want to nibble dem ears
The only other noteworthy character is the main male lead, Nomura. Granted, he does have a thing or two, but he's still underdeveloped and shallow as fuck with his whole act. At the start, the girls on a trip jump into the boy's room, and after some vodka, and everyone pairing up, the teacher comes so everyone pretends to be sleeping. Yuri pairs up with Nomura and they both jump in his bed. He's handsome and cool looking from his appearance alone, but it turns out he's an evil, possessive dickhead who only cares about himself, gets people killed, gropes the main character and tries to rape her at bomb-point since he gets the collar controller. Why isn't he the main character? I'm liking him already. Nah. He was pretty fucking annoying.
And by that, he means rape. Please die.
The first few points are pretty realistic as while it doesn't say or show, the main lead probably didn't know him that well and thought of him as this super awesome guy, and from her initial interest in him and him in her, he then desires and wants to dominate her. Did this just happen at random from this or did he desire her long before the manga began? Well, fuck you because it's never touched upon or shown. I mean, we could have perhaps had a flashback of sorts showing a few things which could give him a better and developed reason to do the things that he does so that he's not just some evil shit using everything to his own advantage, but it doesn't go into why he is like that in the first place. He just is because reasons. Perhaps, we could have found out why if we got more volumes. More on that later. By the end of it, he has a love/hate thing going on with Makoto, so, stealth male yandere character? By the way, I fucking love yandere! Ahem. As for any other characters worthy to mention, well, there was that girl who reminded me of Tomine who is a friend of the MC and is cute, but like most of the cast, they're throw-away characters with little to no development, so they may as well not exist. Simply right-click, and delete, just like my life. Oops.
Yes, design a map, lists of squads and names
and don't really use either. Great job, bro.
And now the plot. Obviously if you know what BR is, then its obviously about them all having to kill one another and shit. But this one is different. They're in an academy of sorts run this time by the navy and they have to progress by earning points for their team through completing various tasks so that they can get food and equipment. Sounds interesting, right? Well, fuck you because it's barely touched upon and shown. The entire first volume is just the initial test and not much even happens. They literally fail to clean bodies off the beach, and have to take one guy in a building down, and the 2nd volume has the CTF at the end which is literally everyone shooting each other in the face the moment the teacher tells them to start. Honestly, we should have had multiple tasks for the squads to complete which would have given us tit for tat between the squads or development and then the big CTF one at the end where everyone's emotions and beef with one another climaxes, but not so anti-climatically (I'm guessing that was intentional because war is like that?) like what we got. Something like the end battle being half the volume and shit getting real with characters we grew to like dying as the CTF progresses. Literal wasted potential: The Manga.
Stupid how they just kill each other when none of them are mentally prepared for it or had to do it in a previous exercise. And no, crackers, water and no beds don't make people kill each other. Especially children. Done just for the edge, I presume.
Overall, this had good ideas and a good set-up, but the execution was pretty bad. It needed better developed characters and to be more than 2 volumes long because there just wasn't enough time to tell a story like this. Because things could have been better planned out and done if there was more. I mean, imagine Alien 9 or Milk Closet with only 2 volumes. It would be terrible. However, even if there was only meant to be 2 volumes, they really should have spent their time better with volume 1 as not much happens for the most part. The 2nd volume was certainly better than the first because stuff actually happened, but I hated how they skipped days in the academy when the MC was recovering from her wound. What they literally do is tell, not show (single panels don't count) when it's meant to be the fucking opposite. Show us the build-up of emotions and events over their duration in the academy, idiot! And no, like Tomizawa does in his other works, he allows you to use your imagination like what a good book does to fill-in a bunch of stuff, but you don't get that here. Everything's like an afterthought.
I was like "no no no no" when this bit happened
Anyway, let's bring this disorderly mess of a review to an end. Despite the 1st volume being extremely weak, the 2nd one was pretty decent with some good bits. The disdain of the squads and their actions (drawing "I'm coming to kill you" in the sand directed toward the MC, dropping shit at their door and stuff) against the main one because of their point difference (everyone else gets crackers and water IIRC while they get actual food) due to the task in the first volume that only they took part in, and the girl getting crushed under the elevator were my favourite parts. However, the ending was a rushed mess, and that sequel bait at the end didn't help. Nor did the crappy message of fertilising the soil for future soldiers.
Character? What character?
Also, no, not the evil, tanned loli killing her!
I can't remember. That is a girl, right?
I mean, if this was meant to promote the mediocre BR 2 movie, well, it never did a very good job. I would say that Tomizawa wasn't the right man for the job, but that's plain wrong. He's good, and this could have turned out rather well. There's many good things and ideas, but they're just not well executed which hampered the manga greatly. Was it production problems? Was he only allowed to make 2 volumes? Did he just fuck it all up due to his own incompetence? I have no clue to be honest, but it's probably a bit of all of them. All in all, I wouldn't recommend this, but if you're a BR fan or a fan of Tomizawa's works, then you're probably gonna force yourself to read it anyway. Personally, I give it a 4/10.

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