Follow TV Tropes


Anime / Library War

Go To

Library War (図書館戦争, Toshokan Sensō in Japanese) is an award-wining Light-Novel series that was later adapted as an anime and an ongoing manga series. A live action film series was released on April 27, 2013, starring Nana Eikura and Junichi Okada. The manga and anime adaptations were licensed by Viz Media and Discotek for the English-speaking audience.

Set in 2019, during an alternate timeline where the Japanese government has issued the Media Improvement Act, to prevent the spread of supposedly dangerous information by allowing censorship. In response, local governments have set up the Library Defense Force to fight against the censorship of the Media Improvement Committee, who frequently raid libraries.

The story itself centers around Iku Kasahara, a recruit in the Force, who joined after being inspired by a mysterious Defense Force member who protected her and a book she was trying to buy that was being targeted for censorship. However, she quickly learns how demanding the Defense Force can be, mainly from her "demon" instructor, Atsushi Doujo. Despite making several huge mistakes at first, Iku is promoted to her base's Library Task Force, which is essentially the most elite branch of the Defense Force and Iku is the first woman to enter.

As the series goes on, she begins to improve in her duties, and she even finds out more about the mysterious "princely" figure that inspired her all those years ago...


  • A-Cup Angst: While Kasahara never really complains about it, she does calm her heart by thinking, "Settle down under those A-cups."
  • A-Team Firing: Played straight (and somewhat justified) with the LDF, as their goal is usually not to actually harm members of the MBC and to just hold them off. The MBC soldiers, however, have few qualms with shooting LDF members.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: While interrogating some kids who pulled off a dangerous prank Kasahara makes a joke which sets Komaki off laughing. Doujo scolds her for doing something so inappropriate while trying not to laugh himself. Even Tezuka barely keeps it together.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The anime changes some situations and fails to introduce characters or plot points. It finally concludes with an anime original end.
    • Though the anime movie corrects itslef a bit and is more faithful to the novels.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Iku has brown hair in the novels and in the anime but blonde/light-brown hair in the manga. Shibasaki has dark brown hair in the novels, black hair in the anime and brown hair in the manga.
  • Adapted Out: In the anime several characters are never mentioned. Like Iku's three older brothers.
  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Doujo's usual method of comforting Kasahara.
  • Age-Gap Romance: How some characters view Komaki and Marie's relationship due to their ten-year age gap (particularly Doujo who at first says that romance between them is impossible because they have a Like Brother and Sister relationship).
  • Alternative Calendar/20 Minutes into the Future: The series takes place in the fictional Seita era, with the majority of the story taking place in 2019.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Satoshi Tezuka, Hikaru Tezuka's older brother
  • Badass Adorable: Iku Kasahara, especially in her manga design.
  • Battle Couple: Kasahara and Doujo, by the end of the anime series at least.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Kasahara and Doujo, naturally.
  • Beta Couple: Komaki and Marie. Later on it seems that Tezuka and Shibasaki are shaping up to follow suit in the novels and the manga.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Komaki is usually pleasant and smiling, but when he gets pissed off it's enough to make Kasahara and Tezuka shudder.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Between Shibasaki and Tezuka.
  • Big "WHAT?!": When Kasahara learned Doujo is her "prince." It also involves a Big "NO!".
  • Bishounen: Doujo, Tezuka and Komaki, especially in their manga designs.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Seriously, this must be the cleanest civil war ever. Few people are actually killed by the series' A-Team Firing; most are only injured or knocked unconscious. It's justified for several reasons. Both sides wear SWAT/riot police/military-grade body armornote , but both sides have very few high-caliber firearms that can effectively punch through it - most engagements are conducted with 9mm submachinegunsnote . This means that being shot will undoubtedly be painful, but rarely outright lethal. The system implemented for what is and is not kosher in these firefights seems to have been designed to minimize actual human casualties. Also, as with modern warfare, most rounds are being fired to suppress the opposition, instead of being intended to kill.
    • Subverted with the Hino Massacre.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Genda.
  • Book Burning: What happens to 'unsuitable' books that the Libraries can't get their hands on.
  • Book Dumb: Iku states that she didn't do well in lectures. Cue scene of her passed out in class with her textbook over her face.
