Toshokan Sensō (図書館戦争?, lit. Library War) is a Japanese light novel series by Hiro Arikawa, with illustrations by Sukumo Adabana. There are four novels in the series, though only the first novel is called Toshokan Sensō; the subsequent novels are named Toshokan Nairan, Toshokan Kiki, and Toshokan Kakumei. The novels were published by MediaWorks between February 2006 and November 2007. Two volumes of a spin-off series entitled Bessatsu Toshokan Sensō (別冊 図書館戦争?, lit. Supplement: Library War) have also been published by ASCII Media Works. As of April 2008, the original four novels and volume one of the spin-off series have sold over 1.25 million copies in Japan. The story was inspired from the Statement on Intellectual Freedom in Libraries of the Japan Library Association.
A manga adaptation by Kiiro Yumi started serialization in the shōjo manga magazine LaLa on September 24, 2007 published by Hakusensha; another manga adaptation by Yayoi Furudori started serialization in the shōnen manga magazine Dengeki Daioh on November 21, 2007 published by ASCII Media Works. A twelve-episode anime adaptation by Production I.G began airing on Fuji TV's Noitamina programming block on April 11, 2008. Two Internet radio shows started in April 2008 meant to promote the series which are hosted by voice actors of the anime.
The background of the plot is based on the Statement on Intellectual Freedom in Libraries that went into effect in Japan in 1954 (amended in 1979), and the terms are a little different from the Freedom of the Library Law that appears in Toshokan Sensō.
The simplified declaration:
It is the most important responsibility of libraries to offer collected materials and library facilities to the people who have the Right to Know as one of their fundamental human rights. In order to fulfill their mission, libraries shall recognize the following matters as their proper duties, and shall put them into practice.
- Libraries have freedom in collecting their materials.
- Libraries secure the freedom of offering their materials.
- Libraries guarantee the privacy of users.
- Libraries oppose any type of censorship categorically.
When the freedom of libraries is imperiled, we librarians will work together and devote ourselves to secure the freedom.
In Toshokan Sensō, the fourth chapter of the Freedom of Library Law states:
- Libraries have freedom in collecting their materials.
- Libraries secure the freedom of offering their materials.
- Libraries guarantee the privacy of users.
- Libraries oppose any type of improper censorship categorically.
- When the freedom of libraries is imperiled, we librarians will work together and devote ourselves to secure the freedom.
The details will be amended anytime according to the Media Betterment Act and its enforcement.
The premise of Toshokan Sensō involves the Japanese government passing the Media Betterment Act (MBA) as law in 1989 which allows the censorship of any media deemed to be potentially harmful to Japanese society by deploying agents in the Media Betterment Committee (MBC) with the mandate to go after individuals and organizations that are trying to exercise the act of conducting freedom of expression activities in the media.Ep 01 However, local governments opposed to the Media Betterment Act establishes armed anti-MBA defense force units to protect libraries from being raided by MBC agents under the Freedom of the Libraries Law. The conflict between MBC agents and library soldiers has continued to 2019, when the story begins. In accordance with the Japanese era calendar scheme, 1989 in Toshokan Sensō is rendered the first year of the fictional Seika (正化?) era, rendering 2019 as Seika 31.
Toshokan Sensō follows the life of Iku Kasahara, a new recruit in the Kantō Library Base who joined in 2019 after being inspired by a high ranking Kantō Library Defense Force member who saved a book she wanted to buy that was targeted for censorship.Ep 01 After joining, however, she finds the pace to be very demanding, and that her drill instructor Atsushi Dojo seems to have it out for her by making it especially difficult for her. On multiple occasions, Kasahara shows herself to be reckless, particularly when she puts Dojo in danger by not securing a criminal in the base's library, and later getting involved with Media Betterment Committee agents despite not being a high enough ranked official; in both instances Dojo has to help her out of trouble. Despite these imperfections, Kasahara is enlisted into the base's Library Task Force, an elite group of soldiers who go through rigorous training in order to respond during difficult operations. This is partially due to Dojo realizing that he did not give Kasahara adequate training, so he gives his recommendation that she join the task force,Ep 02 of which he is a member, in order to correct this mistake on his part. Other recommendations come from the captain of the task force, Ryusuke Genda, and second class task force library officer Mikihisa Komaki who is the same rank as Dojo. Along with Kasahara, another new recruit named Hikaru Tezuka is also enlisted into the task force who is much more capable at the position than Kasahara. Kasahara continues to try her best in the face of difficult challenges while protecting the books she has sworn to protect.
