Rummanah Aasi
I'm joining my blogging friend, Alison from Alison Can Read, on her manga meme Manga Mondays where bloggers can discuss manga we've read. I'm very much a newbie when it comes to manga and I like experimenting with different genres and series. Today I'll be reviewing the volumes 4 through 6 of Library Wars.

Description (from Goodreads): Iku and Commander Inamine are abducted by Bakushu-kai terrorists, who demand sensitive material from the library's protected collection in return for the hostages! Dojo is worried about Iku, his problem student with limited field experience. But what Iku lacks in training she more than makes up for in gumption, and she is not going to let library material go without a fight!

Review: The fourth volume of Library Wars is a mixed bag for me. I liked some parts and didn't like others. I think my mixed reaction mainly stems from the central relationship in the manga, that of Dojo and Iku, which I, personally, find troublesome. I know I mentioned this in my other reviews for this series thus far; I'll try to explain my issues in this review since the romantic angle is emphasized much more in this installment.
  Iku is a likable female character who is fiery, passionate yet somewhat impulsive. She entered the library task force as a guard after a personal run in with the censors herself while browsing at a local bookstore as a teen. When a male guard protected her rights to read, she dubbed him her prince and fell in love with him and in his profession. She vowed she would do the same when she became an adult. When Iku enters the library task force, she is practically bullied by Dojo, her boss. He berates her constantly and calls her an idiot more than I can count. In fact in one vivid moment in the first volume, Dojo slaps her very hard as a punishment. After that moment, Dojo never apologized and Iku believes he was justified in treating her so because it was her fault. Since that moment, I've been very uncomfortable reading about Iku and Dojo.
 In this volume we get a rare moment where we read from Dojo's perspective. He actually thinks about Iku and more specifically her good qualities. We dare say that he actually has developed feelings toward her. Some may think Dojo is a great love interest, but I really don't see it at all. One minute he can be caring and nice, offering his support and encouragement and the next he can be a down right brute. We are told he behaves this way because he knows the identity of Iku's prince but doesn't want Iku to know that he knows. His "cruel to be kind" ways frustrate me and I secretly hope for Iku to have another love interest so I don't have think about him.
  Despite my issues with the romance, there are parts that I did like in this volume. Iku gets a chance to shine. As the manga opens, Iku finds herself in a hostage situation with a library Commander and tries to find a way to escape. Instead of cowering into a corner, Iku uses her smarts and quick thinking to alert her colleagues of her location so they can help get her and the Commander out. She also struggles to not be a disappointment to her parents and tries very hard to make them proud. I also like that this volume also gives the reader a chance to learn a bit more about the secondary characters, especially Tomaki whom I've come to really like.  Though a backseat to the last stronger two volumes, this one was readable and just okay. 



Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: There is some violence, language, and a scene of drinking at a bar where Iku gets drunk. Recommended for teens and adults interested in libraries and reading about censorship.

If you like this book try:  Library Wars Vol 5 by Kiiro Yumi
7 Responses
  1. Jenny Says:

    "Dojo slaps her very hard as a punishment. After that moment, Dojo never apologized and Iku believes he was justified in treating her so because it was her fault."

    Yikes! It would be nearly impossible for me to read about their relationship after that as well. There's no behavior I can think of that would justify getting slapped as a punishment:(


  2. Kristin Says:

    This is the first time that I have heard about this manga. It sounds interesting but I think that I would have the same issues with it that you did.


  3. I don't think I could support Dojo as a love interest either. Anyway you look at it, the bottom line is that he is deceiving her and that is not a way to build a relationship. Iku sounds like a great character and she deserves better.


  4. I don't really read Manga, but so many people do, I feel like maybe I should give it a try. Sad that the relationship aspect wasn't a very good one. But, at least we get a chance to check out the secondary characters. I find that when authors try to leave them out, it kind of ruins a book. I love secondary characters. Although, with a romance issues in the book, it probably doesn't make up for it. LOL!


  5. I have never read any manga. Where should a newbie start?


  6. Isn't it frustrating when you don't love a love interest that everyone else does? I felt that way about Patch in Hush, Hush. Anytime kidnapping gets involved I think too much drama. Although I liked the kidnapping plot in Degenki Daisy vol. 6 even though it was overdramatic.


  7. I agree with Jenny about the slapping. Eek! Don't think I could not throw the book after that!

    Still, I do need to try more manga.


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