Posted by psgels 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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  • Emma
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 11:53 PM)
    Thats one of the reasons I stopped picking up anime dvds at animecons, started noticing too many of them being sold were on bluray and I don’t have a bluray dvd player and apparently I can’t use my computer for it either…
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 11:37 PM)
    I managed to get something free that can play them, but it isn’t the best. Yep, here I am trying to give something back to anime and I am forced to go though this bullshit. No wonder everyone pirating.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 11:31 PM)
    Well isn’t this fantastic. I go and buy anime blu-ray’s thinking that if I have a blu-ray drive then I can play blu-ray dvds. Low and below apparently you can’t without software. And they is no real working free software that plays blu-rays. So I need to pay money, to get a goddamn program, so I can use my goddamn Blu-ray drive. Serious bullshit sir.
  • Emma
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 09:39 PM)
    Part of the reason I bring this up is because I recall speaking to a Negima fan that told me I didn’t give the series enough of a chance because I dropped it 7 volumes in and because it hadn’t even begun.
  • Emma
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 09:35 PM)
    The four/five episode rule maybe it doesn’t really apply to long running shounens? Because they don’t really get started till much much further in
  • Emma
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 09:33 PM)
    *until long
  • Emma
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 09:32 PM)
    The point is I feel that really I didn’t try, didn’t really give the genre any chance really before hating on it, not enough of one. Especially given how most of these don’t get going, long past the points where I stopped.
  • Emma
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 09:30 PM)
    This literally was me at 12 watching dragonball Z, not even complete episodes, merely a few and deciding “This is shit” and for years after hating an entire genre based on that.
  • Emma
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 09:28 PM)
    Apparently I never actually gave the genre a chance even at the very beginning I encountered it…given that those few dragonball z episodes were watched when I was young…
  • Bam
    (Monday, May 25. 2015 09:28 PM)
    Naruto is pure Shonen and never pretended to be anything beyond entertainment for a younger male audience, so I don’t see why anyone would go out of their way to bash it. SAO was fun to take apart just to hear the cries of the dedicated fanbase, if nothing else, but that also loses its charm pretty fast since for every head you cut off two more take its place.

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