|Military rankEp 02||InsigniaEp 02|
|Supervising Librarian Special Class
(特等図書監 Tokutō Toshokan?)
|One large German Chamomile|
|Supervising Librarian First Class
(一等図書監 Ittō Toshokan?)
|Three Chamomile over two stacked books|
|Supervising Librarian Second Class
(二等図書監 Nitō Toshokan?)
|Two Chamomile over two stacked books|
|Supervising Librarian Third Class
(三等図書監 Santō Toshokan?)
|One Chamomile over two stacked books|
|Librarian First Class
(一等図書正 Ittō Toshosei?)
|Three Chamomile over one book|
|Librarian Second Class
(二等図書正 Nitō Toshosei?)
|Two Chamomile over one book|
|Librarian Third Class
(三等図書正 Santō Toshosei?)
|One Chamomile over one book|
|Library Clerk Supervisor
(図書士長 Tosho Shichō?)
|Three open books in a V|
|Library Clerk First Class
(一等図書士 Ittō Toshoshi?)
|Two open books in a V|
|Library Clerk Second Class
(二等図書士 Nitō Toshoshi?)
|One open book in a V|
|Library Clerk Third Class
(三等図書士 Santō Toshoshi?)
|One closed book|
The Library Team Defense Force (図書隊防衛部 Toshotai Bōeibu?), or Library Defense Force (LDF), in Toshokan Sensō is a military organization in Japan which serves to defend against the Media Betterment Act (MBA) enforced by the Media Betterment Committee (MBC) and other pro-MBA independent factions. Different from the normal librarian department (業務部 gyōmubu?), which performs librarian positions like modern librarians, the LDF's main goal is to provide self-defense from the MBC during library raids, though their jurisdiction only extends so far as in the confines of library facilities in connection with the LDF, meaning they cannot extend their effort even into the city where an LDF base is located.Ep 02Ep 04 However, there are provisions around this, such as in accordance with Library Law Article 30 regarding book collection in that LDF Library Officers or above can choose to buy any book they want, even books targeted for censorship by the MBC. The LDF has ten bases throughout Japan in ten regions of Japan: Hokkaidō, Tōhoku, Hokuriku, Chūbu, Kantō, Kansai, Chūgoku, Shikoku, Kyūshū, and Okinawa.Ep 02 Each of the bases act under the provisions of the local government, and houses a public library where civilians can read and check out books.
In the early years of the Library Team, the library forces were not well organized, so coordination with neighboring forces was often delayed which caused problems in times of armed conflict. One such incident in Toshokan Sensō occurred on February 7, 1999 in Hino, Tokyo at the Hino library which later became known as the Hino Nightmare (日野の悪夢 Hino no Akumu?).Ep 02 The incident was caused by an independent group who sided with the Media Betterment Committee who raided the library and caused the deaths of twelve people who were against the Media Betterment Act.Ep 03 Since that day, the library forces armed themselves in self-defense and have become much more organized; the public even acknowledges the LDF as having more combat experience than the police or the Japan Self-Defense Forces. The incident also caused the formation of library bases in ten regions, and the system of library forces in operation at the beginning of Toshokan Sensō.
The Library Defense Force has several branches which contribute to the organization as a whole. At the top is the Administrative Department where library administrators work doing daily administrative duties such as planning, organizing, staffing, budgeting, or directing. The Department of Defense works on defending against the Media Betterment Committee, and one section of the department consists of the Library Task Force, an elite group of soldiers who go through rigorous training in order to respond during difficult operations. At the Kantō Library Base, there are about fifty members in the task force. The Logistical Support Department works on stocking books and supplying the Department of Defense with military equipment, though does not get involved with general outsourcing. There is also a Human Resources Department in charge of human resources, and an intelligence agency. There are approximately 30,000 members in the Library Defense Force throughout Japan. The German Chamomile is used in the insignia of Library Officers and above because the flower was a favorite of the late wife of the Library Defense Force commander Kazuichi Inamine.
- Iku Kasahara (笠原 郁 Kasahara Iku?)
- Voiced by: Marina Inoue
- Iku Kasahara is the main character of Toshokan Sensō; she is twenty-two-years-old and is initially ranked Library Clerk First Class, but is later promoted to Library Clerk Supervisor. She joined the Library Defense Force's Kantō Library Base in 2019 after being inspired by a high ranking Kantō Library Defense Force member who saved a book she wanted to buy that was targeted for censorship. She holds this unknown person in high regard, thinking of him as her "prince", and she wants to be an "ally of justice" as he was for her. As such, she has a strong sense of justice when it comes to freedom of expression and is willing to put her life on the line for the books she has sworn to protect. When she enters into recruit training, however, she finds it to be very challenging, made especially so by her drill instructor Atsushi Dojo who pushes her harder than most other recruits. In high school, she had been a member of the track and field team, so she has a lot of stamina and drive to continue with the Library Defense Force.
