Posted in Fantasia 2013, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews, Trailers, Video

Library Wars review – Fantasia 2013

librarywarsLibrary Wars / 図書館戦争 / Toshokan Senso (2013)
Director: Shinsuke Sato ; Screenplay: Akiko Nogi, Hiro Arikawa
Cast: Junichi Okada, Nana Eikura, Kei Tanaka, Sota Fukushi, Chiaki Kuriyama

This is a pretty entertaining film with a premise which might seem kind of lame at first. It takes place in 2019 where censorship has become more widespread with “dangerous” books being forcibly removed from book stores by the Media Betterment Commitee. A terrorist attack on library where civilians were killed and books were burned leads to the formation of a Library Defense Force to protect libraries which remain the one institution that has the power to hold any book in its collection, banned or not. Kasahara, is the first female to join the combat ranks of the Library Defense Force, she’s a feisty and determined one but also shows her more classically feminine side. In fact, the reason she joined was to find her “prince” who was a Library Defense soldier who saved her book from being banned. Unfortunately, she only remembers the way he patted her head as she never got a look at his face.

There are war-like fight scenes that are super intense although the tactics aren’t necessarily realistic if you think about it but you’ll probably be too entertained to notice too much. I say war-like since the Library Defense Force doesn’t want to kill people, they simply want to defend freedom of speech and thus they are trained to shoot at their opponents feet and not to go for fatal head or body shots. There’s also romance and some good laughs because of that romance which gradually develops between Kasahara and her tough, no-nonsense but shorter than her superior, Dojo. It’s great to see a film where you have a pretty strong female character who isn’t necessarily better than her male counterparts in physical skills but still contributes in significant ways without trying to completely act like a man. The actress who plays her does a good job as well as the male actor who plays Dojo.

I had no expectations going into this film and was pleasantly surprised. It’s not ground-breaking or life-changing by any means but it was an enjoyable time in the theatre. Trailer after the jump.

Sorry, no english subs on this one

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Author:

Longtime fan of East Asian films. Former "movie reporter" on the music radio show / podcast "Beats From The East" broadcasted on Concordia University's CJLO 1690AM radio station in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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