Toshokan Sensou (or The Library Wars), is another one of those odd anime that I seem to end up reviewing. The show has a nice premise which is reminiscent of Orwell's 1984 and Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 all rolled into one.
The anime is based on a series of four light novels by Arikawa Hiro (entitled Toshokan Sensou, Nairan, Kiki, and Kakumei respectively), which were published from 2006 to 2007. The novels were later serialized in two mangas. The first manga was made by Yumi Kiiro, and published in Lala magazine from September 2007. The second was made by Furudori Yayoi, and was published Dengeki Daioh magazine
from November 2007. The twelve episode anime was made by Production IG, and released in April 2008 on Fuji TV's Noitamina (which is animation written backwards) timeslot.
The basic plot for the novels is based on the "Statement of Intellectual Freedom in Libraries" that went into effect in Japan in 1954. The story is set 30 years after Japan passed the Media Enhancement Act in 1989, a law which effectively gave control of all published material to the government. The law was passed in an effort to censor any media that could be deemed as hazardous to Japanese society, but 30 years later blanket censorships, book burnings, and a culture of fear and exclusion have become the norm for society, as Media Enforcement troops are everywhere.
Because of this, and because of a tragedy that occured 20 years prior to the beginning of the story, the libraries now have their own defense forces, and the main character, Kasahara Iku, joins the Kanto Library Defense Force as she was saved by a member of the that team some years back. The show follows her struggle to become a good librarian and a good member of the defense team.
The art style is very much hit and miss. Although the characters are nicely designed Production IG have adopted a style that has quite noticeable black borders around characters and objects. This give the show a far more "cartoony" feel than it should possibly have, especially during the dramatic moments. This "cartoony" feel can be off putting to some people, whilst others may be oblivious to it.
The backgrounds and settings are well designed, but overall they aren't anything special. The animation itself is usually quite smooth and flowing, although there are some glaring faults (the scene in episode 11 with a van crashing through a barrier made from two buses and receiving no damage is a prime example).
The sound is okay overall. The OP is nice, if unmemorable, as is the ED. The VA's are quite good overall. Inoue Marina plays the role of Iku very well, and her voice suits the design of the character. The same goes for the rest of the VA's with their resepctive characters. The sound effects are pretty good throughout the show. Most of these are used in the more dramatic or action filled moments to good effect.
The characters weren't bad on the whole. Iku is a nice enough lead on the whole, although I found it a little off putting that she is a stereotypical "jock" (i.e. all muscle and no brain). She is determined and caring, but coupled with that is a short temper, reckless behaviour, a dislike of serious study and classrooms, and a endency to overreact. This can make her character confusing as it's sometimes unclear how the show is trying to develop her.
The other characters (Doujo Atsushi, Shibasaki Asako, Tezuka Hikaru, etc), receive very little development throughout the course of the show, especially given the fact that the show is about Iku. This makes the show unbalanced as, although we are clear about what drives Iku, we are rarely shown any of the other chaacters' motivations.
Here's the reason why I said this show is a bit odd. It never seems to settle on being one thing as it has drama, action, suspense, comedy, and even romance all mixed into it. he unfortunate thing though, is that it never quite pulls of the comedy, the romance is a little on the limp side, the drama is sometimes hammed up, and the suspense is normally easy to work out. Couple this with the cartoon style art and the show is difficult to take seriously.
However, the show is enjoyable on the whole, especially if you don't treat it as a serious anime. It's effectively a coming of age story and as such it actually works on quite a few levels.
Toshokan Sensou isn't a bad show on the whole. Yes, there are some obvious failings in the show, but it is still rather enjoyable in a no-brain kind of way. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who wants a serious show, or to anyone who wants a comedy. Although the basic premise is a serious one, the show works better as a straightforward action anime, and as such it's not a bad way to waste half an hour (hence my overall score of 7).
If you're going to watch the show then don't have any expectations of high drama, challenging concepts, or any kind of socio-political message. It doesn't require any introspection or deep philosophical ponderings, and the best advice is to watch it in the same way you'd watch Die Hard, Rush Hour, or any other action movie.
I just happened to hear about this anime by chance from another website. The premise was interesting so I decided to give it a try and was totally amazed. The storyline, characters, artwork, and sound are engrossing and completely draw you in. While the characters themselves may not be completely unique, their interactions with one another and the realistic emotional outbursts are i think rare among most anime.
Most people don't really mention this but I also consider this a full romance. The relationship between the main characters develops more naturally over time. They are not sappy or fake but there was a lovely tenderness
and protectiveness towards one another that was great and heartfelt. And in this anime you definitely get a somewhat satisfying ending vs. most animes that leave things very open ended. I am hoping hoping for a second season because my only complaint would be that this anime was way to short.
