Post Reply Episode 2 review - some SPOILERS
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Posted 10/11/09
After the breakneck pace of the first episode, this follow-up slows things down. A bit. There's still a lot of action, but there's also some welcome character development. And death.

First, though, there's Volken. His self-recrimination and doubt are fairly standard for a certain type of anime hero, I suppose, but the fact that his own director (more of her in a moment) doesn't seem to rate him either means that we inevitably end up identifying with him. Fair enough.

And we also identify with Colio, the mysterious 'Meat' who appears to be regaining some sort of humanity, thanks, in no small part, to the various book fragments he keeps on being exposed to. (Am I the only one who thinks that it's more than a little fortunate that he keeps on coming in to contact with fragments from the same book? Perhaps this'll be explained later on.) His journey from self-abnegating human weapon to someone who actually cares about something - in this case the grieving girlfriend of the vendor who dies earlier on in the episode - is well-handled without being too heavy-handed. This is a character that we not only care about but are also very intrigued by.

It's a pity then that Hamyuts Meseta is all set to kill him next episode. Well, obviously she won't, but...

Hamyuts is The Book of Bantorra's main problem at the moment. Her flippancy, her arrogance, her too eager willingness to give up on the 'Meats' (in marked contrast to Volken last episode) and, yes, even those balloon-like protuberances stuck on her chest all seem at odds with the more serious tone of the rest of the show and most of the other character designs. Her glee at taking out the Meats at Toatt Mine at the end of the episode is slightly uncomfortable to watch, particularly when her aim turns to Colio, a character that we like considerably more than her.

This is all probably intentional on the part of the producers, but they're going to have to be careful. Some background on Hamyuts is urgently needed - we need to understand why she acts like this (and why the Armed Librarians put up with her) or there's a risk the character will destabilise the show.

My concerns about Hamyuts notwithstanding, this is still intriguing and involving stuff. There's obviously something big going on with the laughing witch and the story of Colio continues to draw you in. (I just hope it doesn't end abruptly at the start of the next episode!)

dunsany
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Posted 10/14/09

dunsany wrote:
Hamyuts is The Book of Bantorra's main problem at the moment. Her flippancy, her arrogance, her too eager willingness to give up on the 'Meats' (in marked contrast to Volken last episode) and, yes, even those balloon-like protuberances stuck on her chest all seem at odds with the more serious tone of the rest of the show and most of the other character designs. Her glee at taking out the Meats at Toatt Mine at the end of the episode is slightly uncomfortable to watch, particularly when her aim turns to Colio, a character that we like considerably more than her.


...not to mention her seeming lack of concern over whatever collateral damage might occur when she remotely destroys the "meats". Everything about this character so far has been offensive, obvious, and well over the edge of absurdity. I suppose the producers were going for a Quentin Tarantino approach with Hamyuts, but her ridiculous character design works better as a John Waters parody.

--Regardless, I will continue to watch this for a while. I am rather curious to see how they explain what this Church views as criteria to designate someone a "meat".

I hope you continue reviewing episodes here. I found this review highly insightful.

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Posted 10/14/09
Thanks for the comments, missnthrope.

And I totally agree with you. There's a lot of mystery still to unravel here, which offsets the slightly alienating nature of the central character. There were, to be fair, some nice touches this episode. The fact that she's sewing her rabbit logo onto a new shirt while discussing Armed Librarian business with a subordinate was nice and quirky, but the giggling and reference to 'killing and butchering' directly afterwards took the character from 'quirky' to 'dangerously insane'.

Like I said, if there's more info on the character and we can understand why she acts like this, the chances are we'll be more sympathetic.

My fingers are crossed.

dunsany
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