Friday, August 3, 2012

Library Wars: Love and War

Based on the description of Library Wars: Love and War, I wasn't sure how much I'd enjoy it. I'm a librarian, so I felt that I should like it, but I have been reading a lot of shoujo manga lately that I haven't enjoyed. 

It's the future and the government has created a committee to rid society of books that are "unsuitable." In retaliation, libraries create their own military group called the Library Defense Force to protect their collections! 

Iku Kasahara has left home telling her family she was going to be a librarian, but secretly she has joined the Library Defense Force as a soldier. Why did she choose this dangerous life? Because of her prince that rescued her favorite book from confiscation by the government when she was younger. She wants to be just like him.

This is not the typical shoujo manga you may be familiar with, but when it comes down to the relationships Iku has with other characters and their personalities maybe it is. Her drill instructor is out to get her, and her new partner has little respect for her and thinks she's useless. Her best friend is a librarian and totally attractive and gets all the boys. Iku? She's clumsy, barely studies, and always runs into trouble. The story and character development has significantly more substance than many shoujo manga, and therefore appeals to fans of graphic novels and readers who are new to the format. 

If you're looking for a new shoujo manga that is thought-provoking and exciting, but still full of complicated romance, check out Library Wars.

The manga is based on Toshokan Sensō, a light novel (a book for teens, like what we call YA Lit) in Japan. The plot is based on the Statement on Intellectual Freedom in Libraries in Japan in 1954. Below is the opening page of the manga, which is based on actual articles from the real Statement on Intellectual Freedom in Libraries.

(Teens at the Arlington Library, the teen library blog of my library system, has shared this post on their blog as well)

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