Posted in Fantasia 2016, Fantasia International Film Festival, Film Festivals, Reviews, Trailers, Video

Library Wars: The Last Mission – review @ Fantasia 2016

Library_Wars_The_Last_Mission_posterLibrary Wars: The Last Mission / 図書館戦争 The Last Mission / Toshokan Senso The Last Mission (2015)
Director: Shinsuke Sato
Screenplay: Akiko Nogi, Hiro Arikawa
Cast: Junichi Okada, Nana Eikura, Kei Tanaka, Sota Fukushi, Naomi Nishida

This film will screen on July 20.

The first Library Wars movie was a surprise to me. It was actually very enjoyable even though I initially thought the premise was a bit silly. This follow-up continues from the previous movie. However, it’s not really necessary to have seen the first film to enjoy this one but it probably helps in regards to one’s emotional investment in the main couple. Obviously if you watch this sequel first then it will spoil a bit of the first movie but nothing that would significantly decrease your enjoyment of the first movie.

Kasahara (Nana Eikura) has a crush on her supervising officer, Dojo (Junichi Okada) but is reluctant to express her feelings to him. Her close friend/roommate/coworker Shibasaki (Chiaki Kuriyama) tries to convince her to make a move because being part of the fighting force of the Library Defense means you never know what could happen. Her prophetic advice becomes more relevant when the Media Betterment forces becomes more aggressive in their goal to burn objectionable books, which leads to series of escalating fights against the Library Defense. It culminates in a last stand for the Library Defense who are tasked with delivering an important book to a museum exhibit on freedom of speech while being seriously outnumbered by Media Betterment.

Much of what was seen in the first movie occurs here, more war-like scenarios but with the stakes escalated. The sounds of the guns are particularly noteworthy and make the shootouts very immersive. Unfortunately, when the lights are literally turned off, it becomes much more difficult to see the action. Because of this, I would rate the action in this movie lower than the first one. All the actors are just as good if not better in their roles although this movie does have less of the fun, awkward romance stuff from the first movie but those who liked the romance aspect will want to watch how it unfolds here even if it’s predictable. Overall, fans of the first part should enjoy this final part. For everyone else, it’s a bit of a toss-up.

This film was watched on a screener at the Fantasial Film Festival.





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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