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Library Wars: Love & War, Vol. 1

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In the near future, the federal government creates a committee to rid society of books it deems unsuitable. The libraries vow to protect their collections, and with the help of local governments, form a military group to defend themselves--the Library Forces! Iku Kasahara has dreamed of joining the Library Defense Force ever since one of its soldiers stepped in to protect h In the near future, the federal government creates a committee to rid society of books it deems unsuitable. The libraries vow to protect their collections, and with the help of local governments, form a military group to defend themselves--the Library Forces! Iku Kasahara has dreamed of joining the Library Defense Force ever since one of its soldiers stepped in to protect her favorite book from being confiscated in a bookstore when she was younger. But now that she's finally a recruit, she's finding her dream job to be a bit of a nightmare. Especially since her hard-hearted drill instructor seems to have it in for her!


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In the near future, the federal government creates a committee to rid society of books it deems unsuitable. The libraries vow to protect their collections, and with the help of local governments, form a military group to defend themselves--the Library Forces! Iku Kasahara has dreamed of joining the Library Defense Force ever since one of its soldiers stepped in to protect h In the near future, the federal government creates a committee to rid society of books it deems unsuitable. The libraries vow to protect their collections, and with the help of local governments, form a military group to defend themselves--the Library Forces! Iku Kasahara has dreamed of joining the Library Defense Force ever since one of its soldiers stepped in to protect her favorite book from being confiscated in a bookstore when she was younger. But now that she's finally a recruit, she's finding her dream job to be a bit of a nightmare. Especially since her hard-hearted drill instructor seems to have it in for her!

30 review for Library Wars: Love & War, Vol. 1

  1. 4 out of 5

    Elena

    I had never read manga before, and didn't really have plans to start, but then I read the premise to Library Wars, and just couldn't not read this one. In the world of this manga, there is a war going on between a government committee created for the purpose of confiscating and destroying "unsuitable" books (which seems to be pretty much everything) and the Library Defense Force, a group of militant librarians formed to protect the books and people's freedom to read them. The main character of th I had never read manga before, and didn't really have plans to start, but then I read the premise to Library Wars, and just couldn't not read this one. In the world of this manga, there is a war going on between a government committee created for the purpose of confiscating and destroying "unsuitable" books (which seems to be pretty much everything) and the Library Defense Force, a group of militant librarians formed to protect the books and people's freedom to read them. The main character of the story is Iku Kasahara, a new recruit to the Library Defense Force who has dreamed of joining up ever since an LDF agent saved her favorite book during a raid when she was younger. So awesome, right? How could you possibly resist the idea of militant librarians who will defend books with their lives? You can't, of course. Well. The book fell far short of my expectations. Kasahara is basically a complete dunce who can't last two pages without making a complete fool of herself. She doesn't seem to excel at anything except rappelling down the sides of buildings (randomly, because she has to have one strength, I guess?) and being really passionate about SAVING ALL THE BOOKS. And yet she is chosen to be part of this elite task force for only the most special agents. Um, what? There's only one other new recruit chosen for the task force, and he is basically superman. He got top marks in all the classes Kasahara slept through, is in peak physical condition, and his only weaknesses seem to be a fear of heights that causes his rapelling to be merely average and a dislike of the bumbling idiot Kasahara who doesn't deserve to be on his elite team but was chosen anyway for absolutely no reason he can discern. We're meant to think he's kind of a prick, but his outrage is 100% justifiable, and personally, I am rooting for him. There is one scene where Kasahara is given the role of page, a job that consists of finding books in the library's vast underground warehouse and delivering them to the students in the reading room. Everyone is all, "You learned about the Japanese Decimal system in class, right?" and she's all, "OH NO I DON'T REMEMBER ANY OF IT!!!" And, um, fair enough, you don't remember that 020 is bibliographies or whatever, but how hard is it to go through a room of books that are shelved in numerical order to find a particular number? NOT THAT HARD. There's also a lot of romantic tension between Kasahara and her mercurial instructor, Dojo. The thing that isn't a spoiler to anyone except Kasahara is that Dojo, who Kasahara thinks is mean to her for no reason (when really, his reasons are that she can't do anything right and is constantly putting her foot in her mouth), is actually her idol, the "prince" who rescued her book and inspired her to join the Library Defense Force to begin with. A lot of her foot-to-mouth action is her constant rhapsodizing about this amazing paragon of a man who inspired her, while Dojo gets really embarrassed and all his fellow instructors bust out laughing and tease him about being a "prince." In the end, this manga's awesome premise was completely ruined by being given the worst protagonist ever.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jerry

