At 14 years of age, I began my never ending descent into anime. In this time, I purchased many, many manga and have kept them until today. R...

An Overview of Library Wars: Love & War (Spoilers)

At 14 years of age, I began my never ending descent into anime. In this time, I purchased many, many manga and have kept them until today. Recently, I re-read the first volume of Library Wars: Love & War, also known as Toshokan Sensou.

library wars
by Kiiro Yumi  (12+ Volumes)
Original Concept by Hiro Arikawa

The plot revolves around Kasaharu Iku, a woman who passionately fights against the Media Betterment Committee in a modern day Japan. Media is censored for the good of the people and the MBC takes some extreme steps to rid of books. 

Iku joins the Kantou Library Defense Force, a unit dedicated to resist against the MBC, because she was inspired by her Prince who assisted her while in high school. 

Funnily enough, her harsh, rule abiding team leader, Dojo, is the Prince she's been searching for and everyone seems to know except for her. This greatly adds to the humour aspect.

The plot is based on the Statement on Intellectual Freedom in Libraries which was put in place in 1954, only to be amended in 1979 in Japan. A paper discussing the background of this document can be found here. It is short, concise and indirectly gives insight to the premise of the manga.

In the beginning, the concept was a little strange to me since I've been raised in a country which, for the most part, allows such freedoms. As the story went on, I began understanding how annoying and frustrating it must be for the citizens to lose their freedom to read what they desire. The government seems to want people to become obedient and halt free thought.

The characters are likable and the pairing between Iku and Dojo is endearing. Iku serves as a combat orientated character who is not very academically intelligent. This causes comical situations as others react differently to her lack of attention to detail. 

Almost every time, she is scolded by Dojo, who has a soft spot for her but is incredibly hard on her. Tezuka, Komaki, Shizubaki, and Genda, her colleagues, have developed into more than merely supporting characters. They really drive the plot forward and at the end of each situation is a sweet scene between Dojo and Iku.

In regards to the art, I have a bias towards the style of Kiiro Yumi and any others similar to hers. The postures and poses seem very natural and detailed. The cover images are gorgeous, in my opinion, although very deceiving in terms of relationship development.

There is also an anime based on the original work. I haven't watched it yet but from the images, Iku is definitely much more feminine in the manga.

Iku in the anime

Overall, I'd rate the manga 8/10 because of the development of the plot and its pacing. Iku's character traits are beginning to get tiresome but that may be because I read 4 volumes at one go. Not the best idea. So far, up to volume 10 is translated and available in English.

Give it a go if you're looking for something cute and humorous :) 

You may also like

No comments: