Posted by psgels 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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  • Eeelo
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 04:51 AM)
    Also, the soldiers who died shouldn’t be touted as heros. They were doing their job standing outside the building and they got killed. Its not like they jumped on a grenade or saved a burning baby or something. What, do I get to be called a hero if someone kills me at my McDonald’s cash register?
  • Eeelo
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 04:40 AM)
    Two soldiers or one, it doesn’t really matter
  • Eeelo
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 04:40 AM)
    I don’t mean to sound cynical, but that happens every few months. Politicians just yell stuff at whoever we’re supposed to hate right now, and we give money to the red cross or something. Nothing to fret over because two soldiers died, they die in attacks in the middle east every other day. Where is the coverage for them?
  • Friend
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 04:21 AM)
    @Asuka I honestly do not know what is on the mind of those lunatics. Storming into a government building, murdering innocent soldiers, and they think they’re accomplishing anything? It boggles my mind.
  • Asuka111
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 04:03 AM)
  • Bam
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 03:29 AM)
    @sonic: That just shows that they have budget issues and problems with asset management. Deen tends to hire a lot of commission contracts so the talen behind each work, and hence the quality, varies greatly.
  • sonicsenryaku
    (Thursday, Oct 23. 2014 03:06 AM)
    Deen’s art has certainly improved and their cinematography has gotten a slight bump in refinement but their animation still could use some work and they still have trouble keeping their art and animation consistent through their series. All these critiques apoply to their tv series productions by the way; some of the movies they have worked on as well as they co-production works are pretty good
  • ninjarealist
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 11:49 PM)
    @Emma I think Deen makes some really good looking anime. People tend to give them crap for some of their mid-2000 stuff and justifiably, but their recent stuff and early stuff is really quite visually arresting.
  • Emma
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 11:43 PM)
    Now granted,deens adaptation of sankarea had some pretty neat visuals behind it.
  • ninjarealist
    (Wednesday, Oct 22. 2014 11:14 PM)
    Granted that none of those manga had the type of mass appeal that Sankarea has, but they’re some pof the best manga I’ve read within their specific genre (sentimental ecchi comedies/romances). I love his art style too. It just works so well for sappy romantic stuff. Inu Neko Jump will always be one of my favorite manga.

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