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Library Wars: Love & War, Vol. 1 by [Yumi, Kiiro]
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Library Wars: Love & War, Vol. 1 Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Description

Product Description

Iku Kasahara has dreamed of joining the Library Forces ever since one of its soldiers stepped in to protect her favorite book from being confiscated in a bookstore when she was younger. But now that she's finally a recruit, she's finding her dream job to be a bit of a nightmare. Especially since her hard-hearted drill instructor seems to have it in for her!

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Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 200133 KB
  • Print Length: 200 pages
  • Publisher: VIZ Media: Shojo Beat (July 23 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FDZK9QW
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
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  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #132,342 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Format: Paperback
Reason for Reading: With a title like "Library Wars" what book geek could resist!

This is a Shojo series and Iku's relationships often overtake the plot at times but it is a lot of fun. Set in the future, the government has banned and can ban any book it considers unsuitable from being sold or owned personally. The only exemption to this is that Libraries are free from this censorship. Iku has wanted to join the Library Defense Force ever since she was a little girl and we meet her as she has just become a recruit. But she is finding it much harder than she expected because of her drill Sergeant who is very hard on her. This is where the Shojo comes in. Iku and the drill Sergeant, Dojo, have an explosive relationship. He is very strict, pushes Iku very hard, and can be rude but at the times needed he is very supportive and encouraging. Iku is furious with him all the time but from her bashfulness we know she really is attracted to him even if she won't admit it.

Much of the book follows these clashes between Iku and Dojo which, surprisingly to me, are a lot of fun, actually, though not my usual cup of tea. But there is also plenty on the "war" side of things as well; we are given a background on the society and how it works. Vol. 1 covers Iku's entire basic training which is pretty much the same as one would expect from the army with a bit of librarian training thrown in as well. Where the book ends, we can tell that more action should be expected in the next volume.

I really enjoyed the art. I do not like typical Shojo art. Here we have Iku with short hair and very tom-boy looking which suits her feisty manner, the other girls shown are pretty but in an average way and all the men are drawn like men with short hair and masculine bodies. One character even has muscles!

Since this is not my usual type of manga I wasn't quite sure how I'd like it, but I'm pleased to say it was a hit with me and I'm looking forward to reading Vol. 2.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hiro Arikawa illustrates a world that is plausible and dystopian in nature. Library Wars is a lovable shoujo manga, because of its characters. The characters are lovable and and hardworking, and even though the relationships in the manga may be obvious, they are wonderfully woven together with their interactions (which are never boring)!
A highly recommended series to any interested in some beautiful art, and a new spin to an old cliche.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9f8533b4) out of 5 stars 26 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f9b1540) out of 5 stars If Ray Bradbury Had Written Shojo Manga... June 10 2010
By Ellen W. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
..."Library Wars" might have been the result. In the future, the central government of Japan has passed the "Media Decency Act." This act allows the government to confiscate books with "inappropriate material" from bookstores and keep them from the public. The only way people can read these books is through local libraries, who are allowed to collect the banned books and lend them to the public. Still, there is a lot of tension between the two groups, and war has broken out over it. When Iku Kusahara was in high school, government officials raided the local bookstore and almost took the book she'd been waiting for for so long. But the Library Defense Force came to the rescue, and one man in particular saved Iku's book for her. Since that day, she has dreamt of becoming a member of the Library Defense Force and becoming like her prince.

Now, she's making that dream come true. Being on the Defense Force is a very dangerous job, and Iku has to lie to her parents, saying that she's only a librarian. Iku's doing very well, however, her physical strength surpassing most of the men's. The only problem is her drill instructer, Atsushi Dojo. He seems to have it in for her, doing things like making her do push ups for stopping after finishing a race. Iku hates him and argues back with him, but she seems to be stuck with him. But after he supervises her first mission, she begins to see that maybe he's not so bad, after all.

While the plot here seems pretty original, it doesn't make the most of its unique features. The conflict between the government forces and the libraries takes a backseat to Iku's personal woes. And the conflict doesn't seem to have any of the subtlety of "Farenheit 491," where the censorship of books occurred as a result of the will of special interest groups, not the oppression of the central government. Still, at this point in the story, Iku is in training and hasn't yet become part of the conflict. Maybe we'll get more information on it in future volumes. There is focus on Iku's training, and we do get to see her deal with the government a little. We also get a little information on how the library works. Iku's training is a little generic, but the other things are more interesting. I hope there's more detail later.

