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Library War (Toshokan Sensō in Japanese) is a Light Novel/12-episode anime series set in 2019, during an alternate timeline where the Japanese government has issued the Media Betterment Act to prevent the spread of supposedly dangerous information by allowing censorship. In response, local governments have set up the Library Defense Force to fight against the Media Betterment Committee, who frequently raid libraries. The story itself centers around Iku Kasahara, a recruit in the Force, who joined after being inspired by a mysterious Defense Force member who protected her and a book she was trying to buy that was being targeted for censorship. However, she quickly learns how demanding the Defense Force can be, mainly from her demanding instructor, Atsushi Dojo. Despite making several huge mistakes at first, Kasahara is promoted to her base's Library Task Force, which is essentially the most elite branch of the Defense Force. As the series goes on, she begins to improve in her duties, and she even finds out more about the mysterious "princely" figure that inspired her all those years ago...

Library War contains examples of:

  • A-Team Firing: Played straight (and somewhat justified) with the LDF, as their goal is usually not to actually harm members of the MBC and to just hold them off. The MBC soldiers, however, have few qualms with shooting LDF members.
  • Alternative Calendar/Twenty Minutes Into the Future: The series takes place in the fictional Seita era, with the majority of the story taking place in 2019.
  • Aloof Big Brother: Satoshi Tezuka, Hikaru Tezuka's older brother
  • Battle Couple: Kasahara and Dojo, by the end of the anime series at least.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Kasahara and Dojo, naturally.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Seriously, this must be the cleanest civil war ever. Few people are actually killed by the series' A-Team Firing; most are only injured or knocked unconscious.
    • It's actually justified: Both sides wear SWAT/riot police-grade body armor, but both sides have very few high-caliber firearms that can effectively punch through it. This means that being shot will undoubtedly be painful, but rarely outright lethal. The system implemented for what is and is not kosher in these firefights seems to have been designed to minimize actual human casualties.
  • Book-Burning: What happens to 'unsuitable' books that the Libraries can't get their hands on.
  • Book Dumb: Kasahara states that she didn't do well in lectures. Cue scene of her passed out in class with her textbook over her face.
    • The novel explains this a bit more -- because the university Kasahara went to didn't offer the classes she needed to qualify for a library job, she had to take night school courses on the side. (That said, she's still not a great student.)
  • Brutal Honesty: Shibasaki, usually when Kasahara is being particularly flaily.
  • Bulletproof Vest: In the final arc of the anime, Genda takes a barrage of bullets to the torso, but survives thanks to his body armor.
  • The Champion: Kasahara became a librarian to emulate her "prince," the unknown Library Force member who saved both her and her precious book from the Media Improvement Committee when she was in high school.
  • Civil War: Essentially, this is what the Library War is all about. It's a very nice one, however, given that the JSDF would likely clamp down hard on any belligerents who would start involving civilians, heavy weapons and other things that leads to collateral damage or a breakdown in law and order.
  • Cold Sniper: Tezuka, during combat missions.
  • Cool Guns: Both played straight and averted; the MBC soldiers' arsenal is ripped straight from the Cool Guns list and consists of shiny new MP-5s submachine guns and L96 rifles. The LDF is stuck with using JSDF surplus weapons, namely the decent yet unremarkable Type-64 and Type-89 rifles and the Minebea M9 submachine gun.
  • Culture Police: The Media Betterment Committee.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: What Kasahara thinks of Dojo.
  • Everybody Lives
  • Fetish Fuel Station Attendant: Hot librarians with guns.
  • Five-Man Band: Kasahara, Dojo, Tezuka, Komaki, and Shibasaki don't always go on the same missions, but they are the core cast.
  • Flower Motifs: Part of the Library Force's emblem is a chamomile, which in the language of flowers means "energy in adversity".
  • Fridge Logic: The world simply does not hang together. In the era of the internet, book censoring is not going to work; the first thing the task force should do with the books is scan them and mirror internationally.
    • The Media Betterment Committee probably filters internet traffic to prevent anyone from accessing such content.
    • Another bothersome inconsistency is that both the Media Betterment Committee and the Library Defense Force are completely legal government agencies who are apparently allowed to shoot each other up on a fairly regular basis.
      • This is repeatedly expounded upon in the light novels, and I thought at least touched upon in the anime – one is a national government agency, the other is tied to local government. So the fight is cast as one between local and national governments. If the Library were nationalised, then the military conflict would have to end. Wasn't the cause of The American Civil War a conflict between federal and states' rights?
  • Go Through Me: The climax of the anime sees Genda pull this on an anti-censorship art display. A Media Betterment Committee member shoots him point-blank in plain daylight, causing a PR nightmare for the MBC and saving the exhibit.
  • Heroic BSOD: Dojo develops memory loss (specifically, agnosia) following a battle.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Kasahara and Shibasaki will later fend offhordes of zombies.
  • Hot Librarian: The novels indicate that Tall, Dark and Bishoujo Shibasaki has quite a following among the library's male employees -- and though she hates the attention (and the jealousy it provokes in some of her female colleagues), she'll take advantage of it when she needs to gather information.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: Kasahara's memory of her "prince" inspired her to join the Library Force.
  • Large and In Charge: Genda.
  • Little Miss Snarker: Shibasaki, who is blunt to the point of cruelty at times.
  • Loophole Abuse: A loophole in the Media Betterment Act is what allowed the Libraries to exist in the first place. Another loophole led to the first library raid. A few laws and loopholes later and we've got an institutionalized civil war, with lots of rules for what is and is not kosher, and lots of people abusing the loopholes found in those rules.
  • Mildly Military: The Library Defense Force may get into gun battles, but they're still librarians and are responsible for everything from checking out books to running storytime for kids.
  • Military Academy: Early episodes focus on basic training for Library Defense Force members.
  • The Napoleon: Dojo.
  • Noblewoman's Laugh: Kasahara in Tezuka's Imagine Spot.
  • Non-Lethal Warfare: Appears to be justified, given the average armour and bullet calibre of the MPC and the Librarians. Still, it's a wonder more people don't get hurt.
  • One Head Taller: Inverted: Dojo is noticeably shorter than Kasahara. Needless to say, he's not exactly happy about this.
  • Shout-Out:
  • The Squad: Usually consists of the Five-Man Band plus other superior officers.
  • The Squadette/Tomboy: Kasahara.
  • This Is Reality

  "If anyone from a country who doesn't have a Media Cleansing Law sees this, they must think it's absurd. Unfortunately, this is our reality."

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