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Manga / Kokoro Library

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Aruto, Kokoro and Iina

"This is Kokoro Library, a place where miracles happen."

Kokoro Library depicts the lives of three sisters who manage the library inherited from their parents, far out in the hills. There is Iina, the oldest and the motherly one; Aruto, the bookworm intellectual one; and Kokoro, the youngest who has just started to learn the ropes of becoming a librarian — and who takes immense pride in the fact that she shares her name with the library.

The series follows the sisters' moments of joy and sadness, usually interspersed with days of boredom when again no customers come to visit the library. It starts out as a typical moe show, but after a few episodes switches gears toward a much more emotional experience, when the girls' interaction with the outside world leads to a string of highs and lows in the relationship between them and with other people. There are a lot of miracles along the way, both small and large.


Kokoro Library started out as a manga by Nobuyuki Takagi, which was serialized in Dengeki Daioh from 2000 to 2002 and compiled into three volumes. It was adapted into an anime in 2001, directed by Koji Masunari, who is perhaps better known for his work on the Read or Die OVA and Kamichu!. Of special note is the soundtrack, composed by Hisaaki Hogari, with its lovely piano-filled themes which feature prominently throughout the latter half of the series.


This manga provides examples of:

  • Cool Car: The sisters drive a military amphibious car (likely a Volkswagen Schwimmwagen). It's even seen waterborne in one episode.
  • Expy: June looks a lot like Chii from Chobits.
  • Fair Cop: One episode has the appearance of a whole squadron of miniskirt-clad young policewomen.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Averted. Aruto openly admits in the anime not to believe in a god, but she is shown to be a gentle and caring person.
    • Of course, atheism is not so out of the ordinary in Japan.
    • On the other hand she is shown praying along with her sisters in the manga. And it works: new issues of her books comes. In opposite to Kokoro's wish of more costumers who not come. Iina's wish? Kokoro looking cute but since that is was she always do it of course fullfilled.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Aruto wears a wig on her book cover photos. It works rather well. Strangely, she feels the need to wear the wig while writing.
  • The Rashomon: Kokoro's trip to the librarian training is seen from her point of view and that of her sisters, who stay behind.