I have chosen to write about Manga on Monday's. It fits. Monday is the most difficult day of the week for me and manga is a quick read. It makes me feel like I accomplished something. It does require the willing suspension of disbelief I must say, though. I mean, come on. The main character is 16 years old, but the parents live abroad on business and she lives on her own? I mean, really? But I do love manga. Can't get enough. So I have decided to feature my favorite manga titles.
Today's highlight is Library Wars - Love & War by Kiiro Yumi. It is published by Viz and Volume 7 came out in February. I am a little behind in my manga reading because of all the books I've been reading. There's only so many hours in a day.
In the near future, the federal government creates a committee to rid society of books it deems unsuitable. The libraries vow to protect their collections and, with the help of local governments, form a military group to defend themselves - the Library Forces!
The series deals with the censorship of printed material and freedom of the press. Book burnings aren't that far back in our cultural history. Should people be allowed to write what they will and is it up to us as individuals to choose to read it or not? That is the heart of the struggle in this series. The only issue I have with this series is that it sometimes does get a bit political in tone because there are warring factions within society, those that are in favor of censorship and those who protect the rights of people to be able to read what they want without fear of recrimination. I sometimes get lost among all the faction and movement names, but I kind of take that in stride. At the center of the story is a girl named Iku Kasahara. When she was younger she wanted to buy a book, but there was a raid in the store by the factions in favor of censorship and the book she wished to purchase was on the banned books list. She really couldn't stand up for herself and would have had the book taken away from her when a young man stepped in and saved her book on behalf of the Library Task Force. She has always admired him although she can't remember his face and so she decides to follow his lead and has decided to join the Library Task Force. They try to discourage her interest because it can be dangerous and she is a girl. She does prove herself and is assigned to the task force. The catch, though, is that she can't tell her parents because they would forbid her to join a military arm of the library. So, she does the only thing she can which is to lie to her parents telling them she is a librarian. She is passionate about her work, about books and the freedom from censorship she is fighting for. She is a really likable character. Her personality is a bit uncensored, and she often acts without thinking, but she has a very warm and generous spirit. She is the light that keeps her fellow team mates from the dark. She is always upbeat even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds and always seems to look on the bright side. Her superior office, Instructor Dojo, is constantly criticizing her and picking on her because of the situations she seems to find herself in. She is reckless and he is always there to save the day. While she does find Dojo to be attractive, she can't stop thinking about the man who saved her favorite book, a man she call her prince. Unbeknownst to her, her prince is actually Inspector Dojo. He is developing feelings for her, but he covers them up with his brusque manor Will they ever get together? Not anytime soon, but the bantering back and forth between Iku and Dojo as well as their other team members is amusing.