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Visual Novel / Daitoshokan No Hitsujikai

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The heroines of Shiomi Academy. note 

"Be nice to the people you meet. Wish for their happiness from the bottom of your heart."

The Shepherd, an urban legend of Shiomi Academy, is said to appear before hardworking students to grant them a wish.

While engrossed in a book inside the school's renowned Great Library, Kyoutarou Kakei, a second year student and the Library Club's de facto president, receives an email from the Shepherd foretelling an event that will change his fate. Worried by the message, Kyoutarou rushes over to a nearby train station and encounters fellow student Tsugumi Shirasaki, whom he saves from being hit by a derailing train. Grateful for his heroic actions, Tsugumi joins the Library Club and invites Kyoutarou to participate in her mysterious "Shiomi Happy Project." Together with other new members of the club, they strive to make the academy a better place and uncover the identity of the enigmatic Shepherd.

Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai (大図書館の羊飼い a good librarian like a good shepherd, lit: The Shepherd of the Great Library) is a 2012 Visual Novel released by August. It was later adapted into both a manga and a 12-episode long anime that aired in the Fall 2014 season. It also had a side-story game named Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai ~Houkago Shippo Days~ released in 2013 and a fandisc titled Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai -Dreaming Sheep- released in 2014.

Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai and its related material contains examples of:

