Posted on 28 June 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews


Nearly all of the Noitamina-series have been either horror or post high-school slice-of-life dramas. So when I found out that the next instalment planned to focus on politics and action, I was thrilled to see how Production IG would tackle this series. Unfortunately, I got my hopes up too high and Toshokan Sensou ended up being my least favourite Noitamina-series since Jyu Oh Sei. Such a shame.

There was really some potential behind the concept: in the near future, books will become heavily censored by an evil organization, and this series follows a library corps who have been given the authority to use military actions in order to protect the books. It was an interesting opportunity to watch a war-series that was heavily bound by political rules for its battles. You don’t see that often in anime where most wars are just of the nature of “shoot the enemy before they shoot you”.

Unfortunately, the downfall of this series was its short length. In the end, this series feels just like a fired shotgun shell: this series wants to stuff way too much in just twelve episodes: there’s action, there’s drama, there’s comedy, there’s romance, there’s stealth, there’s a coming of age-theme, there are both large and small-scale politics, there is philosophy (the role of books in today’s society), there’s angst, there’s political intrigue, there’s sensation… there is no way to fit that in just one season.

As a result, everything ends up just half-baked, since this series tries to focus on every single one of these themes. Therefore, it has no chance to go in-depth into any of these things. The two elements that ended up best in the end were the action and the romance: whenever the focus is on one of these, this series delivers. However, when things turn to angst, sensation or politics, prepare to roll your eyes: they’re incomplete as hell, pointless and without them, this series would have been so much better.

Thankfully, this remains Production IG, so at least the production-values are pretty good. The art style is pretty interesting, where the line-art differs in thickness whenever a character is featured in a close-up. Everything is bright and colourful, and the soundtrack is pretty solid as well.

It seems that whenever I have major expectations from a Noitamina-series, it ends up disappointing somehow, so for the next instalment (Antique Bakery), I’m not going to expect anything, even though it’s going to be animated by the godly Nippon Animation. It’s going to be a dull yaoi-show aimed at fangirls, period. Toshokan Sensou would have been so much better if the plot actually went anywhere, but in the end it’s just a half-baked series. It’s without a doubt a varied series: if you’re bored during one episode, you don’t need to worry because the next episode will deal with something entirely different, but it never really tries to be anything of substance. This is one of the reasons why I usually prefer 24-episode series over 12-episode ones.

Storytelling: 6/10
Characters: 7/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 8/10

4 Responses

  1. Marmosette says:

    Quick Hide! Usagijen’s coming!

  2. bassment says:

    Bull’s eye!

  3. issa-sa says:

    In before usagijen!
    Well, I won’t rage at you even if I personally loved the series for the strong points you mentioned. I have to agree that you’re right about them cramming too much into 12 episodes (but if they expanded it to 24, a lot of people would’ve been bored off, but then again we’d get less “this show doesn’t make sense!” jabs), though I still came out satisfied with what they did manage to pull off.
    Call me blinded by what I loved about the series (DOUJOU X IKU!!!) to glance over the weaker aspects of the series, but hey, we all have our ways of enjoying our series :P (Still, just 2 stars????)

  4. Alex says:

    good anime

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  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Aug 23. 2014 06:15 PM)
    As for Guardian Enzo, I find his and my tastes are very similar. And I like how he gives chances to shows that many would turn their nose up at, and appreciates what they do well. I respect that.
  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Aug 23. 2014 06:04 PM)
    @Aries: I don’t think that’s the issue. The problem is that intellectually it has leaps in logic, and the whole thing just seems way to superficial at this point. It feels like nothing more than a roundabout way of getting a petty revenge on something, and even that’s been derailed by Five (who is more a caricature than a character, and doesn’t fit for that reason).
  • Aries
    (Saturday, Aug 23. 2014 05:58 PM)
    Raggers, I just think it hasn’t revealed a whole lot in the amount of episodes aired. Isn’t this series like one cour anyways?
  • Friend
    (Saturday, Aug 23. 2014 05:57 PM)
    For reviews, I usually watch Chibi Reviews because he is really proactive.
  • Aries
    (Saturday, Aug 23. 2014 05:57 PM)
    (i am aware that randomc has multiple writers lol)
  • Aries
    (Saturday, Aug 23. 2014 05:56 PM)
    I’ve always lurked lostinanime and randomc but i’ve never connected with the writing style that much and guardian enzo loses credibility for me with some of the shows he gives his time of day to.
  • ninjarealist
    (Saturday, Aug 23. 2014 05:32 PM)
    @Aries SSY is a GOAT-tier anime IMO. Shows like that don’t always come around that often.
  • ninjarealist
    (Saturday, Aug 23. 2014 05:31 PM)
    RandomC has some pretty good writers. I like Zephyr and Guardian Enzo a lot.
  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Aug 23. 2014 04:59 PM)
    @Aries: you’re not the only one. It just fails to click on either an emotional or intellectual level.
    I’m following lostinanime, which is very much like what psgels’ blog used to be (long, episodic posts) and RandomC.
  • Aries
    (Saturday, Aug 23. 2014 04:40 PM)
    i’m only reading moesucks myself but….it’s a bit pretentious sometimes

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