Shiomi Academy, an elite high school, boasts a student body of 50,000 and is home to the Shiomi Daitoshokan (Great Library). It also has a famous urban legend: a mysterious figure called "The Shepherd", who appears before hard working students to grant them a wish.
Kyotaro Kakei is a second year of Shiomi Academy, and loves to read more than anything else. Other than when he's in class, his nose is pretty much always in a book in the Daitoshokan. His dream is to spread his love of reading through the Library Club.
One morning Kyotaro gets a strange email from 'The Shepherd' which tells him that something is going to happen to him which will change his fate. This triggers a sense of foreboding within him that causes him to rush back to the train platform and save another student, Tsugumi Shirasaki, from getting killed by a derailment. After a string of misunderstandings though, Kyotaro finds himself with three new members joining his library club while also becoming involved with Tsugumi's "Happy Project".
The questions remain though; what is Tsugumi's "Happy Project"? Who is this mysterious Shepherd who keeps sending them emails? The school year is about to get a whole lot more interesting for Kyotaro and his new friends.
The idea in which equating popularity to greatness is disappointingly common in our modern world. Many people will claim that 50 Shades of Gray is high quality literature and many others will consider Drake to be a great rapper. They are blinded by the delusion that something being popular automatically makes it good. Obviously those people have never looked further into the media that they claim to be an aficionado of and have never read Infinite Jest or listened to Yung Lean before. This leads to Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai, an unfortunately overlooked show in the Fall 2014 season. It did not stand out and the publicity was nearly nonexistent. However, if you were one of the people who decided to give the show a try, you were in for quite a treat. You would have experienced a coherent plot, enjoyable characters, entertaining drama, and an overall comfy feeling that viewers have not experienced since Non Non Biyori last Fall. The fact that people would rather discuss popular, yet mediocre shows is downright depressing. It brings back bad memories of last Summer when a terrible Adam Sandler movie beat out Pacific Rim in the box office for that weekend. Regardless, those of you who overlooked this show have a chance to redeem yourself if you change your ways and look to the less popular and more obscure things in life. Following that ideal will take lead you closer to the path of enlightenment.
The overall story for Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai was nothing extraordinary or groundbreaking. It compares to other typical club-type shows where you find both drama and comedy as the main ideas. A word that would describe the story would be “unoffensive”. It was rather soothing and made the viewer feel comfortable when watching it. The overall arching plot was a typical slice of life show with a bit of a supernatural twist added in, but that is once again typical for this genre of visual novel from which the show was adapted from. The story itself could have been more fleshed out, but that would not have been easily done with the time constraints of a 1 cour show. The pacing was also quite well done, it did not drag or feel boring at any time and gave the viewer a relaxed or comforting experience. The fact that the show was adapted from a visual and had such a comforting feel to it is rather unique. Many times visual novel adaptions are rather fanservice driven or focus mainly on the exciting action related parts of the game. That being said, Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai was not without fanservice (it had plenty), it just came off in a bit more subdued and enjoyable than the typical smut that you would expect to see. It did not feel out of place or forced into the story to sell more Blu Rays, it just had an overall natural feel due to how the story was told and how it was directed.
One aspect of this show that was rather interesting was the studio choice. Many people will remember Hoods Entertainment as a studio that did some of the most obscene fanservice shows that have aired on regular television. However, it seems that they have turned over a new leaf since their latest projects have not been lewd at all. It is a strange change of pace to go from doing Manyuu Hikenchou or Seikon no Qwaser which were over the top in terms of smut to the rather tame and pedestrian shows that they have done in recent history. Regardless, Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai was a rather pleasant show to look at. It featured a pastel color theme and the overall quality of the show was relatively high. Once again, the term that describes it best is “unoffensive”. That would also describe the sound for the show. The voice actors used were the same from the game which are commonly heard in visual novels. Experienced viewers will recognize a few voices, especially if they read visual novels. Regardless, the voice acting was well done and felt natural for the show. The OST and sound direction was also perfectly acceptable, it had that typical visual novel flair to it which fit the mood of the show perfectly. It definitely added to the comfortable feel that the show gave off.
In regards to characters, Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai did not feature anything special in particular. The cast was composed of rather cut and paste type characters with various back stories to give them some sort of depth. Obviously, the anime viewer would not see their full stories since it is not the original source material in which the reader would go through an entire route dedicated to all of the main characters, but it was easy to pick up on the various drama points and other traits from what was shown. However, what stood out for this show was the character interaction. That was top notch and it really felt like the characters had chemistry with each other. It was incredibly well done for this type of show and it really made it incredibly enjoyable to watch.
