Library Wars: Love and War, Vol. 3

High times and hard times ensue for the Library Task Force, as things begin to heat up between Ika and Dojo, and protests in favor of censorship are under way.

Volume Three starts out with the PTA protesting outside of the library for tighter control over violent material that may have the capacity to poorly influence children. Incidentally, the children aren’t buying it, and a couple of them even show up to protest the protest. Sounds proactive and inspiring, right? Unfortunately, these boys are protesting with firecrackers, in doing so opening up an entire other can of worms.

Lucky for them, Major Genda grants the boys an opportunity to speak at an open forum, therein allowing them a platform to express what is really on the minds of babes. The end result is the boys give a smart and honest report, at which point the lady from the PTA throws a fit while insisting that she knows what is best for children. She ends her tirade by attempting to throw coffee at Ika.

Alas, once again Dojo steps in, keeping Ika out of harm’s way. While he’s never exactly come to Tezuka’s rescue (not that he needs it), it seems that no burn is too severe a consequence when it comes to protecting Ika. Tezuka has certainly noticed, that’s for sure…

I don’t know. Part of me finds the scenes where Dojo swoops in to the rescue to be getting a bit stale. It’s just so expected at this point that it’s beginning to lose appeal. Ah, but what happens on the day when Dojo isn’t there?!  I’d probably rue the page… Bickering with Ika over her performance is still humorous, but mainly on account of it always being a horomone-fueled argument between them. What really catches my eye are the more sensitive interactions between Ika and Dojo. The moments where he sincerely praises or comforts her are delicious enough to make me feel a bit like a creepy little voyeur…

It’s been made pretty clear at this point that Dojo has feelings for his Corporal Kasahara. And while I do believe that he will essentially put the mission first, it’s impossible not to notice his incessant need to helicopter over top of Ika, or the occasional lack of professionalism that his feelings have caused. Particularly when dealing with the positioning of task force members for an upcoming acquirement of sensitive materials. Instead of being on the frontlines, Dojo sends Ika to escort their commander to a funeral, citing that she has, “little to offer that Tezuka doesn’t already.”

The actuality of the situation is that Ika has kept her status as a soldier hidden from her  parents, lest they force her to come home in concern of her safety.

librarywars1See, here lies another problem for me. Ika is a grown woman. A college graduate. An accomplished and impressive woman. Yet she’s afraid enough of her parents’ opinions of her that she would allow them to command her away from the job that she’s passionate about, and has busted her butt for. This seems more of a personality flaw than anything else, but it’s a bit disappointing. Then to see Dojo catering to her secret by rearranging assignments and putting the blame onto the unknowing Ika, is a bit too much.

It works, though. I suppose that just means we have an antihero and antiheroine on our hands. Nothing wrong with keeping it relatable.

Not to mention, Dojo may have underestimated the overzealous MBC and its supporters when he decided Ika would have a safer place alongside their wheelchair-bound commander… Clouded judgement, much, Dojo? Hm…

All in all, part of what keeps me interested in Library Wars is my refusal to take it too seriously. A fantastic premise, and likable characters, to be sure. But at the end of the day, I’m left feeling that the dialogue and attention to detail stay a bit too close to the surface. Though ultimately, I see nothing wrong with that. What Kiiro Yumi has to offer here is a fast reading story that allows me a quick break from reality. Akin to a quick Vegas marriage between fleeting romance and political what-ifs, I feel as though I’m indulging in a mass market romance novel while listening to CNN.

And that is alright by me.


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