Battle Game in 5 Seconds is an action thriller that, similar to its namesake, does away with smelling the roses in favor of dropping you right in the middle of the good stuff. Let's take a look at what Battle Game in 5 Seconds has done to stand out from the crowd, and where this thrill ride could take us as the season progresses.
Battle Game in 5 Seconds is pretty much what you see on the tin. You see someone, you wait five seconds, you battle. However, the way these battles are justified is where the main plot really kicks in. Several hundred people have been abducted and forced to compete against each other. Each person has a unique power that is locked behind a set of handcuffs, and cannot be activated until they are removed (think the sea stone cuffs from One Piece). While imprisoned, these powers lay dormant. Then, after being presented with one's opponent, a five-second timer will countdown until the handcuffs unlock and the game can begin.
We follow protagonist Akiro Shiroyanagi. He is a self-professed NEET who spends most of his life in some kind of video game, whilst simultaneously acing every school test. We get the feeling that his intelligence is unrivaled and this has left him dejected with his boring reality (amplified by his notable lack of friends). After being chased by a rampaging monster, he is injured by the host of the death game and brought into custody. We now follow his journey as he tries to survive and topple those who kidnapped him.
The characters so far seem less throwaway than one would expect going into a show with such a premise. While we have seen the untimely death of several characters, Yuuri Amagake is given nice development and a fleshed-out backstory by the end of the second episode. Her irritable demeanor is quickly understood once we see the homelife she's left behind, including her younger step-sibling whom she is forced to take care of.
The fights, as well, are animated well and with enough spectacle to keep things engaging. While a plot like this is nothing new, Battle Game in 5 Seconds is a joy to watch and thoroughly entertaining throughout.
What's Not So Good?
The powers in Battle Game in 5 Seconds leave a little to be desired. Instead of the traditional pyromancy, telekinesis, or invisibility, here, we have powers with such elegant names like the "turn my hand into a cannon" power. Shakespeare would have wept. Additionally, we have the "turn a stick into a sword power", later amended to the "turn a stick into a sword that can cut through anything power". We have the "turn a button into a rope power", the "copy your opponent's power at significantly less intensity" power, and our protagonist's "whatever you opponent thinks your power is" (this one, in particular, allowing for some clever illusory mind games).
Having the powers be this niche definitely allows for a lot of creativity but, at the same time, leaves little weight to the power hierarchy. It's all well and good having powers like this but it leaves audiences waiting for the inevitable "kill- everyone-I-look at power that can never be stolen or copied and is better than all other powers multiplied by infinity plus one".
Battle Game in 5 Seconds, while not the most unique anime of this season, is an action-packed bloodbath of entertaining characters, cool fight scenes, and flashy powers. It doesn't throw all of its eggs into one basket, however, and does a good job (so far) of developing not only its protagonist but important side characters as well. If you were in the mood to switch your brain off for twenty minutes and watch something with a bit of flash, Battle Game in 5 Seconds has got you covered. What did you think of the first three episodes of Battle Game in 5 Seconds? What other anime are you watching this season? Let us know down below!