Well it’s been a long time since i’ve reviewed anything, even more an anime.
Let’s start with MAL synopsis :
In a world where dead people turn into books and are stored in the Bantorra Library where anyone who reads a book can learn their past, Bantorra Library is maintained by Armed Librarians who wield psychic powers and their enemy is a religious society known as Sindeki Kyoudan.
Pretty short, but enough to summarize the background. May just add it occurs in a steampunk/fantasy universe. I didn’t read the manga, and this is the second time i watch it, but this time till the end.
I’ll keep it short on the art and audio part : the animation is nice, could be better; with a bit of cg but not to much like in some modern sci-fi anime, chara design is good on the overall, above the stardard, but still no that great. The audio part is the less remarkable part : musics don’t appeal and voicing/sounds are pretty standard. Its difficult to critisize on the voicing part, as Japan voice actors are really great in animation, aside from particular weird choices; but this isn’t the case here.
Let’s get into the most important part, scenario and background.
Until near the end, the everlasting fight between the librarians and the Church seems to be the main plot who link each arcs together, except the last one where the truth is revealed.
Books are in reality stone tablets who are collected when people die. The Library of Bantorra purpose is to acquire then store and protect those books. They are stored in different crypts/or labyrinths which are themselves protected by mythics beasts who attack on sight; which is why only “armed librarians” are allowed to manage the library. The Church purpose, seems more focused on creating a perfect happyness book, with the means of “True Men” and their underlings.
To be honest, the anime is nice to watch until the latest episodes, maybe above 20. At this point, the story gets more confusing, and the last arc ruined the anime. ( Don’t know if it’s the same story in the manga ).
I am also curious to know if like me, some people where in aw at the end of the first arc. I just couldn’t believe that Shiron/Colio were just ditched right on the next episode. Even if both of them are dead,even being supportive characters, and if we somehow get to see them again at the end, i am really dissapointed considering how great their love story is.
This was by far my favorite arc, the others didn’t gave such an impression; not that they were bad, but it was a continous stream till the last part. I still don’t understand how the end can be so bad. The author or producers made one the worst possible choice here.
The steampunk feel comes from coal mines used in some arcs,but also the presence of firearms,aircraft, battleships, and cars/tanks. The fantasy feel comes mainly from magic being used by ranked armed librarian and the church. There is ranking among theses orders, but the only one worth noticing are the Meats. Meats as they are called, are basically brainwashed humans which main purpose is to be used as human bombs against the Libarians. Some of them escape their fate and have their importance as support, for example Colio or Olivia. The result gives a good impression.
There is an important cast of characters, with their specific look, fighting style etc, and some of them are interesting : aside from Hamyuts, the crazy bigboobed director of the librarian, there is also the mysterious Mattalast and the ever caring Noloty. Some supportive characters are also worth noticing. Being action oriented, relations are mostly friendly, and where love doesn’t bloom, there’s no drama either. Yeah, there’re 3 noticeable couple, but aside from Hamy and Matt, nothing happens.
On the overall, i still got a good feeling while watching this, interessing background but if i were to recommend it, i’d said not to expect to be impressed, and to be prepared for a really poor end.