Library Wars: Love & War
Pages: 200 pages
Finished: June 25, 2010
First Published: 2008 (English trans. Jun. 1, 2010)
Publisher: Viz Media
Genre: YA, science fiction, dystopia
A gentle hand that softly touched my head.
Acquired: Received a review copy from Simon & Schuster Canada.
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.