The storyline is smart with strong sociological undertones. The advantage is you can choose to really ignore the important issues if you want to you. You can enjoy the action, comedy and romance alone or you can also appreciate the underlying message and concept. Either way, I don't believe it will diminish your enjoyment of the show.
So overall witty and lovable characters, great story, nice artwork.. this is now one of my top fav. animes of all time.
I tried really hard to hate this anime. I watched the first episode and I was absolutely geared up to hate the whole thing and bring all my negative emotional baggage down on it.
I failed. I fell in love with this anime.
It deals with a war very unlike Western wars, and with laws very unlike Western laws. In the real world war is incredibly lawless and ugly, and law enforcement is terrible. But this anime deals with an extremely civilized war with very strict rules of engagement, very limited weapons, and scrupulous regard for human life, so it's not like watching
documentary footage of real wars. The war is also in effect a limited civil war, so it's not like any war story I can recall ever having seen before.
This anime is short but extremely complete. The visuals are gorgeous. The character development, plot, and pacing are very well-balanced. It packs a huge amount of energy into a very concentrated package.
Obscure trivia note:The main character of Mahou Shoujo Tai Arusu was played by Kojima Sachiko, but for whatever reason, I keep thinking that she sounds exactly like Inoue Marina playing the main character of Toshokan Sensou.
This was probably one of the best decision to watch back in 2008.
The story is about a special trained military force for the "Library", to protect good, fun and important books. It sounds intresting, but not good enough.
The characters and the art help you through the series, in which the story develops nicely. The characters are done great, their backgrounds, relations and personalities, they really look like humans which just got animated, through their personalities that is.
The art is okay, sometimes they could've drawn more realistic, some female characters look too much on their male co-characters. But that's probably meant to be that way,
since, when you get to know a softer side, you get to see how beautiful she actually is.
But all-in-all, Toshokan Sensou (Library War) is an highly enjoyable anime if you like intresting story's, good/realistic art and romance or humor. Every aspect is worked in it, and of course, don't forget the action that happens once in a while
I really enjoyed the series, although I don't think it can be recommended to everyone. The idea, although not unique, is handled in a very special way. It's a combination of slice of life and romance, with a few action and comedy moments.
The main idea, - of two factions fighting and having legal permission to do so, - does seem a bit unrealistic. The pacing is really slow in the beginning. I had to wait for 4 episodes to finally get invested in the characters and the overall plot. But the rest of the series, including the movie, were worth it.
Characters are just great, in
my opinion. To some they may appear average, but let's be honest: real people are like that too. And we see a lot of positive development which is very inspiring. At least it was to me. Of course, primarily it goes for Kasahara (the protagonist), but I also liked the fact that Dojo had to go through similar experience. Other characters are also interesting. My favourites are: Komaki, Orikuchi, Inamine and Kasahara's Dad.
Animation is good for it's time and it doesn't really bother me in most cases. I like to focus on the plot and characters: and as I've said, they were nice.
I never really noticed the music which is definitely not bad. But since nothing really stood out to me I'd say it's ok. The same goes for the opening and ending themes.
On the whole, it was an enjoyable experience for me. The series manages to find the balance between the dark themes and the comedy moments. This adds tension to the story but keeps it light-hearted. If you're looking for something not too serious and you liked the premise: this might be the series for you.
To really enjoy this series, there are two hurdles that must be passed:
1. Disbelief of the fact that these people are fighting to the death over books
2. The extremely dull and lifeless opening
With that small disclaimer aside, Toshokan Sensou is an anime series that follows the beaten path in many regards, but does it so well that the lack of originality can be forgiven. Nothing is done here that hasn't been done before, and not every single element works, but it's certainly satisfactory as a brisk watch. Some series try to wow with deep drama, complex plots, and dizzying relationship webs. Others opt for
the simpler route of entertaining action, linear plots, and a few interesting characters mixed with good humor to spice things up. Toshokan Sensou borrows a lot from the second category.
The synopsis is simple enough, while still being somewhat fascinatingt: In the not so distant future, the Japanese government has crippled the people's right to freedom of speech to prevent the spread of misinformation. To aid them in this unpopular task, the Media Enhancement Committee has been founded and enforces the government's ruling with little mercy.
However, at the same time, the libraries were given the right to be militarized bastions of knowledge, where people can read whatever they want whenever they like. The libraries are tasked with keeping books away from the Media Enhancement Committee, sometimes resulting in open warfare between the two factions. It's a curiously dystopian setting, but it never feels hopeless or deprived, which is both a strength and a weakness for the series.
And this is where Iku Kasahara, the main character, enters. The story follows her rise through the ranks of the Library Task Force and her increasingly tense relationship with her commanding officer, Lieutenant Dojo... all the while keeping it a secret from her protective and conservative parents.
The characters, again nothing unique, are nonetheless well rounded and diverse enough to hold interest. Kasahara does well showing the burden of being the first female in the Task Force, as well as being in the Task Force in general. While she may be annoying at times with her overreactions, she's nonetheless realistic enough to let that slide.
