English: Armed Librarians: The Book of Bantorra
Synonyms: Tatakau Shisho, Tatakau Shisho to Koisuru Bakudan, Fighting Librarians
Japanese: 戦う司書 The Book of Bantorra
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Oct 2, 2009 to Apr 2, 2010
Duration: 24 min. per episode
Rating: R - 17+ (violence & profanity)L represents licensing company
Score: 7.451 (scored by 6769 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular TagsNo tags found
Mar 21, 2010
Now here is something original. After a person dies, their memories turn into a stone tablet called a "book" that leaves their body to be collected. When someone comes along and touches that person’s book, they can see vivid imagery of their past as if they were really there to witness it. These are very special books and must be kept safe at all costs, and that is what the Bantorra Library serves to do. A group of people known as the Armed Librarians guard these books with their lives using psychic powers.
This story is NOT linear with a one-track mind. Instead, it branches off into many intricate subplots. You will see the Armed Librarians tracking down stolen books, recruiting new members, having personal quarrels and drama, going on adventurous missions, and each character pursuing their own personal and hidden agenda. They also fight their common enemy known as the Sindeki Kyoudan, an enigmatic religious group that manipulates people against the library for its own reasons. There is much discussion about heaven and what it means to be a “true man” to enter such a place.
After a while, the story does not seem to have a clear focus. It hops around to many different issues, never staying on a single one for too long. Criticism has been heavily placed on this area because the story can get confusing fast. Often times you might be mislead to believe that main story will be about this or that particular thing. I actually like that, but it is required of you to pay close attention to the events to appreciate how they all come together near the end.
The last thing I will say about the story is that I love its unpredictability. This anime makes you think. Nothing is straightforward, and there seems to be a plot-twist within every subplot..and that’s a LOT of plot-twists. The story, so full of secrets, character betrayals, and philosophical questions, will take you for an entertaining ride.
There are 30+ characters listed under this anime, and you’re introduced to a whole lot at once. The characters shine just as magnificently as the story does; they each have very detailed backgrounds and different motives. It is not really clear on which people are the bad guys and the good guys. It is also not clear on which character is the main one that we should be focusing on. Everyone gets the same amount of attention.
I give much praise to the characters because a handful of them are refreshing and have strong personality. I had my doubts about how well they would turn out to be, but they took me by surprise. The characters are very dynamic, meaning that they change and develop internally. As the show steadily progresses, you’re constantly being introduced to someone new and exciting.
The character section on this page does a good job in describing each character and their psychic ability, so I recommend reading those if you want to know the specifics.
One of the first things I hear people say when they start watching this is that the characters look unappealing, and the CGI looks very out of place.
Either you love the character designs or you don’t. They appear more on the dark-outlined, shadowy side without much shine, but it's best if you take a look for yourself. Some of the female characters look a bit masculine also. Despite all this, I thought that the designs were okay.
If you are patient enough to get to the best fighting scenes in this anime, you won’t be disappointed. High production values were saved for these moments, and the CGI gets put to good use.
This is where your personal taste really comes in. I found the OST to be fantastic. As a fan of Ali Project, I liked the first OP theme called “Datengoku Sensen.” The background music is also enjoyable and consists of many low-key orchestral sounds that suit the suspenseful atmosphere.
Armed Librarians is an entertaining, action-packed anime that uses its large, developed cast to its advantage. The story may seem rather confusing and directionless at times, but it all pays off towards the end. I recommend this anime. read more
Jul 22, 2011
-Bantorra has very complicated story and is really serious with few funny moments. Sometimes its just hard to connect the story, but if you pay attention you will see that almost everything is properly explained. The end of the anime really pays off if you survived other arcs first.
-it is recommended that you watch it whole at once, if you can, if not, try not to make long hiatuses with this anime, cause it will be easier to remember some important stuff such as minor details that come in handy.
-As for the story itself, it has really unique ideas.
-The art was what mostly made me to watch this. There are no chibi faces and moments and no big eyed shoujo girls with sparkles all around, thank god.
-it has pretty cool looking guys
-also cute and serious looking girls
-Animation can be weird in some moments, but in almost all scenes its well drawn and animated.
-has pretty colors and beautiful scenery as well.
-didnt impress me much though both openings were ok. There is well known Ali project ofc.
-The effect sounds were amazing though :D
-are the highlight of the series.
