Posted by psgels on 6 February 2010 with categories: Armed Librarians - The Book of Bantorra



Holy crap, you people weren’t kidding about this episode! This series just continues to get better and better. What an incredibly creative script, this series really takes no conventions for granted.

Oh, remmember the first few episodes of this series, in which Volken was nothing but an average lead character with a strong sense of justice. Seriously, I never expected that someone as Olivia Litlet would get more screen-time than he did. The way that this series plays around with our expectations and turns them into something unpredictable is just unbelievable.

So yeah: Volken died. The creators actually had the GUTS to kill him off. And yet Olivia still lives at the end of this episode. This episode did such a great job of developing the two of them. Volken on one hand seeing his beliefs destroyed when he found out that his mentor was not the upholder of justice he believed him to be, while Olivia as a strong woman searched for the passion that she once lost. It’s that passion and perseverance of her that really allowed her to live as a meat. Colio had already shown that it was possible, and she just took it a small step further. The whole ritual? She was trying the entire time to get her memories of Vend Ruga back. As someone who took care of her when she was a child and before the church got her.

Also, we’ve been expecting this for quite a while now, but Hamyuts finally confirmed it: the Church and the Armed Librarians aren’t at war at all. They just pretend to be. Heck, the Church was even created by the Armed Librarians. My guess is that they were intended to take care of all of the dirty work, probably for that damn tree or something. My guess is that it feeds on exciting books. That would be quite the irony: that the Armed Librarians and the Church just exist in order to provide nice books.

It’s also interesting: all this time it turned out that Hamyuts Meseta followed after a red herring, and basically sank a ship for nothing, just because Olivia wanted to scrabble her feelings on the wall. However, for her to go through such lengths. I really believe that we’ve found our major villain of this series. Or rather: the major good guy, since we’ve now pretty much confirmed that the Armed Librarians are the bad guys.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

24 Responses

  1. Alec says:

    to me, this anime is on of the best this season

    my favourite ep so far… Volken stayed pure and innocent till the end…

  2. Kessler says:

    In the comments for the 17 episode, Machi described Volken as plain naive, attacking Hamy for unimportant reasons and that he’d never agree with the relations between Librarians and the Church. He also noted that Olivia was much more interesting character, and how she got little screen time.

    And in this episode Hamy said basically the same things to the Volken’s face. And Olvia turned out to be much more important, getting more screen time.

    I think the show did manage to make Volken more interesting (or at least playing his part in the story perfectly) in a very unexpected way.

  3. Ghostfriendly says:

    The junior librarians aren’t really villains; Hamy and Matt are pretty nasty, but might have reasons that haven’t been revealed, like preventing the destruction of the world by whatever they’re sending those books to.

    Really teared up when the Meats got their feelings back, Librarians ringing the bell for Volken was sweet too.

  4. J Reyes says:

    Man I’m glad that green haired jackass is dead. Characters like him are everywhere and his presence will not be missed.

  5. reverse says:

    seeing Volken beliefs got crush by Hamyuts Meseta. its just sad and awesome.

  6. Shelz says:

    Volken was a really good character to call him a jackass is going out there. He had an amazing sense of justice and to break off from the only family he had, due to the path that the head was making takes guts in my eyes. He had a great story and I think the author gave him a good ending.

  7. jho says:

    I can’t take anything for granted with this series. Series like this is rare. Going to enjoy this awesome ride all the way to the end.

  8. Mikhail says:

    I really hate Hamyuts, Volken for me was the best character because of his morals and justice, seeing him die like that was really sad. I wish he would have killed Hamyuts, or I at least wish Hamyuts dies soon. I like all the characters in this anime except her.

    • cras says:

      Oh man I have to completely disagree with you. It’s refreshing to see the good guy dying for what he believes in, instead of living a life of ignorance and naivety; like most shows allow their main characters to do.

      And what?! you want Hamyuts to die, haha well, I’m sure she would like that too.

      Whenever I see Hamyuts on screen I get damn excited, you have no idea what she’s going to do, and everything she says is straightforward and to the point. She’s smart, cunning, and damn ruthless to anyone who stands between her and her goals. She is by far my favorite character in this series.

  9. Mr. C says:

    VOLKEN

    My prediction (see comments on ep.18) turned out to be correct. Hamyuts really killed Volken.
    What a sad ending for Volken (it reminds me of John Locke dying in Lost)! His pursuit was in vain, everything he believed turned out to be a lie. Nonetheless, he took pride in dying on the right side of the battle. His beliefs cost him his life.
    In a way, he was able to die a good and honorable death, he was valiant in life and even though his beliefs crumbled around him, his life was blemish-less. Before dying, his last words were that he lost everything, but that is not altogether true. His sense of justice remained even when all the justice around him was nothing more than a falsehood. He died not as an Armed Librarian, but as a True Armed Librarian ought to have been. I believe his book will be important for the plot of the story.

