Posted by psgels on 13 March 2010 with categories: Armed Librarians - The Book of Bantorra



Since it looks like there isn’t going to be a continuation, this episode pretty much would be a big test for the creators: can they stuff the remaining novels into such a short-timeframe, while capturing their essence? It’s a thing that many series have failed at, but what do you know? This episode was in no way less awesome than the previous ones.

While a bad ending can still mess this up, at this point however I’m confident to say the following: Bantorra has the best plot of any other series I’ve seen in the past few years. While other series may beat it in terms of characters, animation or dialogue, the storyline of the past 24 episodes has been utterly sublime, and I can only think of very few storylines that impressed me more than this one. I absolutely love how bold, creative, unpredictable and layered it turned out to be. Even though the novels don’t seem that popular at all, it’s awesome that the people from David Production saw their potential and decided to animate it to a wider audience.

This episode answered a lot of the main questions, including the identity of “heaven”, and Hamy’s background. Seriously, I never expected Chacoly to have turned out like the way we saw her in this episode. Broken by Hamy after her heart was broken… and somehow living on without any purpose. As it turns out, both Hamy and Chacoly were attempts to kill Ruruta Coozancoona, a.k.a. heaven, in two different ways. Chacoly tried to make him fall in love, while Hamy was meant to be a tool to kill Ruruta. How her desire to die comes into this…. I’m not sure yet.

The other big mystery for the next to episodes to explain is what Ruruta is after. At first I thought that he was simply looking for entertainment as some sort of bored deity, but then this episode threw that girl into the picture. My guess is that she’s dead now, and he’s pretty much been sulking about her for 2000 years. Him achieving “true happiness” may just have been impossible from the start. But what could he be after? I mean, it’s not like the dead are going to come back if the world gets destroyed, right?
Rating: *** (Awesome)

15 Responses

  1. Whoah says:

    Brilliant Episode. The series really has picked up again since the lull a couple of eps ago.

    BTW is it just me or is that Girl that Ruruta was with looking very very much like Lascall Othello/Sword of Spent time Yor?

  2. Alec says:

    OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG

    i think this series will definitely lose its title as being “underrated”

  3. chounokoe says:

    Well this episode was better than I expected, but you could feel that it took a bit less time to play out than previous arcs. It was, after all, 2 episodes for 2 whole volumes.
    Many things, like the other Shisho rebelling against Hamy, the guardian beasts running wild, the breaking down of the library or the development of Renas/Olivia was put on ice (bad pun intended). But like with many minor characters in (for example) Higurashi, it wasn’t as noticable because they restructured some things entirely.

    It’s a bit sad that they can’t take their time to develop the finale as well as the beginning and maybe it would have been better to cut a bit shorter on the first two arcs…but still it has been an amazing series AND an amazing adaption so far, something that not many series in the last years could say for themselves.
    Like you said, it’s great that they decided to animate it at all.

    They still have 3 episodes for 2 volumes left, depending on how they decide to structure it can make or break the series.
    At least next episode we seem to learn more about the Age of Paradise, Ruruta Coozancoona and Niinu.

  4. MsteaK says:

    I can notice that things are becoming a little too rushed. Nothing so far is endangering the overal quality of the last few episodes, but it’s conspicuous. Which brings me to my next complaint that’s more aimed at the industry than Bantorra: Why isn’t it possible for certain productions to have a longer string of episodes in order to put more texture and detail in them, it’s annoying.

    I truly hope that there are going to be means to get ahold of the novels, eventually.

    However, that was a good episode, and made me want to know more about that so-called demigod.

  5. reverse says:

    I a bit afraid the ending would suck, but base on this episode I think safe to say it would not

    and in term of bantorra plot, i would say it is my personal favorite anime plot. but i wish some stuff got explain more properly though

  6. cx says:

    young Hamy is so cute

  7. duh says:

    “How her desire to die comes into this…. I’m not sure yet.”

    I thought Hamy half explained it herself a few episodes ago – that she wanted to become a book, but I don’t know if there’s an ulterior motive on top of that (i.e. giving her book to someone).

