Library Wars: Love & War Volume 15 by Kiiro Yumi and Hiro Arikawa
When I started reading this series, I admit I was drawn to it more due to the premise than the execution, because it is a rare thing for there to be a manga about librarians organized as a fighting force to combat censorship. But as the series continued to grow, the simple slowly developing romance between Kasahara and Dojo became more and more interesting, and the supporting characters began to be more multidimensional, causing Library Wars to be one of the most emotionally satisfying Shojo Beat series, even if it doesn’t have terribly flashy art.
There’s never really any question where this series will end up, and with the ending telegraphed from the start the focus is much more on how the characters all get a version of a happy ending. For a character that struggles with being competent, with her main advantage being on improvisation and action, Kasahara’s strategic thinking is the main focus of the final story as she ably plots a way for an author to defect and save himself from censorship. She’s all alone, and manages her mission capably, finally showing that she’s grown up and can take care of herself and others. It is fitting that the final romantic confession and resolution only happens after Kasahara has fully realized her true potential.
The resolution is everything that fans of the series would have hoped for, and there are enough cameo appearances from the supporting cast that everything feels nicely wrapped up. Library Wars will always have a special place on my bookshelf not only for the awesome but slightly silly images of librarians fighting off censorship with automatic weapons, but also because the romance in the manga is genuinely heartwarming.