    ARMED LIBRARIANS VS CHURCH

    My prediction was almost right! So the Church was created by the Armed Librarians, it makes sense, since Fothona was trying to remove the Guardian of Paradise from his post. One thing remains to be solved then. Who knows the relationship between the Church and the Armed Librarians besides the Acting Director? Matt seems to know. Those two siblings dressed up in winter clothes seem to know it too.

    LASCALL OTHELLO

    Ok, so Lascall is not human and is an independent existence from the Church and the Armed Librarians. He’s not be be pursued, because he (I’m using he even though he appears as a girl now) is one of the mysteries regarding the truth about this world. The other mystery is…

    HEAVEN

    I’m starting to believe that heaven might be that Tree or someone else, and not a place. Books are taken to Heaven. Maybe that person glowing as the moonshine in the OP is Heaven…

    WHO ARE THE GOOD GUYS?

    Hard question. Certainly not the Armed Librarians. I mean, can we call someone who bombs an entire ship, killing a lot of people “good”?

    THE VIOLET SINNER

    Now, Vend Ruga seemed a very good character, maybe he was on the right side. More enigmatic still is the person known as the Violet Sinner. Who is she? She was attempting to destroy Heaven, and this brought the attention of the Church and the Armed Librarians. They considered her a threat not only because she attempted such task, but because she HAD the means to do so. Her will was passed to the Lead golems. I wonder if she is still alive or if at least her will is still alive inside one of the lead golems. I’m starting to believe that she might be the Hero of the series and she shared a past with Hamyuts (seen in the OP).

    OLIVIA

    Well at least Olivia survived. However what she was trying to remember had nothing to do with the Violet Sinner, that’s bad… Volken died for no reason at all and Olivia was almost killed for no reason at all. Now Olivia became the witch of reminiscence — what does that mean? Maybe she has the power to return the memories to those who lost it??? Maybe. I hope she will appear later on in the series and by the cover of the light novels (http://dash.shueisha.co.jp/-bakudan/) Olivia appears in Vol. 7 — next episode will cover the arc of Vol. 6 and we will see Noloty again. I just love Noloty!!! Some parts of Vol.8 were already shown (i.e. when Hamyuts joins the Armed Librarians). However I’m more excited about Vol. 9 and Vol. 10.

    By the way I don’t read Japanese, so I have no idea what the description says.

    Finally, allow me to say which arcs I enjoyed the most.

    The Colio Tonis arc was one of the best
    This arc was also pretty good, after all our dear Volken made his final exit.

    Poor Mirepoc (Mirepokku)!

    See you guys next week.

  10. Mr. C says:

    Forgot to mention….

    Since one of the best characters ended up dead (Think of Aragorn dying before becoming king), I’m hoping Noloty will not share the same fate as Volken.

    Anyway, it seems that Hamyuts will be around for a long time (she’s still in the cover of Vol. 10), but I hope that she might undergo a horrible death in the end. LOL

  11. coyo says:

    to watch now or wait til complete to marathon arrah decisions.

  12. TJ says:

    Ha, so Hamy finally admits that the church and the librarians are in cahoots all along. This series just gets more complicated and interesting at the same time.

  13. wakka9ca says:

    [SPOILER ALERT]

    @Mr. C

    Prepare to see everyone die one by one in this series. This series is known for how its characters keep dying. No one is out of death’s reach in this series, not even Hamyuts. I can only assume Mirepoc is safe for now.

  14. psgels psgels says:

    Um, Wakka. Next time please keep those spoilers a bit in check. There are a lot of us who haven’t read the novels yet.

  15. Machi says:

    More praise to chime in~ I think the tension last episode was whether they had the guts to kill off Volken, and what Olivia’s secret was that the director wanted to keep. Well they certainly didn’t fail to meet it, Volken was just a shock. I love this show

  16. jho says:

    @ wakka, DAMN, I didn’t mean to read that. DON’T READ WAKKA’S SPOILER LOL

  17. socrates says:

    Volken is an anime archetype, a truely pure, and unspoiled defender of justice. An excellent character, in the literary sense, because these characters so full of purity cannot live or survive in reality, they usually get sullied, or are forced to compromise who they are. Volken cannot do that, and this is precisely why this show is brilliant, most animes take this archetype, and continue to overpower them, and we continue to be fed that thier sense of justice is right, true, and it is transformative. In this show, this is not the case, because in reality such purity usually goes insane, and it was best that volken died to retain his purity. Volken and olivia are two sides of the same coin, Olivia, compromises her purity and she is still transformative, but volken, is too pure, I find it fascinating that Olivia is the one that hears the bells, and she is the one shown in the flowing fields of elysia, but our volken is just a book that must be hidden from sight. Again this show is too good, I almost wish it was a movie script but they would probably ruin it.