-they are various and deep
-anime provides background of the characters in arcs, and you get to know them better and their decisions :D
There are 5 main characters such as:
-Hamyuts "Hamy" Meseta-the acting director of the Armed Librarians, battle crazy "defeat me if you can" kind of a girl;
-Volken McMarney- has a strong sense of justice and kind personality ;
-Noloty Maruchie- is a straight-forward person who does not like to kill people;
-Mattalast Balory-known as a liar and one of the strongest librarians;
-Mirepoch Finder-cute but really strict person and in love over her head.
well better to say, it depends from person to person. In my case its 10 because i love serious stories and idea itself was pretty much awesome.
If you dont like serious stuff than it isnt for you, if you do though, i highly recommend it.
I highly recommend it to people who love deep stories and characters. The only thing i do mind is that story itself IS hard to follow and you MUST pay attention to every single detail. But itself is an anime which can move you, that is to make you smile or cry, filled with lot of action and with an original idea. read more
Jan 4, 2010
I really love the art style and I think though the pacing may be a bit off sometimes, there are very interesting hints dropped by here and there that are always tied in as you progress. I really love that.
This series isn't a comedy and it isn't an action. It's a little bit more suspenseful with spotlights distributed among the main cast between each arc. I hope to see more character development in the episodes to come!
Reminds me a lot of deathnote in the way the show is handled and progressing. :) read more
Aug 13, 2010
- The Story:
The Book of Bantorra features a whole new world full of superpowers and complex rules and organisations surrounding the endless battle for happiness and salvation at Heaven's door. And the best thing is: it does not tell you a thing. This show is NOT something you can just watch without paying attention. If you want to take a dive into the Armed Librarians' world you have to stay focused and think about what you see. The anime gives you the puzzle, but it demands you to place it yourself. Doing that, Book of Bantorra, unlike Serial Experiments Lain or other complex works, never really leaves you in the dark, but gives you just the information you need to deduce for yourself. Every single story arc is presented in a very intriguing manner, introducing multilayered characters and creative scenarios, dealing with the dark secrets the world of Bantorra contains.
- The Atmosphere:
If you are willing to follow the show's lead, take all the info you get and try to figure out all the untold stuff, you will find yourself drawn in by the group called "The Armed Librarians" and its many interesting members. You will get to know characters who seemed unlikeable at first, understand their motives and soon you will get emotionally attached to them (although it really takes time in some cases). The tension that is created here is pretty high, because the show features a certain degree of realistic and merciless violence towards the show's characters. In most cases, death is abrupt and unpredictable, so you're always reminded of the fact that your heroes and heroines may be able to use super powers but are not immortal.
- The Design:
As I hinted at the beginning, some of the characters' designs are quite questionable. Looking at the show's main character, Hamyuts Meseta, I'd say her design may be quite deterrend for people looking for a serious anime instead of some breast bouncing ecchi show, because she NEVER buttons her shirt and there are more than a few shots on her decollete etc. BUT, despite having a body Shirley Yeager would be envious of, Hamyuts Meseta is a very intense character and her design (and those of other female characters here), which seems to originate from some puberty dream, only contrasts her complex character and history. As for the rest of the crew, there are some other strange costume designs like brash colored uniforms or medieval-esque fantasy magician coats, but, after watching a couple of episodes you will get used to the shows strange design style.
- The Final Conclusion:
There are many many popular anime series out there, scoring their 10/10 points every now and then, only containing a fraction of Tatakau Shisho: The Book of Bantorra's ingenuity and dramatic resourcefulness, deep characters and wonderful scenarios. This is one of the many very underrated and unfortunately unpopular anime series here on MAL, probably due to its complexity and challenging narration style which does not feed you chewed for cake.
I've been thinking a lot about how the show ended, because I had my problems with the way they did it. Don't want to spoiler anything, but I have to add that there are a few plot lines forgotten along the way, while the ending itself felt a little inappropriate in terms of style. That's why I'll downgrade Tatakau Shisho to 9/10. read more
Apr 5, 2010
Let me sum up my thoughts in few lines and spare you the details if you don’t want to read all the wall of text that follows. This series is in a few words full of great ideas as well as full of terrible storytelling. I really liked the themes of the story and the development of the cast but at the same time I was alienated by their illogical actions and the unsupported line of events. It is very good on a mental level and good to watch once but plain mess when seen in action or repeat.
