Posted on 21 April 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews


It’s not often when an anime is made about a manga that went down after only one volume. Apparently, the original mangaka ran into trouble with the magazine that Bus Gamer was published in, and only one volume ended up published before it was cancelled. Still, the premise had potential, which is probably why three anime-episodes were made out of it. Obviously, the budget was short, so don’t expect an epic storyline, high-quality graphics, deep characters or an ending that wraps everything up.

What you can expect from this series, however, is a well-developed cast of down-to-earth characters, interesting fights and three episodes that become increasingly more interesting as they go along. It’s especially the down-to-earth-part that makes this series worth watching, as it provides an interesting look at the concepts that were explored by Gambling Apocalypse Kaiji. Kaiji was basically about the scum of society, and made it very apparent that these guys were at the end of their line, piled up in debts and used the sick games as a last resort to get some money.

Bus Gamer is different: it just features three guys who just need some money, are willing to risk their lives to get it and are well aware of all the involved risks. There’s no attempt at all made to make any of them look pitiful, and instead it focuses more on the relationship between these three guys who are so different, and how they grow to get used to each other. The different teams also have no overmoralized respect to the other teams (“thou shalt not kill”, “thou shalt save thy enemy when he’s in trouble”) that is overplayed in so many other anime.

This is really one of these series that you want to watch on a rainy day when you’re bored. It’s nothing special by far, but it’s one of these series that is perfect for entertainment. Bus Gamer could have gone much worse: there’s zero filler, the characters are actually developed a bit (which is the reason why the best episode by far was the final one, rather than the opposite), it’s got a small police-subplot, explaining why the police isn’t doing anything about a bunch of punks, killing off each other.

3 Responses

  1. Necromancer says:

    I enjoyed Bus Gamer (I laughed at the shot of a load of buses at the end of ep 3) and hope they make a proper full length show once the new version of the manga has enough material (mangaka’s apparently remaking vol 1 and the anime was basically a big advert for the rebirth of the manga)

  2. BlueYoshi says:

    To me Bus Gamer was pretty average, but as you said, it could have been much worse. If what Necromancer says is true, then I’ll probably try the manga.

  3. Daniel Cloud says:

    I’m kinda sad that just the first issue was made. I haven’t read the anime, but I watched all three episodes…and I was actually interested in what was going to happen. It’s a pity that the manga didn’t get picked up more. It could have been quite entertaining. Lets hope that the anime does help things along.

    ~cloudy!~

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  • ninjarealist
    (Saturday, Aug 23. 2014 09:07 PM)
    @Raggers Yeah that’s pretty much how I feel about Guardian Enzo. I don’t always agree with his taste but I respect his appreciation for the art form. In terms of randomc writers I find that I relate to Zephyr the most.
  • Wicked
    (Saturday, Aug 23. 2014 08:12 PM)
    Man, did Saline get fucked over
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Aug 23. 2014 08:12 PM)
    *should add
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Aug 23. 2014 08:08 PM)
    Probably sure add in regards to terror in resonance while yes I feel there have been improvements the rival character brings somewhat it did take me an hour or so to finish this weeks episode.
  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Aug 23. 2014 06:15 PM)
    As for Guardian Enzo, I find his and my tastes are very similar. And I like how he gives chances to shows that many would turn their nose up at, and appreciates what they do well. I respect that.
  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Aug 23. 2014 06:04 PM)
    @Aries: I don’t think that’s the issue. The problem is that intellectually it has leaps in logic, and the whole thing just seems way to superficial at this point. It feels like nothing more than a roundabout way of getting a petty revenge on something, and even that’s been derailed by Five (who is more a caricature than a character, and doesn’t fit for that reason).
  • Aries
    (Saturday, Aug 23. 2014 05:58 PM)
    Raggers, I just think it hasn’t revealed a whole lot in the amount of episodes aired. Isn’t this series like one cour anyways?
  • Friend
    (Saturday, Aug 23. 2014 05:57 PM)
    For reviews, I usually watch Chibi Reviews because he is really proactive.
  • Aries
    (Saturday, Aug 23. 2014 05:57 PM)
    (i am aware that randomc has multiple writers lol)
  • Aries
    (Saturday, Aug 23. 2014 05:56 PM)
    I’ve always lurked lostinanime and randomc but i’ve never connected with the writing style that much and guardian enzo loses credibility for me with some of the shows he gives his time of day to.

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