The others do well enough at sticking to their post, some even standing out long after the series is over, the GAR captain being a notable example.
Animation and music are, unfortunately, nothing worth writing home about. It's all very solid, and I had no complaints, but nothing was done well enough to warrant much of a mention.
While the character interactions are satisfactory and occasionally compelling, the combat lacks some of that spark due to the very Capture the Flag-ish feel to it. It's engrossing to a degree, right up until you remember that they're fighting over books, and only for that purpose. There's no true animosity between the Media Enhancement Committee and the Library Task Force, it's all just part of the job for both. The constant shifting between the conflict and Kasahara's personal life can be jarring at times.
While a little character development is good for a primarily action series, it feels awkward and rushed in some places, obviously to cram as much of the material in the light novels in as possible. This is further sadly enforced by a small glimpse into the inner workings of the Media Enhancement Committee, which doesn't completely fulfill its intention of making them look slightly more sympathetic as punch clock villains.
Again, Toshokan Sensou is a series where people are willing to fight to the death for books. If this premise seems too ridiculous for you, you might not take the well executed combat or plot devices seriously, and thus will cease to enjoy this. Other than that, there's hardly any objectionable content. Good guys win, bad guys lose, characters develop with a little comedy thrown in, dystopian doesn't necessarily equal horrible conditions... nothing that will offend.
I certainly recommend Toshokan Sensou. It may not be perfect or particularly original, but it succeeds very well. If it had a little more focus and a slightly less silly premise, it would be a truly excellent series. A second series would've definitely been beneficial for it. So while it isn't groundbreaking, it does what it does well... if a little schizophrenically.
I enjoyed it, and I see no reason why anybody who can get past the fact that they're fighting over books wouldn't. Pretty fun for such a short little series.
Toshokan Sensou is one of my very favorite series. The only thing that bothered me about it was that it was too good for only 12 episodes. I really wanted more.
The story is interesting. Though not something genuinely unheard of, the way it portrays the humanity and realness of the events has turned it into something great. I found it realistic, funny, but sad also at times. What proved to me that it was a great series were the funny moments between the characters. Especially Doujo and Kasahara were just too amazing.
I also liked that it had a very nice and sweet romance fragrance embedded
which started off with admiration and devotion.
I watched it twice until now... which says something. Usually, I don't watch things twice. I really enjoyed this show and hope that through a miracle, I will see more than just that DVD special. I would really like a second season though I think I'm expecting too much. The only thing I'm a little sad about is that they kinda rushed the ending. Plus, I wanted to see a kiss. *sniff
I just came across Toshokan Sensou by browsing through some animé lists here. I'm not Japanese, nor am I knowledgeable in the language, so I didn't really know what "Toshokan Sensou" meant until I read the translations: "Library War."
My initial reaction was "...what?" simply because it's a combination of two words you'd least expect to be together in a sentence, never mind a title. I also saw it was tagged as a romance animé, and I'm a sucker for shows with a little bit of romance (think of Ed and Winry's scenes amidst all the twists and turns of the Brotherhood storyline) Then again, here
it was, and I thought it looked promising, so I gave it a shot. It surprised me by introducing a completely unique setting, plot and characters. It wasn't as stellar as other war or military--related shows (Code Geass, etc.) but it's still an interesting watch.
To be honest, this is really the most unique show I've seen so far story-wise. It kicks off by giving us the heads-up on what's going on: media censorship is rampant in a fictional era in Japan, and the government is divided into pro-censorship and anti-censorship. Our characters belong to the anti-censorships, who chose to stand their ground and protect the rights of people for information and the freedom of expression. The show does well in exposing social issues regarding the media, which the show clearly focuses on.
The soldiers and the guns were pretty much standard for me; what surprised me is that these trained soldiers also perform library duties. Yeah, you heard right: they're majors in military science and library science. (I meant that figuratively and literally too)
Basically, it's people protecting sources of information armed forces-style. This setting alone already got me interested. Sadly, Toshokan Sensou has a major flaw: it takes awfully long for the story to be progressive enough to catch attention. I wouldn't have minded if they progressed the story a bit while introducing characters and explaining them, but the writers probably decided it was better to just give us some pseudo-filler episodes first. The first episodes were just some slice-of-life-style stories about the main character, Kasahara Iku, and her daily encounters with her friends and instructors. This stopped me from giving the story part a perfect 10.
I'll be honest: I didn't think their style was suitable for telling the story, at least in the comedic parts. The writers give us some funny moments that might give its viewers a good chuckle or two--I guess it was to keep things fresh--but they show it as if we'd be on the floor crying out of sheer laughter. I think that chibi-style drawings for comedic scenes aren't fit for a military-themed show (about libraries), though that's just my opinion. I do commed them for their character designs, though. They don't stand out, but at least they're not that bad.
