Armed Librarians (Tatakau Shisho): The Book of Bantorra
is a series of Japanese light novels about a fantasy world in which people turn into stone tablets called "books" after they die. People can read these books to learn of its history. The Armed Librarians is an organisation of superpowered individuals who collect and guard these books in the Library of Bantorra. The series follows the struggle of the Librarians against its nemesis: the Church of Drowning in Gods Grace.
The Book of Bantorra consists out of several story arcs which are all more complex
than they initially seem. Additionally, all story arcs are interconnected and culminate into a massive Jigsaw Puzzle Plot
Unfortunately this series is rather obscure. This might be attributed to the screwy and twisty plot. The high pace at which it'll provide background information definitely does not help. While it may not be the most mainstream series, it has many positive points: a creative and rich background to its universe, many clever plot twists, deep
characters and detailed and beautiful graphics.
The series has been adapted into a 27-episode anime licensed by Sentai Filmworks and is currently streaming
on the Anime Network
This series provides examples of:
- Absolute Cleavage: Hamyuts Meseta. Irea too, when she was younger.
- Anyone Can Die: And How. This series has an immense body count.
- Anti-Hero: Several characters, but especially Hamyuts Meseta, who at times may approach Villain Protagonist levels.
- Brainwashed: Valkan makes off with one of the books in a war machine. Barring a Face-Heel Turn, this seems the most expedient cause.
- Combat Sadomasochist: Hamyuts Meseta was displaying signs of this from the very begining but what she displayed in the semifinal episode was downright creepy. Though, to be fair, she was deliberately conditioned to be that way.
- Dark Messiah: Shiron Byacornise has the power to save everyone. She does so by selling off a cure to a disease to the highest bidder. I'd say this qualifies.
- Disc One Final Boss: Two major-looking villains turn out to be fake. One gets a Heel-Face Turn, and the other is killed within episode 4.
- Dismantled MacGuffin: A book is shattered into several pieces, showing the life of a girl who was used by the church.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: When Hamyuts Meseta's assigned bomb is met by her and she steals his book, she reaches inside of him and pulls out his bomb. His reaction however, is remarkably like a rape victim.
- Grey and Black Morality
- Hanging by the Fingers: Hamyuts Meseta (anime version, at least) from the side of a train.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Volken, Colio Tonies
- Hot Librarian/Scary Librarian: Pretty much all of them, since they can use magic and are to some extent or other fairly attractive. It's a spectrum, with Hamyuts Meseta being on the scary end. (Not that she isn't hot, but between ripping a bomb out of someone's chest with bare hands and having a power similar to Razor Floss, well...)
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Meseta, twice. And she enjoyed it.
- Interesting Situation Duel: Hamyuts Meseta fights one of the villains on a moving train.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Irea, which is revealed in the final episode when she shows up in Roruta's soulscape in a younger form.
- Kill the Cutie: Noloty
- Luckily My Sword Will Protect Me: As magical sword blocks any oncoming attacks.
- Magical Library: All dead souls become books, so the nation's graveyards are basically this.
- Magic Librarian: Armed Librarians especially.
- Multicolored Hair: Shiron Byacornise has calico-colored hair (mostly reddish-brown, with black at the tips, and platinum blond in the middle).
- Razor Floss/Variable-Length Chain: Sort of. It isn't strictly sharp, but Hamyuts Meseta can use a sort of telekinetic "thread." It can "cut" about the same way a whip can cut.
- The Reveal: In the anime, Hamyuts reveals to Volken that the Church of Drowning in Gods Grace was created by the Armed Librarians, making it look like they're at war with each other.
- Seers: At least two, one of whom - Shiron - is so powerful she can see into the future even though she's now a book (possibly centuries later).
- Shout-Out: Shulamuffen, the demon sword carried by Shiron and by one of the early villains, looks like something from Anime/Witchblade.
- Stripperific: Noloty Malche's outfit◊ qualifies◊.
- Yuri, a relatively minor Armed Librarian from episode 16, definitely qualifies after trading her winter coat for a transparent nighty over a Black Bra and Panties.
- Superpower Lottery: Characters able to absorb the magic rights of the owners of books usually fall straight into this category.
- The End of the World as We Know It
- Tykebomb: Several characters both good and bad.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Ruruta, and sometimes Zatoh depending on whether it's Enlike or the real Zatoh in charge. Curiously, the show plays around with the usual connotations and turns the hair-colour into a plot point.