Want to read more? Here come the rest.
I really have no complaints here. Both characters and backgrounds have a pleasing to the eye amount of details and set of colors. They even have smooth animation and cool visual effects that blend good with the action. Very nice if you look at it without thinking much.
The problem comes when you try to excuse all that. For example, each Armed Librarian wears clothes that hardly fit in the setting. The world they live in is like England of the mid 20th century (giveaways are the aristocrats and the shape of the airplanes). So what does a group of people like a cowboy girl, a Hindu girl, a masked ninja and a woman running around without bra doing in here? They feel like they popped out of an rpg.
This is a minor issue really. It is just blending real history with magic. After all, it is a world where magic is far more important than technology. Yet, they seem to be wearing the same clothes almost all the time. This is again not much of an issue but imagine a woman dressed all the time as a maid in the library. She needs to go to battle. Guess what, she still is dressed as a maid. The characters simply seem to be dressed in their battle uniforms all the time… even if they are just a maid suit or a cowboy uniform. Weird…
Still, there are other issues as well, such as pretty girls always wearing revealing clothes. It’s just a minor form of fan service of course but it’s still seems like they put it there without in-story excuse.
All these seem like peanuts of course but it matters on an aesthetic level. There is no uniform or blend in all that. If you don’t try to think about it too much, it is fine.
I still take out some points for the unsupported blend and the unneeded fan service. The series would look more creditable with uniformity and not-sexualized uniforms.
I have the same things to say about the music. The music themes are actually good, despite being depressing. They fit the mood. Voice acting is also quite good, with almost no ridiculous pinches in voice. Still, many young and naive girls have a silly voice it may feel bad if you don’t fancy that. Sound effects during battles? No complaints.
Now the thing I really didn’t like. The talking! So much of it! They went overboard with the things a monologue can achieve. It feels like the plot is driven by long philosophical monologues and not by the power to blow up entire buildings.
It wouldn’t be an issue if the dialogues were great and excused … but they are not. They are ridiculously cryptic, symbolic and in the long run unneeded to the point of confusing you for no reason. This is obviously done to make the series feel more mystical and it works up to a point. Still, since the story is one big mess of out-of-place events, all that talking is actually quite superficial despite the really psychological and philosophical issues it encompasses.
So I take out some points because of the ridiculous use of all that talking. Keeping it more simple and working on the actual line of thought would be far better.
So much potential, so much BS ruining all of it. Just like the previous sections, it looks gorgeous if you don’t think about it much and yet it makes no sense if you do. First of all, it is like the entire story is made to be a mockery of ideals and high expectations. Take that, politically correct idiots! I liked that. The main idea is rather original, believe it or not. It is a world where you turn to a stone tablet, simply called a book, when you die. Anyone touching this book can see all your memories and practically learn from your life experiences. That is a wonderful concept. So the clash in the story is two religions, one that gathers and stories all books in a library and one that abuses them in order to advance in life and reach heaven (enlightment). It sounds so awesome at first that I was expecting to see some really deep and mindstorming stories. And I did up tot a point. But the excuse of all that… Nothing. Everything felt so unsupported that I lost track and gave up trying to be emerged in the world.
So what’s with the library? The good guys, called Armed Librarians, store the books in a dungeon full of monsters in order to protect them by those who want to abuse them. Yet they need to fight those monsters themselves when they want to get a book for any reason and that counts as training. All that in order to be strong against the New World religion, a bunch of fascist bastards who believe that there are real people who deserve their book to ascend to heaven and treat all those not worthy as cattle, soulless piles of meat they exploit in the most inhuman ways possible. This is where most of the interesting themes of the series come from. Many bottom level people are tortured and abused to turn to mindless weapons and murderers and the shock value of watching them doing all those horrible things in the name of their leaders is something worth paying attention to. Many of these Meats as they call them are turned to human bombs, with sole purpose to grab an Armed Librarian and turn kamikaze. Others are tortured to hone their magical powers only to be used as batteries by their True Human leaders. All that create a very interesting story generator.
It feels like I am talking about the characters and not the story all this time, right? Well, it is expected as the story is 100% character driven, leaving the backdrop story as an excuse for the human tragedy to unfold. Which is also the downfall of the story as well as in all honest makes no sense at all.