When looking at the complete package of Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai, it is hard to consider it to be anything but enjoyable. The fact that it was one of the least popular and overlooked shows for the Fall 2014 season is rather disappointing. However, that may be for the better. The discussion and subsequent translation project for the visual novel were in part done due to the smaller and tight knit community that enjoyed watching this show. Regardless, if you are looking for something enjoyable that you can sit back and relax to, Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai would be an excellent choice. It goes to show that it does not matter if something is relatively overlooked, it could end up being better than many high profile options. That being said, the moral of this review is look in unlikely places and you will find true hidden gems. Worshiping nothing but mainstream media is a terrible habit and you should try to think outside the box more often. Once you do, you can appreciate more things and even find enjoyable stories in unlikely places. Or in terms more suited to Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai, don't judge a book by its cover. read more
Initially, I'd written a review halfway through the show, now that I've completed it, here's an updated version.
Firstly, this is very much a slice of life show. If you're not a big fan of those, you may not want to watch this one. I enjoy slice of life, romance, comedy, fantasy, sci-fi, and other light-sided genre, so it appealed to me.
This show also incorporates a fantasy element - a magic library. I won't go into a lot of detail, so as not to ruin the story, but this library (while only briefly and periodically mentioned) is a theme that is important to every character in the show (but two, specifically). Your Main Character, Kakei, is seen having premonitions right from the get-go. He has this strange, but imperfected, ability - which he uses mostly to save people. The First girl he saves using it (Shirasaki) was distributing flyers to start a club with the unspecific goal of 'making people happy' at the time, and later invites him to join her and her friend. The club grows in size and popularity as the show continues, as does the back story and magic library information.
The characters are pretty fun to watch, their interactions are light-hearted and fluffy, but there are some tensions here and there between some of the side characters and the main characters. There is also the typical 'harem-style' anime theme of 'who does the MC really love?!' going on between the main female characters. The show doesn't have any naughty bits exposed, but there are some brief nudity scenes and some suggestive humor, but it is mostly a clean, happy romantic-style slice of life with little drama. Perfectly suited for sitting back on the couch or bed and relax while watching. You don't have to think too hard to follow the story.read more
everything about this anime was fine, just fine. the story was fine, the characters were fine, the art was fine. truly mediocre and the genre of this mediocre anime is school/harem/magic/slice of life.
story: kakei(the main character) reads books to not be scared of anything and his goal is to find the magic library. sounds somewhat interesting. nope it is not.
art: average just average.
characters: typical harem.....their looks are average. also the MC is boring.
enjoyment: average. i know i used that word a lot, but it perfectly describes this anime. never really laughed hard or smiled much or thought i cant wait till next episode.
Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai is a comedic slice of life anime that has hints of drama, romance and even supernatural/fantasy elements. Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai's strong points are the comedy and character interactions along with fantasy/supernatural factor that keeps the show a bit interesting. Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai's weak points are the lack of supporting cast along with slice of life moments that are slow paced as well as not that engaging, which lead no where.
The story is pretty decent and straightforward, while having no major plot twists. Meaning you don't have to be a genius to figure this shit out. The story takes place at Shiomi Academy. A high school where our main book-tagonist (I can do that right?), Kakei enrolls at. His ordinary and boring life suddenly changes after a strange event leads him to save a girl from possible tragedy. Eventually, one comedic misunderstanding and anime voodoo leads to another and suddenly, our little lonely bookworm is packing with multiple girls in the Library club. After that point, the story takes off and progresses on. First impressions may leave the viewer somewhat confused, but wanting to see the mystery behind the "shepherd". The characters that meet up are at least engaging at first. However, that's all you get out of them really. This show is a bit of a slow starter. However, the pace picks up as the story progresses. The series starts off as a comedic slice of life, with not to much happening in terms of story progression, other than some filler character back stories that adds nothing to the plot. Once all that is finally done, the plot starts to unravel and so does the harem-like romance that follows. It's pretty much a harem with a fantasy twist. Nothing more going for it really. To be fair though, once the story becomes more serious, it does get more interesting.
