In the future, the Japanese government passes strict laws regulating the content of books. These laws allow them to collect any books deemed unsuitable. In response, librarians form their own military groups to fight back and protect citizens’ right to read. Iku Kasahara is the first woman to join the Library Defense Force, something she’s dreamed about since her favorite book was rescued by them when she was a little girl. But training is harder than she expected, especially with her superior officer, Instructor Dojo, seems to have it in for her.

Yumi’s manga is based on a light novel series by Arikawa. As a librarian and a military brat, I couldn’t resist writing about a story where librarians are in paramilitary groups and fighting censorship! Shojo readers will find a lot of familiar elements here. Iku is the bumbling main character who tries to do her best but doesn’t know her own strength, as seen so often in both shojo and shonen manga (think Naruto). She’s a good bit taller than Dojo, so some of their interactions reminded me of the series Love*Com (also from VIZ). Dojo looks and acts like a blend of Roy Mustang and Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist (VIZ) and the military elements might remind a few readers of that series, though Library Wars does not have anywhere near the depth of FMA. And, finally, Iku is always motivated by the memory of a mysterious–but handsome and gallant, she’s sure–rescuer from her childhood, an element that put me in mind of Kitchen Princess (Del Rey Manga).

But these familiar elements aren’t really a handicap….

This review was originally posted at Good Comics for Kids. Please visit the original post to see the rest of the review.

Library Wars: Love & War, vol. 1-4
Manga Creator: Kiiro Yumi; Original story by Hiro Arikawa.
Vol. 1: ISBN 978-1-4215-3488-6
Vol. 2: ISBN 978-1-4215-3489-3
Vol. 3: ISBN 978-1-4215-3490-9
Vol. 1: ISBN 978-1-4215-3489-9
VIZ, 2010-2011

  • Snow

    Past Reviewer

    This reviewer is not longer actively working on our site, but we would not be here if not for our many dedicated contributors over the years. We thank all of them for their reviews, features, and support!

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