Sound was... barely there. I didn't notice any good background music, but the ones that I did notice were at least chosen well; they really were suited for infiltration, rescue operation, and battlezones.
I was expecting some character development, being a part-romance show and all. I at least got what I expected, though not as stellar as I wished it would be. We're introduced to the aforementioned Kasahara Iku and Doujou Atsushi, her instructor. The rest of the characters follow suit, but I would really like to focus on these two, since they comprise the 95% of the romance this show claims to have. Kasahara is your usual sporty-girl type, just a little bit more knowledgeable in crossfires and VIP protection. Doujou is a strict instructor with a hidden soft side (does "tsundere" even apply to him?).
They weren't characters as excellent as some other famous ones we know of, but the show managed to make the ending meaningful, which involves these two. I mentioned that the story picks up slowly (I was actually close to dropping this once) but the ending more than makes up for it. I really am a sucker for romances, huh.
Overall, Toshokan Sensou is an interesting watch that deserves your time--and needs it. If you're willing to watch the show 'till the ending, you'll see that it was also somehow worth it. Like I said, it isn't stellar, but it isn't bad either. I recommend this for those who have a lot of time and patience on their hands. An excellent backstory and fine characters make up an interesting package called Toshokan Sensou.
This anime is quite unique, but not bad my any stretch. The storyline is most likely to most unique thing about it, followed by the characters. The art and sound are pretty typical.
Story: Something that could definitely happen in America, probably already started happening, but on a much more technological level. The seizing of Historical documents that portray the government unfavorably, because if you don't know your history, it's bound to repeat itself? Yes. A government military is created to hopefully stop this
Art: Pretty Typical, much like Nodame Cantabile, or Lovely Complex,
not incredibly round eyes or flashy colors, but enough to get the story across.
Sound: Decent. All there is to say.
Character: Characters exceed above all. The character, the main being...a tomboy? Eh, not not that. Much more depth then just "Tomboy." Not meta, not loud, a tombboy that truly just doesn't even know they are one. Then, of course we have what we are lead to believe is the love interest, but not much happens with it, I would have liked for more to have happens, but eh..
The ONE downside this anime had was that it was SO incredibly short, leaving no room for closure. I would LOVE to see at least another 12 episodes.
If it simply had 2 more episodes, room for closure it would have made a 10, in my book.
【 The following is a review of : Toshokan Sensou and Toshokan Sensou: Kakumei no Tsubasa 】
Toshokan Sensou, or Library Wars, it's English name on Crunchyroll, is beautiful monotony. As many of you already know, Production I.G. is known for animating very pretty things.
• I.G. collaborated with GAINAX for the End of Evangelion and other very successful projects. You may be thinking, well duh, Luna. Get to the point! The point is: The actual director of this series, Takayuki Hamana, apart from the studio, hasn't worked on much.
• This isn't always something that ruins a series. I mean, he did direct Beast Player
Erin… which was a very concrete world-building series, but dry on all other aspects, like on character building.
• Library Wars suffers from the same issues, where the technical aspects are solid, but the characters, aside from the main two, don't get enough screen time. Even though there is a sweet romance between Iku and Atsushi.
• I got bored of the same interactions of Iku being like, "Hey, I'm the loud, stubborn, impulsive tomboy." And Atsushi responding with the atypical grumpy, male tsundere attitude. Often, having the habit of telling Iku that she's a monkey or that she looks better than usual, grumble grumble.
• If a guy treated me like that in real life, I would for-sure dump him! ANYWAY, it was neat how the series was a callback to Orwell's 1989 and Bradbury's Fahrenheit with the media banning clause, issued by an oppressive government, but the show doesn't seem to know if it wants to be a childrens’ show or something for adults.
• The characters use REAL guns in their war against the book burning faction, but no one actually dies. There's no mention of the government even taking serious action against the book-preserving faction EVEN AT THE CLIMAX at the end of the fucking sequel movie: Kakumei no Tsubasa, nor does any of the implied concerns ever escalate in the series.
• I mean, c'mon, even the infamously goofy Gundam SEED took itself more seriously with politics and there were protesters getting shot and killed by police because they didn't want genetically enhanced humans.
• How am I supposed to take this (supposed) war against ideals seriously when the random people who are interviewed on the street in the Library Wars TV Series seem like they don't care about the armed feud between these people and the government?
• Uh, people are shooting guns at each other over book censoring, I guess I'm okay with it. I mean, I could understand if the people we're being silenced by the government, but the show makes no indication of this AT ALL!
• One character gets shot thirty-two times and is still walking in the next episode, and of course when a character goes into a coma out of shock, they wake up! There is no realism and severity in this series, at least make a background character dieーfor christ sake!
