Search This Blog

Monday, November 3, 2014

Manga Review: Library Wars GN 12

Library Wars volume 12
Author: Kiiro Yumi
Original Concept: Hiro Arikawa
Viz Manga/Shojo Beat
190 pages
Library Forces member Iku Kasahara has plans to go out for tea with her supervisor and secret crush, Dojo, but just figuring out what to wear puts her in a tailspin. When an urgent call comes in about an author seeking protection from the government, Iku realizes that the fight against censorship never takes a break! (Source: Viz)
One of the best things about the Library Forces manga is that even when it gets romantic and heartfelt, it never forgets what it's about: a world at violent odds with the ideas of censorship and artistic freedom, set in a society where soldiers must actively protect libraries from being destroyed and ideas from being stamped out. Unfortunately for Iku, another one of these incidents of authors vs censors comes during her first date-sort-of with Dojo, the man she's been crushing on for the entire series. Sorry, Iku-san.

Ironically, when a major incident forces controversial author Kurato Toma to go into hiding within the headquarters of the Library Forces, a series of circumstances bring Iku and Dojo closer as they have to pretend to be a couple so they can go out and buy Toma a disguise without being spotted. As Iku juggles her duties with her sudden role as fake girlfriend for Dojo, the revelation of the true forces trying to take Toma out will lead to one of the more revolutionary alliances in the series' history as well as the now canon relationship between two unlikely characters—and no, it's not Iku and Dojo, not in this volume.
This volume of Library Wars will appeal to readers of all kinds. There is lots of romantic elements for the shippers, action scenes for the adrenaline junkies, political drama for the policy wonks, and enough humor for people who need levity and lightness through all the major events running through book 12. I especially enjoyed the bonus stories that came at the end of the book, since they are filled with Dojo/Iku goodness and are still very funny and somewhat dramatic.
The turn in the series with the Future of the Library group and Tezuka's duplicitous older brother makes this a very important book in the Library Wars series. It may end up changing the course of how the Library Forces operate, as well as the relationship between brothers Hikaru and Satoshi, which has been troubled since the start of the story. Of course, in a book that revolves around relationships, I'd argue that another one centered around a Tezuka brother is much more of a scene stealer, but I'll leave you to find that one out for yourself.
It's a very thrilling edition of Library Wars that pleases the reading palette across the board. And, of course, the book ends on a cliffhanger that could possibly throw the future of the Library Forces into jeopardy. In other words, it's another typical day for Iku and her colleagues. And luckily for us, their drama equals our entertainment.
PS: Please, if you don't already, buy Library Wars when it comes out! Tell your library to buy a copy of each volume! Give it as a gift to friends! The more sales the Library Wars manga makes, the more likely Viz Mediaand by extension, Shojo Beatis to look at the light novel series it is based on as a likely acquisition. Vote with your wallet and make the LN series published in English a reality!