    • The novel explains this a bit more — because the university Iku went to didn't offer the classes she needed to qualify for a library job, she had to take night school courses on the side. She's still not a great student.
    • The manga has Iku say she planned to be in the Defense Force since they only handle combat duties. It comes back to bite her when she's accepted to the Task Force, which handles both combat and library duties.
  • Book-Ends: The anime both starts and ends with Doujo yelling at Kasahara to keep her arms up in a high port drill.
    • The movie also ends with Doujo scolding new recruits only that this Doujo is (or was) Iku Kasahara.
  • Brutal Honesty: Shibasaki, usually when Kasahara is being particularly flaily.
  • Bulletproof Vest: In the final arc of the anime, Genda takes a barrage of bullets to the torso, but survives thanks to his body armor.
  • Buttmonkey: Bonus strips in the manga chronicle the adventures of Maburo Agohige, Kasahara's manga-only secret admirer. Every time he tries to approach Kasahara, he stumbles upon an intense Doujo/Kasahara moment or otherwise gets shut down.
  • The Champion: Iku became a librarian to emulate her "prince," the unknown Library Force member who saved both her and her precious book from the Media Improvement Committee when she was in high school. It's Doujo.
  • The Chessmaster: Satoshi Tezuka and Shibasaki. The former even calls the latter out on it.
  • Childhood Friends: Komaki and Marie. Though a bit strange since Marie is almost a decade younger than him, it's explained that it's because their mothers have been long time friends.
  • Civil War: Essentially, this is what the Library War is all about. It's a very nice one, however, given that the JSDF would likely clamp down hard on any belligerents who would start involving civilians, heavy weapons and other things that leads to collateral damage or a breakdown in law and order.
  • Cold Sniper: Tezuka, during combat missions.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Kasahara is not afraid to attack people from behind during sparring sessions.
  • Cool Guns: A full list is available on IMFDB — it's a battle of new versus old. The MBC arsenal is ripped straight from the "cool" list, consisting of shiny new MP5 submachine gunsnote  and L96 sniper rifles. The LDF loses fancy factors on the account of acquiring JSDF surpluses, considering how relatively unremarkable the Type-64 and Type-89 rifles and the M24 Remington sniper rifle look in comparison to MBC counterparts, but the Minebea M-9 submachine guns in LDF possession are clones of the iconic Mini Uzi.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Doujo in a bonus chapter of the manga. For various reasons Kasahara gets a makeover, and is suddenly the object of much male attention. Dojo does not take this entirely well:
    Doujo: She's mine.
  • Culture Police: The Media Betterment Committee.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The full title of the manga is Toshokan Sensou Love&War, which translates to Library War: Love & War.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: When Kasahara ends up in a Pimped-Out Dress, Doujo can only stare until Kasahara snaps him out of it.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: What Iku thinks of Doujo. Justified since Doujo was trying to work Kasahara so hard she would quit.
  • Flower Motifs: Part of the Library Force's emblem is a chamomile, which in the language of flowers means "energy in adversity".
  • Furo Scene: Lots (at least in the manga), though Barbie Doll Anatomy keeps things PG-13.
  • Girl Next Door: Kasahara's appearance is plain and somewhat boyish, befitting her personality. She's also frank about how she sees things, particularly when it comes to Dojou constantly being on her case.
  • Go Through Me: The climax of the anime sees Genda pull this on an anti-censorship art display. A Media Betterment Committee member shoots him point-blank in plain daylight, causing a PR nightmare for the MBC and saving the exhibit.
  • Heroic B.S.O.D.: In the anime, Doujo develops memory loss (specifically, agnosia) following the battle at the Ibaraki Branch Library.
  • Hero-Worshipper: Iku for her prince and Tezuka towards Doujo. Iku later starts to feel this towards Doujo as well.
  • Hot-Blooded: Kasahara, big time. Doujo also gets this way whenever Kasahara is involved.
  • Hot Librarian: The novels indicate that Shibasaki has quite a following as an Aloof Dark-Haired Girl among the library's male employees — and though she hates the attention (and the jealousy it provokes in some of her female colleagues), she'll take advantage of it when she needs to gather information.
  • The Hyena: Komaki laughs at just about everything.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Kasahara is a terrible shot. Just hitting the paper with the target (though not the target itself) was an improvement.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Orikuchi, who writes for the New World Weekly magazine.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Kasahara's memory of her "prince" inspired her to join the Library Force.
  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Female combat officers all admire Iku for being the first female member of the Library Task Force.
  • Large and in Charge: Genda.