    Interesting premise, great artwork, plenty of action and intensity...all in all, great stuff. EDIT: My friends on here know that I'm a proud library employee; in fact, I currently work at the 'berry I grew up using, and couldn't be happier about it. Some people think that anyone who works at such a place is a librarian, but, that's not true; my title is Library Assistant, formerly Library Page. Believe it or not, I actually studied Web Design in college, and once had plans to go into that field. Interesting premise, great artwork, plenty of action and intensity...all in all, great stuff. EDIT: My friends on here know that I'm a proud library employee; in fact, I currently work at the 'berry I grew up using, and couldn't be happier about it. Some people think that anyone who works at such a place is a librarian, but, that's not true; my title is Library Assistant, formerly Library Page. Believe it or not, I actually studied Web Design in college, and once had plans to go into that field. I've always had an affinity for computers; we got a Commodore 64 when I was only two years old, but, I took to it like a fish to water. People thought I was going to become the next Bill Gates, and I thought they were on to something...until I realized that my true passion wasn't computers or even technology; it was entertainment. The reason I spent hours upon hours staring at my monitors was because computers provided such diversions on demand: games, desktop publishing programs, television show and celebrity fan sites, etc. It's telling that my high school had a membership with a site called Bigchalk Library, which was intended for research purposes...but, I was constantly looking up Disney shows and contemporary Christian music on it. Around here, it seems like the library is entertainment central; with stores such as MovieStop, LifeWay, and Blockbuster long gone, it's hard to find such a big collection of media in one place, except somewhere like 2nd & Charles. So...as a proud library employee, this is right up my alley. While I don't agree that censorship is always bad, I do think some books have been banned for ridiculous reasons. When even the Bible and The American Heritage Dictionary are on the list of banned literature, that's unacceptable. If you're a proud worker at your local 'berry, you should check this out; you'll probably enjoy it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alexa

    When I originally picked this up, it was because I thought the premise was fun - and it more than delivers. I really liked getting an introduction to this world and the characters, and I'm so looking forward to finding out what happens next.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    This got accidentally sent to my library via interlibrary loan, which is how the library gods gift a book. Thanks gods; I liked it. Granted, it's set up for librarians to like: Library Task Force fighting censorship, Japan's version of Dewey, romance, funny bits, etc. I dig the illustrations & paneling. Sure, Kasahara leaves a bit to be desired. She's melodramatic and ought to be good in at least SOME of her classes. Tezuka was right to call that nonsense. If nothing else, can she be awake? I did This got accidentally sent to my library via interlibrary loan, which is how the library gods gift a book. Thanks gods; I liked it. Granted, it's set up for librarians to like: Library Task Force fighting censorship, Japan's version of Dewey, romance, funny bits, etc. I dig the illustrations & paneling. Sure, Kasahara leaves a bit to be desired. She's melodramatic and ought to be good in at least SOME of her classes. Tezuka was right to call that nonsense. If nothing else, can she be awake? I did like her fight & her awareness that she's holding them back. Damn if Dojo isn't all brooding and supportive* in his own way. Sure, as of yet there's no real reason that the library task force is training with that level of weapons. It's not fully explained why the government is running both anti-censorship and pro-censorship task forces. If the task force has power over the censorship folk, why is it such a fight? But here's the thing: I let it go. Sometimes I can let it go & sometimes I can't. I've already requested the 2nd and 3rd books. *OK, I don't want to talk about this which is a sign we need to talk about it. Dojo slaps Kasahara across the face. Not OK. He tells her "Don't take this personally. I would have done the same no matter who it was." Yeah, still not OK. Later you see he's remorseful and he doesn't physically harm her again. It's not a pattern of abuse nor do I think it's about power, control, intimidation or pain. Nevertheless: not cool. You don't get a freebie. I don't like that it's included. Nor am I'm entirely good with myself for letting it go.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Merb

