Hatsuki is a highschool student living with her sister, Hatsumi, who she has a huge crush on. On Hatsumi's 16th birthday, she is suddenly surrounded by a green light and disappears in front of Hatsuki. She manages to follow Hatsumi with the help of a being resembling a fat baby chick (literally), ending up in a place called "The Great Library", which is full of different worlds stored in books. Hatsumi wasn't there, though, so the search for Hatsuki's great love begins and involves traveling from book to book.
Story: 6 (Constant alternate universe style)
Art: 7 (It's ecchi-tastic! Everything else is nice too)
Sound: 7 (Lots of girl groaning in this show)
Character: 8 (So... much... fanservice [/drools])
Enjoyment: 9 (I enjoyed the hell out of it)
Overall: 34/50 = 7.4 ~7.0 (It'll play with your emotions)
Ohkay okay, its time for a proper review of this piece. Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito (Yamibou for short) Is a heartwarming coming of age tale about a love between two super cute sisters. Their world gets torn apart when Hatsumi mysteriously disappears into thin air right in front of her sister Hazuki. But as Hazuki is
about to find out, theres more to this adventure than she realizes.
The story itself feels something similar to an excel saga or magic shopping district in terms of overall feel with our main characters jumping into different 'books' and such. Don't worry it'll be explained to you pretty early. Hell in the first 6 minutes of episode one, you find out that theres girl love, incest, and drama. So this show knows that it's series is short and they compensate by trying to let you understand the Yamibou universe in detail. Of course this style of story telling is not immune to plot holes and inconsistencies, but they cover it very well with quite a gratuitous amount of fanservice.
If your a fan of large boobs you'll definitely love this show. If not, just be prepared. There are more than enough fanservice shots in EVERY episode. Even during the heat of battle, one is not immune to losing a top or having entire sets of clothes dissolve in to thin air. It obviously doesn't progress the story whenever things like this happens but it is a good indicator at how well they managed to produce a fairly good quality show ...from an artistic standpoint. Every one of the girls were drawn with sexuality in mind. Head to toe, and from costume to bare skin, its all there obviously to cause quite a stir from the viewing audience.
The characters are mostly made with a moe attitude in mind. You got your clumsy stupid girl, your tsundere, and even a silent type. Nothing is really new in the personality department (with the exception of the girl love), but you'll still feel intrigued as to what will happen next for Hazuki and company. Even the little side characters are cute as well. I laugh every time i hear that chicken :P Mind you, the characters aren't comparable to like a Key character (Kanon, Air, etc) But they are better than average.
Overall it was a good anime viewing experience worth the 3+ hours watching it. Although I was sort of confused as to who this show was being catered towards because the overall story is very girl oriented, but the fanservice is very boy oriented. Either way, if you like the Alice in Wonderland style of story with loads of skin give this a shot. It'll play with your emotions.
Say you're a girl (Hatsuki) who has a crush on your sister (Hatsumi) and one day choose to sneak into her room and just have your way with her as she sleeps.
The next thing you know you're spanning parallel universes comprised of/represented by different storybooks on things like the Trans-Siberian Railroad, primeaval cultures, ninjas, desert islands, and god knows what else while accompanied by a pervy embodiment Lilith, to realize that your beloved is actually Eve, and exists for her own reasons in these parallel worlds and has many forms and loves. Throw in a batshit crazy fairy prince (Gargantua) who is a parody
of every "heroic" bishonen lead and his twisted reality involving a Princess, Mariel, whom he sacrifices only to watch a close friend, Ritsuko take the blame and punishment for him... Also a Kitsune woman with really large tits and her own censorship circle over her naughty bits.
This is a beautiful mess of intertwining characters, random story arcs, all set to Hatsuki's quest trying to find Hatsumi/Eve--both driven by an eternal love and guilt. It's as weird as anime gets, but still manages to make sense while doing it--to some extent. All of the charcters seem real, driven by real emotions, like Eve, whose flippant desire to span the worlds of books leaves broken hearts in her wake and dooms those who have fallen in love with her to search her for eternity. Hatsuki and Gargantua are two such people, each with their own goals and desire for redemption (albeit Gargantua's is superficially absurd, a more touching motive is told through Ritsuko's backstory). Even the pervy Lilith, who despite wanting to molest Eve, doesn't want to be left alone to be the custodian of the library for all eternity while her sister plays with the hearts of others and leaves her to clean up the mess.
It's weird, disjointed, introduces random characters from the parallel story arcs and breaks up the story line--but it all seems to work in spite of it all (with a surprisingly clear premise, motivated characters, and resolution) and makes for an entertaining way to kill an evening.
How should I put this... This whole series was.. in one word : Fanservice
Story: There IS not definite story to this except the fact that Hazuki was searching for Hatsumi. Thus, a word of advice: if you have not played the game version of Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito, then do NOT watch these series. It wil make you go "huh? whats going on?" half the time. The story attempts to tell several stories at once then link them all together later, but for me it seemed just a random bunch of characters which were extras from the begginning and did not play
any important role at all.
Art: I guess the only decent thing about the anime was its animation and sound. The art was decent, not bad, but have seen much better. However, I did feel like something was out of place in the art... maybe it was just me.
Sound: The sound was ok, and set the proper mood that it was supposed to set.
Enjoyment: As I said, If you have NOT played the game, I strongly suggest you not to waste time watching these series, because its just not worth the time, as it seems like it was made for the sole purpose of fanservice for its gamers.
Overall: This anime really did blow me away with its ridicularly nonsensical plot. To tell you the truth, I was speechlessly amused by its lack compared to its popularity.
This is all personal opinion, but...
I really enjoyed this anime. While I have not played the game, I still found it intriguing because there were so many little details that you have to put together. The episodes don't go in order either (at last I think they don't) so that adds to the puzzle. While the plot isn't very ingenious (person in love tries to rescue lover, etc) I still found the characters quite awesome. Hatsuki is probably one of my favorite anime characters of all time, because she is very dedicated and her emotions are very real. Plus she has some mad sword skills.
I enjoyed it for the adventure too, because you never knew what kind of crazy situation Hatsuki would end up in next. Its like...shoujo-ai, badass, and crackish all at the same time.