2013: 10th day of Animanga

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Armed Librarians: The Book of Bantorra

Book of Bantorra has a great premise: a library collects books containing the memories of the dead. There’s also an enticing mystery regarding the true nature of the library; larger than life characters; and overall, it’s simply a lot of fun seeing what crazy things the characters will do. Volken and that ant guy are two of my favorite characters from any anime. ~ draggle

This series got placed 8th in draggle’s top 30 anime, his description sounded there was something good waiting and so we gave it a chance. 

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The Library of Bantorra

Neko-kun: Books are oftenly considered a medium through which you can communicate with another person, even if that person has long died. Bantorra takes that concept and develops it nicely, offering us a set of interesting arcs until the main plot is revealed. That doesn’t mean that there there’s cohesion in the transitions or that all of the arcs are equally good [1], but there is a fair amount of emotion in each and everyone of them. What matters in the end is that the story ends up making some sense without being too boring, and it remains interesting without using too many unexpected plot twists (that usually end up leaving quite many plot holes behind them).

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… and he split himself in thirds: the overseer of the future, Orntorra; the overseer of the present, Towitorra; and the overseer of the past, Bantorra – the God who also created the Library.

Foxy Lady Ayame: Actually, if I were to say something negative about the series, that’d be how ridiculous some parts of the story were especially at the beginning and the end. The choices made and the dialogues were over the top. I won’t forget when Colio felt ‘a calling of sorts’ and he ‘just knew’ he had to go fight someone somewhere -literally; I kid you not. The fact that the whole thing takes place in a fantastical setting helps though swallow some part of it. The mythology of this world is quite gripping and in combination with the in media res technique makes you want to watch and know more.

As you said, cohesion might be a little more difficult to overlook on the other hand. For example, after Volken parts ways with the rest of the team, there isn’t anything new about him for several episodes to the point I got worried they totally forgot him. This must be due to the fact Armed Librarians is a novel adaptation and Toshiya Shinohara didn’t know how to best handle such material.

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Volken & Mirepoc, Enrique & Noloty, Matt & Hamyuts

N: What made this title special though was the great variety of characters and personalities. Most of them were given at least some time to develop and, with a few exceptions [2], that made me feel very close to their troubles. That happens mostly because each and every of the many conflicts that take place in the story have the purpose of helping character development. From my beloved Volken and Mirepoc to Noloty and Enrique, there were simply so many memorable people in Bantorra.

F: I believe what was fascinating was that the main cast is mostly not black and white and even the characters like Noloty and Volken who kept throughout the show a valiant stance were written in a way that didn’t make them boring. I especially came to love Hamyuts who is generally despised -and also has a very fanservice oriented character design. But alas if I’m going to share more, I’ll spoil the fun and The Book of Bantorra is a series whose entertainment value depends a lot on the surprise factor. And well, romance. We have great characters on their own, but by getting them to interact and combine powers and ideals the packet gets super boosted.

Armed Librarians: The Book of Bantorra is unfortunately an underappreciated gem -just take a look at how few fanarts we have for it. We highly recommend it. Be patient at the start and you’ll surely be rewarded by the end. The climax of such an epic story is guaranteed to touch you if not impress you.

Further reading for those who’ve watched the series already: Weaponized Love by Landon

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Notes:

1. The “Ever-Laughing Witch” arc seemed to me kinda off and unconvincing.
2. Crekessa Segal must be one of the world’s most boring villains.
3. Foxy Lady didn’t want to close the post without mentioning that she liked a lot the second opening. The colored codified visuals are eye-catching and the music very fitting to the mess lying under the war between the Librarians and the Church.

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