Now the characters. I'm going to be honest, the character cast in this anime overall is not good. This show lacks a meaningful supporting cast, along with the main cast of characters that ranges from generic to average. The main protagonist Kakei is a dedicated bookworm that prefers to be alone in SILENCE while reading his books, mmmkay. So please be quiet around him. Thanks! Other than also liking to help people, he has got nothing really that's engaging to watch. However, he does help drive the plot a bit as most of the story driven part of the anime revolves around him. So, he isn't useless at least. The only other character that I consider a main character is Nagi. She is the better of the other girl characters, but mainly due to the fact that she plays a big role in the story. Now all the other "main" characters are more like side characters. They all just happen to be in the same club, while all having back stories that become filler the moment the anime shifts focus to a more serious harem-romance story driven plot. They're just there to provide some filler and some comedy and add nothing relevant to the story. To be fair, despite the characters being nothing more than Futakoi wannabes, they are suitable for their comedic roles. Yep. They are indeed.
Overall, a pretty weak sauce cast of characters that are not engaging and forgettable (literally). These characters are pretty fun to watch when they're in comedic roles. Anything else, like being engaging enough for serious moments, and they're more bland than a week old dried up turd-finks. Basically s***.
The art and animation is pretty bland to be honest. The art, in my opinion, at least suits the comedic slice of life atmosphere at the start of the show. However, beyond that, the art and animation is pretty generic and bland. I don't know, I guess if you like brightness and colors, with some dark ambiance at certain times, then you'll find the art to be your fancy. One thing though, I swear most of the females have like the same face and Kakei almost looks like a zombie in a high school uniform. Personally, I prefer my zombies to be cross dressed in pink girly outfits with pretty roses and bows. Anyways...
As a person that loves slice of life, with good comedy, engaging characters, and good story, I would say I moderately enjoyed this series. The slice of life moments at the beginning were not all that good. When doing slice of life, it's best when the character cast is engaging and what they are doing is at least interesting. However, neither of that really exists in this anime. That is one of the big reasons the score gets lowered with this anime, for me mind you. The scenes with comedy and general awkwardness between the characters is what made this somewhat interesting at the first half. As they moved towards a more story driven second half, it also picks up a bit of interest. However, after the first little minor plot twist between Kakei and another main character, the rest of the story gets kind of predictable, which also lowered my enjoyment just a tad. I would call this an average anime that has some alright moments in it. Also, I haven't touched on the drama moments yet. The drama in this series didn't seem to have an impact on me. It's not that the drama isn't good. The drama element, like all the other elements, is either rushed over, or basically filler, thus making it kind of hard to get invested in the serious moments.
As someone that enjoys all the genres this anime has, I would not recommend this anime. Even if you really like school harem comedic romances and just wanted nothing more than that, I still wouldn't recommend it. In my opinion, to get the maximum enjoyment from this anime, you may have to lower your expectations going into it. Although there are quite a few elements going on, none of them are done well, except for maybe the comedy. Despite everything going on, this anime ultimately ends all harem-like, even though it may not be obvious So basically, don't expect too much from the story side of things because of that. If you can get past the fact that the character cast is weak, while liking the comedy and story aspect, you should be alright with this.
Alright in conclusion, if you are someone who likes a fun, comedic slice of life anime, with some drama, harem-like romance, and fantasy/supernatural elements, this is a show you may enjoy. If you are someone who prefers a good cast of characters with a meaningful story or serious romance, you might want to avoid this one. All in all, this is a comedic anime, that fails to execute a good cast of characters, along with slice of life moments, with a story that becomes somewhat serious, but really isn't that engaging. It would have been better if the anime focused on a couple of elements and did them well. Rather than a half dozen elements that they end up just breezing through anyway.
If you decide to watch this anime for any reason, whether it be the story, characters, or the harem romance hilarity, I'm sure there's a good chance that you'll be disappointed by this. This anime is a gamble. To you, it will either be disappointing, not quite what you are looking for, or an under-rated gem. It's your choice. Whatever you decide, I hope you don't regret it...
Final Score - 14/30 = 4.67
Now, if you have watched and like this anime, I would recommend Ushinawareta Mirai wo Motomete. This anime is pretty much the same thing just with a different story and characters. This anime is available for legal streaming over on funimation.com
Also, If you are looking for something that is more harem and comedy focused, then I would recommend Noucome. This anime is available for legal streaming over on crunchyroll.comread more