• I felt like I was watching a survival game or paintball match with how placid the atmosphere is, and it doesn't help that at the end of the movie, the law is changed so that the two factions can now only fight each other with… rubber bullets? What?
• Girls und Panzer, which had girls in middle school sparring seriously in a tank equivalent of LARPING: got more real! Miho in Girls und Panzer even has PTSD from a tank match with her sister.
• The matter of war being treated more like a game and the romcom aspect sticking out, made it impossible for me to take it seriously. If you like really nice animation, then it's definitely worth a watch but I felt the the beautiful visuals were wasted on a vapid, wishy-washy story that didn't know what it wanted to be, other than military fetishism. I give Library Wars a 5/10 and hope that Takayuki Hamana does better with the Lyrical Nanoha films.
Story: The premise of the story is really strange when you first read the summary. Libraries in the year 2019 have become militarized battle zones between the pro censorship group / against censorship group. You may first think this is really unrealistic but in the 21st century censorship is still a big problem around the globe. Books/movies/and other forms of media are deliberately censored/ blacklisted by governments. Aside from that the show is a cliched romantic comedy. Since it is a 12 episode series it felt kinda rushed as well but it is expected. If you think about it, this series would most likely
be banned in many countries lol. Armed resistance against censorship.......... not very far from reality.
Art: I loved the chibi artwork. It was very cute xP. Although the animation wasn't stellar I personally liked it.
Sound: I loved the opening and the ending isn't bad either.
Character: Cliched characters but effective. Iku Kasahara, the female protagonist, is a hotheaded girl that usually acts rashly on emotion and her beliefs rather than considering the consequences first. Atsushi Dojo ,her superior, and the main male protagonist is very protective of Kasahara and shows this through tough instruction and reprimand because he sees his old self in her. They soon find out that they are very like each other. The interactions between the characters are very heart warming and cute at times (because I'm a sucker for romance ;) )
Enjoyment: I was looking for a decent anime to watch since I ran out of things to watch during the break. Despite the average marks I gave I personally enjoyed the series.
Overall: Short, sweet and not too bad of a series. If you don't mind the cliched romance/comedy this is a great watch.
STOP CENSORSHIP AROUND THE WORLD AND STOP SOPA!!!!!!!!!!
Toshokon Sensou is a show about a war that takes place in the future between an army that enforces censorship on all forms of media and a force who ensure the safety of all books and media by creating a special task force to keep them safe.
The show follows Kasahara Iku as she joins this Task Force, you will see her in her happiest times and her struggles with various people as well as finding love.
Some people might not like the art because it does use a thicker black border but personally i like it and it added nicely, the characters were all designed well,
the hairstyles and facial expressions were nice (i particulary liked Tezuka's (the younger brothers) character) The backgrounds are not anything brilliant but they fit nicely and are pleasing.
The animation is smooth though i noticed gunfire hitting cars and vans in certain scenes seemed repeated.
Kasahara Iku is the protagonist of the show and the only character to really get any development, she joins the Library bevause of a 'Prince' from her past saved her, (how many time have i seen this before?) you can see her really grow from a below par recruit to a full fledged member of the squad. The other characters are all fun and get there moments, we only see a bit about Doujou when other charaters comment how similiar he is to Iku, Tezuka has the conflict with his brother and then there is Shibasaki who is a really good friend to Iku and helped herout numorous times, everyone else was nice and all had different personalities.
The sound is pretty good, the opening is a really nice song and the ending is ok. The Seiyu's all performed there roles well and each actor fit there character, the background music was ok i noticed some techno/syth as well as some piano styles.
This show has multiple genres and mixes them at different points, there's comedy, especially when Doujou tries to be nice, but the comedy never fully takes off and probably won't have you in stitches at any point, the drama is small and again never fully takes effect, there's also romance, this was my favorite part as the characters grew you can really see the romance blooming and the ending is really sweet. Oh and there's a whole tonne of action thrown in there.
Toshokan Sensou is a fun enjoyable show that isn't too serious and will be enjoyed by a wide audience.
Hello Everyone! If you are a little sick and tired of the regular run-of-the-mill, clichéd anime shows out there, then boy do I have a gem of an anime to recommend to you guys! Toshokan Sensou or Library Wars is the perfect solution to break up that anime monotony. It's an intelligently written, 12 episode series that's got a small cast so you don’t have to wrack your brains trying to remember 42 million characters. It's got comedy, action, romance and even some political intrigue! It's done by Studio IG, the same people who animated the Ghost in the Shell series. So visually it's very
nice, I recommend watching it in HD if you can. Eventho it's about a war don't expect heavy duty blood and gore, like I said this show is more comedy and romance with it's moments of high action and gunfire...and the best part is the story is original, which is what Japanese anime [on the whole] does best!
