Monday, April 5, 2010

[Ended] Tatakau Shisho - The Book of Bantorra: The Ultimate Showdown

Intricate yet powerful, those are the most fitting words to describe the story of Tatakau Shishou - the Book of Bantorra. Cruising through the plot felt like assembling a highly complex system without knowing its purpose. All you know is to follow the instructions to put pieces of the puzzles into place. Only in the end, you realize it's a trigger to something so powerful, which will completely blow you away. (well, kind of)

Another interesting aspect of this story is that all sub-plots are daisy-chained from beginning all the way to the end. Each and every one of them involves a unique subset of characters. Almost no subplots involves all characters. Depending on your habit, this could be good or bad--I've heard people complain about how throughout the series, there isn't a single character that can be defined as "the main character". So for those who normally like to form an attachment with main character of the story, unless you can do it with all characters, or the group as a whole, you won't be able to find one that is "suitable" to be attached to.

Underneath this complex yet brilliant technical layer, the core of the story is really a simple tried-and-true concept: it doesn't matter how ugly it may look on the surface, it's still a beautiful world. Yes, yes, I know it sounds strange coming from me, but this is what this story is really about.

One other thing worth mention, maybe you've already guessed it, is the fact not everybody from the story gets "saved". There are quite some casualties throughout the story. What's more interesting is that those casualties are actually a lot more important than you think.

Tatakau Shisho - the Book of Bantorra is not an ordinary anime. While it's satisfying if you have managed to followed it to the end, it also requires lots of patience. Like many other anime of similar nature, unless you can stay with till the very end, be able to see how all puzzles pieces fit together, you won't be able to enjoy it at all.

Last, I'm going to hand it:

Best Long Season Action/Drama for October 2009 Season

Final scoreboard:

Drama: 90 (Totally)
Comedy: N/A
Action: 93 (Great)
Art/Animation: 88 (Unique)
Sound/Music: 91 (Very interesting)
Character: 95 (Bunch)
Plot: 93 (Smart)
Ending: 95 (Well terminated)

Re-watch value: 80 (You might be necessary to be able to catch all the details that leads to the final showdown)

Overall: 92 - Intricate yet Powerful

I'm am a big fan of well constructed stories, but you may not be. It is possible people find stories like this is painful to follow. If you're one of those people, this is not for you. Otherwise, I would recommend you to give this anime a shot, who knows, you may end up liking it as much as I do.

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