It’s not often where you find a series so good, that you’re willing to sit through the anime, the manga and the live action film for it. Yet, Library Wars seems to convince its fans to do so, almost too effortlessly.
Library Wars is set within a fictitious, but highly plausible, Japanese era — known as Seika. During this period, media censorship has been taken to the extreme, and forms of media entertainment — mainly books — are under severe threat. The Government is corrupt, and in serious kahoots with the Media Betterment Committee, as they tyrannically storm through bookstores, and public libraries, claiming restricted literary titles and destroying them. Of course, in order to keep things at least a little fair, the Library Defence Force was established as the official protector of books.
As it may be assumed by the title, this series is centered around libraries and war, but it’s also about love. The really cute kind. Get ready to fall in love with the idiotic, yet lovable, couple — known as Dojo Atsushi and Kasahara Iku.
We follow our main female protagonist, as she does her best as a Library Defence Force officer, following in the footsteps of the faceless hero who rescued her when she was still just a mere high school student. Now that she’s joined the task force, watch her as she strives to do her best under the strict guidance of her commanding officer — Dojo.
Embarrassed as I am about admitting this, I have actually been actively avoiding this series for over a decade. This anime title has graced me with its presence since I was in primary school. But I never gave it a chance because I foolishly came to the conclusion that its premise would include high school students arguing about books, as well as other trivial matters centred around their school’s library. And that was just a little too petty for my taste.
However, now that it’s 2020, I can clearly see the error of my ways and a tiny part of my being is glad that I was able to enjoy this series at the age of 21. Not to brag or anything, but that means that the heroine is of the same age as I am — as the series is actually set in 2019 to 2020.
I know, the world works in mysterious ways.
Seeing as how the anime acted as my gateway into this wonderful series, no matter what fans may say, I highly recommend diving head first into the anime. In my opinion, the anime mapped everything out perfectly, contained great scenes, and really captured the action scenes well. I personally had no intention of picking up the manga, even after loving the anime, because I wholeheartedly thought that all of the episodes, OVA and anime film covered everything and never did I ever feel like I was left hanging. To be perfectly honest, I would have been perfectly content at just stopping my journey with this series, after watching all of its animated adaptations.
The Live Action Films
Knowing about the anime, means that I was also aware of its live action counterpart. Which brings me to confess, that I was also actively avoiding it. And that was honestly, slightly devastating for me, as I am quite fond of both Eikura Nana and Fukushi Sota. I completely undermined the three live action films. (Yes, there were three.) The fact that the Japanese film industry invested in producing three of these films, honestly speaks volumes as to how people must have loved them.
As someone who usually tends to curse the fact that live action films exist, I must admit that I did find myself enjoying all three films. However, I think that I’ll have to credit my appreciation to the fact that I was aware of the pre-existing storyline, and was already a fan of the anime.
I’m not going to make any outstanding statements, such as: “The cast was amazing, it was perfect!” Because obviously, that’s a bit of a stretch. But the casting choices made were definitely understandable, and to be honest, I couldn’t have picked a better bunch. Sure, the acting was slightly awkward at certain points, but they still did a great job.
It did bug me that some scenes were definitely not canon. However, the script writers did include some Kasahara and Dojo scenes that were never in the originals, and how could anyone ever complain about that? It just means more opportunities for us to cherish the moments between our favourite idiot couple!
Like many others, I absolutely loved the manga. How could I not?
I must admit that this version was certainly the best out of the three. I’ve never familiarised myself with Kiiro Yumi’s previous works. However, I’m now a fan of her’s. The artwork was great, and all of the scenes between all of our couples — yes, it’s not just about Kasahara and Dojo — were magnificent! I’m not even embarrassed to confess that I cried multiple times as I ploughed through the manga. While, there are many chapters, the number eventually seems too few by the time you’ve read the last.
However, the manga is practically perfect in every regard. I absolutely highly recommend that you read it. But I must stress the fact that if you do intend to touch bases on all of the different mediums of this series, that you complete it in the order of anime, live actions films, and then lastly, the manga.
The manga is seriously too good, that it is highly likely to obliterate your chances of enjoying the story in any other form.
Bottom line? You should get to know Library Wars
Lastly, it is only right for me to at least mention that the original story was written by Hiro Arikawa. It was originally a light novel series, before it was adapted into a manga. However, I am currently not in the position to pass any comments in regards to the written series, as I have not yet read any of them. But from what I have heard online, I am now incredibly eager to dive head first into the novels too!
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