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June 15, 2012 11:07 PM   Subscribe

In 1989 the Japanese Government passed the Media Betterment Act, permitting censorship of any media deemed to be harmful to society. On the basis of the imperative for libraries to resist any attempts at suppression of free speech, local governments created an armed resistance force to combat censorship. The conflict between the government and library forces continues to 2019, where the story of Library War begins.

Today marks the theatrical premiere of Library War: The Wings of Revolution in Japan; the series began with a novel in 2006 (live-action ad) and received a television adaptation in 2008. So far, only the shojo manga version has been translated into English.
posted by 23 (12 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
Where is Yomiko Readman in all this?
posted by maryr at 11:19 PM on June 15, 2012 [7 favorites]


Gosh. What a great great idea. Kick-ass anti-censorship librarians in uniform with weaponry? How hot is that...
posted by Skygazer at 11:30 PM on June 15, 2012 [2 favorites]


On the wikipedia page there's a table of ranks and insignia. Excerpt:
...
Librarian Third Class: One Chamomile over one book
Library Clerk Supervisor: Three open books in a V
Library Clerk First Class: Two open books in a V
Library Clerk Second Class: One open book in a V
...
Awesome.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:59 PM on June 15, 2012


...Please tell me it is a V and not an upside-down V, justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow.

I just had a bad flashback.

He didn't use a bookmark. He didn't use a bookmark.
posted by KChasm at 12:45 AM on June 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


That live-action ad is actually MORE incomprehensible with YouTube's translation on. I recommend it.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 2:13 AM on June 16, 2012


This was an awesome anime! I'll have to watch it all again in preparation for the film. Any chance it's being licensed, or will I have to hunt out a fansub after the DVD comes out???
posted by rikschell at 4:03 AM on June 16, 2012


Interesting concept. Will check it out.

I wonder if they were pressured to make this change:

The simplified declaration:

It is the most important responsibility of libraries to offer collected materials and library facilities to the people who have the Right to Know as one of their fundamental human rights. In order to fulfill their mission, libraries shall recognize the following matters as their proper duties, and shall put them into practice.

Libraries have freedom in collecting their materials.
Libraries secure the freedom of offering their materials.
Libraries guarantee the privacy of users.
Libraries oppose any type of censorship categorically.

When the freedom of libraries is imperiled, we librarians will work together and devote ourselves to secure the freedom.

In Toshokan Sensō, the fourth chapter of the Freedom of Library Law states:[4]

Libraries have freedom in collecting their materials.
Libraries secure the freedom of offering their materials.
Libraries guarantee the privacy of users.
Libraries oppose any type of improper censorship categorically.


Adding the word "improper" waters down the whole concept since one could say that the government is right and that censoring any media deemed to be harmful to society is proper.
posted by 2manyusernames at 4:54 AM on June 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Does anyone remember a vaguely similar concept that was shown in US schools in the 80's? It was some sort of TV show or miniseries and have only the vaguest memories of it. Dystopian future with a band of people protecting books from some sort of evil force.
posted by Falconetti at 6:02 AM on June 16, 2012


Where is Yomiko Readman in all this?

The British Empire refuses to overtly take sides in a purely internal conflict, which leaves The Paper more and more pissed off by the month, but Joker lets her make a few runs into the island every year, mainly to "rescue" rare collections after the government's larger victories. Drake's managed to keep her from starting an international incident, although he still wakes up screaming about that time in Kyoto with the web of lasers and an ocelot.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:41 AM on June 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Falconetti: "Does anyone remember a vaguely similar concept that was shown in US schools in the 80's? It was some sort of TV show or miniseries and have only the vaguest memories of it. Dystopian future with a band of people protecting books from some sort of evil force."

You might be thinking of Tomes & Talismans, which I loved because not only did I get to watch sci-fi in school but I also got to watch it in the library.
posted by confusionball at 6:42 AM on June 16, 2012


Cool post! The YouTube video ad was pretty funny FWIW.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:36 AM on June 16, 2012


Is that a real law, or just a premise for the cartoon?
posted by Canageek at 11:31 AM on June 17, 2012


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