    "This isn't a game. You don't just beat your enemy and score points. They might come back at you. Just because I know how to move... doesn't mean I'm good at this..." Summary Iku Kasahara grew up being known as a tomboy, but also loved reading books. When the government created the Media Betterment Committee, representatives had the legal right to dispose of any media that had been listed as inappropriate. When Kasahara was trying to purchase a book and had it taken from an MBC representatives, sh "This isn't a game. You don't just beat your enemy and score points. They might come back at you. Just because I know how to move... doesn't mean I'm good at this..." Summary Iku Kasahara grew up being known as a tomboy, but also loved reading books. When the government created the Media Betterment Committee, representatives had the legal right to dispose of any media that had been listed as inappropriate. When Kasahara was trying to purchase a book and had it taken from an MBC representatives, she was protected and had her book returned to her by a member of the Library Forces, which are the military of the Libraries who help preserve the media under the Library Freedom Act. In admiration and inspiration, Kasahara joins the Library Forces in hopes to become like the man who saved her and also one day meet him again. Story/plot I actually thought the story in this book was great. I like the idea of the government censoring media to eradicate freedom of thought and expression. I guess that can be seen as threatening against stability and control. Whilst it was based on the novel, I'll still give credit to Kiiro Yumi since this was her individual take on the story by Hiro Arikawa. I liked that it was complex and had lots of area to venture into. Each chapter focused on a different part of Kasahara's journey and experience in the Library Forces. Each experience she had was interesting but also allowed her to gain new experience and develop as a character. There was action, drama, romance and comedy. The plots were interesting and stood out from each other. I always felt like the story was going somewhere and never felt like I was loosing interest. Sometimes I felt like it was too light and fluffy, so I am hoping as the story progresses some more darker things may occur. I appreciated that Yumi took the time to explain how the military worked and how the governmental situation was. I felt like I had a pretty good grasp of what was going on and how things worked to be able to understand and give my full attention to the story. The only thing I did not particularly like about the story was that it lacked a particular figure to be the antagonist. The MBC were the antagonists, but we did not have a leading figure to be the antagonist which made the story feel lacking. Art style I quite liked Yumi's art style. The body proportions were really spot on, and each character had something detailed and unique in their appearance that made them stand out and be memorable. I really loved how when something emotional happened, the drawings would be larger with less dialogue, with the lines often becoming lighter creating a soft atmosphere. I really loved the detail she had in the eyes, they were excellent. In saying all this, her style still wasn't as heavily detailed as I love, but I still enjoyed it none the less. Characters ~ Kasahara ~ I loved Kasahara. She was fun, down to earth, determined, naive and kind. She had her faults as well, sometimes jumping into things without thinking it through or not working as hard as she perhaps should have. But these are all things she learns from and I loved that she was not perfect. Because she was likeable I enjoyed seeing her challenge herself and work hard at her career. I also liked that she had some depth to her despite being quite simple minded. ~ Dojo ~ I quite liked this character too. He was serious and could be mean with his words but he was kind. I liked that he was kind with his actions rather than his words. I think that it's easy to say nice things but it takes effort and genuine kindness to be nice to someone with actions. He would fire Kasahara up because he knew that was when she was in her best mindset to work hard. He was patient with her and had belief in her, which made him an admirable character. He also brought comedy to the story as well. ~ Hikaru ~ He was not particularly a character I liked, but he brought diversity to the story. I am quite interested in him, and I feel like we were given just a snippet of this character. He is a perfectionist and therefore holds high standards of others, and when they do not meet these standards he does not show respect for them. Whilst he was mean there is still like ability to him and therefore you do not dislike him or find him irritating. I also love the way he interacts with Kasahara, and how they each help each other by how their personalities clash. It's like in what Hikaru lacks, Kasahara has, and vise versa. I think they also bring out the best in each other. ~ Side characters ~ The side characters did their job. Whilst they did not necessarily have a side story or anything, they supported the leading cast and stood out from one another. They were interesting and diverse, which kept this story more complex as the characters were all different and complimented each other in different ways. Conclusion I really enjoyed this first volume manga and cannot wait to keep reading. I think it has a lot of potential as it set up for lots to happen. The romance is also really great and gets me really excited! "I know he won't accept thank-yous or apologies. So... I just want to be near him."

  6. 5 out of 5

    Arooj

    As soon as I saw that this manga is about people who protect libraries, I was like "I HAVE to read this!" I love libraries. I'd live in one if I could. Seriously. Just give me a mini fridge and a small kitchen and I'm good. I haven't read any mangas for a while and I realized how much I missed them. This manga was just so cute! It was especially hilarious, with Kasahara and Dojo constantly fighting over basically everything, haha. The whole idea of books being confiscated freaked me out! Anyone w As soon as I saw that this manga is about people who protect libraries, I was like "I HAVE to read this!" I love libraries. I'd live in one if I could. Seriously. Just give me a mini fridge and a small kitchen and I'm good. I haven't read any mangas for a while and I realized how much I missed them. This manga was just so cute! It was especially hilarious, with Kasahara and Dojo constantly fighting over basically everything, haha. The whole idea of books being confiscated freaked me out! Anyone who tries to take my books away from me BETTER watch out. *evil smile* There was also a lack of romance, which I didn't mind too much because this is just the first one, but I'm waiting to see how it develops. Kasahara was a great character, but she wasn't all that different from the characters in other mangas. She was fun, cute, and very determined but I felt that she should've stood up for herself more. Dojo was so tough and scary but I couldn't help but laugh everytime he got embarrassed. I really like Komaki, he's so cute! Tezuka was probably my least favorite character, but I'm hoping he gets better later on! AHH now I have to wait for my library to bring me the second book. I should've just ordered it with the first. *pouts* 4.5/5