  18. Adam says:

    Ironically, Volken is very similar to a True Man. The whole point of them was their specific desires are brought to their fullest. Volken’s desire was justice, which he kept to the end.

    I personally thought he was a great character, even though his type typically annoys me. In this setting, he provided a great contrast.

  19. Decado says:

    Hmmm well Volken was pretty much a pretty stereotypical anime character for justice and the “good guys”… the problem was that he was very much a deluded character in the reality and scenario of the world in bantorra, which is why his death makes such an interesting contrast against both the remaining armed librians and True men.

    It strikes me that Volken was still very much wet around the ears with dealings with the real world, and was trying to adapt accordingly to his understood perception of the world… A suitable analogy is if you imagine a new police officer getting his first taste of the corruption and playing of both sides of the law… then you can imagine hes trying to keep to his original principles… so Voken is the deluded new detective and Hamy is the hard-boiled veteran… Remember the film “Training day”? :)

    Still looking forward to how the rest of the series pans out, and indeed this is probably one of the better anime series from the last couple of years

  20. Bane says:

    Funny that you should mention the True Men. For the longest time I thought that Hamy was a True Man (or True Woman I guess), given how she lived her life and because she was chummy with the Church guys. But to think the conspiracy went even beyond that. We’ve seen the whole “good guys create the bad guys” thing before, but in this series it really fits right in.

    With the dry spell this season, right now this is basically the only show airing that is worth watching.

  21. Machi says:

    Odd though, I can stand Noloty and her naivety yet Volken irks me with his. I guess the difference is that Volken preaches while Noloty just does it without being loud about it. I think in the series though Noloty might be the only “pure” character given that Volken did kill in the beginning the mock men.

    Now as for the analogy with Hamy being a hard-boiled detective does seem apt in a way but… For some reason I seriously doubt Hamy joined the library for good reasons, or rather was pure in the first place given the flashback with Mattalast. We definitely haven’t seen the entire side of Hamy’s story and I can only assume she’s way more sinister or darker than she appears. I also have a feeling that Violet Sinner isn’t the real “good” guy either. For the reason that she’d have to be just as nuts or selfish to actually decide to be a True Man, that and considering the OP it seems she and Hamy knew each other and by association I don’t think she’s any good either.

    Afterall, Hamy certainly acts fluffy and tries to look fluffy (sewing bunny rabbits onto her blouse) but thats only on the outside. Inside we know her as this masochistic blood thirsty fatalist. So I wouldn’t be shocked in Violet Sinner despite her preaching of love and her fluffy look isn’t any worse than Hamy.

  22. ZhengGon says:

    Hamy rocks!! i hope she doesn’t die. its not that often i get to see a lead character that is pure badass and Hamy just rocks. hah

    and to Volken dying, i say good riddance.

  23. Hunter-Wolf says:

    I “marathoned” the series in about 3 days and finally caught up .. sigh .. it is indeed one awesome ride .. can’t wait to see what happens next .. i can say if this series can pull an ending as strong as what we have already seen then it indeed is going to be a classic.

    ——————————————–

    Now time for a little bit of analysis (all of it is my personal opinion and based on some observations and deduction)

    -Bantorra … the supposed god-of-past in the world of the series …. my guess is that he/she/it is the tree we all saw at -probably- the lowest level in the library .. if not the tree itself Bantorra could be sealed in it.

    Another possibility … we all remember the “book eater” villain who was taken over by Enlike in the “Monster” arc … when he ate people’s books they ended up locked in a dimension inside him and aware of their whereabouts .. so what about the books “eaten” by the tree .. do the they exist in a dimension inside the tree much like the book eater guy case … wouldn’t that explain the part of “turn into a book and go to heaven” repeated by True Men … so according to them you must make your life interesting and have a strong desire to be a candidate of being eaten by the Tree which in turn equals going to heaven .. which leads me to think ((The Tree = Heaven)) in the series and people with worthy books are eaten by it and live inside it in a separate dimension (which can explain Hamy’s desire to die and also the desire of her to make her life one-hell-of-a-book) … it could even be (Bantorra=Heaven=The Tree) … but not sure about this last one.

    ——————————

    -Towitorra … mentioned in the beginning of ep2 … the god-of-present .. kinda surprising that Bantorra gets so much attention and the supposed deity of present life never gets mentioned again or play any role at the big events unfolding … i’m pretty sure it should play a larger role in the scheme of things … but who might it be .. and what kind of relation does it have with Bantorra .. can’t quite grasp that yet.

