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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  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 01:35 AM)
    *null 2nd[enough]
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 01:34 AM)
    And how come nobody tell me that it goes Lovecraftian with Necronomicom and a straight up Dagon summoning? I would’ve watched this a lot sooner if I knew it was daring enough for a mainstream anime enough to in any way address child sacrifices.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 01:31 AM)
    Also finished first cour of Fate/Zero. So far this is a lot better than UBW in my opinion. The removal of the highschool drama along with pubescent protagonists makes this a much more adult and sophisticated story. The level of creative freedom that the team had by not being a direct adaptation made this a much more wellcrafted piece.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 01:28 AM)
    @Aidan: I just YouTubed that game and it looks fun and cooky. Kinda reminds me of Futurama I gotta say, and that’s a plus. It’s not really a bullet hell as those are by nature a scrolling 2D shooter with very face ‘safe spots’ on screen.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 01:25 AM)
    @Aidan: it was really convenient, I played Fate like a console game on TV and it was great. I think that version specifically had it since it’s a weird PSP/PC hybrid that has all the pros.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 01:02 AM)
    @Bam, It blew my mind to find that VN’s have controller support. I didn’t even understand why you would need it.
    It’s a bullet hell first person shooter. The comedy isn’t really that great but the gameplay is solid. And the theme tune is catchy as hell. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eR73chGfiXQ
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 01:00 AM)
    I always torrent a game I’m interested in first, install it and see if it runs fine, play a little see if it’s a good game, and THEN I go and get it on Steam. After getting stung by broken games I see no ethical quandary there at all. This is of course different for console releases which I only get if it’s:
    a) an exclusive.
    b) just more convenient, since all my friends multiplayer on the consoles.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 12:49 AM)
    @Aidan: yup like I said, save yourself the disappointment. Even Simon Templeman who did an amazing job voicing Kain said he won’t go back to acting for the series anymore.
    As for the latter game you mentioned- I have no clue and yet to Google it- but it sounds like a combination of three random words. Hopefully it has enough humor to back that up.
  • Bam
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 12:43 AM)
    As for VNs I have no clue, but again you shouldn’t have a problem with those on W8 to begin with. Hell, the F/SN realta nua version that Aidan sent my way even had built-in controller support and never had the slightest hiccup.
  • AidanAK47
    (Friday, Sep 4. 2015 12:40 AM)
    I actually I kinda glad SR2 didn’t work. I haven’t been having too much fun with the games. Now however I am playing drunken robot pornography and that’s a blast.

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