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sesana

    I really do like the premise of Library Wars, that the battle against censorship has become very literal. The Library Defense Force is an interesting concept. And I like the vaguely Utena-like idea that Kasahara was inspired by her "prince" to try and become like him. But the execution was somewhat lacking. We're told that the battle is very serious and requires elite soldiers with elite training. But we never see any incidents that reflect that. (I'll give the benefit of the doubt and say that I really do like the premise of Library Wars, that the battle against censorship has become very literal. The Library Defense Force is an interesting concept. And I like the vaguely Utena-like idea that Kasahara was inspired by her "prince" to try and become like him. But the execution was somewhat lacking. We're told that the battle is very serious and requires elite soldiers with elite training. But we never see any incidents that reflect that. (I'll give the benefit of the doubt and say that comes later.) Worse, Kasahara annoyed me deeply. She supposedly wants to be in the LDF badly, but she doesn't take her classes, her training, her superiors, or even the library itself seriously. I won't be reading further, because I just couldn't take any more of her.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    I don't speak Japanese so I really don't know what Kiiro Yumi would feel about Goodreads Censorship.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Shaun Duke

    Every time I attend a convention, I come back with a little something extra in my collections. For anime conventions, this usually means I leave with a lot of manga and candy. Such is the story of how I came into the possession of the first volume of Kiiro Yumi's Library Wars (thanks MegaCon!). Unfortunately, the journey did not end with the desired result. While the premise of Library Wars is an amusing one, the narrative and world lack any sense of continuity, leaving a story that feels both s Every time I attend a convention, I come back with a little something extra in my collections. For anime conventions, this usually means I leave with a lot of manga and candy. Such is the story of how I came into the possession of the first volume of Kiiro Yumi's Library Wars (thanks MegaCon!). Unfortunately, the journey did not end with the desired result. While the premise of Library Wars is an amusing one, the narrative and world lack any sense of continuity, leaving a story that feels both strained and nonsensical. Library Wars is a prime example of what manga looks like when it goes horribly wrong. Iku Kasahara is a soldier in training for the Library Forces who has always dreamed of becoming a member of the elite Library Defense Force. In a world where the government actively seeks to censor anything it deems "threatening" to the body politic, the Library Forces defend libraries, books, and bookstores from the government and its minions. Kasahara desperately wants to be more than a librarian, and when she gets recruited into the Library Defense Forces, to the surprise of her classmates, she sets out to fulfill her lifelong goal. But the Library Defense Forces are harder than she ever expected, including the fact that she must work with a classmate who has no respect for her and a superior who may very well be the man who changed her life in a bookstore when she was little. She'll have to work hard to fit in, or risk flunking out for good. The premise of Library Wars is silly enough to be interesting. Who wouldn't love to live in a world where libraries are able to mobilized against the forces of censorship to make sure everyone can get access to new and exciting books? What starts as an amusing concept, however, quickly falls apart as the holes in the narrative's logic are exposed. For example, much of the first volume relies on the audience believing that the libraries actually have a reason for training people to be military-grade fighters who use high-powered rifles. But there isn't a single instance in the book that justifies this level of militarization. In fact, the use of weapons is utterly pointless. When books are pulled from shelves in bookstores by censorship police, the Library Forces are legally able to acquire the books for the library without any fuss from the police. Likewise, no battles ever take place, whether fist or gun fights. It's never made clear that there is anything for the Library Forces to fear. Yet the narrative constantly reminds us that there is a war on, despite no evidence in the imagery or the plot to prove this true. These logical inconsistencies are further pronounced by the main character, who is one of the most incompetent people ever granted access to military-grade weaponry. Kasahara doesn't pay attention in her classes, she is barely physically qualified to meet the standards of the Library Defense Forces, she is willfully ignorant, an incessant complainer, and unwilling respecting military authority. She constantly bickers with her superiors, who treat her, rightly so, like a child, and only demonstrates her competence when subjected to embarrassing situations (ones which demonstrate to everyone that she's completely useless). To make matters worse, her fellow recruit, Tezuka, is treated like a pariah, even though he is intelligent, physically capable, and otherwise a perfect candidate for the job. Superiors tell him to lighten up or chastise him for looking down on Kasahara when she fails miserably (failures that demonstrate not that she is human, but that she is, again, incompetent). Despite this, the Library Defense Forces expect to be taken seriously. Why? Because they're the Library Defense Forces and Yumi has told us over and over again that they are the elite super soldiers of the Library Forces. What is actually being demonstrated, however, is a complete lack of narrative cohesion. We're supposed to care about Kasahara, but I felt consistently put off by her character, let alone her presence in the Library Defense Forces. Nothing about Kasahara made me want to root for her. She is annoying, willfully incompetent (i.e., she has no personal, financial, or psychological circumstances which might put her at a disadvantage), and wholly uninteresting. Her very presence, as such, unravels the logic of the world. As much as I wanted to like Library Wars, I ended up finding it repulsive. I'm willing to accept silly premises, because that's a staple of a lot of manga, but those premises have to at least be internally consistent. Library Wars, however, makes no effort whatsoever to represent characters who are realistic, nor does it try to represent a world that makes sense. Instead, Library Wars is a monumental failure.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kendra

