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Authorized books and restrictions in animation

In Soylent Green there is the above scene when Sol goes to the “Exchange,” which is an old library. It connects to an episode of Ascendance of a Bookworm, where Myne cannot enter a church library because she does not have the “permissions” to do so, but other animations as well, like Bloom Into You (where one character searches for missing records about their crush). But, it is not alone.

An episode of Riddle Story of Devil, “What Comes Suddenly and Never Leaves?” shows this clearly. Tokaku and Hari study at the library for midterms multiple times in this episode. Later they even have a fight within the library with a person who is trying to assassinate them. In the process, they travel to a hidden room with closed stacks, which definitely has archivy vibes, with Tokaku again defending Hari once more after they are attacked. In the time inside the room, we see, in the approximately two minutes inside this secret and hard-to-access room of the library, wheels and handles to move shelves (common in archives settings) are shown. Additionally, the fact the books are restricted has an archivy feel to it already, I would say.

Closed stacks indicated in the episode “What Comes Suddenly and Never Leaves?”

Another good example is what happens to the Ice King in an episode of Adventure Time. In the episode “Holly Jolly Secrets,” he complains about losing his library card. It was apparently taken away by the Turtle Princess, the sole librarian of the library in Adventure Time:

This is at the same level as the so-called “restricted library” in That Awkward Magic!!, although the latter is a magic archives rather than a magic library. Similarly, the librarian in Hilda, named Kaisa, is a witch, who can enter magic passageways and go to the Committee of Three, deep within the library, as shown in the below screenshot from the episode “Chapter 3 – The Witch“:

Since this can only be accessed after traveling through various secret rooms, so in that way, the books are restricted, although not in the traditional sense. Another series that talks about restrictions in animation is Equestria Girls, in one of the specials, “Forgotten Friendship.” Sunset Shimmer travels with a Princess Twilight and Princess Celestia to the Canterlot library, specifically to a restricted section, which can be called an archives, accurately, to get answers on how to reverse an enchantment that has taken away memories from her friends, meaning that they can’t remember her. Anyway, there is a malfunctioning catalog and the section of the library is definitely not open to the general public. Later Twilight declares she will reorganize the library and fix the cataloging machine. That reminds me a bit of Myne in Ascendance of a Bookworm, to be honest. In other parts of this special, the library reappears, a character literally has a whole song about forgotten friendship and admits she wiped the memories of Sunset’s friends (come on now!), and her friends get their memories back. Yay!

Twilight hyperventilating when learning there is a restricted section, after she has, apparently, read all the books in the main library

In the 11th episode of My-HiME, Mai meets Nagi Homura at a hidden school library to talk about the monster attacking the school’s students. Apparently, the location of the library is not well known and she only found out about its location from one of her friends. That sounds pretty secretive to me. While I thought it was only a setting and wouldn’t have as much of a bearing on the story, I was wrong.

The amount of books there reminds me of Hilda, especially the area like the “inner library” in the Trolberg Library, that the characters visit. In other episodes, the location reappears. For instance, in the 14th episode, as Alyssa Searrs, Miyu Greer, and the others who are part of the Searrs Organization’s private army occupy the school, but the library is not specifically shown. It is also briefly shown in the following episode, where Nagi pushes Alyssa and Miyu out of his “home base,” where we see there are books on both sides of the room, with only one side of the room shown in the below screenshot.

In the show’s 25th episode, Mai meets Nagi there again, on her way to meet the Obsidian Prince and defeat him. Nagi dumbly leads her there, predicting she will be defeated.

© 2021 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.

4 replies on “Authorized books and restrictions in animation”

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