  8. Machi says:

    Definitely the rush with certain things, like Chacoly, does seem noticable but looks like they’ll be just focusing on the main plot or what relates to the “end” rather than adding another layer to the characters. Which is probably the better way to go, rather than an anime original ending eh? Now we can just hope that thanks to this people may get interested in the light novels and opt to go on a translation frenzy.

  9. theone says:

    yeah the industtry as a whole is disappointing.

    I understand that david production is pretty new and really probably didnt have all that much money to vie for 39 or 52 eps and they made such a good show, even if the ending turns out to be worse than evangellion(I doubt it will), Id still love this show

    But yes as a whoel the anime industry really needs to get their act together, all the really good shows are always stories that arent finished, or a studios just cant finish it do to episode contract restraints.

    Popular to what people think, anime isnt all that popular in japan save for Naruto and one piece and bleach, those that Japanese kids watch, the rest of the shows out there basically cater to the otaku, maid fetishising, cat-girl loving, harem dreaming Japanese man. . .(and with the economy as it is. . .they arent buying as much stuff i.e. dvds trinkets and toys etc) as they were a few years ago.

    These companies need to really market towards larger audience (i.e the west) by having MORE quality shows like this, durara, fma etc. and being able to FINISH the WHOLE original story the FIRST time around.

    It doesnt seem like the companies get it, but just want to take the easy way out and have the 45436536th fanservice show with immaculate panty shots, or girls who squeeze their tits to make milk come out for the main character to suck on) show like that turn western people OFF anime and theres TONS of them every season.

    It really makes me ashamed to admit I watch animation, cause everyone thinks its like what I just talked about above, and not good shows like this here.

    so yes, the industry as a whole needs to really think about who they are going to market to. cause right now, those otaku arent alone gonna be able to pay the bills much longer.

  10. Machi says:

    The whole commerce issue isn’t anything new… Its not exclusive to the anime industry, other media definitely have this issue. Thing is I wouldn’t necessarily start thinking of the demise of the anime industry just based on the eclipsing or compromising of good shows due to budget, of which there are numerous examples (Shion no Ou’s last episodes are a case an point).

    What would lead to demise is if A) The anime market is shrinking (i.e. less demand for whatever reason but mainly due to another industry replacing it or B) Market Failure. Of which I don’t see either actually taking place. Sure there is the recession that Japan is undergoing but thats a shock to the economy as a whole, and that doesn’t necessarily mean the demise of an industries just downsizing. So I would like to point out the importance of considering economics before soothsaying the demise or downhill.

    Course you would have decreased sales in DVD or manga etc but even then no economist worth their grain of salt would claim “demise of the industry!!!”. There is still something called lying by statistics so I’d be weary of graphs and statistics without any econometric models to explain it, qualtitative interpretations of empirical data is good but only to the effect that it helps you find a possible research problem. You’d have to do a full study to determine the decline, of which would be the two I’ve just mentioned or is it simply an effect of a shock to the economy.

  11. chounokoe says:

    First thing, something about Bantorra:
    I’m planning to start (together with a friend) translating the light novels.
    So I hope there’s not already a group forming for that.

    The ‘end of the anime industry’ is a topic discussed since at least 2000, so opinions are clashing here and there.
    In the West there are some rather extreme and unfounded opinions, especially because the amount of current research data is heavily underrepresented. Most of it is based on data which goes back to ’07 or even ’08.

    Yeah the industry has to do something, but they actually are doing things.
    Considering the West as a potential direct market is not a good idea I think. Most of those people aren’t that concerned about what is popular abroard and many concepts would clash to heavily to actually combine into something worthwhile. And it’s not like for example American TV series lately started to consider foreign audiences…first and foremost it’s always about the direct national audience.

    The fact that right now many studios are experimenting with now ways of distribution, new formats and new topics should show that they are trying. Still it’s just impossible to just throw the biggest income factor, which IS fanservice, overboard and drastically try to change the whole audience.

