Library Wars: Love and War Volume 8 by Kiiro Yumi
I knew that this volume was going to be dangerously adorable when I saw Iku and Dojo in an over-the-top romantic pose, complete with a ribbon in a heart shape proclaiming “Prince and Princess.” I’m always in favor of shoujo manga featuring prominent ribbons. Iku’s administrative woes are revealed to be caused by the machinations of Tezuka’s big brother – the evil library futurist. He asks for a meeting with Iku, hoping to win her to his side and use her to influence Tezuka. This meeting is where Iku’s so-called simplemindedness comes in handy, because she just flatly rejects him and his evil plans even when she has the opportunity to save herself from an administrative witch hunt. She says “If Tezuka learned that his big brother did something so shameful, he would be hurt. I mean how could I be so selfish? Tezuka is my friend.” Dojo shows up in a dress uniform halfway through the meeting and drags Iku away. What then follows is a totally cute scene where Dojo forces Iku to sit on a park bench because he can’t pat her head to praise her when she’s standing due to her high heels. Iku begins to ponder Dojo’s prince-like behavior, but when she gets a letter from Tezuka the Elder pointing making insinuations about Dojo and Iku’s princely ideals, she finally realizes that Dojo was the library officer who helped her save her favorite book from censorship when she was in school.
Iku spends the rest of the volume in full freakout mode as she attempts to process her own emotions and understand Dojo’s current feelings for her. There is a nice sideplot that shows Tezuka saving Shibazaki from unwanted male attention. It took eight volumes for Iku to finally realize her feelings for Dojo, but I have to say that as a fan of the series, it was worth the wait. There was much more focus on the emotions of the characters and their shifting relationships in this volume, as opposed to the usual library crime of the week. While I do enjoy all the paramilitary exercises about library books, I found this volume much more gripping than the past few volumes of Library Wars. It looks like this series is up to ten volumes in Japan, and I’m guessing it will get wrapped up in a little bit now that the central romance is finally starting to move forward. I’m looking forward to Dojo’s reaction once he knows that Iku knows he’s her prince.
Review copy provided by the publisher.