- When the story begins, Kasahara is a sub-par recruit who constantly makes fatal mistakes and is not as knowledgeable about the cause she is in the middle of compared to others around her, mostly due to her not paying attention in lectures on the base. Despite these apparent flaws, she is recruited into the base's Library Task Force, an elite group of soldiers who go through rigorous training in order to respond during difficult operations. While at first she starts out slow, she soon becomes capable of clerical tasks in regard to working in the base's library, though still finds it difficult to make a strong presence on Dojo, her superior officer. Later on, Kasahara finds out that Dojo is actually her "prince" and she begins to warm up to him somewhat.
- Atsushi Dojo (堂上 篤 Dōjō Atsushi?)
- Voiced by: Tomoaki Maeno
- Atsushi Dojo is a twenty-seven-year-old member of the Library Task Force and is ranked Librarian Second Class. He is 165 cm (5'5"), though is thought to be too short for Kasahara, despite her only being 5 cm (2") taller. He is very rough on Kasahara due to her not inspiring enough trust in him, and the fact that he believes he did not give her adequate recruit training. Part of the reason why he pushes Kasahara so much is that he sees his old self in her, and he is angry that she is bringing that back to him with such emotional force, despite him trying to forget about it. He later realizes that he hurt her just so he could protect his fragile self. He often worries about Kasahara and even defends her from comments from others.
- Mikihisa Komaki (小牧 幹久 Komaki Mikihisa?)
- Voiced by: Akira Ishida
- Mikihisa Komaki, like Dojo, is twenty-seven-years-old, is a member of the Library Task Force, and is ranked Librarian Second Class. He is typically seen smiling or laughing at his coworkers, especially concerning the conversations between Kasahara and Dojo. He is also one of the instructors in the task force. He often gives advice to Dojo or Kasahara in regards to the relationship between them, whether it be on a personal or professional level. He is partly responsible to Kasahara being drafted into the task force.
- Hikaru Tezuka (手塚 光 Tezuka Hikaru?)
- Voiced by: Tatsuhisa Suzuki
- Hikaru Tezuka is a member of the Library Task Force and is initially ranked Library Clerk First Class, but is later promoted to Library Clerk Supervisor. He is drafted into the Library Task Force at the same time as Kasahara, though shows himself to be much more capable in terms of knowledge gained in lectures, clerical work in the base's library, and in typical combat. He finds it hard to give credit to Kasahara in the beginning since she is not up to what he considers to be the standards of a Library Task Force member, though he later recognizes her improvement. Due to a comment by Dojo that he could learn some things from her, Tezuka asked Kasahara if she would date him, though she later turns him down. He has an older brother named Satoshi Tezuka, who is a part of the government's Library Future Planning Committee.
- Asako Shibasaki (柴崎 麻子 Shibasaki Asako?)
- Voiced by: Miyuki Sawashiro
- Asako Shibasaki is in the Library Task Force and is initially ranked Library Clerk First Class, but is later promoted to Library Clerk Supervisor. She works on the inside as an informant in military intelligence, and is very good at gathering information. She is Kasahara's roommate, and after Kasahara joins the task force, Shibasaki helps her study the catalogs in the base's library through a form of negative reinforcement involving giving her candy when she gave the wrong answers which leads her to break out in pimples. Shibasaki often tells Kasahara things she finds out in regards to Kasahara and her direct superiors such as Dojo or Genda. She tries to give Kasahara advice and cheer her up when she is sulking due to events most often brought on by Dojo.
- Ryusuke Genda (玄田 竜助 Genda Ryūsuke?)
- Voiced by: Kanji Suzumori
- Ryusuke Genda is the forty-three-year-old captain of the Library Task Force and is ranked Supervising Librarian Third Class. It is partly due to him that Kasahara is drafted into the task force, though since he is the captain, he had the final say. He is very strong, and Kasahara even thinks he has enough brawn to take on a bear full force. He is skilled in military command operations and in politics, such as giving Media Betterment Act agents books and magazines the Library Defense Force had copies of during an operation so that they do not leave empty handed either. He is somewhat impulsive, such as buying a new building for use as a future library only so that the task force could raid the premises and rescue Kasahara and Inamine when they are taken hostage.
