If you read my post on Monday, you pretty much saw the moment inspiration hit for this particular post.

I love libraries and bookstores. When I was little, I wanted to live in one when I grew up. I kind of do as I’ve covered my walls in bookcases. But it’s not the same. There’s something just a little magical and majestic about a grand ol library. And there is only one way I know to make magical and majestic places just a little bit better. Make them anime.

Here are the 5 anime libraries I would really like to visit some day.

Yuru Camp

5. Yuru Camp

Maybe it’s because I really don’t like camping. Or maybe it’s because this place looks way way fancier than even my university library. Whatever the reason, the school library Rin worked at during the series always caught my eye as a particularly pleasant looking place to spend an afternoon.

It was my favourite setting in the series and I do wish we had gotten the chance to see it a bit more.

I couldn’t find a good pic of the library…

4. The Mystic Archives of Dantalian

Is it cheating to pick an anime with the word Archives in the title. I mean that’s basically the same as library. Dantalian was a bit of an odd show but I ended up liking it a lot more than I would have thought. It’s a shame not many people have seen it.

You can’t quite make it out, but the main characters spend most of their time in libraries, either at home or when visiting others. Those classical British style libraries with tons of dark wood and prim canapes to sit on with lacquered tables to set your cup of tea down. For all the supernatural murders happening, these scenes were always so relaxing!

Read or Die
also not the best shot

3. Read or Die

Maybe I should have chosen Yomiko’s room as the library for this show. It looks a little like this:


Not the neatest library but there’s something joyful about it. Also all rooms are immediately 18% better when they include a bed….

Read or Die is a series that made you really appreciate the love of a good book. Or really of any book. And you can see it in the choice of settings. Whether it’s the many libraries that the characters find themselves in or the private residences so packed with books that they might as well be libraries, very few scenes didn’t feature a few bound volumes littered about.

trust me, it’s a library…

2. Gosick

It’s a real shame I couldn’t find a good picture of Gosick’s enormous library with it’s many stories, it’s magnificent spiral staircase and the beautiful conservatory on top. Truly one of the most impressive libraries I have ever seen. If I had to pick a single room to spend the rest of my life in, I might also go with that one (provided I get some Wi Fi in there).

Due to its enormous scale, we rarely got to see the entire thing in the series all at once. It’s the sort of room you need to take in a bit at the time with a sweep of the camera and a wide shot zoom out. With that many books available, I bet you could spend years reading before you ran out of material.

magus bride
Those floors are just so great

1. The Ancient Magus’ Bride (OVA)

I fell in love with the Ancient Magus’ Bride OVAs. So much so that the series didn’t really stand a chance to live up to them. It was enchanted and mesmerized by the story of a lost little girl who could see things no one else can. And a big part of that was the stately and inviting library in the middle of the woods.

A warms a bright refuge from a dark and menacing world it beautifully represented the solace I had always associated with bookcases and paper bound adventures. This library captivated me so that even when the pain and fear wormed it’s way past the walls, it was still a shining beacon of hope in the cold dark night. I really want to find a library like this some day.

I think writing this post sort of convinced me to pursue librarian as a career. I’m not qualified for it at all. I might in fact have to buy a library to have any chance at getting a job as a librarian but sometimes you gotta invest in your dreams.

The other thing this post taught me is that it’s really hard to find good screen caps of libraries. I reviewed most of these series before I started to take my own screen caps so I didn’t have any available. It’s sort of odd though. Who is trying to prevent the world from seeing all those gorgeous anime libraries?

Rini 2020 (9)

33 thoughts

  1. The library in Gosick always stood out to me as being particularly well designed. Not only does it look visually beautiful, but it also serves to accentuate the personality of the main character. Victorique is someone who is very unwilling to trust others, and it seems that the massive library she stays in is representative of the distance shes created between herself and others.

  2. Oh man, Yomiko’s room is an awesome if a bit dangerous library. And I’ve also really liked the Archives of Dantalian. I haven’t actually seen the Magus OVA in question, and I think the Gossick library while looking stunning has a few too many distractions.

    I don’t remember that many libraries myself. The one I remember the most is the one from World God only Knows. It’s actually mostly your standard library, a multistory affair with winding stairs (which are wide enough so that I wouldn’t get dizzy walking up and down). Pretty much the only thing that stands out are ceiling windows that focus the light in interesting ways. I’m not exactly sure why I remember this library and not others. There was some really awkward CGI at times (a little too much regularity in the normal arrangements, too). I think in the end it’s that they managed to make it look like a place where books live and people just come to visit. Books on shelves, in boxes, in piles, on trolleys… Shed a tear for the aging book that attempts to teach you an outdated version of COBOL and thus likely won’t even make it to the used book shop…

    Another library I half remember liking, but so vaguely that I’m not even sure I’m right about it, is the Tohsaka family library of Fate/Zero. I sort of remember this dark place with lots of leather and wood, and grimoirs that you should really, really, really handle with care. I’d probably die there, but it still looked inviting.

