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Libraries, librarians, and pop culture reviews

Hey everyone! I just thought I’d write a post to update you about reviews on this site and such. Also, enjoy this funny library rap I found from the 1990s. I don’t remember where I found it from, but I think it was shared first by Jennifer Snoek-Brown of Reel Librarians. It’s been a bit slow in terms of the libraries I’ve found in animation and anime, to date. Currently, for anime shows, I’ve found libraries and/or librarians in 74 episodes, and the same in 65 episodes in animation shows. Anime, for me, is an animation produced in Japan, like Wandering Son or R.O.D. the TV, to give an example. This is in line with how the Anime News Network defines it, saying they define “anime based on the origin of the animation. If it is primarily produced in Japan, it is anime,” although those works that are like anime are not inferior to anime itself. Animation, on this blog, refers to any animation which is produced outside Japan. While that usually means ones produced in the U.S., it also can mean ones produced in France, the UK, or elsewhere as well. Anyway, I’m trying to get to 100 anime episodes and 100 animation episodes, then writing an article on the topic, perhaps for somewhere like American Libraries or another publication. Currently, I’m 69.5% on the way to my goal.

When it comes to anime, there are a few shows which dominate the list in terms of appearances of libraries. R.O.D. the TV is above any of the others by a long shot, with 12 episodes featuring libraries in the series, as they are a key part of the story, as I’ve explained in a post on here. Similarly, Ascendance of a Bookworm prominently features libraries as well, showing up in six episodes, one of which is all about library classification. I haven’t written about them on posts on this blog at this point (and may do so in the future), but the series Manaria Friends features libraries in six episodes and Whispered Words does so in five episodes. Similarly, a series which I’m slowly moving through (I just finished episode 19 of season 1), a classic from the 1990s, Cardcaptor Sakura, has libraries in four episodes so far. I expect there will be more in upcoming episodes. However, I have written about the four episodes in El-Hazard which feature libraries, and the four in Revolutionary Girl Utena. I just added in the show Yami, the Hat, and the Travelers of the Books (also named Yami to Bōshi to Hon no Tabibito and Yamibou), where “Eve is one of the caretakers of the Great Library, a repository containing all of the worlds in the universe within books.” I thought that meant that the 13-episode series had a library in every single episode. However, the first two episodes, episodes 4-11. This increased the count from 71 episodes to 74 episodes, which helped me get closer to my goal that I noted earlier.

For animation, I’ve had a tougher time, although there have been some good animations that have featured libraries time and again. Lolirock has libraries appearing in 15 episodes, more than any other series I have seen to date! At the same time, there were the same elements within five episodes of RWBY, four episodes of Adventure Time, and four episodes of Hilda. Similarly, libraries are integrated into three episodes of Tangled, three episodes of The Owl House, and three episodes of DC Super Hero Girls. I’d like to give a mention to the three episodes of Bravest Warriors, three episodes of Cleopatra in Space, and three episodes of Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters which have the same themes. Of these examples, I especially enjoyed Eugene reading the tiny books in an island library in the “Islands Apart” episode of Tangled, and Isabella making a joke at the end of the Victor and Valentino episode, “Decoding Valentino,” after the library collapses into the ground that the library is “lib-raried,” which is one of the best library jokes I’ve seen in an episode. I further enjoyed the “Lost In Language” episode of The Owl House where Luz travels to a library, returning overdue books, and meets Amity, who is reading in the library to children and is impressed by that. Amity, who has a crush on Luz, is surprised, and both work together to fight off the book monster, then return it to its normal form. She later reconciles with Amity, who is coming around to liking her. Apart from this, I hope to see some more simulated libraries, like those in episodes of Bravest Warriors (“Nothin’ Stays the Same” and “War Without Tears”), in other series. I haven’t written about libraries in LoliRock, RWBY, Victor & Valentino, Tangled, and The Owl House, so that gives me something to write about.

As I continue to finish Tangled and Little Witch Academia, watch more episodes of Sailor Moon and Cardcaptor Sakura, along with upcoming seasons of Hilda and other shows, I remain confident that libraries will pop up once again, allowing me to complete my goal, then move on with my analysis going forward.

© 2020 Burkely Hermann. All rights reserved.

By histhermann

Marylander with MLIS who loves archives, libraries, genealogy, reviewing pop culture, and writing fictional stories. UMD '19 & SMCM '16 grad. I've been running various WordPress blogs for a while now, about genealogy, libraries, archives, and more.

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