Posted by psgels on 20 March 2010 with categories: Armed Librarians - The Book of Bantorra

Ah, what an episode. At this point the creators of the anime were standing for a major dilemma that hits just about every series out there: the fact that the story doesn’t fit exactly into 26 episodes. I’ve raged enough about this problem with other series, but with this series, they’re actually pulling it off to put the essence of the final novels into these final episodes without derailing. This series is everything that fantasy and steam-punk should be, and it seriously set the bar much higher for future generations. Even until this episode, it kept an excellent balance between plot, setting, characters, background and action. Each speaking to the imagination.

One of the major pitfalls of mystery series is the point at which questions have to be answered. Asking a lot of intriguing questions is one thing, but it takes skill to make all of eventual answers live up to the hype that these questions created. And this show even proved that these answers kick ass. We finally get a glimpse into heaven, and what it’s like. And we finally get to see the background story that resulted into everything: Ruruta Coozancoona’s. We already could have guessed that the Armed Librarians and the Church were created in order to create exciting books. This episode didn’t just show why this was all done, it also showed the story behind it. That it was all in an attempt to destroy the gods who kept destroying the worlds they created because they were unhappy with the continuous wars.

When you think a bit further, this had some interesting results: these Gods surely were short-sighted bastards. Thanks to Ruruta the world wasn’t destroyed and instead it continued to thrive. The result? A stable world full of actual democracies, in which most of the drama is caused by the guy who took god’s place: Ruruta, and his wishes to provide interesting books in an attempt to bring back his loved one.

The big question still remains however: what the heck is heaven? The people we saw gathered in the theatre: what exactly was their connection? Since the previous governor of paradise was among them, it may be a place where the true men gather: the ones who came closest to Ruruta’s ideals for the perfect book (which would also explain why Hamy ended up entering it even though her hook didn’t appear yet).
Rating: *** (Awesome)

13 Responses

  1. sheratan says:

    Do you remember the episode where Mattalast kinda “feed” heaven with a book?

    The people gathered in the theatre were the books previously eaten by the tree…

  2. |Necromancer says:

    Show’s gonna be 27 eps long if you didn’t know yet.
    2010-03-26 26. Redemption, Purplexity and the Book Within a Book
    2010-04-02 27. The Might of the World

  3. R8 says:

    Colio Tonies?!?!

    Colio’s back, awesomeness. And it looks like he has an important role to play.

  4. 4saken says:

    Ruuta is a Book Eater like Zatoh. Those people are now inside Ruuta just like Enlike was inside Zatoh in the 2nd arc.

    And I wonder, Enlike took control of Zatoh’s body, can Colio do the same thing?

  5. Suu says:

    Like Sheratan said, it seems like there isn’t heaven and what it is is just the pit of Ruruta’s belly in a way similar to Enlike’s situation. He ‘seems’ no more godlike than a librarian.

    @4saken: Interesting question C: Or if not Colio, maybe Hamy since she seems to have infiltrated “heaven”?

  6. Suu says:

    I’m surprised so many people enjoyed this episode so much though. While I did find the ideas interesting and the storytelling well played for the series, Ruruta’s reasoning is kinda simple in a way we see very often with these sort of (beautiful) tragic villians. Lose a loved one, destroy the world. Although I give him creative credit that it was a little more logical than most since he isn’t righteous or revenging as much as following his love interest’s desires. But, I felt she was rushed too. She was kind of just your flat typical goody good girl, yeah? (without the depth of Volken/Nolty) She didn’t seem to do much significantly even, and I felt her character changed too fast to join the god’s perspective, even while she was abused.

    Still, Bantorra does take a very different approach for anime and it’ll be interesting to see how they plan to carry out an ending based on what’s happened so far and to see the last questions solved.

  7. PhantomX says:

    This isn’t exactly the same though. For one, it was implied that Ruruta lived far from a normal life, meaning he’s likely incapable of rational decisions. He was always set on one purpose/goal, so he has a one-track mind. Nieniu was nothing special, I agree, but she gave him another perspective, gave him choice, and, since he’s not really capable of worldly thought, this affected him a lot.

    Also, she didn’t just change her viewpoint. It was my impression that she’d already died, and Ontorra decided to revive a corrupted form of her in order to get to Ruruta. What’s interesting is that someone mentioned him feeding Nieniu the books, or something along those lines.