I think the art is amazing in this short series, many times I found myself rewinding and looking at stuff and going “WOW!” Everything looked clean and very crisp and a lot of detail was given to many inanimate objects that lent credibility to the setting, for example, the appearance of the books and magazines in the book stores or library. A lot of consideration went into them having their own unique cover art designs and typeface...they didn't just make books a generic colour or they all had the same font. I dunno if it's because I watched in HD but I was so very impressed by just how detailed everything looked!! Especially in episode 6: the trains, the bridge and the underpass, the breath coming fron their mouths as they're speaking, and so on.
There's also brilliant uses of lighting and shadow, angles and perspective, from wide shots to close-knit and cramped that really made you feel like you were a part of the action and emphasized dramatic moments. Personally I liked the thick ink lines around the characters, they were a pretty good marker about how tense or how comedic a scene was, and the more comedic or stronger the emotions were, the thicker the lines got which is way better than constantly going into CHIBI-MODE. The animation was smooth, top of the line stuff! Back to episode 6 again and the way the "camera" view bounced as Iku and Mikihisa [and us the viewers as well] were looking out the rear window at the pursuing car. Little details like that impress me but then I expected no less from Studio IG.
The sound was pretty standard to me. Nothing was terrible but nothing evoked any type of strong feeling from me. I watched the show in Japanese and so naturally I expect nothing to go wrong with it but since I don't speak Japanese...who can say? The OP and ED themes are pretty much your standard guitar pop songs you hear in most shonen anime.
Another BIG selling point for me is the story! I love, loVE, LOVE an original story!!! No, wars are not original per se, but this one is because it's a civil war about books! I don't know much about the Japanese political system, but I guess it would be something akin to the “Federal” government putting a ban on books and being able to barge in and confiscate mass quantities of printed works regardless of whether they had educational or literary value or not. However due to a tragic event at one library where 12 people were killed, the government on the “State” or city level felt they could no longer tolerate things as they are and so they've armed their libraries in defence of "federal" intrusion...at least that's how I'm able to process it.
Library War isn't totally about this, it's about this one girl Iku Kasahara and her desire to defend these book stores and libraries and fight censorship, which connects squarely with the activist within me. But it isn't all heavy doom-and-gloom stuff, this is actually a funny series that reminds me very much of PlanetES, the way it kind of mixes the humour with the tenser moments. I know for some people it might not make sense for there to be war, combat, romance and comedy...but really this isn't new to anime for example Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo both have mixed fighting and tense moments with comedy. Full Metal Panic had romance amid all the gunfire and bloodshed....and a whole bunch of comedy!! So there should be no reason why a person can't process this anime in the same way.
From what I understand, this anime is based off of a series of novels and as an avid reader myself, I can tell you nothing surpasses the level of depth and details a book can provide. Yet this anime does give it a good try though by capturing a lot of what the protagonist, Iku, was thinking and feeling. You will laugh at the funny parts and be anxious at the serious parts and that's what a good story is supposed to have you do.
I do feel that there wasn't enough time to tell the whole story and some elements were either left open-ended or unexplored....and I do have to take points off of that, but overall this was an original and intelligent story and the anime captures that well.
With only 12 episodes [and a special OVA] to work with, there really wasn't a lot of room for character development for each and every character in the series. A lot of it was dedicated to the central character, Iku Kasahara, a somewhat earnest and idealistic young lady who possesses a strong sense of justice and vehemently opposes censorship [well at least as far as books are concerned]. She starts out with very romantic notions of how the war against censorship was being fought, that all she had to do was flash a badge and people will back off and respect her. We learn along with her that there is way more to it than that, that the battles against censorship are quite literally battles and sometimes your life is at stake. This to me makes her character and the story itself very interesting since this isn't about some hotshot know-it-all, there is some actual self-discovery involved.
We also learn that there's a lot more to Mr. Cool-Calm & Perfect, Hikaru Tezuka, who does give Iku a hard time in the beginning but all isn't as it seems [I won't go into it beyond that] and he does eventually warm up to Iku.
Instructor Dojo is probably my favourite character maybe because he starts out very angry and hostile but then you realise that most of it is really superficial, that he really is nice and that he really cares for Iku. He's short which I found very funny because his voice [and his stern face] makes him seem so much larger than his actual height. Also because of the way he's drawn, his frame being thicker than Iku and his waist being lower than hers. He was pretty much drawn with the same head size and upper body proportion as Hikaru and Mikihisa but his waist fell below the screen border which gave the appearance like maybe he was walking around on his knees or something. But I guess that it was meant to be ironic that he was that short.
Overall each character, no matter how small the role, had some sort of depth or at the very least some credibility to them; from the good natured, always smiling Mikihisa to the beautiful and very intelligent Asako. There was not a character I didn't like, not even Satoshi, but I do think we weren't given the opportunity to like or dislike Satoshi because that character wasn't explored enough...I really do wish this was a 26 episode anime.