So far, though, this is standard shojo fare. Iku can beat most of the guys, and can even hold her own against Dojo, but he usually bests her in the end. He's a thorn in her side during training, but he helps and encourages her when she really needs it. You know the drill. The characters themselves are likable, but not really distinctive. Iku is cheerful, feisty, and perseverent, while Dojo is quieter, sarcastic, and tries to be stoic. The relationship between them is cute, though, albeit similar to dozens of other love/hate pairings. And I find it hard to believe that Iku could get away with being so disrespectful to a senior officer... But I do like the height difference between the two, with Iku being the taller (is it just a coincidence that Dojo's first name is "Atsushi," like the hero of the oh so wonderful Love Com?).

Iku is supposed to be a tough heroine, and she is, but Dojo still ends up having to rescue her. At one point, she tackles a suspect, only to turn around too quickly so Dojo has to protect her when the suspect retaliates. It's her naivety that gets her in trouble, not her lack of strength, but this kind of thing still bugs me a bit. Especially when the hero shows up conveniently to help, like in a later scene. And it's not exactly a secret who Iku's prince is, unless the creators are pulling a fast one on us.

I like the art here. It's casual shojo style, with simply designed eyes and clean lines. This is the style I prefer, and I thought everything was well drawn, though not particularly exceptional.

I feel like I've been harder on "Library Wars" than I intended to be. It is a pretty well written manga, and it has a more interesting backdrop than most. I think my main problem with it is that while it's good, it could have been better. The backdrop is different, but it's a setting for the usual trappings of shojo. These are pretty well exectued, but I'm getting bored of them. Still, it looks like this manga will set itself apart more in the future and develop its background. As of now, I'd say it's above average, but still not great.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f9b1594) out of 5 stars In the Future Books are Defended with Librarian Armies! July 4 2010
By Nicola Mansfield - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Reason for Reading: With a title like "Library Wars" what book geek could resist!

This is a Shojo series and Iku's relationships often overtake the plot at times but it is a lot of fun. Set in the future, the government has banned and can ban any book it considers unsuitable from being sold or owned personally. The only exemption to this is that Libraries are free from this censorship. Iku has wanted to join the Library Defense Force ever since she was a little girl and we meet her as she has just become a recruit. But she is finding it much harder than she expected because of her drill Sergeant who is very hard on her. This is where the Shojo comes in. Iku and the drill Sergeant, Dojo, have an explosive relationship. He is very strict, pushes Iku very hard, and can be rude but at the times needed he is very supportive and encouraging. Iku is furious with him all the time but from her bashfulness we know she really is attracted to him even if she won't admit it.

Much of the book follows these clashes between Iku and Dojo which, surprisingly to me, are a lot of fun, actually, though not my usual cup of tea. But there is also plenty on the "war" side of things as well; we are given a background on the society and how it works. Vol. 1 covers Iku's entire basic training which is pretty much the same as one would expect from the army with a bit of librarian training thrown in as well. Where the book ends, we can tell that more action should be expected in the next volume.

I really enjoyed the art. I do not like typical Shojo art. Here we have Iku with short hair and very tom-boy looking which suits her feisty manner, the other girls shown are pretty but in an average way and all the men are drawn like men with short hair and masculine bodies. One character even has muscles!

Since this is not my usual type of manga I wasn't quite sure how I'd like it, but I'm pleased to say it was a hit with me and I'm looking forward to reading Vol. 2.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f9b19cc) out of 5 stars A Fantastic Shojo Series for Complex Minds. Oct. 16 2015
By shardinea - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Library Wars is possibly the best shojo manga series I've ever read. In fact, in general, its one of the best overall, and I've read everything from Dramacon to Zatch Bell, and Skip Beat to Fullmetal Alchemist. Basically, this story occurs during a time when Japan is experiencing extreme censorship (fictionally of course). The federal government is at odds with the local governments. The federal level wants to contain "harmful" books, words, materials, etc. by censoring them. On the other hand, the local government is fighting back by allowing the libraries to continue to keep censored books in their facilities and available to the people. This causes a bunch of different problems, as you can imagine--raids, battles, etc. And as a result, the library has built up a private military to protect the books and the people in its facilities, as well as future interests.

