Library Wars 6

October 24, 2011

Kiiro Yumi – Viz – 2011 – 8+ volumes

Last time I read this, I was a little weary of how shallow the characters seemed, so I was happy to jump back in here to see if the situation had improved.

Perhaps it has only hit its shoujo manga groove, but I liked a lot more of what I saw here. There was a lot less overwrought censorship and sting operations, and a little more focus on the characters. Shibazaki gets a particularly big chunk of story time as the story follows her on a date with a nice young man, and we find out why this isn’t really something she’s interested in. Shibazaki, at least, is a very interesting character, and while it is fairly cliche that she would open up to Iku, the main character, and nobody else, I like her well enough to forgive the story this.

To be fair, most of what’s going on is fairly standard shoujo manga stuff. Iku agonizes over Valentine’s Day and whether or not to give Dojo, her boss, chocolates to mark the occasion. Shibazaki is, of course, on a date, and we also learn a little about her past. Iku is still obviously and obliviously infatuated with Dojo. And there’s even a little feel-good story at the end about being nice to your younger brother.

I found that the most unique thing about this series, the fact that Iku works on a squad that actively engages in combat to keep freedom of speech in the libraries, is also its biggest downfall. After reading this volume, I realized that the political elements felt a little forced in the other volumes, and that the plots came at the expense of the character development. This volume has a lot less of that, though that may be a minus if that was the part of the series you enjoyed. There is a plot point about the new president of the library and his stance on a very controversial magazine article, though. That was of some interest, and I liked that it was a smaller part of what was going on.

As sour as I was about the other two volumes, I did like it better here. Do I like it enough to keep going? Well… there are certainly better series out there, and as I said, the interesting premise is its biggest problem. But it’s a solid series for young readers, for sure, and certainly an interesting thing to check out of the library, at the very least.

This was a review copy provided by Viz.

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