Saturday, February 13, 2010

Armed Librarians 18-19: Fool's Paradise

Volken's justice, Milepoch's heart.
EPISODE 18: A Propeller, Recollection and the Lead Human
More Screencaps from Armed Librarians - The Book of Bantorra 18

Volken and Olivia Litlet (fake Renas) make a run for it with Hamyuts hot on their heels. Also, Hamyuts sends out the one man that could knock some sense into Volken's head: Vizac. However, Volken has not wasted his time away from Bantorra island in complete idleness. He has become stronger, completely taking Vizac by surprise and defeating him in battle. Realizing that he can't match the younger man, Vizac gives up the fight and lets Volken and Olivia go. But it's not that easy. As soon as Volken and Olivia leave, a Shideki Church member appears behind Vizac and kills him. Now all the armed librarians think Volken killed his old teacher. Meanwhile, Milepoch tries to contact Volken through telepathy and suddenly recalls a little of her memory with him. But Mattalast and the others get her to set a trap for him by pretending to inform him that Hamyuts' plane is having engine troubles. Without suspecting foul play, Volken makes a detour in a ruined city where Olivia first met Vend Ruga. While there, she begins to regain some of her memories -- first as a human child kidnapped by the Shideki Church, then to a meat driven to do anything, use anyone to gain something but what she can't remember. At that moment, Hamyuts announces her presence.

EPISODE 19: A Fool, Empty Space and a Dancing Fairy
More Screencaps from Armed Librarians - The Book of Bantorra 19

Mattalast confronts Milepoch about her betrayal and warns her that Hamyuts won't stand for it. Meanwhile, Volken and Olivia are engaged in a plane chase but with Hamyuts' sniping ability, it is clear they are on the losing end. They hide in a forest but that proved to be a more dangerous move as the place is crawling with meats. Volken decides that he and Olivia should separate. To ensure that she would make it, he gives her a little of his magic powers. Then he goes out to meet Hamyuts head on. Olivia gains more and more of her memories, revealing that Vend Ruga had been both her protector and friend but after Hamyuts killed him, the now defenseless Olivia was captured and turned into a meat by the Shideki Church. She seduced the true man Charlot so that she could get away with using Ylucklucu in some magic ritual to revive Vend Ruga. But the ritual failed and she lost many of her meat friends as a result. Meanwhile, Volken's fight with Hamyuts is at full throttle, but even with his new strength, Volken is no match against the Acting Director of the Armed Librarians Corps. Once she has him right where she wants him, she delivers the real shocker: the Shideki Church is a creation of the Armed Librarians with the Governor of Paradise appointed by the Acting Director herself. More than the killing shot that Hamyuts' sends his way, her revelation destroys him completely. Rascall Othello appears just then and takes out Volken's book but before she could go away with it, Hamyuts takes it to prevent the others, especially Milepoch, from finding out. Next, she goes after Olivia but by then the latter has Ylucklucu in her possession. Her complete memories now restored, Olivia uses the artifact to restore the memories of the other meats as well. Back in Bantorra, Milepoch rings the bell that signals the fall of a comrade.


And he dies. I can't say I'm happy but I didn't care much for the character that's for sure. That goes for Olivia, too.

I think I know what this anime needs, other than a tighter plot and better production values: better characterization. Somehow, with all its colorful cast of characters, with admittedly interesting designs, it manages to be a show about dull characters doing otherwise exciting things. At the rate its going, the only character I really care about is the amoral Hamyuts Meseta. If that was the writers' intention all along, then okay, but it seems to me that they expect us to feel something for these other characters who get randomly killed off. It's like, oh, she died. Next please.