  • Absentee Club Member: Kakei and his friends are the only active members of the Library Club. The inactive members remain unseen and forgotten until near the climax of the true route when their sudden reappearance causes all kinds of problems for the main cast.
  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council: Not to an extreme extent, but Shiomi Academy is an elite enough school that the student council is able to use alumni connections to get nationwide-famous pop stars to perform during their summer festival.
  • Accidental Pervert: Kyoutarou during his first meeting with Tsugumi. It blows up over the school's newspaper, and only a word from Tsugumi herself settles the misunderstanding later.
    *cue Color Failure from the crowd*
  • Adaptation Distillation: The anime doesn't follow any single route, not even the true one, and instead takes elements from all of them to form a new version of the plot.
  • Animal Motifs
    • With shepherds come sheep.
    • Each member of the Library Club also has their corresponding animal on the pillows made by Tsugumi.
    • Tsugumi shares this with her sister, Sayori, whose names refer to a bird and a fish respectively.
  • Anti-Frustration Features: The choices required to get to the true route, available only by completing the game once beforehand, are clearly marked with a bookmark.
  • Bookworm: Perhaps Kyoutarou's most defining trait: much of the walls of his house are covered with bookshelves, and he is often reading, even while walking and during conversations with others.
  • Career-Ending Injury: Why Takamine no longer practises karate. Later revealed that he both gave and received one, and the fact that he stopped was more due to the guilt over injuring his senior.
  • Continuity Cameo: The characters from the Cat Photography Club featured in the side story Houkago Shippo Days appear briefly as one of the groups attending Minafest during episode 12.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Kyoutarou being the only active member of the Library Club comes back to haunt the main characters during the climax of the true route.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Surprisingly enough, it's Takigawa that serves as this to Mochizuki, of all people.
  • Cutting Off the Branches: Averted by the fandisc Dreaming Sheep, which contains stories that continue from the ending of each heroine route.
  • Darkest Hour: When the Library Club loses their clubroom, things take a turn for the worse.
  • Deus ex Machina: The ending of the anime adaptation veers into this territory. Kyoutarou's book is supposed to have been outright destroyed when he was made a Shepherd, but somehow Nanai/Sevon was able to fully restore it after, though at the cost of Kyoutarou's bookmark, an ability not alluded to once in the visual novel.
  • Dreaming of Things to Come: Kyoutarou posseses the ability to see occasional visions of the future pertaining to other people, which was what allowed him to save Tsugumi from the derailing train in their first encounter. This is later revealed to be a result of him sending this consciousness to the Library of Prayers and gleaming the information from that person's book.
  • Dub Name Change: Nanai's name is changed to Sevon in the English fan translation of the visual novel, keeping the Numerical Theme Naming intact across languages.
  • Follow the Leader: In the Library Club's story in Dreaming Sheep, Miyu mentions the presence of additional Library Clubs popping up during her lunchtime interview with Tsugumi.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Kodachi, who is both a childhood friend and a lost sibling.
  • Friendship Trinket: Senri's tuning fork, which is one of a pair. The story behind it, as well as who owns the other, is a central part of her route.
  • Funny Background Event: In Episode 3 of the anime: Giza steals meat from Kana's lunch, then gives a Meaningful Look at her...chest area, incurring her wrath.
  • Genius Book Club: Averted by Kyoutarou, who is not portrayed as especially smarter than the other members of the Library Club despite his love of books.
  • Genre Savvy: Kodachi in Episode 3 of the anime, when she hears questionable sounds coming from the Library Club's clubroom. Unfortunately for her, opening the door anyway still results in a comical misunderstanding.
    Kodachi (to herself): It might sound indecent, but it'll be just like those cliches where I'm the only one who got it wrong.
  • Great Big Book of Everything: What Kyoutarou dreams of reading.
    ??: I see. So you want a magic book that details everything in the world?
  • Golden Ending: The true route can only be reached on a second playthrough, and only if Kyoutarou does not get close to any of the girls in the Library Club during the common route.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation: Sakuraba shows traces of this, despite the smooth running of the Library Club being almost entirely due to her administrative efforts.
  • Informed Ability: Kyoutarou is the top of his class. This does not play into the plot except to explain why Mochizuki continually attempts to recruit him to the student council.
  • Internal Reveal: Happens in the anime adaptation, when Kyoutaro finds out that the one who brought together the Library Club was Kodachi. Averted in the visual novel which follows Kyoutarou's point of view.
  • Leitmotif: Though it is never made explicit, each heroine is associated with a certain tune which plays when they appear. An example is Senri's Col Canto -With the Song-.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Happens to those that meet the Shepherd: all memories pertaining to that of the Shepherd fade after around two weeks. This of course throws a wrench into the Library Club's attempts to track down the Shepherd.
  • The Load: Tsugumi thinks she's one, especially when compared to Sakuraba's productive ability and Senri's singing talent.
  • Love Hurts: A common occurrence for heroines not on your current route. Special mention goes to Kana during Senri's route, during which the Shepherd themself shows up to comfort her briefly.
  • Love Letter: One of the Library Club's first challenges: returning a lost love letter to its unknown writer.
  • Magic Librarian: What a Shepherd more closely resembles.
  • Magical Library: Mentioned verbatim to Kyoutarou in his childhood as a place where he could find the Great Big Book of Everything that he wanted to read. The true name for it is the Library of Prayers, which resembles a Great Big Library of Everything and functions like a version of the Akashic Records. In it, there exists one book for each person, which contains their past and all of their possible futures.
  • Magic Realism: The Shepherd is hinted to be more than a normal urban legend.
  • Matchmaker Crush:
    • Kana and Senri both attempt to matchmake each other with Kyoutarou in their routes.
    • Kodachi in her version of the true route, especially since it's revealed that she's the one that brought together the Library Club in the hopes of getting Kyoutarou attached to a girl.
  • Mistaken from Behind: Tsugumi in her route, where she mistakes a stranger for Kyoutarou.
  • Most Writers Are Writers: Kana is shown to be an aspiring writer. Miyu also probably serves as the voice actor counterpart to this, given how voice acting is a large part of visual novels.
  • Multiple Endings: As is expected for a visual novel. There is one normal and true end for every main heroine, plus a variant of the true ending that has you end up with Kodachi.
  • Mundane Fantastic: Nobody ever digs deep into how Giza, the Libary Club's resident animal, sometimes appears to speak human language.
  • New Game Plus: Completing any route once is a requirement for unlocking the True route, as well as the true endings of the four Library Club heroines.
  • No Romantic Resolution: The anime adaptation ends with an ambiguous situation, though the winner is implied to be either Kodachi or Shirasaki. Subverted in the manga adaptation.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: The student council plays this role with regards to the Library Club's attempts to set up larger events.
  • Ojou: Sakuraba, being from a family descended from a clan of feudal lords, technically qualifies. She doesn't act like one, though.
    Sakuraba: I'm just an ordinary human being with no real worth.
  • Parental Abandonment: Kyoutarou's father is noted to have simply disappeared one day.
  • Playful Hacker: Ureshino counts as one. The Library Club goes to her to track down the sender of the Shepherd's emails.
  • Please, Don't Leave Me: In the True route, the heroine that Kyoutarou is closest to in the Library Club (which depends on your previous choices) will show up at his apartment when he considers becoming a Shepherd to solve the issue of the clubroom.
  • Portal Book: Shepherds have the ability to warp between any two locations if there is a book at both ends. What constitutes a "book" is also relatively loose; Kodachi uses a dropped porno mag to escape from an alleyway with a dead end in the anime.
  • Put on a Bus: Kodachi, on the non-true heroine routes, as a result of her being a Shepherd.
  • Renaissance Man: Mochizuki, the Student Council President, is a female example that is said to be good at both academics and sports.
  • Ret-Gone: The fate of all those who become a Shepherd: their book in the Library of Prayers is destroyed, and memories of them are erased from all those who ever interacted with them.
  • Ship Sinking: As is standard for a visual novel with branching paths.
  • Spell My Name With An S: The name of the magical library is translated as "Library of Wishes" in the visual novel, and "Library of Prayers" in the subtitles of the anime.
  • Story Branching: The story diverges heavily after the conclusion of Minafest.
  • Wham Shot: Accompanied by the corresponding Wham Line in Kyoutarou's internal narration, when he finds definite proof of the Shepherd's identity.
    The apartment is completely empty. Not a single piece of furniture.