    This is literally everything I wanted it to be. Also dude, so excellent. It's like what if Farenheit 451 was real but helloooo Libraries exist? So what would be THEIR next move in that sort of world? Militia. Book-protecting Militia, obvs.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    “This isn’t a game. You don’t just beat your enemy and score points. They might come back at you.” Man, that’s hardcore.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Carrie (The Butterfly Reader)

    Love this! The storyline feels so relevant to today. The government censoring books for 'problematic' things. It's kinda like a nightmare of what could come if certain people got their way. If this ever were to happen Id be the first to sign up for the Library Forces. Now, let's actually talk about the manga shall we? Iku has dreamed of joining the Library Forces ever since she was saved by her 'prince' when she was trying to get a fairy tale book that she had waited a decade for. The government Love this! The storyline feels so relevant to today. The government censoring books for 'problematic' things. It's kinda like a nightmare of what could come if certain people got their way. If this ever were to happen Id be the first to sign up for the Library Forces. Now, let's actually talk about the manga shall we? Iku has dreamed of joining the Library Forces ever since she was saved by her 'prince' when she was trying to get a fairy tale book that she had waited a decade for. The government has come to a bookstore to take all the books that it has deemed hurtful and our girl Iku, well... she happens to have one of those harmful books. She tries to keep it but is found out and low and behold, she's saved by some guy. She doesn't remember his face and never got his name. Still, she joins the Library Forces because of him. Not only does she want to meet him, she wants to be just like him, saving books. She works her butt off and isn't too bad at her job. Though when she gets chosen to join the special forces... she runs into problems but Dojo... her instructor... who used to be mean to her is slowly coming around... is he the one that saved her all those years ago? So the plot is epic but it's based off a novel...? I need to look more into that. The art is mostly great, there are a few panels where it's not up to par but it's mostly really good and I'm sure it will get better as the series goes along.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sylwia (Wish Fulfillment)

    The characters and their dynamics were the best part of this, along with the art style and goals of the protagonist. I'm so down with the romance, even though it's mentor/mentee so I can't recommend it. I also can't get myself to take a "library military" seriously, so I won't be continuing this series, at least not at this time.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    In the world of this series, censorship is rampant, with book burnings and book seizures such a concern that libraries and local government agencies have had to organize (and mobilize) to fight back in the form of special military units called the Library Forces. The newest brash young star in the Forces is agent Iku Kasahara, who was inspired to enter her career because of a heroic act she had witnessed in her youth. Her bravery (and hotheadedness know no bounds) and neither does the drama of t In the world of this series, censorship is rampant, with book burnings and book seizures such a concern that libraries and local government agencies have had to organize (and mobilize) to fight back in the form of special military units called the Library Forces. The newest brash young star in the Forces is agent Iku Kasahara, who was inspired to enter her career because of a heroic act she had witnessed in her youth. Her bravery (and hotheadedness know no bounds) and neither does the drama of the love/hate relationship she has with her instructor, Master Dojo, who is constantly drilling her and critizing her, trying to channel all that Freedom of Information passion into something that's a little more focused and disciplined. Unbeknownst to Kasahara, he also happens to be the very hero who set her on her course. Unbeknownst to him, Kasahara's respect for his devotion to the Library Forces and his general integrity are slowly but surely working him into her good graces in spite of his best efforts to drive a wedge between the two of them. Great series for romantic tension, to be sure, and kind of a great series overall, in spite of a fair share of predictability. The characters have a lot of personality and likability. While it is too bad that Iku's bravery and fierce commitment to ethics (the things that make her such a standout member of the Library Forces team) are often undermined by her rashness, I think this series has a lot more substance to it than many Shoujo series I've come across. In spite of the predicaments she gets into, I think it is clear that she is both a good soldier and a woman with feelings, and at the end of the day, this balances in her favor. I also think being so quick to dismiss the females in the series does a huge injustice to the character of Shibasaki, a whiz of a librarian, fellow Library Wars task member, and Kasahara's BFF. I think she's almost the secret heroine of the series. Though initially she would seem to be just the token gorgeous character that everyone loves, Shibasaki's personality transcends what could have easily been a fluff role. Though she likes to toss off the odd flirtatious comment or two, it's clear that in reality, she's no fluff, all business. She's super intelligent and insightful, sarcastic and independent, and---as you finally get to see 'round about volume six, kind of nuanced and a little vulnerable underneath it all (not that she'd let anyone see it). Although she's in the buddy role, as the "pretty girl" she's actually new to the experience, having grown up as the victim of jealousy and gossip, so her friendship with Kasahara is actually a lot cooler and more complex than you'd think. Some things are givens. I know...without having to read further, that in every volume Iku is going to end up doing something crazy or hasty albeit for the best possible reasons, that there will be much bickering between her and Dojo, and that eventually they will have to, have to, get together---that in every volume the crisis of the day will resolve as nicely in the end as an old familiar sitcom, but I'll keep reading anyway---because Yumi has a way of making you really really care about these characters. I started reading this because it was about libraries and fighting censorship, and I still love that---but I keep reading because I love the characters. I don't think it's an accident that this series was one of the best circulating graphic novels in our teen collection this year. I'm through volume 6 and would practically recommend this for any age. It's just fun. I almost see it as if Full Metal Alchemist had a Shoujo cousin.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Delirious Disquisitions

