Book of Bantorra Collection 1
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2012
This series might be a total waste. But before you flame about this, it is not a terrible series in every factor. Just, a jumbled mess of confusion half the time mixed with some decent characters and a sadistic female lead. Well, you think she is a lead. But mostly only because her character is the most prominent.

That is the one big issue with Bantorra is there is not exactly any protagonist in the series. It will jump around a bit following different characters. During this time, a lot of people get killed too. It is hard when watching it to really get to like any one character. If you do, they are either taken out of the story by events or just plain killed. This is not a cheery anime even though it has a few cheery characters. Get used to people dying, get used to some real nasty villains. If you watch it for that and pay no attention to figuring out the story, you'll find something here. The villains alone I would rate as one of Bantorra's high points.

Aside from the weakness in the storytelling, the rest of the series has some high marks. Art is quite good and the opening theme for the first half of the show is very memorable. Ali Project does the theme and it is one of their best works in years. Very iconic with the show. It is strange why it gets changed halfway through. The theme that replaces it doesn't hold a candle to it.

If you like these kinds of shows and dark anime, then you'll probably love Bantorra for it's dark factors. This is just a fair warning to others that you will be confused going into this one. The story starts to make a little more sense around the midpoint, then as it is coming to a close. But when those final credits roll...well, you'll see. I can't give it more than a 3/5. This is one of the few I would recommend to rental only, not purchase. See if you'll like it first. Perhaps if I read the manga and got a little more depth with this series, I might be able to find it more appealing. But I don't see myself wanting to visit this series again.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2012
The Story:
world where deceased people turn into stone-like books and are stored in the Bantorra Library, anyone who reads a book can learn its past. Bantorra Library is maintained by the Armed Librarians, who wield supernatural abilities, and their enemy is a psychotic cult known as Shindeki Church. As the story progresses it presents a world of sorrow and pain, and the unfairness and frugality of life, as well as personal desires. However, in each arc there is also a small underlying hope, and more of the reasons, conspiracies, and secrets are revealed behind everything. It is about a specific overall history in time of Bantorra Library and its people. Each character dies a sorrowful yet meaningful death, and each death will open paths to a small ray of hope in the world, which also reveals a part of a secret to the reader.

The show has one of the most original stories I have ever encountered. The music is pretty good, though I'm not going out to buy a soundtrack anytime soon. The animation was well done and clean. loved the depth of the character development: all of the characters were original and not at all cliché (as it seems like most series nowadays are). The characters changed and struggled and grew. This show carries a bit of a serious mood, so it isn't one of the laugh-with-the-good-guys shows. Don't start out expecting your normal anime laughs and cheerful misunderstandings. To me is Great Series, cant wait for it to come.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2012
I just had to purchase this after reading previous customer reviews. Too much dissagreement amongst
the opinions to pass it up. I was not dissapointed. In fact after watching Collection 1 I had to get Collection
2. Which I'm still watching as of this writing. To address the negative comments frankly I don't agree. I
have to admit that I'm a student of screen writing for animation and film so non linear story telling is no
major concern for me. Now if you're someone who needs to be spoon fed a narrative to understand
what's going on then I can see where you'll be confused regardless. Also there is a war going on in this
story. For those not familiar with the concept people dissappear and people die. Nuff said. My advice
read all the reviews and then decide if this is for you. But if you're an Anime junky like me Bantorra
Collection 1 and 2 are must haves for any hard core fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 26, 2013
When people die, their life story and essence remains in the form of a stone book, which anyone can read. Great start. There are librarians who keep and defend these books. There is also the evil Church of Drowning in God's Grace that seeks to misuse this archive for their own egomaniacal needs. Sounds awesome. The show starts by introducing this premise, and also introducing a unique subclass of mindless humans called Meats. They don't explain them very well, but that's okay.

The show, however, soon suffers from a detached narrative, severely degraded animation, and a habit of removing likable characters without decent reason. The fights, animation, premise, and characters are all golden in the first five episodes. Then the animation takes a nose dive: two-frame movements, pathetic attempts at cheap fight choreography, and poorly integrated CG effects as a crutch for even poorer visuals.

