In 2019, the freedom of speech and writing is severly suppressed by the "Media Improvement Law" and its executive "Media Improvement Committee". As the sole organization that can resist their censorship, libraries take arms to protect their books.
The overall framework of this novel is a love comedy and it has some military gun action spices and lots of political claims for the freedom of speech and writing.
The balance of the comedy and serious part is maintained well throughout the pages. Especially the straight forward and passionate character of Kasahara Iku makes the serious plot mild and funny.
The background setting where two public organizations keep on fighting with guns in the middle of the city sounds too eccentric, but I feel the plot close to real because the topics of discussions of this novel are taken from the up-to-date controversy. In the chapter 2, for example, the influence of the "inappropriate" books on the juvenile crimes is discussed.
This novel warns us that the censorship derived from "good intentions" is right next to us and it will be impossible to escape from it once it is established.
Compared to the last volume, the story is more intense and thrilling. The author tackled the problem of the discrimination against the handicapped. It's quite a delicate issue but he didn't show even a slight hesitation. He denounced the "Politically Correct" activists that they care about only the use of words itself and never pay attention to how the handicapped people actually feel about it. I'm deeply impressed by his opinion and braveness.
The situation of the censorship warfare is getting complicated. It is shown that the library organization is not monolithic and there are political tactics going on behind the curtain. There is no gun actions in this volume, but the strifes among the Task Forces, Media Improvement Committee and the secret association "Future Project" are sophisticated and exciting.
As for the love comedy, the story of Komaki and Marie is so sweet and touching. I sympathized with the contrast between the feelings of men and women in love.
I think the real Library War has started from this volume. I'm satisfied with the deep emotinal descriptions of characters and the complex political background.
It started with a blushing sweet love comedy and ended with a fierce gun battle. I couldn't stop reading until the end. In this volume, it is shown that Kasahara and Tezuka are getting matured. The chage of the relationship between Tezuka and Shibasaki was surprising and interesting.
The description of the battle in the Ibaraki modern art exhibition appeared a bit one-sided. I couldn't fully understand why Media Improvement Forces did such a reckless assault. Whole series lacked Media Improvement Committee side opinion. The author said he intentionally omitted it.
The political group "The Principle of Nonresistance" clearly refers to the recent activities of the extreme left-wing parties in Japan: the local ordinance of "The Unarmed and Nonresistant District". They claim that if Japan is invaded, they will refuse to let the Japan Self Defence Forces go in the district and surrender to the invading country. Those crazy pacifists believe it is the best way to avoid the bloodshed. It's an insane idea but there are quite a few people support this in Japan. I'm frightened at the terrible situation of the Ibaraki Libraries trampled by the Media Improvement Forces. It is a predicted future of Japan.
Like other volumes, "Toshokan Kiki" has all kinds of excitements: Intelligence operations, gun battles, funny comedy, and sweet romance. I'm sure you cannot help moving on to the next final volume "Toshokan Kakumei".
This is the final volume of the "Toshokan Sensou" series, and the BEST volume of all. The Library forces did their best to guard Touma, the novel writer, but they encountered a betrayal after betrayal and a crisis after crisis. Simultaneously with such thrilling operations, romances of Doujyou & Kasahara and Tezuka & Shibasaki have proceeded to the final stage. No other phrase fits to this story better than "Love & War", the subtitle of the Toshokan Sensou manga.
It's a good simulation of what will happen after a terrorist attack. The anger of the public can lead to anywhere because "to prevent the next terrorist attack" is gonna be a magic phrase for justifying any law. But we must keep it in mind that if we get flurried by the terrorist attack and change the principle of our society, that means we give in to terrorists.
The final battle (or rather kind of a car race) was exciting, funny and romantic. Kasahara did what a main character was supposed to do and made the desperate situation into a dramatic slapstick. It was a great entertainment and the marvelous grand finale of the "Toshokan Sensou" series.read more