  8. Babini says:

    I thought this episode was rather disappointing and dare I say lame. Interesting that some loved it.

  9. jmaster5 says:

    This episode had some interesting points and i felt it was adequate they did pack an entire backstory in 1 episode i found it impressive the way they did things

    Also i dont believe this girl was supposed to be anything more than flat she was just there to give Ruruta a new look on life

  10. Suu says:

    I don’t know, I found Ruruta a lot more shallow than simply a one-track mind, and more your typical “noble hero angsting over the weight of the world”. I have nothing against really simple/niave characters, but in that case I sort of wish they’d have played it up a little and given him some personality. Like I said I feel like Nolty and even Volken who I didnt even like managed to be really effective. Maybe just having some more time elapse in their story would’ve made the difference. Or perhaps they just seem dry/personalityless in a sea of much more colourful characters.

    Aa, and I do understand Nieniu’s significance to Ruruta and the storyline, just not how she was effective really in any other way so I think we’re about even there. I hadn’t thought about her from the viewpoint of a corrupted revival though~ That does make it a lot less random. C: Thanks for clearing that up for me.

    I still gotta say this is one of my least favourites though. It had its moments but it seemed to me sort of run of the mill and melodramatic at the base of things. It’s only because of Bantorra’s unique elements that it stood on its own to me.

  11. MsteaK says:

    Found it too melodramatic as well. Especially since there is no sympathety, considering Ruruta feels awfully superficial to even care for his character. If Bantorra had more episodes, they could’ve made his background more interesting. Damn time contrainst. Stop cramming large stories into only 26 episodes, it’s annoying and a waste of potential.

  12. PhantomX says:

    Yeah, I can see how people might not have found it as great as older episodes.

    I’ve been thinking on it more, but doesn’t it seem like these Book Eater people aren’t capable of multilateral thought? The one Enlike took over was also a tool of the people (in this case the Church), and the only thing he could do was think of absorbing books and killing/following their orders.

  13. Slick says:

    Man, I just couldn’t fully get into this anime series. I would’ve liked to have seen more of Colio and possibly have him become someone really important. Everything seemed to be jammed together into 26 episodes.

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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:46 AM)
    @Kaiser: so far it’s good. I’ve been hearing the buzz but I wished someone had nodged me to watch it sooner.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:42 AM)
    You’ve reminded me Bam that I’d been meaning to pick up ash vs the evil dead sometime.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:39 AM)
    @Kaiser: the remake was still pretty entertaining, but it lost the silly comedy edge the series was known for. I still think that the 2nd film had the most unique and prominent voice of its own, and all of that is present in the new series’ pilot. If anything Raimi cranked it up a couples of notches here and there.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:35 AM)
    There was a mean spirited feel to the remake I found pretty appealling.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:27 AM)
    @Kaiser: the original Evil Dead was playing the horror genre straight, but it had a strata of slap-stick that was partially unintended. With Evil Dead 2 he doubled down on the strange horror/comedy dynamic and it became fantastic. Army of Darkness was very entertaining, but it strayed very far from the series’ roots. The remake was only produced by Raimi, while he got back on the writer/director chair for the pilot of the new series, and proved that he still got it sharp as ever.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:19 AM)
    Then again I believe Raimi was fairly involved with the remake.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:18 AM)
    The remake as far as remakes go should have been worse but it worked much better than I would have thought and I say this as someone who hates reboots/remakes.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:16 AM)
    @Bam: I’ve only partially seen the first evil dead but I don’t think its aged well, the second one I’ve seen and its hugely entertaining later on but its army of darkness that was the most enjoyable of the three for me.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 03:47 AM)
    Wow Ash Vs the Evil Dead 01 was a blast; I really should’ve gotten into this sooner. I was smiling thru most of it, either because it was funny or slap-stick gory, or because it was a blast to see that Sam Raimi still got it. I guess the only time that Evil Dead works is when he’s involved. Seeing Bruce Campbell again with the chainsaw was a treat which I didn’t know I needed in my life.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 10:31 PM)
    I’m trying not to get my hopes up however, given that it wouldn’t be surprising if he gave us another filler chapter like he did with that pointless flashback.

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