The characters that are likable fade into the background or disappear from the narrative. A misunderstood, white-haired villain joins the team (taking three episodes to achieve that tired cliché). In addition, a spunky, too good to be true, blameless, clueless vixen takes center stage and is completely bland and flat--except for the chest region, which is spilling out in all its bronze, balloon-mocking glory, accented with oiled highlights that shine even when she's in a dark cave. Normally I'd say the hell with it, it's anime. But she replaced a credible female character (Meseta) who was calculating, mysterious, and still well-endowed.

This show started off with all the promise of a solid anime series and then threw it away, quickly, to embody the average export. If someone can convince me that part two turned this trend around and pulled together a cohesive idea, then I'll gladly give it a shot. When the creators of this show stopped caring, so did I.

I'm an animator and writer, so I frequently pour through stacks of anime. If this was helpful or our tastes seem to align, follow along. I'll try to steer you straight.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2012
When you read the synopsis of the story it sounds good but when it comes to the storytelling and introduction of characters they kind of just jump into it leaving you with no idea of who the characters are and why you should care about them. Which drags the story, another problem is not only do they not put enough into a character but they introduce another when many are left incomplete.(spoiler alert- they also kill a character off before giving us a complete sense of who he is and expects the audience to care). So yeah I'm giving it two stars, if you want to watch it just go online don't waste your money.
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While The story of the series was actually pretty intriguing and the animation was decent a lot of the main characters personalities and motives just made them extremely unlikable to me. Not all the main characters but the top four you just seemed to dislike so much you hoped the villains or someone else would kill them which doesn't make for good main characters,especially the character of Hamyuts Meseta. Some of my friends and others have wondered if the series is worth getting at this price, I highly recommend trying to watch a few episodes online first before getting the set,Again the overall story is unique as well as the characters but the dislike you feel for a lot of the main characters just didn't help with the series in my opinion...
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2013
The Armed Librarians are Psychic protectors of the Bantorra Library. When people die, their inner most thoughts are turned into stone tablets called books. There are many secrets in these books that could cause trouble in the wrong hands. The books are stored in the Bantorra Library. The Armed Librarians guard humanity from the power within them, and the ones that would use it for evil.

This series has some really good points, and some bad ones as well. In the end, I think that they balance each other out and create a mediocre series. The animation, voice acting, and soundtrack are well done. It's obvious that the production crew took their time to make a high quality product. I also like the premise that the story is based on. It's different, and a pretty interesting concept. Most anime nowadays is light hearted and lacks seriousness. The Book of Bantorra isn't like that. It has a very somber and serious mood. Which can be a good and bad thing.

Now for the bad points. The Book of Bantorra, as I said earlier, is about a group of psychic protectors of information (books). I believe for a series to really shine, it needs to be dramatic. It is hard to achieve that if there is no protagonist. This anime jumps around all over the place from character to character and not really achieving any kind of focus. Hamyuts Mesetah, the director of the Armed Librarians, is the main character. The problem is, she is hardly likable and doesn't make that much of an impact. Her sadist attitude is her only distinguishing trait. There are no characters to get attached to, or feel for. That's why the story isn't dramatic, or entertaining if I'm being honest.

Overall, I'm not impressed. I didn't enjoy watching this anime, but to be objective I'll give it 3 stars. It was obvious that this anime was an attempt at something good. You can see that from the quality of the production. The story was just extremely flawed, and lacked the basic elements that make a series memorable and great. I recommend renting it or watching it online if you are curious. I can't see this anime having all that many fans. I didn't enjoy it at all. I'll probably sell this DVD, and definitely not buy part 2.
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on September 16, 2013
its came in good condition with no problem it is an excellent anime and it was amazing to watch and see
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on April 6, 2013
If you like weird but interesting this anime will be for you. Animation style, voice actors and music, remind me of black butler! My main problem with shows like these is it's really expensive for 13 episodes... and that's just part one.
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on March 2, 2013
I would recommend this anime it's a very interesting anime. It's trippy also it makes you think. When I saw the first episode, I got hooked up. Plus Hamyuts Meseta is a attention grabber. It's that good that I forgot how many times I've watched it. I have to admit it changes characters alot. The plot leaves you thinking.
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