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Book of Bantorra Collection 1

13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

In another time and place, on a world of pain and sorrow, when someone dies, their soul doesn't go to Heaven or Hell - it becomes a book. A book that reveals the deceased's innermost secrets… and can be read by anyone. Protecting these priceless treasures is the elite organization known as the Armed Librarians. It's their job to keep the books and the knowledge within them safe from those who would misuse or destroy them. It's a tough, dangerous job, so Chief Librarian Hamyuts Maseta recruits only the best and the brightest psychics to join her team of expert fighters. But will they be good enough to stop the fanatics of the Shindeki Church from wrecking vengeance on the entire world? Only time will tell, but that book hasn't been written yet. Don't miss the non-stop action of The Book of Bantorra Collection 1!


The fantasy-adventure The Book of Bantorra (2009) begins with an intriguing premise: the memories of the dead are eternally preserved in stone "Books," which anyone may read. The Books are guarded by the Fighting Librarians, who are also engaged in a deadly struggle with the sadistic Church of Drowning in God's Grace. Elite Church members somehow reduce humans to utter serfdom: providing some of the wretched "Meats" with special training in magical combat to attack Hamyuts Meseta, the Acting Director of the Librarians. Once the premise is established in a series of Morris the Explainer scenes, The Book of Bantorra quickly dissolves into a tangled morass of plots, counterplots, flashbacks, attacks, special effects, and fan service jiggle scenes. Librarians and Church agents fight with swords, lightning bolts, fists, and oceans of red ants. Characters appear and disappear, subplots start and stop, and some individuals inexplicably return from the dead to take part in the action. None of the characters are particularly endearing: most of them either agonize over past deeds or dither about how to react to dire situations. Meseta often seems eager to be killed and remains unmoved when her staff members are threatened or destroyed. The story may make more sense in the light novels of Ishio Yamagata, on which it's based. But the filmmakers fail to deliver anything approaching a coherent narrative: watching The Book of Bantorra is like foundering in a vat of mucilage. (Rated TV MA VSD: violence, violence against women, grotesque imagery, nudity; alcohol, tobacco, and drug use) --Charles Solomon

(1. A Bomb, a Book, and a Sinking Ship. 2. Bombs, a Princess, and a Gray Town, 3. A Bomb, a Human, and the Sickness of a God of Death, 4. An Evening, Shiron, and Korio, 5. A Betrayal, a Cup, and a Meandering Path, 6. Thunder, a Monster, and a Girl's Punch, 7. A Smile, a Mask, and a Man with a Death Wish, 8. A Pond, Comrades, and a Seashell, 9. A True Man, a Battlefield, and My World, 10. A Weird Guy, a Mother, and the Nest of Black Ants, 11. A Weakling, the Labyrinth, and the Moving Queen, 12. The Part, Irrationality, and a Pipe's Smoke, 13. A Day Off, a Picture Book, and Rusty Hair)

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Shelley Calene-Black, Allison Sumrall
  • Directors: Christopher Ayres
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Animated, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English, Japanese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Section23 Films
  • DVD Release Date: May 15, 2012
  • Run Time: 325 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0079K4XS4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,788 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By NC on March 22, 2012
Format: DVD
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.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Angel on March 23, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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 By Keith Alexander Scharf on December 25, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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 By Coulter Rail on September 26, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
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.
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