    ————————-

    -Orntorra … this one is like Towitorra … mentioned in the beginning of ep2 … the god-of-future … seems to me that it can be related to the storm presditcion in Colio’s arc .. who else can presdict that a storm that never changed it’s path in 100 years would suddenly change course …. but who might it be or why would it help the churh of drwoning in god’s grace … i can’t tell.

    Both were also mentioned later as having left earth to Bantorra and gone elsewhere .. but given how much lies are there i highly doubt it.

    —————————-

    -The Church of Drowning in God’s Grace … quite a catchy name .. isn’t it … but we never asked … which God of the three in the story .. Bantorra or Towitorra or Orntorra .. it might seem at first that it is Bantorra since the church members are obsessed about books (and as we know now the church was created by the armed Librarians) .. but what if that’s not the case .. what if it was Towitorra or Orntorra … and like i said above .. they did mention they left earth .. but given how much lies are around in the world i highly doubt that.

    Also .. i think that even though the Church was created by the Armed Librarians they are currently not on real good terms .. maybe they are having some sort of cold awkward hidden war
    behind the scenes of their secret co-op relation which is in turn covered by the all-out-war that public know about … talk about complex XD

    ———————–

    -Lascal Othello … simply put .. it was mentioned by the girl version .. that she is the incarnation of Yor (the dagger that extracts books) .. there is still so much mystery regarding the Weapon Yor … but i’m quite sure now that (Lascal Othello=Yor in human form) .. basically its a weapon with a mind of its own .. but the biggest question .. to me it seems that Yor is really the only way to extract books from dead bodies and all the talk about people turning into books is non-sense and lies (making Yor the Grim-reaper of Bantorra)

    ———————–

    -Fhotona .. what happened to him !!? .. did he vansih/quit or was he killed .. where is his book (eaten by the tree maybe) .. was it Hamy that killed him (why/how) … lots of question still surround how the director position moved from Fhotona to Hamy … and now that i think of it … if the armed librarians select the governor of heaven (the head of the church) .. then who selects the next director to the librarians .. Bantorra !!?

    ——————————–

    Ireia … what happened to her .. was she killed by Mokkania or what (along with the solids-diver guy) … i know the series doesn’t hold back when it comes to killing off characters but i felt like she just disappeared from the series … we didn’t even get to know her that well or what role did she play in the big scheme of things.

    ————————————-

    Can’t wait to find the answers for the above questions and learn about the past of the “Violet Sinner” and the fates of all the characters left (hopefully they won’t be all killed off by Hamy).

    Actually Volgen’s death was quite tragic but fitting at the same time … it pained me to see him die like that but “living in a big lie” or “living after knowing that the Armed Librarians honor thing he his entire life for is a very big lie” is much worse .. either way he will be missed for the rest of the series (now i worry about Notoly and Mirepoc .. it will feel really awful if they meet the same fate).

    Seriously .. whenever i see Hamy readying her sling thing i can’t help feel something bad/awful/cruel will happen .. but still i can’t help liking her crazy wild personality .. it’s one of those Love/Hate relations XD

    ———————————

    Finally i have to say great work psgels blogging this series and bringing our attention to it .. keep it up.

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  • k-off
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 04:01 AM)
    @Aidan Based on your review I’ll at least try Danganronpa.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 03:59 AM)
    …I really need to play more VNs again. I have been putting off Kara No Shoujo 2 come to think of it…
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 03:58 AM)
    Maybe I should just tell you to play DanganRonpa.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 03:57 AM)
    Though Muv Luv Alternative is considered by a great number to be the best VN ever made so perhaps you can see it as a last chance to see if the medium has anything that you could get into.
  • k-off
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 03:56 AM)
    @Aidan …good to know.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 03:54 AM)
    …You wouldn’t last five minutes in Muv Luv Extra K-off. It’s a by the books harem on the surface. Even I find it polarizing. Yet it is a title that is practically necessary to get the most out of Alternative.
  • k-off
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 03:52 AM)
    @Aidan Hm, I’ll try them anyways for curiosity’s sake.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 03:51 AM)
    Jesus Christ I never got preordering. Why the hell would I want to buy a game I don’t even know is good or not when I can just wait for the reviews to come out and decide if it’s worth my time? I orignally thought Pre-ordering was a means to get something that was high in demand but low in stock. Now it’s a means to scam the customer.
  • k-off
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 03:48 AM)
    @Aidan Well, you’re definitely one of the smart backers then. Because so many people are so blinded by the promised final product that they’d keep preordering, backing shady kickstarters, etc.
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Apr 30. 2016 03:48 AM)
    As far as VNs go I have put down money on a number of VN kickstarter but I can’t say I have found anything new that I would consider recommendable. I mean a improved version of Muv Luv is coming out and while I would recommend Alternative I don’t think you would have the patience for Extra and Unlimited. Even Alternative might not be your thing.

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