- Kazuichi Inamine (稲嶺 和市 Inamine Kazuichi?)
- Voiced by: Haruo Satō
- Kazuichi Inamine is the commander of the Library Defense Forces who is in direct charge of the Kantō Library Base and has been involved with the conflict between the Media Betterment Committee and the Library Defense Force since early on. Twenty years prior to the beginning of the story, a major conflict between the two factions occurred at the library in Hino, Tokyo where a group siding with the Media Betterment Act raided the library. Inamine was caught in the middle of the conflict and lost his wife and his right leg because of it.
Toshokan Sensō began as a series of light novels written by Hiro Arikawa, and drawn by Sukumo Adabana. There are four novels in the series, though only the first novel is called Toshokan Sensō; the subsequent novels are named Toshokan Nairan (図書館内乱?, lit. Library Infighting), Toshokan Kiki (図書館危機?, lit. Library Crisis), and Toshokan Kakumei (図書館革命?, lit. Library Revolution). The novels were published by MediaWorks between February 2006 and November 2007. The first volume of a spin-off series entitled Bessatsu Toshokan Sensō (別冊 図書館戦争?, lit. Supplement: Library War) was published on April 10, 2008 by ASCII Media Works, and the second followed on August 9, 2008.
There are two manga adaptations based on the series. The first, entitled Library Wars: Love & War (図書館戦争 LOVE&WAR Toshokan Sensō Love & War?), is drawn by Kiiro Yumi and started serialization in the Japanese shōjo manga magazine LaLa on September 24, 2007, published by Hakusensha. The first bound volume for the first manga was released on April 5, 2008 under Hakusensha's Hana to Yume Comics imprint; the fifth volume will be published on March 5, 2010. Viz Media licensed Toshokan Sensō Love & War and will be releasing the first volume in North America in June 2010.
The second series, entitled Toshokan Sensō Spitfire! (図書館戦争 SPITFIRE!?), is drawn by Yayoi Furudori and started serialization in the Japanese shōnen manga magazine Dengeki Daioh on November 21, 2007, published by ASCII Media Works. The first bound volume for Toshokan Sensō Spitfire! was released on June 27, 2008.
Internet radio shows
Two Internet radio shows produced by Animate first aired on April 10, 2008 under the same main title Kantō Book Base: Public Relations Department (関東図書基地 広報課 Kantō Tosho Kichi Kōhōka?), but with differing subtitles. The first show, with the subtitle Men's Dormitory (男子寮 Danshi Ryō?) is hosted by Tomoaki Maeno and Tatsuhisa Suzuki who play Atsushi Dōjō and Hikaru Tezuka in the anime adaptation, respectively; the second show, with the subtitle Women's Dormitory (女子寮 Joshi Ryō?), is hosted by Marina Inoue and Miyuki Sawashiro who play Iku Kasahara and Asako Shibasaki in the anime, respectively. The first volume compilation CD containing some of the broadcasts was released on August 6, 2008 with the second compilation on December 26, 2008.
It was announced by Production I.G via MediaWorks advertising that they would animate Toshokan Sensō. The anime is directed by Takayuki Hamana and written by Takeshi Konuta. It premiered in Japan on April 11, 2008, on Fuji TV's Noitamina programming block, and had aired all twelve episodes. A commercial and promo were both created to promote the series after the series was announced. The lead role of Iku Kasahara was given to voice actress Marina Inoue. Five DVD compilation volumes were released between August 6 and December 3, 2008; the first two contain the two episodes each, while the latter three contain three episodes each. The third volume contains, in addition to episodes six and seven, an original video animation episode.
The anime's opening theme is "Atashi no Machi, Ashita no Machi" (あたしの街、明日の街?), performed and written by Hitomi Takahashi, with Satoru Hirade on composition and arrangement and produced under Sony Music Records. The opening theme single was released on June 4, 2008. The ending theme is "Changes" performed and arranged by Base Ball Bear of EMI Music Japan with lyrics and composition by Yūsuke Koide. The ending theme single was released on May 8, 2008. The anime's original soundtrack was released on June 25, 2008.