Without a doubt this should have had a second season and gone up to 26 or even 52 episodes! This type of inventive anime is now a dying breed and a must see for those of us that appreciate original and creative stories. I do think the ending was somewhat rushed with some loose ends still hanging, nonetheless I was still impressed by the lovely art and animation and the originality and intelligence of the story.
Library War is an enticing anime of how people fight for their rights of freedom to read, watch and so on. It is an amazing display of how one must fight to obtain what they want?! The main character starts off at the low-level as a trainee then little by little she gains experience, love and encouragement!? You will fall in love with the anime as it has a good amount of comedy even though it is not that much and the amount of romance is all under but you will realize how one needs to protect themselves to achieve what they deserve.
character (the girl) is a perfect role model for women to intercept in the man's world!? I think some women will understand where i am coming from!?
The art is good, the character development is very well paced for this anime as it is not that long!?
I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed it!?
Have a nice day and I hope you find my review helpful!? Thank you
Usually my reviews are a catalog of what I didn’t like in a series but, I don’t think I can love this anime more. First of all there’s none of the bad anime cliches I’ve grown to loathe over the years in it. Sure Iku Kasahara does her fair share of yelling about what’s right and just in this world, but most of the time that’s shut down by the other characters who remind her (and us the viewer) that the real world is more shades of grey than black or white. It’s not outrageous cyber punk nor is it rife with needless fanservice. It
features characters that feel real with real world problems and emotions. It has action, comedy, heart and tense drama in a perfect blend. It’s like the perfect anime. And the characters are adults with realistic character designs, something of a rarity these days. But the real reason I loved this series so much is I loathe censorship. I find it has no real place in a civilized free society other than to stifle free thought and discourage ideals the government fears. If this bollocks really occurred I’d be among the first to sign up for the Library Force. Even in this series the criteria for what is and isn’t to be censored is vague and arbitrary. One person doesn’t like it so no one can ever see it again. This struck a personal chord with me for all the right reasons. I have no complaints to mention here. The only reason I'm not giving it a ten is the lack of rewatch factor. It’s short at only 13 episodes, features a strong(?) female lead who isn’t objectified. It’s the kind of anime you should offer as a gateway anime to those looking to explore the genre. So watch it if you love freedom, watch it if you love anime, watch it if you're tired of cliched anime, watch it if you’re a human being.
I'm a bit lazy so I'm also doing this on behalf of the animated movie into this review, I know that's probably a bad idea or a wrong style but laziness. This was also the start of my admiration of Tomoaki Maeno when I had no idea who he was, the voice actor of our Doujou.
Story, I don't even remember or know how I gave this a try but I do remember the fact that this wasn't my usual style, especially with army/military theme or cliche. I was able to broaden up my taste of theme even more. Book burning, restriction, censoring, librarians defending back,
media influence, by being a bit of a book/manga person I am, this cliche hit me right in the spot. Setting is realistic enough so it serves as an extra bonus.
Art, no biggy as usual.
Sound, the OP/ED songs were pretty easy going for me, the soundtracks were the same as well, I did enjoy it and it did keep the anime flowing decently so my 7's there.
Character, the heroine, our Iku, she pretty much joined because she was inspired and in a nutshell, wants to meet her man who protected her. She starts shaping up from her mistakes, and I quite like her personality in overall except that one scene where she almost rebelled against her mom. Our hero, I relate to this because seeing a "past version" of you, is very nostalgic in a bad sense especially if you want to get over it (lol). The rest of the characters were very good too, I don't want to go on with this, they're crucial to the series after all. This gets my 8 for sure.
Enjoyment, I definitely loved it with no regrets and rewatching is fun for me.
Overall, my usual routine is to only suggest to a general viewer, or unless I know someone who's taste might be similar to mine and or I can see a theme to their taste. I've enjoyed and love it, and it's short, realistic in a sense.
Set in the near-future, Library War is focused on the members of the Library Team Defense Force, a military organization created by local governments in defiance of a censorship bill where the country's military has authority to confiscate and destroy books considered "harmful" to Japanese society. The title's main focus is on new recruit Iku Kasahara, who learns of the challenges that go into the fight against censorship with the defense force and putting up with the rigid training of her instructor Atsushi Dojo.
To a good extent, Library War is focused on the regular operations of the Library Team Defense Force as they handle different
censorship cases against government military forces and supporters of the censorship policies they enforce. The premise of the series will seem quite similar to the dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 in the censorship of books enforced between both works. However, Library War has a somewhat more lighter mood in comparison as it balances social commentary on issues related to censorship with the camaraderie taking place with Library Defense Force members. Episodes of the series mix around focus on exploring characters within the Defense Force, while also looking into the cases they take on when protecting libraries and anti-censorship public figures from government agents trying to enforce the censorship bill. Many of the characters get fleshing out and the series does quite well at showing off the challenges faced by the Defense Force with fending off censorship efforts and public opinion on the issue.