  • Last-Name Basis: Not even best friends Kasahara and Shibasaki call each other by their names, Iku and Asako.
    • Doujo is never called Atsushi, Tezuka is only called Hikaru by his brother and likewise Komaki is mentioned to be only called Mikihisa by his and Marie's family.
  • Late to the Realization: It takes until volume 12 for Tezuka to realize the UST between Kasahara and Doujo.
  • Little Miss Snarker: Shibasaki, who is blunt to the point of cruelty at times.
  • Loophole Abuse: A loophole in the Media Betterment Act is what allowed the Libraries to exist in the first place. Another loophole led to the first library raid. A few laws and loopholes later and we've got an institutionalized civil war, with lots of rules for what is and is not kosher, and lots of people abusing the loopholes found in those rules.
  • Mildly Military: The Library Defense Force may get into gun battles, but they're still librarians and are responsible for everything from checking out books to running storytime for kids.
  • Military Academy: Early episodes focus on basic training for Library Defense Force members.
  • My Beloved Smother: Kasahara's overprotective mother wants her to be a Girly Girl; to be pretty and sweet and to do quiet, safe, girly activities. And if that requires forcing her daughter to leave her beloved but dangerous job, or give up her inappropriate dreams, then so be it.
  • The Napoleon: Doujo.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Kasahara in Tezuka's Imagine Spot. Shibasaki also does this in another Imagine Spot after she pawns his expensive Rolex that was a present from his older brother.
  • Non-Lethal Warfare: Appears to be justified, given the average military-grade body armour and low penetrating power of the pistol-caliber rounds for submachine guns used by both sides of the conflict.
  • Not So Different: Iku is a Hot-Blooded Wide-Eyed Idealist protector of books, which causes her to repeatedly butt heads with Doujo's by the book approach. Turns out both of them are pretty similar. Doujo turns out to be The Champion who inspired Kasahara.
    • The anime tries to show that this is also true for the troops of the Media Betterment Committee and our heroes. Komaki meets and somewhat befriends a member of the Betterment Committee.
  • Official Couple: Komaki and Marie.
  • One Head Taller: Inverted: Doujo is noticeably shorter than Kasahara. Needless to say, he's not exactly happy about this.
  • Right Behind Me: In the first chapter of the manga, Kasahara calls Dojo a "Mean shorty" and he overhears it.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Iku. When she has to go undercover as a normal library customer to catch a vouyeristic pervert and in a bonus chapter of the manga where she ends up wearing a Pimped-Out Dress. In the former one she feels embarrased by everyone's compliments and in the latter she isn't able to figure out why all the guys are suddenly staring at her.
  • She's Got Legs: Kasahara. The novels and manga even have Shibazaki point them out when Kasahara had to wear a mini-skirt.
    Kasahara: My legs aren't for show! They're for running fast and kicking ass!
  • Shipper on Deck: Iku and Shibasaki ship Marie and Komaki. Meanwhile Shibasaki and Komaki ship Iku and Doujo pretty hard.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Between Kasahara and Doujo at the start (well, a more belligerent version).
    • Genda and Orikuchi, who dated when they were younger and decided that Better as Friends, yet their spark seems to still be alive.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sleep Cute: Kasahara and Doujo both to and from Ibaraki.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Shibasaki (anime) or Shibazaki (manga)?
  • Spit Take: A Running Gag in the manga.
  • The Squad: Usually consists of the five person teams plus other superior officers.
  • The Squadette: Kasahara.
  • Stepford Smiler: Shibazaki, at least in the manga.
  • The Stoic: Tezuka Hikaru.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Whenever Doujo does something nice for Iku, he justifies that he is doing it because he is her boss. An example: When he goes after her to comfort her, before exiting the room he unnecessary says "I'm going as her superior officer, okay?"... You're not fooling Komaki and Shibasaki Doujo!.
  • This Is Reality:
    "If anyone from a country who doesn't have a Media Cleansing Law sees this, they must think it's absurd. Unfortunately, this is our reality."
  • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Much of the story takes place at the Kanto Library Base in the Tokyo area, with occasional forays outside the city.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Kasahara and Shibasaki, an unlikely roommate pair.
  • Tsundere: Doujo is a male version of this.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: About ten years, to be specific.
  • Unequal Pairing: Kasahara is Doujo's subordinate, after all. Not that they're officially a couple (yet).
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Kasahara, at the start of the series.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Tezuka has shades of this towards his older brother.
  • Wunza Plot
  • You Go, Girl!: Iku Kasahara is the first female to join the Library Task Force.

Alternative Title(s): Library Wars