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 third volume of Library Wars.

Description (from Goodreads): Iku is witness to a disturbance during a Board of Education speech on protecting children from the danger of books. The perpetrators are two young boys protesting the banning of their favorite books. But while Iku wants to reach out to the next generation of book lovers, Dojo insists that they can't play favorites. Will Dojo's prickly insistence on sticking to the rules ruin their budding friendship?

Review: The stakes are raised higher in this installment of Library Wars. The concept of library workers fighting on the side of the Library Freedom Act is what makes me come back to this series. I'm interested in the many ways the freedom to read is challenged in this manga. In this volume, we have two story lines. In the first, there are two teens who protest about the Board of Education banning their favorite books. Although they go about the protest in the wrong way with igniting fireworks during a meeting and causing chaos and commotion, it is obvious that the two teens are serious about their rights being taken away. After being questioned about their motive by the Library Defense, the two teens work on the presentation to display their concern. Unfortunately, they aren't taken seriously at first because of their age.  In the second storyline, an FBI-like government agency wants to retrieve the library records of a criminal and various employees react to how the Library Defense goes about protecting civilian rights. I found the different perspectives on the library rights really interesting and it had me thinking about what I would have done if I were in their position. 
   The only problem, which is a big one, I have with this manga series is how Iku is treated badly by her male coworkers particularly with those she works closely with on various projects. She is constantly underestimated, belittled for her small mistakes by Dojo who serves as the love interest, and how she is obsessed by getting in Dojo's good graces. Normally, I read shojo in order to see how the romance and relationship progresses but not for Library Wars. The third volume ends in a sort of cliffhanger and I've already checked out the next three books in the series to see what happens next.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language and violence, which I would rate as PG-13.

If you like this book try: Library Wars Volume 4 by Kiiro Yumi
5 Responses
  1. Rummanah, your reviews about this series have made me really curious about giving manga a try. The love interest sounds kind of like a jerk but I think the premise of this one is interesting.

    It's been a while since I went to the library what with the review books piling up, but when I go, I'm going to see if they have this series. I like the focus on libraries.

  2. Thanks for participating in the meme! Setting off fireworks sounds kind of crazy/stupid, but I do like the idea of library rights. I wonder if the treatment of Iku by her co-workers is representative of Japan. From what my husband has said, people in Japanese workplaces often treat women pretty unequally. Things like asking a girl about the underwear she's wearing isn't uncommon (or unheard of, at least) in a job interview.

  3. Jenny Says:

    Hm. I think it would really bother me to see Iku treated that way as well. I had a boss right out of college who absolutely loathed me, and he made a point every day to make a snide comment or remark about my work until I finally reported it to human resources and resigned. Turned out that out of the 15 women who worked in my department, 9 of us left because of him and they still refused to fire him. Ridiculous.

  4. Z: Me too. I think a lot of people really dig the library premise of the series. I've yet to read a review where the romance was preferred.

    Alison: I guess, but I find that highly disturbing especially of that interview question!

    Jenny: That boss sounds atrocious. I SO glad that you got out of it and I'm furious that the company refused to boot his butt out of there!

  5. Unknown Says:

    Whoa, no way. He's not a jerk! You'll understand why he's so hard on her if you just read the 4th book.

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