Archive for May, 2008

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Six episodes deep in Allison and Lillia

May 15, 2008

I really like this series. The characters are likeable and their interaction nice to watch, the comedic elements are fun and getting some neat animated aerial action is a big bonus. But because of this, this series obvious and just oh too common flaws are especially irritating. For example, the conclusion of the first arc was just way too rushed. They took they fair time to introduce the characters, the world they live in and their motivation to go on the treasure hunt. Then, at the moment the main characters are gathered and one expect the real hunt to finally start, they just find the treasure in the most anticlimactic way possible. And what they find might be quite nice, granted, but that this finding let peace break out between two country which had a war ongoing for more than a hundred years, a time span more than long enough to grow lots of hard feelings, is just implausible for me.
The second arc starts as weak as the first ended with a rather generic and easy to guess storyline at the time one realise the next big common flaw made here, which is that those who look like nice and friendly people are in fact nice and friendly and just can’t be villainous ones (except for the major evil guy of course maybe). This was extra disappointing for me because I was quite happy at first as it seemed like this flaw would be avoided here. But at least they wrapped up the introduction in the first two episodes this so they can take some more time for the conclusion now.
These flaws don’t ruin the series, but the experience could be much greater with a better pace and some twisty surprises in the story. But in the end I’ve only seen the first six episodes so far and there is plenty of time left to make a change for the (even) better, especially if they finally include some biplanes again.

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Toshokan Sensou

May 4, 2008

Toshokan Sensou

Thirty years ago, at the beginning of the Seika Era (a fictionally era settled in the present time), the so called “Media Cleansing Act” was passed in Japan. This act allows the central government to censor any media, especially books, at its liking to protect the citizens from any bad influence. Because the term “bad influence” can mean a lot this act quickly became a freeticket for the government to censor anything bothersome and to cut short human rights. The Media Cleansing Committee was created to ensure that the censorship is followed and even use of force permitted for them in order to do so. The only counterweight to balance out this grim development became the simultaneously passed “Library Freedom Act”. This law grants the libraries, which are under the jurisdiction of local governments, the right to acquire any type of media that they find worth to be conserved, making those libraries the last save spot for free speech and real democracy in the state. To defend the libraries against raids of the Media Cleansing Committee the Defense Organization was called to life to maintain the functionality of each library and, in the worst case, to fight armed against any intruder.
This is the world Iku Kasahara grows up. In her teenage years she felt the consequences of the arbitrary censorship herself as the final volume of her favourite children’s series got to be taken away from her right at the moment she wanted to buy. She resisted to hand over the book and shortly before it was violently taken from her a member of the Defense Organization helped her out. In the end she was able to keep this special book. This man became her personal role model and now, at the age of 22, she tries to follow his example and joins the Defense Organization to help the people. But that is no easy task.

Because I didn’t knew much about Toshokan Sensou beside the title (Library Wars) and some artwork pictures I thought it would be a comedy, something like Full Metal Panic. Well, it did turn out to be more serious and “only” with the normal anime comedy elements. But that isn’t a bad thing. The scenario about governmental censorship with only few being able to resist is quite interesting, the quality is high so far and the characters are likeable. Of course the idea of a quasi-war between two fractions in a stable state both backed up by law is a bit implausible, but absorbing none the less.