The first three episodes are used to explain to the viewer what is going on in this world. How do they do that? By monologue! Instead of showing us all that in practice, they blabber for several minutes explaining things they normally have no reason to mention as they are all self-explained on their part. What a cheap way to be introduced to the story! The scriptwriters really didn’t bother showing us, they just threw in a blunt monologue and forcefeeded us all the backdrop story.
“Hi, I am this and I do that and that one works like that and the other one is like that.”
Well, thanks guys, that shows how stupid you think we are!
So the first episodes feel really bad in terms of pacing. The mid episodes are in fact the peak of interest as they are all practically flashbacks of all the characters, showing their stores and present status. This is a really interesting part as rarely do you see such strong character emersion in such short amount of time. It still feels disjoined of course, as it happens almost at random, but it is still cool.
The final episodes is when we finally return to present time and see the final confrontation of… em… of… Ok, I have no idea what is going on in the last arc. I mean, I see their motives, I see their thoughts, I see their strategies… and it makes no sense! Going from point A to point B happens in a totally unsupported way. And I’m no rookie in weird and complicating stories. I watched NGE, SE Lain, Ergo Proxy and many more. I got all their line of thought and motivations there. They made sense. Here? I DON’T GET IT AT ALL!
There is this savior who saves the world by killing everyone and then for no reason he loses his memory and people are born again, and then two religions fight to kill one another’s leaders but it is all a set up as they both work for the same goal and the memories are needed to empower something and triggered by the love of a little girl and there are android super soldiers, and there is a mind controlling lizard and a spell that makes snow appear that makes everyone fall to a coma, and a bioorganic weapon made to stop him and she loves death and death is salvation and there is a disease and a witch of the past and monsters in the dungeon and lies, tragedy, deception, DOOPIDY DOOPIDY DOO, I DON’T UNDERSTAND ANYTHING.
If an experienced viewer like me has a really hard time to understand the story, I can only imagine what a problem it will be for everyone else. Heck, it makes Xamdou Lost Memories to feel like a walk in the park. I have heard over the net various explanations and speculations and they all sound fine while reading them. That still does not change the fact that in-story it is a big pile of nonsense and it would really help if you simply don’t give a damn about the story at all. Pay attention to the characters and NOT THE RIDICULOUS STORY.
Do you know what I say about all that pile of BS I lost hours thinking about? Read the following only if you have watched the series.
The lover of the savior was killed for no given reason. That triggered a line of events that happened for no reason. And then the current director of the Armed Librarians, ms. Huge Boobs, was there to kill the savior from day one. Well, why didn’t she? He was right at the palm of her hands and he was defenseless and oblivious to his powers; why did she need to wait for decades until the world is about to end in order to do something? And why did all this mess happen in the first place? Why didn’t they just tell the truth about what happened in the past? They had the witch’s book that proved her innocence; they also had a billion other books revealing the past. That is why they were gathering the books, right? To learn from the past. Why didn’t they? What the hell is all that?
So please, pay no attention to the story. It is quite obvious that it will be shitty to begin with if it includes amnesia, mind control and magic gismos. No well-written story would implement amnesia to slow down the plot, magic to allow the bad guys to appear and disappear at will. And in no chance in hell would it forcefeed us all the backdrop story through monologues in the first episodes!
Few, now that I got that out of the system, let’s move to the cast. Half there is to be said is already in the story section. Most characters receive a great amount of attention. Each one has this long flashback in the mid episodes that excuses his/her motives and fleshes him/her out. Very good work indeed; it even shows them holding items and mentioning quotes that play a role in later episodes. Not everyone gets one though; that cowboy girl is just a cowboy girl. But in all you do feel something for the characters. They even show them having sex! How big balls does a series needs to have in order to show them having sex? PG15?
Too bad the ridiculous story ruins their credibility. How was that boy turned to a mind controlling lizard? Why was the leader of the opposing religion making his head invisible? The oversexualised image they gave to females also hurts as it turns them to fapping material that detracts a lot from the sympathy you could feel from them. And then there is the drone-making gizmos. Boy, do I hate drone-making gizmos! What on Earth does a mind controlling lizard doing in a character driven story? It flushes down the toilet all sense of personality importance if it can turn people to mindless killers in a few seconds. Yes, you heard me right, one moment they are good villagers minding their business, the exact next they are suicide bombers, brainlessly wasting their lives by dropping into the heroes. Where did they get all the bombs anyway? Was bomb creation arts part of the brainwashing package? Wow, great deal, be brainwashed now and get the knowledge to create bombs for free. Order now! But it doesn’t stop there. No, really, it doesn’t. A few episodes later, snow is falling from the sky that throws people to coma. Yes, magic comatose snow. There goes the importance of characters again, they just threw in another gizmo to mass control them. In practice, it was just a cheap way to keep everyone out of the way during the final battle. Boy, that was an insult to my intelligence!