    Note: Review based on Volumes 1-3. I picked up Library Wars for its interesting premise: libraries forming their own armies, aka the Library Forces, to fight against government-sanctioned censorship. With the promise of a kickass female protagonist who is one of the first women to enter the elite team that's on the front lines of all the action. It is a pretty badass concent that falls hilariously flat in its execution. Iku Kasahara, the main character, is little more than an impulsive brat that Note: Review based on Volumes 1-3. I picked up Library Wars for its interesting premise: libraries forming their own armies, aka the Library Forces, to fight against government-sanctioned censorship. With the promise of a kickass female protagonist who is one of the first women to enter the elite team that's on the front lines of all the action. It is a pretty badass concent that falls hilariously flat in its execution. Iku Kasahara, the main character, is little more than an impulsive brat that has to constantly be rescued from every situation by her commanding officer. Said commanding officer, Dojo, who seems to have a crush on Iku, spends every minute looking after her and cleaning up her messes. He goes so far as to neglect the other recruit under his command, someone who is far superior in both intellect and in his abilities to follow through on orders. Dojo shows clear favouritism for Iku, assigning her tasks, and then swooping in to save her just when she gets into any sort of action. Which really just makes me question how she's supposed to be a soldier if he keeps "protecting" her in every single situation where she's supposed to do her damn job! The concept, of fighting censorship, and the various underlying themes that are brought up are interesting in theory: like the idea of media corrupting young minds and thus necessitating censorship, is an argument very reminiscent of the comic censorship by the Comics Code Authority in the 1950s. But while these ideas are peppered throughout the story, there is very little depth and gravitas attached to these issues. Rather, the manga focuses more on Iku's love for her mysterious Prince who inspired her to join the Library Forces and her growing attraction to Dojo. In the end, this was just a very different manga from what I thought it was going to be. Since I'm not in the mood for shoju romances currently, I'm going to have to pass on this for now. 3 Stars.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Who could not want to pick up a book about defending all the books!? But the military stuff was too over the top for me and the protagonist is a total bumbling idiot. It probably gets better as it goes but I have way too many other things I want to read to invest more time in this.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Yodamom

    Fun, and crazy. Banned books cause the need for heavily armed library patrols. Well done illustrations. I like the love interest thing going on and the struggles.

  18. 5 out of 5

    bella farren

    I was so excited about this premise but the characters just ruined it for me. Got about 30% through, but after the instructor slapped the main female character after she made a mistake (his dialog “don’t take this personally. I would have done the same no matter who it was.”), it ruined it for me. I had a quick flick through some of my GR friend’s reviews and apparently it doesn’t get much better, so I’m fine with leaving this one there.

  19. 5 out of 5

    beth {hiatus} F.

