What’s this? Two updates so close together! Preposterous! I’m going to actually try to keep this thing updated somewhat regularly.
The subject matter this time around is my first impressions on my other two fall 2009 series, Armed Librarians: Book of Bantorra, and Kimi ni Todoke. I’ll start with Armed Librarians, since I watched it first.
The basic plot of Armed Librarians is a bit hard to summarize from just the first episode, because it did a lot of throwing terms at you and not explaining them. From what I could gather from ep. 1 and the preview guide, it’s something like this: The Church of Drowning in God’s Grace has a lot of power, and they are horribly immoral. They have started enslaving humans and turning them into “Bombs”, which is exactly what it sounds like. These people have pretty much given up on life. The group that opposes them are the Armed Librarians. They also guard “books”. In this series, when someone dies, their soul fossilizes and becomes a “book” that people can “read” by touching it. The Armed Librarians protect these and fight the Church.
Well, Katie, the other writer for this blog, had told me that Armed Librarians was crap, but I’d already downloaded ep. 1, so I figured I’d give it a shot anyway. She’d only gotten through the first half or so before dropping it, and I can quite honestly see why. It was pretty depressing and pretty hard to follow for the first half, without really making you want to follow it. I can’t stand dropping something in the middle of an episode, though, so I kept going with it into the second half.
The second half got far more interesting. The first half was comprised mostly of a group of Armed Librarians on a boat trailing a ship of the Church. One of the bombs jumps overboard, and one of the Librarians goes to help him, but he explodes because that’s what bombs do. Then there’s a big bomb attack and a battle with a lot of usage of terms that aren’t explained, and a ridiculously emo scene with one of the “Meats” (which I assume are people that are being conditioned to become Bombs but aren’t Bombs yet) falling overboard as the ship sinks and not doing anything to save himself, not even grabbing onto something when he’s placed on it.
But the second half is drastically better. Stuff on the Armed Librarians’ side is actually explained, like the thing about what “books” are. And that really pretty tan girl showed up. I like her already. I don’t have much else intelligent to say about Armed Librarians, so in short, I like where it seems to be going, but I can’t say I’m sold just yet. I neither approve nor disapprove of Armed Librarians.
As for Kimi ni Todoke? I have not “d’awww!”-ed at an anime so much in the course of one episode in a LONG time, if ever. It’s a shojo series, but a good one. The basic plot is that Sawako Kuronuma is an outcast in her school. Everyone thinks she’s creepy, can see and summon ghosts, etc. They go so far as to call her Sadako after the character from The Ring. None of this is true, though. Sawako is a sweet girl that just wants to get along with the others, but they misunderstand her. Well, all except for a boy in her class named Kazehaya. This boy makes an effort to be nice to her, and romance begins to blossom…
This is so cute. I love how believable the characters are. Even Sawako isn’t 100% isolated; she has a friend in a different class. The other students aren’t all total jerks, either. Kazehaya is nice, but not really perfect either. He’s too shy to admit that he likes Sawako, even though it’s blatantly obvious to the viewer. Good shojo is a bit of a rarity anymore, now that shojo’s Golden Age is in the past (The 70’s produced some amazing shojo manga and anime. Rose of Versailles, From Eroica With Love, etc…). Finding legitimately good, well-written shojo is a rare treat, and oh so very satisfied. Also the art style is unique and I really like it. The artwork and animation in the OP are especially gorgeous, hence why I included a video of it. I approve of Kimi ni Todoke.