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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 with three manga adaptations and two live-action movie adaptations. The anime is distributed by Discotek and be viewed online via Website/Crunchyroll, provided that you live in a country/territory where your viewing rights aren't restricted.

Set in 2019, during an alternate timeline where the Japanese government has issued the Media Betterment Act in the Diet, to prevent the spread of supposedly dangerous information by allowing censorship and go after violators through the Ministry of Justice's Media Betterment Committee. In response, local governments have set up the Library Defense Force to fight against the censorship of the MBC and their proxies who frequently raid libraries, bookstores and other places of interest.

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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 in Ibaraki. However, she quickly learns how demanding the LDF 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 she makes history for being the first woman to be successfully recruited.

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... While helping her friends, allies and colleagues defend the freedom of information from the MBC.

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Light Novel:

  • 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.
  • 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 Seika era, with the majority of the story taking place in 2019.
  • Battle Couple: Kasahara and Doujo, by the end of the series.
  • Badass Bookworm: Library Defense Force, of course. Since their main job is guarding libraries, this is justified.
  • 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.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Between Shibasaki and Tezuka.
  • Big "WHAT?!": When Kasahara learned Doujo is her "prince." It also involves a Big "NO!".
  • 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.
  • Book Burning: What happens to 'unsuitable' books that the Libraries can't get their hands on.
  • Book-Ends: The series both starts and ends with Doujo yelling at recruits at the end of the novels only that this Doujo is (or was) Iku Kasahara at the end.
  • Bulletproof Vest: At the end of the Mito library arc, Genda takes a barrage of bullets to the torso, but survives thanks to his body armor.
  • 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 in the fourth light novel. 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. This is lampshaded by various characters when they mention that even though there are people who get injured since Hino, many analysts and observers are reluctant to see that the LDF and MBC use this as a clean way of settling things.
  • 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.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The full title of the manga is Toshokan Sensou Love&War, which translates to Library War: Love & War.
  • Furo Scene: Lots (at least in the manga), though Barbie Doll Anatomy keeps things PG-13.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Military Academy: Early story arcs 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.
  • 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. Averted later on when both sides start to bring out heavy firepower.
  • 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.
  • 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:
    • In Episode 6, several members of the Defense Force are tasked with retrieving a copy of a heavily-censored book. While the title of the book is 505K, the description is obviously that of Fahrenheit 451. Considering that the book in their world is referred to as the Book of Prophecy, perhaps Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped. 505K is ~ 451 °F505K is ~ 446°F. 506K = 451.4°F
  • Sleep Cute: Kasahara and Doujo both to and from Ibaraki.
  • Spit Take: A Running Gag in the manga.
  • The Squad: Usually consists of the five person teams plus other superior officers.
  • 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.
  • 20 Minutes into the Future: About ten years, to be specific.

Anime:

  • Adaptation Distillation: The anime changes some situations and fails to introduce characters or plot points. It finally concludes with an anime original end.note 
  • Adaptation Expansion: The episode "Library Corps Refrain from Firing" gives more background to Dojo and Komaki's days when they were recently recruited to the LTF.
    • Though the anime movie corrects itself a bit and is more faithful to the novels.
  • Adapted Out: In the anime, several characters and story arcs are not mentioned.

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