In spite of its somewhat unique premise though, Library War does have its faults. Some characters like Dojo and Iku's roommate don't get much in the way of fleshing out and there are points where Iku's idealistic and impulsive character can be grating with her "rush first, think later" mentality to action. Also for a series dabbling into action, the visuals to Library War are average and the animation occasionally suffers from inconsistencies, poor clashing with the subpar CG renderings of vehicles and degraded details during more intense moments within the series.
Still in spite of its issues, Library War is a solid series exploring anime's own spin of Fahrenheit 451's premise with a lighter mood and having more focus on those resisting the efforts of censorship being instituted by the government.
At first the story and plot seems a bit ridiculous. I mean, it’s not every day you encounter a story about library war. However, as you watch it, you will surely understand the weight of the plot and what message it’s trying to give to the viewer. It shows how important it is for us to be informed and gain knowledge from books, magazines, internet, newspapers, tv shows, movies, and anime/manga. Without it, all of us would be kept in the dark of what really is happening to the world. But more importantly, it shows that we should fight for it. Having rules doesn’t necessarily
that it is the right thing to follow. Considering human beings by nature has a very different way of perceiving things. But what’s important is to fight for what you believe in which what the story is trying to tell us. It is also nice how well the romance part is incorporated to the main plot. With that all said, I still find it so weird that it is obviously a war but when the time is up they would cease fire and gather together as if they weren’t killing each other beforehand.
I just love strong female characters. I am so fed up with typical female leads who are usually frail, weak, indecisive, so naïve, and always need a knight and shining armor. Compared from before, women have more balls now. So it is definitely inspiring to see women doing great in a man’s world. Plus, I just love how unique the relationship of the two leads have. It shows that being romantic doesn’t have to be overly dramatic, cheesy, corny, or lewd.
It is very rare and unusual yet very original anime. Though, I admit that it is not exciting and entertaining enough to be remembered. I didn’t get involve with the story which is not an indication of memorable series. It is very important to be involved whether it is anime or manga. It is a sign that you absolutely had an anime experience. I like it but I do not love it.
Likeable characters, lulzy concept and excellent animation.
PLOT: I watched Toshokan Sensou back when it was airing and remember being very entertained by it. It’s all very light and fluffy as the series focuses on the characters rather than dwelling on the whole censorship war that is the setting. Basically the premise is that this is a world were censorship of books and the media is a big issue and two factions are perfectly willing to spill blood over books and freedom of the press. Its in this climate that Kasahara Iku decides to join the Library Task Force to follow in the footsteps of
her ‘Prince’ who saves her and her favourite book when she was younger…..yeah I know it sounds rubbish, but believe me Toshokan Sensou is really entertaining!
I got major Full Metal Panic vibes from the series – mainly due to the military setting and the emphasis on romcom rather than combat. Not that there isn’t any action, there is plenty, but its not the main focus. The characters are the driving force for this anime, Iku and her relationship with her superior Atsushi is deeply amusing in a Lovely Complex way and the supporting cast is also lots of fun. The only bad thing about the show is its too short. We’ve just got to know the characters and started to be interested in the background plot and then its over – with this kind of pacing it would have been better off being a 26 episode series rather than 12.
ANIMATION: Excellent animation as one would expect from Production IG. I really liked the thick black outlines for the characters and the use of chibi’s to enhance the comedy. The action set pieces were really well put together and the backgrounds showed fabulous attention to detail. Unremarkable, but well drawn character design too. No complaints about the production quality at all.
MUSIC & VOICE ACTING: I loved the ED in particular; the OP is pretty decent too. Background music is also good. Voice acting is excellent – everyone is very well cast, especially loved Iku’s voice.
So yeah at 1st glance the concept seem a bit on the odd side, but Toshokan Sensou turned out to be a fun if forgetable show with an enjoyable script and nice character interactions.
I am reviewing this anime after watching it twice and reading the manga about 10+ times. So, I started with the anime. I was looking for a good anime with a tsundere type character and a decent romance line. This caught my eye mainly by the reviews on myanimelist. So I watched it and it began to intrigue me. It never pulled me fully in but it did introduce me to the manga which made me OBSESSED!
I get it, manga will always usually reign supreme as it doesn't have the restrictions anime do. However, there were some
key elements from the manga that were really ignored in the anime. In the manga there are certain actions that pull the main two characters together and really get you rooting for them. This anime had that but not in the same way. Some bits felt a bit rushed and the whole relationship building the two main characters have was merely gone in the anime, to a point that you couldn't feel as invested in their relationship as you would in the manga.
Either way give it a try and definitely...DEFINITELY go read the manga! It's amazing and still continuing on! We need a bigger fanbase as currently it is a pretty small group of fans for what is a wonderful story.