  12. MsteaK says:

    @chounokoe

    I sure as hell am excited about you and your friend translating Bantorra. Do it at your own pace and be sure to let others know about your project. And is there any way to grab those translations once they’re finished? A wordpress website or anything alike could help make things accessible. Still, great news!

    And the reason why the industry is declining or whatever you want to call it is in my eyes simple. Too much catering to a subset of fandom at the expense of the rest. This is what nearly destroyed the comic industry in the US back in the 90s as well (floodgates were opened that engrossed the market with EXTREME dark, gritty, anti-heroism). It’s a dumb decision because on a long-term basis, moe, fanservice, harem, or any other Otaku wish-fulfilling series are simply trends that can’t substain the market forever.

    This is of course only one aspect of the predicament considering piracy and bad economic times don’t help in the slightest too. Hence, the reason why many risk-free productions are made. ”Support the stuff you actually like.” is the only thing I can say.

  13. chounokoe says:

    @MsteaK:
    Yes we will try to make it available one way or another…wordpress or something like that.
    But I’m glad to hear people would want to read it.

  14. MsteaK says:

    Be sure to let us know. Almost everyone who watches it, is dying to get their hands on the novels. Sadly, they’re Japanese.

  15. Vanny says:

    I am feeling sad that bantorra is nearing its end.

    Every episode was nicely done, wow. I must say… bantorra has become one of my favorite anime. Interesting and unique plot story. Sure I do love comedy and love theme animes, but I also love High Quality (complex?) anime like THIS! I wish there were more of these, instead of “pointless and useless” ones.
    Wow. Many things were unpredictable and I love it that way. Every character was beautiful (I’m still sad about Noloty’s death though) and I have never thought Enlike would have lived for so long. I love how the love in this series is so strong, but not rubbed in your face. They showed love in different views, like Hamy & Matt, especially Enlique & Noloty, Volken & Mirepoc, etc.

    I hope the last 2 episodes won’t disappoint me!

    Also, I do hope that in the future when I google for translated bantorra novels, good search results are there!

    I’m wondering though… Who made the weapons of the past? Whatever they were called.
    Was it already mentioned in the anime/novel?

    Thanks for blogging this series. You got me hooked ^^; And I’m going to be sad soon (2 episodes leff).

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  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:52 PM)
    @Realist: I also noticed in that story arc with the talking cats, it mentioned cats of ulthar, which was also mentioned in a HP Lovecraft story.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:20 PM)
    We have reached the moment of truth and what we waited for in space brothers manga. The next chapters cannot come fast enough.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:16 PM)
    @Realist: Like that skull head guy a bit.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:15 PM)
    Apparently in bloodbourne they are upping the violence…I think.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:13 PM)
    @Bam: Scott Snyder at least…is one of them.
  • Emma
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:11 PM)
    @Realist: I read that mahou tsukai no yome manga you mentioned, the two available volumes. After a few chapters I started getting more into it, but I’ll need more time/updates, looks like its doing a decent enough job setting up a fairly readable plot.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:10 PM)
    @Emma: also isn’t American Vampire written by two guys?
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:10 PM)
    @Emma: not only Amira but also Kaiser and Favaro’s dialogue and characterization was pretty weak. Their feud and reconciliation was forced as he’ll, and I just hate it when powerful demons uncharacteristically waste too much time talking to humans they could, and should, easily defeat.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 12:07 PM)
    @k-off: the series has some sombre and unconventional stories, it’s just that the story is told indirectly thru lore and subtlety. Demon’s Souls had a decent amount of narrative to the whole affair, albeit short and told mostly thru items and NPC encounters. But unfortunately the series moved forward on from cryptic to straight minimal storytelling. DS2 feels lazy although it has a few cool narratives, like Luciatel, but you have to play your cards right to even get to see that.
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Nov 27. 2014 11:55 AM)
    @K-off: Demon’s Souls brought it all tho. It introduced every single aspects that defined not only its own franchise but apparently also a whole new genre. The story and game mechanics were cryptic and for those who played it 1st was never imitated again. We didn’t know what we were playing and it challenged the shot out of us and blew our minds.

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