Friday, October 23, 2009

Armed Librarians 02-03: Hamyuts...she good or bad?

There's a new series that's caught my attention. It's called Aoi Bungaku (lit. "Blue Literature") by Madhouse. I've seen the first episode and liked it so far. What's gotten me so excited is the fact that it's going to include Natsume Soseki's Kokoro, which is one of my favorite novels. The animation style reminds me a lot of another Madhouse number, Kurozuka, although the character designs -- at least, of the first episode -- bear a strong resemblance to Death Note and with good reason because Takeshi Obata is involved in the production. What does this all mean? It means that if Armed Librarians fails to live up to expectations, I will drop it in favor of Aoi Bungaku.
EPISODE 02: Bombs, A Princess and a Gray Town
More Screencaps from Armed Librarians - The Book of Bantorra 02

Iriea is giving a bunch of people a tour around the Armed Librarians HQ. She talks about the three deities, one for the present, the future and finally the past. The deity of the past is called Bantorra (hence, the title of the show). The job of the armed librarians is that of normal librarians, except that they have to battle monsters every time they have to file books in some underground labyrinth. Meanwhile, three bombs -- Colio, Hyoue and Relia -- get together in Toatt Mine, which is also where armed librarian Luimon is looking for fragments of Shiron's book. Luimon catches an old man trying to sell the fragments to Colio but before he could get a hold of it, Hyoue explodes himself, killing Luimon, the old guy and some other random cart pusher. This leaves Colio with two book fragments, one from Luimon and one from the old guy. From these fragments, he gets flashbacks of Shiron helping a sick boy under the watchful eyes of a creepy clown guy Wizakh and then of Shiron being led up to the guillotine. Relia decides to leave but an encounter with Cigal has him blowing himself up instead in an attempt to kill Cigal. Unfortunately, Cigal survives, Relia doesn't. Later, Colio meets Lea, the dead cart guy's girlfriend, and their subsequent talk gets him to think that he has to save Shiron. Meanwhile, Hamyuts arrives in Toatt Mine to pick up where Luimon left off. Using her Telepathic Sperm Power Radar (TM), she picks up the meats in the city and snipes them one by one.
EPISODE 03: A Bomb, A Human and a Sickness of a God of Death
More Screencaps from Armed Librarians - The Book of Bantorra 03

Cigal coerces Lea into taking some medicine that would make herself feel better about her boyfriend's death. Little does she know that the "medicine" is no medicine at all. Colio gets another fragment from Shiron's book and this time his flashback has him seeing Shiron as an ostracized young girl. Wizakh takes her under his wing and gives her food and clothes in exchange for her ability to divine the future. However, when Shiron sees premonitions of the Dragon Pneumonia and how to make the antidote, Wizakh ignores the warning. Several people die and Shiron goes into a deep depression. After some time, she recovers and launches on a journey to heal the people, who have begun to call her a "living saint." But her days of glory is short-lived as she suddenly turns against Wizakh and then reveals that she knew about the antidote even before the disease spread. To punish her, the king orders her beheaded. After the flashback, Colio wakes up to find Hamyuts in the room with him. Colio remembers his orders to kill her but hesitates and Hamyuts takes advantage of this moment to take him down. She also removes the bomb inside Colio's chest and declares that she made him human. Meanwhile, Miropec and Mattalast arrive at a warehouse only to find that everyone there is dead, infected with Dragon Pneumonia. At about the same time, Hamyuts also discovers Lea, also infected with Dragon Pneumonia. To add to the misfortune, a typhoon is scheduled to hit Toatt Mine in a few hours, rendering Hamyuts vulnerable to an attack as her Telepathic Sperm Power Radar (TM) doesn't work too well in storms. Cigal then makes his appearance.

So many weird names I get confused sometimes. So many characters, too. The dramatis personae definitely needs some trimming. Despite my better judgment I find myself getting more and more intrigued with Shiron's story and how she places in all of this. Also, I just realized that Hamyuts is voiced by none other than Paku Romi -- such a hot voice. I'm starting to like Hamyuts, even rooting for her. She probably won't die. She's too awesome. And that Cigal is an a-hole who needs to get a slap in the face and a kick in the butt. Here's to hoping Hamyuts isn't above some ass-kicking.

The production values have downgraded a bit. But at least, there's less CGI now. That ship in the first episode was ridiculous. I'm fine if the CGI is confined to just Hamyuts' Telepathic Sperm Power Radar (TM) but even that is probably too much to hope for. I just wish they did better with the characters. Hamyuts had some really bad shots in both episodes.

What is up Noloty?