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
    (Tuesday, Jul 7. 2015 05:34 AM)
    I think going either by first episodes or source material. I know what I’m interested in this season: Ranpo kitan, gangsta, akagami.
    And as for what I don’t like/don’t want to watch: Gakkou gurashi, symphogear, prison school, charlotte, gate.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Jul 7. 2015 02:46 AM)
    I only ever had one issue of Neo (I think that was the magazines name) and one or two issues of the American version of newtype. And that was a long time ago.
  • AidanAK47
    (Tuesday, Jul 7. 2015 02:34 AM)
    I think the number of that fanbase who would actually buy magazines is slim. You would need to provide something the fans can’t get from the internet. Which seems pretty impossible.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jul 7. 2015 12:56 AM)
    Anime itself has quite a big international fan base.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jul 7. 2015 12:56 AM)
    @Casey: that depends on where you’re from, your background in web-design/blogging/printing and your targeted audience and market.
  • casey
    (Tuesday, Jul 7. 2015 12:51 AM)
    hey there am casey and am wondring if anime magizinse can be mad for someone how is a big fan off anime
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Jul 7. 2015 12:44 AM)
    @Bam: Trying to think of actors I’d like to see show up in season three.
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Jul 7. 2015 12:41 AM)
    @Bam: I definitely enjoyed parts of hannibal yes, but yes, particularly the new season, style over substance.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jul 7. 2015 12:40 AM)
    I also ditto Farrell’s bold yet humanizing performance. The whole show has become a vehicle for actors/actresses to reinven themselves and take on a more prestigious pedigree of works.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jul 7. 2015 12:39 AM)
    @Emma: it is as much as a procedural as it is noir psychothriller like Hannibal, the latter while gorgeous has descended into symbolic surreàl scenes, which just too prohibited and drownin in it’s own atmosphere and style.

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