Tatakau Shisho – The Book of Bantorra – 01
Along a coast somewhere, a group of Armed Librarians attack a ship controlled by the Shindeki Church. The religious organization responds by sending out people known as Meat who have bombs inside of them. Doing their best to avoid these, the Armed Librarians’ mission is to free the Meats and to seize evidence from the ship. They are easily able to defeat the ship’s defenders and make their way below deck to find a room full of Meats. As the others are helping the Meats off the ship, one of the Armed Librarians discovers a message carved into a steel beam that reads “Vend Ruga is alive. He is living inside Olivia Litlet.” This proves to be interesting to their leader Hamyuts Meseta who is observing everything from the coast. A short while thereafter, explosions rip through the ship, and many of the Meats that the Librarians were trying to save get thrown off. The Librarian named Volken attempts to save one, but the Meat just falls back into the water lifelessly after getting pulled up.
Sometime later, the Armed Librarians are gathered back at their library of books holding the memories of the dead, and they review the materials they found on the ship, which includes a book fragment concerning Shiron Byacornise. 280 years ago, she was the only person who knew how to produce the medicine to fight a disease called the Dragon Pneumonia, and it is said that she spread the disease to sell the cure. The Armed Librarians are after the rest of the book fragments so that the Shindeki Church won’t have both Shiron Byacornise’s memories and the Dragon Pneumonia. Meanwhile, in a mining town, the Meat named Colio Tonies that Volken tried to save meets up with a member of the Shindeki Church and is ordered to kill Hamyuts Meseta. He’s got with him a fragment of a book that had fallen with him into the water and had touched him. As a result of that, he had seen a beautiful girl from the past, and she had left him a cryptic message, at the end of which she had said that she loved him. Colio has a hard time accepting this because he’s been brainwashed to believe that love is only for humans, and he’s not human.
I actually didn’t think the opening song began all that bad, but then the main part hit, and I was reminded of how I don’t like ALI PROJECT’s music. I swear it all sounds the same. The ending song was at least was decent, and it was a bit more upbeat than the last Annabel song I heard (the ED to CANAAN).
For a first episode, this was a little overwhelming in the beginning given all the characters and terminology that appears. I got a much better understanding and appreciation of the episode after watching it a second time. As such, I liked the concept of the Meat as a lower class of people, and Colio’s struggle with his humanity based on a vision from a book is promising. Of course, the idea that books can convey dead people’s memories and feelings in itself was interesting, and there’s a lot of possibilities there. That plus Armed Librarians are the reason I watched this series in the first place. Speaking of which, the Armed Librarians were pretty cool, but we only got a brief glimpse of their abilities this episode. Hamyuts Meseta is the most intriguing one so far, and a lot of that is because she’s still surrounded in mystery.
Production-wise, I don’t have anything particularly good or bad to say about the work that david production did, though I guess the CG during the boat scene wasn’t all that great. The voice cast, on the other hand, was pretty nice, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise given all the big names on the cast list, plus I always enjoy hearing Kawasumi Ayako. All in all, it made for a solid first episode, and since I’m still on the fence about whether I want to follow it, I’ll give it another week or two.