That concludes my rant for the day. It all comes down to tastes as usual and this was in all a mixed bag. Smart and stupid at the same time. A normal anime that is. I would recommend this to people who like watching anime without thinking much about it and fancy character emersion and political incorrect stories. I would not recommend it to people who want easy to digest or rationalized anime. Take your pick. read more
Nov 4, 2011
Apr 18, 2010
Story. What story? Where? Oh yeah. There are some books which are actually remnants of dead people's lives. Kuroshitsuji? Tsubasa Chronicle (not the main story, of course)? I just had a problem with seeing why these books are so important that there exists an elite class within the society that protects them from some funky organization with an idiotic name and random beasts roaming around the library itself. Maybe there's some enlightement after the 5th episode, but I really don't care. Why am I not curious enough to find out?
There is not a single thing by which this anime stands out. It doesn't even suck enough for me to be curious about how much more it can suck. The art is ok. The characters are a bit less than ok, but not too bad. Mirepoc, Volken and Matt seemed fairly interesting, but not enough.
As you probably noticed, the two words I would use to describe this anime is "not enough". read more
Apr 16, 2012
the story takes place in a world where an institute called the Bantorra library gathers books of deceased humans, the books are a vivid imagery of people's lives, that is to say if you would look into a book of a deceased person you would be able to view his entire life in a dreamy like experience, as in reading a book, hence the name.
But only to say so is to diminish the wonder that is the story of this show, episode following episode certain key elements are being revealed, and certain subplots are being added to the major picture that is going to explode in the climax, though not so complex as NGE or serial experiments lain (whom both I have seen lately) Book of Bantorra does have its share of bewildering moments and jaw-gaping wonder, Bantorra speaks of themes like action mixed with heavy drama and mystery with a little splice of life.
I thought that the art was modest at certain parts, but with patience comes virtue, the fights get much better when they are meant to be better, the CGI is implemented gracefully and without overdose nor is monotonously boring.
I loved the opening themes of both seasons, especially season 2 where it gets more edgy and compatible with the ongoing suspense, the tracks implemented in the series itself are not bad also, all help to direct you to the perfectly drawn ending.
In a fresh change of scenery the heroes or protagonists of the show are not highschool kids :)
In fact they are adults with the mystery of their past and their sins clustering about them, perhaps this is the strongest aspect of this show (and the one that hit home) the fact that many anime shows star kids from high school environment or kids in general has become rather irritating
what shapes the plot is the characters, and here it is obviously illustrated with mastery that not all good people are good, and that innocence can sometimes be fatal, with such ideas sprayed along the course of events we get to know our heroes even more, and we get to link with them, I cannot put it to words, but it felt like watching a realistic group of people go about their hush-hush business in a way so similar to sects or organizations of power today
that being said, it is also notable that all the characters take solid part in the shaping of the story, both the pivotal and the supporting, it is so well-maintained that at times the main character (hamuyets meseta) is seldom portrayed as Main !!
her presence is welcome, but not essential, she is a major cornerstone to the plot but her actions are that of a villainous monster despite her cute pretentious attire
on the otherside we see characters like Mattalast enveloped in mystery and contradiction, Enlike, the existential and non-existent personality, all presented with a respected effort, and all essential to the big picture
Overall Book of Bantorra is really about what it is being human, villain or hero, and once you get to understand the small hidden intricacies in this marvelous universe, you get to fully appreciate this Anime
Highly recommended read more
Dec 28, 2010
This anime ya how should I describe it....
It's really original and good but at the same time the story lacks something but it's still good the beginning starts right away with what action but than after in the middle a little bite of the series it gets quite and than around the 19th episode's the story fire's up again
You would say Hamyuts Meseta is the main character but she isn't really the main since the story kinda is really based more on everybody that is involved in the armed librarians stuff.. but hamyu takes 50% of the whole story and everybody wants to kill here :P
But really this anime is original and has a good story, still don't know what it lacks so I still give this anime a overall of 8/10 read more