    Everything I imagined it would be and more!!! It’s so good! It reminds me of Fahrenheit 451 + military (maybe Fullmetal Alchemist) + Fullmetal Panic.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Patricia

    Picked up a bunch of different mangas to try and expand my boundaries or whatever. Will definitely be continuing this one.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Laura Grace

    I picked up this book because of a recommendation from a friend who said it was a fun series. After reading the premise, I knew I definitely wanted to try it! Overall, I did enjoy it, though some of the paneling got me confused in a few places. It didn't seem to flow well and was unsure if I was reading in the right order. Really affected the reading experience for in those sections. However, it was still a really intriguing story. I loved the friendships and the humorous romantic tension that l I picked up this book because of a recommendation from a friend who said it was a fun series. After reading the premise, I knew I definitely wanted to try it! Overall, I did enjoy it, though some of the paneling got me confused in a few places. It didn't seem to flow well and was unsure if I was reading in the right order. Really affected the reading experience for in those sections. However, it was still a really intriguing story. I loved the friendships and the humorous romantic tension that left me laughing or giggling. A fairly solid first book to kickoff this series.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dov Zeller

    This was between a 2 and a 3 for me. I think the particular slapstick humor of manga is one I sometimes have a hard time relating to and the sudden intensity of emotion (suddenly there, suddenly gone) tends to feel jarring and a bit forced. In this particular book, it's the slapstick humor that both makes and breaks it for me. The basic premise is, Iku Kasahara, female protagonist, wants to be in the special fighting branch of an army which is made up entirely of men and whose sole purpose is pr This was between a 2 and a 3 for me. I think the particular slapstick humor of manga is one I sometimes have a hard time relating to and the sudden intensity of emotion (suddenly there, suddenly gone) tends to feel jarring and a bit forced. In this particular book, it's the slapstick humor that both makes and breaks it for me. The basic premise is, Iku Kasahara, female protagonist, wants to be in the special fighting branch of an army which is made up entirely of men and whose sole purpose is protecting books and freedom from censorship. Kasahara had a formative experience that makes her gung ho about fighting in this special unit. Cool. But maybe it's not so much the idea of protecting books that makes her so gung ho, but that she's crushed out on the guy who protected her favorite book during said formative experience. Sigh. The gender stuff is all over the place and frustrating. There are no other women in this special unit she wants to be in, so when she's accepted into it, she's the only female fighter and she's a total mess. She's very athletic, a great runner and climber, but that's about it. She's rash, impulsive, can't seem to shoot a gun, she sleeps through her classes and can't figure out how to find a book in the giant library they're protecting. What makes this a little less annoying is the slapstick humor and the fact that everyone in here is a bit of a buffoon. Really the whole story revolves around the love-hate attraction between her and drill sergeant Dojo who may or may not be the guy who protected her favorite book during said formative experience. (I didn't think he was, but another goodreads reviewer said that he was.) It's hard enough for me to tolerate a story in which the big deal is that a woman gets to be on an exclusively male fighting team. Ugh. But then, it is unclear whether she's on it because she's a kind of Luke Skywalker (someone who seems like they don't have much potential, but it turns out they do) or only because Dojo is so smitten with her. Likely it's a little of both. So far it seems more like a romantic comedy than a post-apocalyptic action adventure book about a library-protecting military organization. There's really no tension building around library stuff and it just seems nonsensical to have it in there at all when we could just be watching "When Harry Met Sally." Will I read the rest of the series? Doubtful. But possible.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jen • Just One More Page

    This review is also posted on my blog. (view spoiler)[I’d been meaning to read this series for a long time, and I’m finally glad I started it! The concept is very interesting, and especially so since I’m a library aide myself. Dystopians are my shit, libraries are my shit, therefore-! :D My only issues are that the execution so far has been rather predictable (like most Shojo manga), and I’m not sure I like any of the characters. I’m willing to overlook the predictableness (I don’t mind it in m This review is also posted on my blog. (view spoiler)[I’d been meaning to read this series for a long time, and I’m finally glad I started it! The concept is very interesting, and especially so since I’m a library aide myself. Dystopians are my shit, libraries are my shit, therefore-! :D My only issues are that the execution so far has been rather predictable (like most Shojo manga), and I’m not sure I like any of the characters. I’m willing to overlook the predictableness (I don’t mind it in manga), but not really liking the characters knocked the rating down a star. It’s obvious where the romantic relationship is going to crop up later, and Dojo is just WAY TOO MEAN to Kasahara for me to like him or accept that relationship at all. Maybe later I’ll change my mind and find him redeemed but I am not a fan of relationships that start out harshly, and I have zero tolerance for verbal abuse in any form. It is not cute, it is not sweet and it is not the start of a healthy relationship. And I’m not sure I like Kasahara either. It’s clear that she’s meant to be an academically struggling character who doesn’t know how things are done right away and doesn’t know how to work with the system. But to me she just seems ignorant and not properly motivated, and the kind of person she is is the kind of person who REALLY ANNOYS ME in real life. I can’t stand people who say they’re trying when they’re really not. It was to the point where I was starting to agree with a lot of what Tezuka was telling her about her flaws. Again, maybe later in the series I’ll change my mind and she’ll start growing on me but right now I am not her biggest fan. The concept and the plot is what resuscitates the story and keeps it going for me, along with the hope that the characters will grow and develop into likable decent people at one point. I’m still terribly interested in it all and in where the plot is headed! (I have my eye on you, characters. I’m giving you a chance to redeem yourselves.) I hope it gets better the further in you get! (hide spoiler)]

