Library Wars: Love & War, Volume 1 by Kiiro Yumi (Story and Art) and Hiro Arikawa (Original Concept)

Pages: 200

ISBN: 9781421534886

In an alternate Japan, the Library is the last defense against censorship of books.  Iku Kasahara has dreamed of joining the Library Defense Force ever since high school when a treasured book she wanted was saved by a member of the Defense Force.  Now that she is making her dream a reality, it is obvious that she is going to have to work harder than she thought.

An interesting look at what could happen if the government would begin to take an active role in what it’s people were allowed to read.  This is very similar to Fahrenheit 451 (which I recommend reading as well), but it is a story of its own.  The story focuses on Kasahara who is having a somewhat difficult time making her dreams come true.  The characters are well-developed and fleshed out.  I found the story to be a cautionary tale as to what could possibly happen if we allow others to dictate what we read.  This is a great read for young adults and librarians alike.

The art style is not typical of shojo manga as you can tell the difference between the male characters and there are no sparkles or flowers in the background.  There are many close-ups to facial features which aids in character development.  It also guides you to sense what the character is feeling.  While there is not much action, the action that is there is drawn clearly.  The subject matter can be serious, but Yumi is able to add a little comedy to the mix, which adds some playfulness.

Score: 4 out of 5

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About Michelle

I'm a Midwest girl who has landed herself on the east coast. I spend my days in libraryland. My passion/specialty is graphic novels, manga, and anime. For a few weekends of the year you will find me at an anime convention somewhere on the east coast.

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