This story follows a young woman who was sparked to join an armed unit of the library forces due to an experience she had as a little girl. It follows two people (and their group of friends) from a seeming mutual dislike to an incredibly deep love, which gets deeper in every volume. This series has a great balance of action, tragedy, suspense, and romance. It also has a way of making you care about the other on-going romances that occur in the series, which is a sign of great writing--being able to seamlessly balance multiple plots in a way that appears effortless. I've reread this series something like 20 times, and my eyes are still glued to the page every time I start reading.

This series isn't about love triangles or shallow high school romances. So if you're looking for a manga that embodies "Mean Girls," look elsewhere. This isn't that kind of story. It deals with a bunch of men and women who face a reality of any day being their last on a regular basis, so romance and friendship in this series are much slower and more meaningful. It's full of that complexity in relationships that occurs when you become and adult and have to make life decisions. It worries about politics and plays out tactical strategies. It is one of the smartest and sweetest stories I have ever had the pleasure of reading, and I highly recommend reading it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f9b19b4) out of 5 stars Surprisingly good July 6 2013
By Jude - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
~3.5/5

[Contains spoilers.]

When VIZ first released this, I'm not sure why, but I didn't pick it up. It sounded like it might be more serious, I guess, but I didn't really hear much about it. Recently, though, I've decided that I think I wanted to give it a try. And so, when I got the chance recently, I picked up a few volumes. And now I'm starting to wish that I had picked up more.

When I did finally pick it up, I thought it would probably be pretty straight up shojo, and it is, but it's also rather funny. And just overall entertaining.

Iku Kasahara, the starring role, is training to be on the Library Defense Force, in a world where the local libraries are fighting the government to the right to read whatever they want. The concept is kind of maddening (because, ugghhh, censorship), but it's also really interesting. And I like what Iku is aiming to be: a hero to other people who love books, someone who can save the books, just as a mysterious man did for her a while back.

Iku is a pretty straightup cliché shojo heroine. She's got a good heart, is not very smart but tries really hard, is looking for her mysterious man, has a love-hate (only, you know, not love quite yet) with her mentor (the obvious love interest). And I don't really mind her. She's not exceptional, but she's fun, and I'm enjoying following her at the moment.

There's a lot of other characters, as well. There's her mentor, Dojo, who's tough on her, but has a sweet heart. I like him, and am liking seeing her and him getting closer. Also, he's shorter than Iku, and I like that. Just for the fact that, it bothers him, but it's not really that big of a deal. Usually the girl is shorter, and the only time I can think of where that wasn't true, is in Love*Com, where it was a thing, a theme, a major point of contention between the characters. Here, it's just a fact, neither of them are of extreme heights (she's 5'7, he's 5'4), and I like that.

Then there's another mentor, Komaki, who is always laughing at Dojo and Iku. I quite like him, as well. There's a more minor character, Major Genda, who is just having a good time, also teasing Dojo and Iku. He's just all around fun.

There's Iku's roommate and friend, Asako Shibazaki, who is training to be a librarian and not on the fighting front. I like her quite a lot. She's straightforward, but helps Iku when she can, and enjoys flirting with Dojo (who doesn't flirt back), and likes looking at the men around her. I'm really looking forward to getting to know more about her. Lastly, there's Tezuka, who's training with Iku. They have a angry relationship with each other, which is sure to turn into romance later, but I'm already all for Dojo; still, he's not too bad.

There's a lot of training, and Iku messing up and then doing her best to do better, and her freaking out over Dojo and Tezuka. It's just really fun right now, actually, which I was surprised by. And I'm really looking forward to reading more.

