animation dimly lit libraries fantasy Librarians Libraries science fiction speculative fiction White people

From glitches to plain terror: the library as a battlefield…in animation

Let’s hope you never get threatened in a library like this! You don’t want the Cass lesbian squad on your case! Haha. I just liked this screenshot from the Tangled episode, “Islands Apart,” and I really had to include it, as I think it’s relevant, well, sorta, I guess.

There are a number of series where libraries become a battleground. This post will cover animated series, specifically Glitch Techs, The Owl House, Mysticons, Roswell Conspiracies: Aliens, Myths, and Legends, and Zevo-3. There are other animations, but they are not talked about in this post. [1]

In the new series, Glitch Techs, which is, admittedly, a bit of an acquired taste. In the episode “Castle Crawl,” High-Five (Five) and Miko, the show’s protagonists, are thrown into a disorganized library, even worse than the “inner library” in She-Ra: Princess of Power This happens while they are fighting a glitch that turned a house into a game. Some skeltons use the book to turn into monsters known as skeltones. That makes this library a virtual library like the ones in Bravest Warriors and Solaris that I talked about last week.

Miko and Five in the disorganized library
Five fights a Skelton in the library

Another new series, The Owl House, features libraries too! In the episode “Lost in Language,” Luz goes to the library to return Eda’s stack of books. She meets the librarian, who is annoyed that most of the books are overdue, and shushes Luz, as do others in the library, making it clear this is a place of study. Later, Luz sees Amity reading in the library to children and is impressed. She talks to Amity about this, who brushes her off, but she then is taken in by Amity’s annoying siblings, who convince Luz to break into the library that night, causing a monster to spring from the pages. She is about to work with Amity to fight off the book monster, return it to its normal form, and reconcile with Amity, who is coming around to liking her. Libraries appear in two other episodes in the series, but there aren’t battles in the library. [2]

Luz sees Amity reading to children in the library

Mysticons has an episode (“Happily Never After”) where there is a fight in the library. The Mysticons are inside the library, trying to stop Proxima from getting starfire ink. [3] While the librarian is curmudgeonly and smug (two big stereotypes), he ultimately helps them and saves them from being trapped in a book world which he had created for them. Sadly, the library is partially destroyed during the battle with Proxima, but most books are left untouched. It is worth noting that the library is only accessible with specific permission, a bit archivy, as it is a “special library,” which I’ve talked about on this blog before. Another episode of the series also mentions a library, but it is a minor mention. [4]

Mysticons in the library

Oh, and there is a fight in the dimly-lit library between the protagonist, Nick Logan, and a monster in the Roswell Conspiracies: Aliens, Myths, and Legends episode, “Peacemaker.” So, it becomes a battlefield, for sure! I counted, and the scene in the library is about a minute long. It includes the alien shooting rockets at Nick, and Nick pushing over bookcases in an attempt to kill the alien. Nick, who rides into the room on a carpet, is able to push one alien out of the room by pushing a chair toward them and causing them to crash out the window. Nick fails to defeat the other alien, even after trying to push him down and throw a globe at him. In the process, Nick basically destroys the library, just like the fight between Diana Prince/Wonder Woman and Katana in an episode of DC Super Hero Girls.

Library before the battle

The saddest is the old female librarian, at the school library, in the first episode of Zevo-3 who is arrested for illegal acts she didn’t commit! And the protagonist (Matt Martin/Kewl Breeze), the brother of Ellie Martin/Elastika, doesn’t care at all about her! What a jerk! Ultimately this series is ok, but the fact he does this in the show’s first episode put a really bad taste in my mouth and it does not set a good role model! Also, the librarian is old and doddering, yet another stereotype.

Old female librarian arrested; the librarian is voiced by Tara Strong

Someone needs to strike back at that jerk kid… I think that the Cass lesbian squad needs to come back, ha. That kid needs a lesson in how to treat people right.

That’s all for this post.

© 2020 Burkely Hermann. All rights reserved.


[1] I’m not talking, in this episode, about the Neo Yokio episode, “O, The Helenists,” where protagonist Kaz Khan chases a demon, which possessed an object through the library in his alma mater, or the first episode of Abraca, titled “The Kiss of the Frog,” where the witch uses the library, as both are minor mentions of libraries. I’m also not talking about Futurama here, as I wrote about that previously, or the fight during an episode of DC Super Hero Girls in the library itself. There are also fights in three Kampfer episodes (“Destiny ~The Chosen Ones~,” “Glow ~The Fight of Death Starts~,” and “Lily ~~The Secret Flower Garden~”) within the library as well, but due to the mature content of the anime, and the fact that I’m ambivalent about it, I don’t think I’ll post about it here.

[2] In the episode “Sense and Insensitivity,” there is a party for King’s book, Ruler’s Reach, at the public library, Bonesborough Library, which Luz and others attend. Later the publisher comes to Luz, walking through the library stacks, to offer her a chance to be a writer. Also, in the episode “Witches Before Wizards,” Luz and the tiny dragon, “King,” travel to a castle, where they deliver a package and they meet a wizard who is within a huge library with many volumes. No librarian per say is seen, but if Atacus, the wizard is the de facto librarian, he is white, has a long beard, and glasses. Eda and King later go to the castle and find it destroyed, with all sorts of scrolls saying the “chosen one”; later it turns out the wizard is a fraud and is not a wizard at all.

[3] The IMDB description of the episode makes the role of the library very apparent: “the Mysticons must stop Proxima from acquiring star-fire ink from a legendary library, but find themselves trapped in the librarian’s magical tome.”

[4] In the episode “Eternal Starshine of the Mage’s Mind,” the Mysticons travel through Proxima’s dreams, including entering The Library of the Eternal Equinox, which astromancers have access to.


By Burkely Hermann

Burkely Hermann joined the National Security Archive as an Indexer and Metadata Librarian in March 2020, using his experience with arrangement, indexing, electronic databases, cataloging, metadata creation, and knowledge of history on a daily basis. In December 2019, he completed his Master of Library and Information Science, specializing in Archives and Digital Curation, at University of Maryland. In 2016, he received a Bachelor of Arts, with a major in Political Science and a minor in History, from St. Mary's College of Maryland. He previously interned at the National Archives II facility in College Park and worked at the Maryland State Archives, Digital Curation and Innovation Center, and the Enoch Pratt Free Library. He is also a member of the Society of American Archivists. In his free time, he researches his family genealogy, serves as a judge for National History Day, which he participated in for several years, writes fictional works, and keeps up with changes in the library and archives fields. He currently runs seven WordPress blogs, primarily about his family history, or reviewing archives and libraries in pop culture.

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