A brief preview of a recently released, ongoing and unlicensed anime available through bittorrent.
When I first approached Bus Gamer I thought it was maybe something along the lines of Lucky Star, maybe an otaku that played games on the bus? I was quite wrong. Bus Gamer is an anime about with an original idea. Corporations put trade secrets on a minidisc (I suppose regular CDs or DVDs are too fragile) and have two teams of three fight over the disc. One team starts with the disc and must keep it safe while the other must take the disc within the time limit. Meanwhile the corporation bosses watch comfortably from a distance. The team that wins gains a large sum of money which exponentially increases with each win. The premise, in itself, is quite interesting. Curiously the anime lays in an odd place. Even though the manga was quite popular it was released only in one volume due to serialization issues. It is expected that the writer, Kazuya Minekura, will finish the manga, however, it is not known exactly when. The anime, thus, has only 3 episodes.
Animation The animation is “shōnen” so you ladies out there who like animes like X and other CLAMP related animes may enjoy watching the pretty boy protagonists running around searching for discs. Also there is quite a bit of action as the disc serves as just a mechanism to initiate the inevitable street brawl between the two parties. Though, the animation is not particularly good and the animation studio working on it, Izena, is quite unknown. They worked on Tactics and Law of Ueki but only as helping hands and not with animation. The animation does, however, serve its purpose.
Why pick this up? The place where Bus Gamer really shines is its characters. The three members of the team, called AAA for anonymous, are made up of Mishiba Toki (the reticent cool guy), Nakajyo Nobuto (the badass), and Saitoh Kazuo (the lighthearded nice dude). The uniting factor between these three that really don’t share too much in common is the need for money, a large sum of money. This driving factor serves to bind the team, but not only that, to advance the plot. The question posed at the beginning of the anime is “Why do each of them need so much money?” This serves as a clever plot device and will encourage you to find out the answer to this question as each member struggles to protect his secret. Furthermore, the companies too seem to have their own secrets. I suspect that the characters are mired in a network shrouded by mystery.
Bottomline This is a shōnen anime that is character driven. If you watch the first episode and find yourself curious about each of the characters, or in some cases attached to them, this is probably for you. The animation isn’t so great and the plot has yet to prove itself, though the premise may engage you. Oh yeah, the intro song is horrible.
Where can you get it? Shinsen Subs