[This review is also available on my blog.]
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9f9b1e70) out of 5 stars Fighting Within the Confines of the Law...Our Right to Read! Dec 26 2012
By Hope this helps - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
*This review is a general review of the series. At the time of this review, I have read up through all available 8 volumes (volume 9 is coming out in April...and it's still ongoing). I will update as needed. Also, the subsequent reviews I will do for the other volumes will be in relation to how well they tie in, and progress the story.*

CONTENT ISSUES:
This manga is pretty safe content-wise. Not much profane language except for the rarely used "D-Word" or "BS" (fully said). No real innuendos and provocative fanservice (makes sense since this is a shojo manga). There is an instance of plot progressing dialogue in the public bath house between two of the female leads, but nothing is shown. Most is just the typical shoulder-and-up view, and the "worst" you see is the upper back-side as one of them leaves.

MY REVIEW (ABSOLUTELY NO SPOILERS):
I'm not a particular fan of manga (for the sake of them being manga or Japanese) in general. I'm interested in good narratives an premises, and not much manga (with some notable exceptions) have really interested me. This one is one of those notable exceptions. This manga is about legal rights and the very delicate relationship of local versus national rights...and media censorship. It does it well.

"Library Wars: Love & War" is what is called a SHOJO (or SHOJOU) manga. What this means is that it's a manga especially targeted for the young female demographic (below the age of 20)...and that it will be women-centric in that the main protagonist will be female. With that said, it has a very universal charm, appeal, and covers themes that can really connect with men and women alike. And as in Shojo fashion, it's not gonna be all about action, muscle, and explosions...but also has good drama and feature other aspects of life. Also, just as a note, this manga is based off of the light novel series, "Toshokan Sensō ".

THEMES:
So many themes and social commentaries abound in this manga. This manga takes place in a Japan where the national government is trying to control the circulation of various media...especially books. In response, the local governments also enacted their rights to protect said media from extreme censorship...and thus they instituted the libraries as the guardians of their legal right to keep accessible those said materials. What I liked about this series, however, is that this is not a flat rebel-versus-institution story at all. In fact, both extreme censorship and disruptive/violent/rebellious protest and terrorism is looked down upon. What it proposes is proper and lawful dialogue. A major theme is that the library will fight lawfully and uphold the law...not stooping down to mere "thugmanship". In addition, it takes on issues of "political correctness" and what real concern for children and the handicapped looks like; as well as the notorious "seeing/making-an-issue-where-there-was-none-to-begin-with". Themes of family are also delved into, as well as the difference between training and sports (a very important life lesson that you can discover if you read it). There is also a very wholesome romance that is simply charming and very good (meaning it's one that actually develops with some meat and meaning...not just a shallow love-at-first-sight relationship). There are many other themes, too...this is but a taste. All these themes work naturally into the story :-)

On top of all this, the the balance between seriousness and lightheartedness/humor is wonderful. You are in for much laughter and tears. And it definitely reminded me of why I love books.

STORY COHESIVENESS:
The story is real smooth and works together...the one thing I did have to get used to was some of the scene transitions. It just wasn't a style I was used to...but after awhile, I got used to it. Approach it as if you are watching an anime with occasional sudden scene changes. Also, the plot points and the themes are seamless and smoothly work with the narrative.

I also enjoyed the extra bits the author included in each volume. Each volume features "mini-comics" that are scattered throughout the volume as a light and humorous diversion, and short side-comics featuring some of the other characters (like Kasahara Iku's bumbling secret admirer colleague). In addition, each volume also has 2-3 "extra manga" at the end. These extra manga either elaborate on events that occurred in the main story arc or serve as a separate look at the other independent operations and duties of the Library Task Force. Also, there are endnotes at the very end of each volume that helps clarify cultural things that happen in the manga...and they do include page numbers.

ART: Standard pop anime style...and it's very clean cut and nice. Also, I appreciate the fact that the body proportions are natural, professional, and not fanservicey at all.

TRANSLATIONS:
The translation is very smartly written and no real hiccups as of yet. Very natural sounding and plain well done.

ALL IN ALL:
I highly recommend this manga to anyone who loves books and reading. It'll give you much to think about as well as provide an emotional roller coaster. Even though this is a Japanese narrative intended for the Japanese populace...there are still many parallels and things of value we can glean from this work. I find it to be very inspiring and a welcome change to all the dark and dreary or the pie-in-the-sky. It's a realistic optimism. Even if manga is not your cup of tea, you may find some exceptional worth in it. So I hope you pick it up and that you enjoy!