Saturday, December 13, 2008

Anime/Manga Featuring Books, Libraries, and/or Librarians

I'm going to try something new - instead of a post based on one particular book/movie/TV show, I'm going to try writing a subject-themed post. Since the post will mostly be composed for read-alike and watch-alike suggestions, if I do those suggestions like I normally would, the post would take forever to write. Therefore, instead of giving a little summary for each suggestion, I'm just going to write a bit about why that particular book/movie/TV show was included in the list. If you want to know more about it, either see if it's been mentioned in my blog before, or click on the link and read the Amazon, Anime News Network, or IMDb page for more info.

For my very first post of this sort (and maybe my last, if I don't like how it goes), I'm listing anime and manga in which books, libraries, and/or librarians play a part.
  • Whisper of the Heart (anime movie) - Who is Seiji Amasawa, and how has he managed to read every book in the library before Shizuku? The answer to this question has serious implications for Shizuku's romantic future and the library's circulation statistics.
  • Read or Die (anime OVA) - No list of this sort would be complete without this anime. Yomiko Readman, the main character, is so in love with books that she has developed a magical affinity for paper. As a secret operative for the British Library, she uses her skill to try to retrieve valuable stolen books.
  • R.O.D. the TV (anime TV series) - Three young women with the ability to manipulate paper become bodyguards for the Japanese author Nenene Sumiregawa, whose long-lost friend happens to be Yomiko Readman. Yup, this series is related to Read or Die. There's also a couple manga related to these two titles.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist (manga) by Hiromu Arakawa; Fullmetal Alchemist (anime TV series); Fullmetal Alchemist: The Movie (anime movie) - Two brothers lose their mother at an early age and try to use alchemy, with disastrous results, to bring her back. Their interest in alchemy means they can often be found (in the manga or anime) with their noses in books. In fact, when Edward, the older brother, becomes a State Alchemist, the two get access to the National Library, with its extensive collection of books on alchemy.
  • Tactics (anime TV series) - The main character, Kantaro, is a scholarly author who specializes in Japanese folklore. He's forever in the midst of writing a book. In addition, his editor, Reiko, is so in love with reading that an entire episode is devoted to this favorite hobby of hers.
  • Fruits Basket (anime TV series); Fruits Basket (manga) by Natsuki Takaya - At one point, Tohru, one of the main characters, is at her school's library and has just checked out a few books with her friends in mind, when she gets some upsetting news.
  • Fushigi Yuugi: Mysterious Play (manga) by Yuu Watase; Fushigi Yuugi: Mysterious Play (anime TV series) - Two middle school students, Miaka and her best friend, visit the National Library, only to get sucked into the book The Universe of the Four Gods. Miaka has it relatively good. Her friend does not. Things only get more complicated from there.
  • Negima! (manga) by Ken Akamatsu; Negima! (anime TV series) - There are apparently lots of other versions - I'm not going to list them all, but Anime News Network does. Anyway, this series includes a couple members of Mahora Academy's Library Exploration Club, as well as a character named Albireo Imma, who is registered as a librarian at the Mahora Library Island. By the way, unless you want to risk dying, it's never a good idea to wander around the Mahora Library Island without a knowledgeable guide.
  • Chobits (manga) by CLAMP; Chobits (anime TV series) - Hideki, a poor prep school student, lucks out when he finds a persocom (a computer that looks like a person). He names her Chi. Throughout the series, Chi reads some very deep picture books, which delve into the nature of persocom-human relationships.
  • Gravitation (manga) by Maki Murakami; Gravitation (anime TV series) - Shuichi's not a reader, but he can at least recognize when someone's talking about the books written by his lover, super-popular, super-sexy, and super-cold Eiri Yuki.
  • Descendants of Darkness (manga) by Yoko Matsushita; Descendants of Darkness (anime TV series) - Even after death, someone's got to do paperwork and catch criminals. While Tsuzuki and his new partner are off doing what they can, the Gushoushin brothers, bird-like twin God librarians, try to provide everybody in the division with the information they need. This series is often also referred to by its Japanese title, Yami no Matsuei.
  • The Gentlemen's Alliance Cross (manga) by Arina Tanemura - As a young girl, Haine fell in love with the boy (Shizumasa) who authored the children's book that was her first and last present from her father. Now a student at the elite Imperial Academy, Haine must figure out how to deal with Shizumasa (who seems to hate her), as well as her own feelings for him.

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