|A cookie-cutter effort at an action anime,|
About all I can say of resuming my watch of Book of Bantorra from over four years ago is "meh". Having an influential crime fighting group against an evil syndicate (in this case, a fanatic cult) is nothing new in anime for me and my indifference further rises with the majority of the characters in this series lacking any fleshing out beyond being two-dimensional archetypes you would expect out of action titles like this. It does have some unique ideas that allow it to keep your engagement such as the title's concept of people's souls being stored in stone tablets, both Armed Librarians and the Shindeki Church having varying magical abilities, the title's historical setting and some shady developments with Hamyuts despite being the leader of the Armed Librarians. The fourth mentioned detail was the only real thing that hooked me as the show makes no effort at maintaining subtlety in showing that Hamyuts isn't exactly right in the head with her actions and that she has ulterior motives, with the series even devoting time in later episodes to explore her past and any shady developments she has. But even this plot thread lost its intrigue for me when the show's final 4-5 episodes pull plot twists that are quite out there for the scale of the show up to this point, was lacking much in the way of foreshadowing, the enemy faction seen throughout the course of the series being irrelevant (especially as a character introduced in early episodes whom we assume is a major antagonist gets killed off early) and relying quite heavily on deus ex machina to resolve things.
About the only thing the show does right to get my praise are its pleasing visuals that show great detail and vivid color in the designs of scenery and characters, female designs being quite nice on the eyes with some characters like Hamyuts and Noloty having revealing attire that shows off their... um, appeal without going overboard as a good number of ecchi titles love to do. Many of the characters have differing weapons and magical abilities they show off in battle making for a nice number of fight scenes that offer up unique choreography and abilities from the characters don't feel like they are reused at all throughout Bantorra. The only low points of the visuals for me were occasions of animation shortcuts being employed and moments of unconvincing fluid movement.
Praises aside for the visuals though, Book of Bantorra felt like it was playing things safe with what it had to offer for its premise. Much of its cast are nothing but archetypes and the plot for it is mostly nothing special and gets messy in quality for later episodes. The only engaging element to the series with the mystery of Hamyuts' character even suffers in later episodes thanks to the sloppy developments that the final episodes introduce. There are better quality action anime to get into that dare to do more with what they got than what Book of Bantorra offers.