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jenny (Reading Envy)

    This is the first volume of manga I've ever read, so I am unsure right now how much of my likes/dislikes have to do more with the form than this particular volume. If reading graphic novels can be a challenge, and it is, many of us have to kind of shift into that mode of reading - manga is harder! Although translated into English the reading order starts back to front, right to left. I had to constantly force my brain to do it differently than how it wanted to. The story is interesting, library sp This is the first volume of manga I've ever read, so I am unsure right now how much of my likes/dislikes have to do more with the form than this particular volume. If reading graphic novels can be a challenge, and it is, many of us have to kind of shift into that mode of reading - manga is harder! Although translated into English the reading order starts back to front, right to left. I had to constantly force my brain to do it differently than how it wanted to. The story is interesting, library special forces in a future with rampant censorship. The libraries are the only place that can save censored books, often by sending these agents into bookstores where books are being removed. The central character, Iku, is going through training to be part of this force. Her parents think she is going to librarian school. I liked this part of the story. More of the pages were used up by Iku dreaming about the library agent who rescued her, or in two-page fight-sequence spreads. I liked this less. The art is definitely manga-style but lacks the beauty of some of the graphic novels I've loved, and honestly to me the only reason to read something in such a visual form is for the beauty. Otherwise I'd prefer to just read the text. That's a personal preference thing. I still think it's great that there is a series called Library Wars.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Karene

    I have become extremely fond of this series. I can't imagine a more suitable format (though I must say that if I could get a hold of the original novels in English they would also be in my collection!), for this story. I work in a high school library where the constraints of censorship are considerably looser than when I worked in an elementary school (which, though understandable, I found constantly chafed at my feelings and beliefs that accessibility was the MOST IMPORTANT THING about a librar I have become extremely fond of this series. I can't imagine a more suitable format (though I must say that if I could get a hold of the original novels in English they would also be in my collection!), for this story. I work in a high school library where the constraints of censorship are considerably looser than when I worked in an elementary school (which, though understandable, I found constantly chafed at my feelings and beliefs that accessibility was the MOST IMPORTANT THING about a library). So I have very strong feelings of connection to the story. It feels as if this was just written with my tastes specifically in mind. A Manga about libraries with a twist...I Love it! I have read a few other reviews about this series and I feel I have to address one particular comment (the criticism about Kasahara, a female, being slapped by her male superior officer, Instructor Dojo). Considering what kind of person she is, what her career choice entails, and also taking into account the circumstances of the encounter, this kind of violent response seems to be the only logical reaction (with all that adrenaline and sexual tension swimming around in there). Plus, when someone complains about things of this type, is that not just another brand of censorship?

  26. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    [voiceover] In a world where libraries have formed a military group to protect themselves, and homicides committed in the course of the war over media have been decriminalized, one girl dreams of joining the Library Defense Force . . . I enjoyed this first entry into the series, although the heroine was a little too hapless at times, and was often patted on the head by male figures, which is what keeps it from a five-star rating--the library action scenes, especially those where the team is in th [voiceover] In a world where libraries have formed a military group to protect themselves, and homicides committed in the course of the war over media have been decriminalized, one girl dreams of joining the Library Defense Force . . . I enjoyed this first entry into the series, although the heroine was a little too hapless at times, and was often patted on the head by male figures, which is what keeps it from a five-star rating--the library action scenes, especially those where the team is in the stacks struggling to fill patron requests, are perfect.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Renata

    This is a fun concept and one that obviously appeals to me as a librarian. I don't read much manga and it's still kind of hard for me to read it and understand all the tropes. I know this is popular with a lot of my teens and I assume they are into the romance plotline that was just pretty meh for me. still, yay libraries!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    It has been years since I've read a manga series, but the title caught my attention. It's so cute! The art makes it feel like a fun, lighthearted story, even though the plot circumstances (government banning books and a task force devoted to intellectual freedom) is frighteningly plausible. Definitely reading the rest of the series.

  29. 4 out of 5

    KaitLphere

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I enjoyed the idea of a library task force that protects books from being confiscated by the government. I also liked the art and appreciated the army duds everyone, including the ladies, wore. However, the main character was a bit too over-the-top for me, and the growing romance between her and a superior was a little creepy.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Justine

    4.5 stars Glad to find the characters again, in a new format! It's great to "see" them, and to live, once more, their adventures with them! I still love the story, the budding romance, and the humour!!

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