In the fourth Japan Science Fiction convention, Toshokan Sensō won the 2008 Seiun Award for Japanese long fiction. In the initial Anime DVD charts, Toshokan Sensō was ranked first on the top ten before it went down to eighth place. The series had sold in 2008 a total of 7,949 copies. In 2008, Bessatsu Toshokan Sensō I had sold 62,737 copies and was ranked seventh best light novel while Bessatsu Toshokan Sensō II was ranked the fifth best light novel with a total of 67,874 copies sold. As of April 2008, the original four novels and volume one of the spin-off series have sold over 1.25 million copies in Japan. After its debut broadcast, Toshokan Sensō had an average household rating of 4.5. The series also has a strong fan backing, as noted by Deb Aoki, manga guide of About.com, who says that when Viz Media announced their license for the Love and War manga version, a "a cry of delight rose up from fans of this manga, anime and light novel series."
- "Introduction section at the anime's official website" (in Japanese). ASCII Media Works. Retrieved August 11, 2008.
- "Toshokan Sensō subject: Hiro Arikawa (author)" (in Japanese). August 18, 2007. Archived from the original on November 28, 2007. Retrieved March 20, 2008.
- "Statement on Intellectual Freedom in Libraries". Japan Library Association. Retrieved March 20, 2008.
- "Termonlogy section at Toshokan Sensō's official website" (in Japanese). ASCII Media Works. Retrieved July 1, 2008.
- "Library War". Production I.G. Retrieved February 14, 2009.
- This line is always narrated by the leading seiyū of the show at the beginning.
- "Introduction story section at the anime's official website" (in Japanese). ASCII Media Works. Retrieved May 8, 2008.
- "図書館戦争 LOVE＆WAR 1" [Library Wars: Love & War 1] (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved February 1, 2010.
- "図書館戦争 LOVE＆WAR 5" [Library Wars: Love & War 5] (in Japanese). Hakusensha. Retrieved February 1, 2010.
- "Viz Gets Gente, Library Wars, Grand Guignol Orchestra, Nice to Meet You, Kamisama". Anime News Network. September 27, 2009. Retrieved September 27, 2009.
- "Dengeki Daioh January 2008 issue" (in Japanese). MediaWorks. Retrieved February 29, 2008.
- "The Cover of the July Issue of Dengeki Daioh is Iku!" (in Japanese). ASCII Media Works. May 23, 2008. Retrieved June 12, 2008.[dead link]
- "Official website for Men's Dormitory radio show" (in Japanese). Animate. Retrieved April 28, 2008.
- "Official website for Women's Dormitory radio show" (in Japanese). Animate. Retrieved April 28, 2008.
- "Official website for CD Section" (in Japanese). ASCII Media Works. Retrieved February 15, 2009.
- "Production I.G to Animate Library War Sci-Fi Novel". Anime News Network. November 7, 2007. Retrieved April 27, 2008.
- "Library War Television Anime Officially Announced". Anime News Network. November 12, 2007. Retrieved April 27, 2008.
- "Library War Promo Movie, Commercial Posted Online". Anime News Network. April 3, 2008. Retrieved April 27, 2008.
- "Toshokan Sensō Serial Interview Ordinal 1: Marina Inoue as Iku!" (in Japanese). ASCII Media Works. April 11, 2008. Retrieved April 27, 2008.
- "DVD goods section at the anime's official website" (in Japanese). ASCII Media Works. Retrieved May 8, 2008.
- "Hitomi Takahashi's profile at Toshokan Sensō's official website" (in Japanese). ASCII Media Works. Retrieved April 27, 2008.
- "Music section at the anime's official website" (in Japanese). ASCII Media Works. Retrieved May 8, 2008.
- "Base Ball Bear's profile at Toshokan Sensō's official website" (in Japanese). ASCII Media Works. Retrieved April 27, 2008.
- "Library War, Dennō Coil, 20th Century Boys Win Seiun Awards". Anime News Network. August 24, 2008. Retrieved August 26, 2008.
- "Japanese Animation DVD Ranking, August 6–12". Anime News Network. August 14, 2008. Retrieved February 17, 2009.
- "Japanese Animation DVD Ranking, August 13–20". Anime News Network. August 25, 2008. Retrieved February 16, 2009.
- "Japanese Animation DVD Ranking, December 3–9". Anime News Network. December 9, 2008. Retrieved February 17, 2009.
- "2008's Top-Selling Light Novels in Japan". Anime News Network. January 4, 2009. Retrieved February 17, 2009.
- "Japanese Anime TV Ranking, June 2–8". Anime News Network. June 15, 2008. Retrieved February 17, 2009.
- Aoki, Debi (October 8, 2009). "Closer Look at VIZ Media's New Manga, Books for 2010 from NYAF". About.com. Retrieved December 13, 2009.