Alright so here’s one post to cut down on my backlog of completed yet un-reviewed series. Though since I watched this over like 2 days in the summer, I feel like I should rewatch it before I try to make a serious critique… La~ too late.
I’ll be doing this in the usual organized way; here goes.
!!!!!!!!!!!! Alright, alright. I am such a Production IG fangirl. And this isn’t even a review category. But still, when it comes to reviewing a show by Production IG, the first thing you have to say is that it’s by Production IG and that they are undeniably filthy. Filthy in the good way of course.
Back on track here. Toshokan Sensou translates to “Library War”. Sound nerdy? Oh yeah. But it’s not, really. Despite the weird name and unusual premise, I enjoyed watching this short 1 season show (12 episodes). Might bring to mind a currently airing series called “Armed Librarians”; as far as I know, they’re totally different. Toshokan Sensou is like war in as pure a form as possible. I don’t think Armed Librarians is even about war… Anyway, in Toshokan Sensou the Japanese government has pulled a Hitler and decided they want to ban and censor Japan to the moon and back. However, the Japanese libraries have enough power to oppose this new attack on their collections. So basically you end up with highly organized battles being fought over books. Quite interesting, really. Add to this our main character, holdonletmelookuphername Kasahara Iku, the first woman to join the Library Defense Force. The story centers around her and her encounters as a member of an army-like defense force. Free speech for all! Based on light novels by Arikawa Hiro.
I think it’s a very fresh, original and interesting idea. I love near-future dystopia-esque things like this. Of course it’s not really a dystopia. But it’s close enough to satisfy me. And it’s not like dystopias are ALL I care about. The problem with the plot execution here is that Toshokan Sensou just tries to tackle too many things in too short of a timeframe. It’s like; the moral issues of censoring, the struggle of war, romance, relationships with parents, finding and doing what you want in life, growing up, gender difference issues, overcoming obstacles in the workplace… within 12 episodes? No DUH it’s rushed feeling! I guess you could say it’s the same problem as Jyu Ou Sei, although really Jyu Ou Sei had a LOT more problems… (I still love you, Jyu Ou Sei!). I think even just 4 more episodes would have left the series some room to stretch and think about which aspect of all the many possibilities it wanted to focus on. Am I talking about this show like it has a mind of it’s own? I’m sorry, I always swear I’m not going to do that… JEESH this paragraph is long already. Wrapping up… pacing isn’t the best, too many things to think about.
ART & ANIMATION
Unusual style, not unusual like Gankutsuou or anything, but there was an interesting line variation technique used for a sort of shading effect… in short, there were some really thick lines and some really thin lines. It had a unique feel, but it wasn’t screaming in your face “WE’RE COOL”. And as always, it was lovely. CONSISTENTLY lovely. Fufu, ProIG~
It took a few episodes, but I definitely warmed up to the OP and ED. I feel like I’m not being cynical enough. Am I being to nice because I can only remember the good parts? This is why I should have rewatched it first! Ahem. Anyways, as usual I can’t remember the BGM, but I know that it wasn’t bad because BGM actually stands out more the worse it is. Anyone else thinking of certain cheesy moments in Inuyasha? OH and the OP animation was cool.
Iku was definitely cool. I can’t remember who I was comparing her too, but in a recent post I used her as an example of someone who doesn’t start out completely competent, but who definitely isn’t annoying. Oh yeah, it was Mai in Ghost Hunt. DAMN she was incompetent. Anyway, definitely a good main girl character. I mean no one can match Balsa, but she was definitely solid. Naive and still learning, but that’s realistic; which is good. However, there wasn’t much development in the other characters. If it had been the kind of show where the character development is all about the main character, it would have been okay to leave the others alone for a bit. But I didn’t feel like Iku got a whole lot of development either. Must be cause of the goddamn 12 episode length again. Gahhhh extend it 4 episodes, will you?!
Dojo kind of reminds me of Otani from Love Com. Just a little though, in retrospect. Maybe it’s cause he’s short..? Yeah, their relationship also seemed like they WANTED to spend more time there but couldn’t because of the series length.
Everything. All in all; I did enjoy watching Toshokan Sensou. There’s definitely some things in there like censoring that will make you think a bit. But I think mostly I would say it’s “diverting”. It’s so short, and so fast-paced; I ended up watching it all in basically 24 hours. Maybe it’d be better to watch over time? I’m not sure. But I think it’s definitely a good single-season show to watch, if you need something to fill time with. Also, any librarians out there? You should definitely give this a watch. I don’t know how realistic it would seem to a librarian, but if they had a sense of humor I’m sure they’d enjoy looking into it.
Side note: May just be cause I watched it in summer, but very summer-y! =) Sigh… I miss summer so much.