The Book of Bantorra Part II Review

Anime

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The Book of Bantorra Part II
Studio: David Production
Publisher: Siren Visual
Format: 
DVD
Release Date: May 23rd, 2013
Price: $49.95 – Available Here

Overview
Enter once again the world of Bantorra, exploring the unique stories of various characters in a twisted world. As mentioned in the Part I review, the series explores the weight of people’s decisions and the impact that their actions have on others. Bantorra Part II is the culmination of the series that began in Part I (the review of which is found here), wrapping up the various stories and bringing to a close The Book of Bantorra.

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Story
Since Part I ended in the middle of an arc, Part II naturally jumps right back into it…after a recap episode. Not quite sure why but episode 14 is a clip episode, bookended by Shiron Byacornise explaining details of humanity. Anyway, after that the series kicks back into the Lascall Othello arc that Part I ended on, finally bringing the story to a close. From this point, the story begins to explain the more supernatural elements present in the series, such as the true nature of Othello. The three Gods of the series, Bantorra, Toitorra and Orntorra, are also explored to some degree.

The Book of Bantorra Part II is an escalation of everything that came before. The smaller story arcs more closely tie into the plot at large and disclose more and more information as the series progresses. Though they still focus on separate characters, it is more obvious how they connect as the barriers between people break down. Tying together all of the plot tangents that were opened over the course of the series, resolution is brought to even the smallest story. As the truth that has been hinted at since the beginning is progressively revealed, the entire concept of the world is turned upside down. The focus shifts to the concepts of the world itself more than the characters understanding and adherence to the laws they set themselves.

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With the truth set free, the fights hold more weight than ever before and are justifiably more brutal, ranging from intense one on one combat to all out slaughter. These instances come to reveal the Armed Librarians as monsters, their motivations good, yet certainly not pure. Every single character possesses a reason why they fight and, rather than just stating their belief, the series strives to explain it through their eyes. As it has since the beginning, the series does not broadly label good and evil, but rather expresses the notion that people’s own concepts of justice and joy simply clash. As much as Part II connects people, it is still a prevalent theme that each person is their own existence. This is especially noticeable through the earlier explained concept of Magic Rights, wherein one gain powers by simply rejecting a facet of reality. This again notes that through the window of oneself, the world beyond can be altered. Bantorra does an excellent job undermining yet somehow reinforcing notions of hope and righteousness and paradoxically supporting isolation and connectivity simultaneously.

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There is a great deal of character development and revelation in Part II. As characters are explained, like the Armed Librarian Minth, their motivations are revealed and a new interpretation of them is created. Characters who once seemed like shallow placeholders are given a complexity that shapes them as more than that. The series also furthers the personal plot of the mystery that is Hamutz Meseta. It delves into her past, providing details on how and why she became the battle lusting Acting Director. Her twisted past sheds new light upon all her actions thus far as well as the goal she strives for. These adjacent story lines create a sense of life in the characters, granting them not only a believability but also a justification.

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Visuals and Audio
Just as in Part I, the visuals in Part II are excellent. As the story progresses, more and more fight scenes appear. These scenes are all well animated, expressing power and violence in each of the characters actions. As the story explores each character further, their facial expressions become more defined and recognisable. There is often focused placed on a characters face, such as when Hamutz begins a fight. These instances help define the characters and make them seem unique. The backgrounds are more varied than Part I, adding a number of new locations, including mountain ranges, ancient cities and even deserts. The locales provide dramatic scenery for a majority of the larger fights, adding to the sense of a complete world.

The musical score retains the same orchestral sense it did in the first half of the series, culminating in dramatic operatic notes as the action peaks. Violin is used more heavily as well. It features both as part of the soundtrack and within the story itself, providing insight and development into some characters. The series also receives its obligatory theme song change in episode 16. This new theme song, titled “Seisai no Ripeno”, is also used towards the end of episode 26, in order to rouse emotion and set the mood for the beginning of the finale.

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Overall
Book of Bantorra Part II answers all the questions of the series, adds more, then answers those too. It ramps up the stakes and action tenfold. Bantorra does an excellent job of tying everything together, even small elements that seemed unimportant connect to the plot at large. This creates are more believable world, one where things don’t just happen, they happen for a reason.The series conveys intricate notions of self and the impact one has on the world, elements conveyed well through the number of interesting characters.  It shows that no matter how dark and twisted the world seems to be, there is always something worth clinging to. All in all The Book of Bantorra is a complex series full of consequences and pain, yet still containing an underlying sense of hope at its core.

8-5-capsules-out-of-10

Capsule Computers review guidelines can be found here.

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