    1. Fate/Zero made me think of re:Zero and I remembered that Beatrice’s library is cool too!

  3. I agree with your number one pick. That library from Ancient Magus Bride wouldn’t look out of place in somewhere like Hogwarts. Magnificent looking place it is really.

    Though, to be fair, any library with a bookcase that acts as a doorway to a secret room always gets on my list. I’ve been watching too much Scooby Doo lately.

    1. OK’ I just realized you have spoken what’s in my soul. This is a big moment for me

  4. I am a librarian, and in some ways working in a public library isn’t much different from working retail. The customers are a bit nicer (usually), but you’re still dealing with the public with all that entails – lots of time spent on customer service, promoting your goods and services to people, putting on programs to entertain and educate the community, and so on. Having been in the business for over 15 years now it amuses me to no end that it still gets stereotyped as a job for introverts. Maybe if you’re working in a private research library or as a law librarian or something, but at public and undergraduate libraries it’s anything but.

    Good library choices, though! Always nice to see R.O.D. get a shout out. The only other series I can think of with memorable library scenes to me was Hyouka, where they visited both the school library and the public library at different times. I found the public library much more interesting, albeit partly from a professional perspective. It’s always been odd to me that Houtarou’s local library still kept physical archives of their old newspapers in 2011/2012. American public libraries switched over to microfilm and digital newspaper archiving decades ago. Even when I was in college in the mid-90s I was already doing most of my newspaper research on microfilm, and nowadays it’s all in computer databases.

    1. I know this is shocking to admit but I haven’t seen Hyouka. I’ve always wanted to but it’s proven surprisingly tricky to find…
      I would imagine working in a library or in a bookshop have a lot of parallels.

      1. Well Hyouka wasn’t legally available at all until a couple of years ago – like a lot of people I first watched it by downloading fansubs. Funi has it licensed now though, and I bought it as soon as I could. I don’t know what you have access to in Canada, but it’s available in the US on Funi’s streaming service, and also on Amazon Prime Video (although not for free).

        I also realized this morning that I’d completely forgotten about the magic library in A Good Librarian Like a Good Shepherd. Unfortunately I can’t find any decent-sized screencaps of the place, but my favorite description from a reviewer said it reminded them of a cross between Laputa’s core and Zion from The Matrix. With endless amounts of books, of course.

  5. The first Read or Die image, give or take all the books on the floor, the bed and the board on the wall, is roughly what the manga library (the one I volunteered at before this COVID-19 stuff went down) looks like, so I was a bit startled when I saw it and almost wondered why I couldn’t see the titles of seinen manga in Japanese on that shelf on the left…

    To be honest, I had dreams of being an author, illustrator and editor before changing directions (heck, my current dream of being a professional ENG JPN translator isn’t so far off from that, either), but not a librarian, which is odd because I’ve spent far too much time dependent on libraries. Probably because I’ve heard to be a non-volunteer librarian, you either need special vocational qualifications or not get paid much + positions are rare, plus I’ve spent so much time volunteering in libraries and the book section of the charity store (my volunteering history is almost about as long as I’ve been blogging, give or take COVID-19) that I’ve basically been one anyway.

    1. Volunteering in a library sounds nice, nce I get too old for the seeing eye dogs maybe ‘ll do that.
      I hope you do write a book someday. You could even translate it if you wanted to!

  6. From the looks of it if you ever buy your own library it will be an expensive one.

    But a library with beds int them so you can read a book in bed might be a great idea… and if one bed adds 18% more happiness.. Think about how many beds would add to the library!

    Also if you happen to be in Portugal once you should really check out the Liveria Lello in Porto, or just google it! I bet you will like that one and there is pictures of that one on the internet as well.. It just could use more beds!

    1. There are library capsule hotels where you can rent little closed off shelf areas to sleep. They look amazing

  7. If i wasn’t working on my own site then i’d be working as a librarian

      1. I grew up reading many kinds of books from dc and marvel,shonen jump and that was what i was doing instead of playing with the other kids at school or socializing with anyone on my first period spare in my final semester in high school.

        1. and there are a lot of libraries with comic book sections lately. Although there’s still a ways to go. I still have to find most illustrated books online

          1. Libraries have really come along way now. You can be able to borrow video games or movies but its mainly like the more popular titles

  8. I’ve thought about this and I can only think of Sheska’s (FMAB) room to add to this. And even then, she was crushed by a pile of books.

    1. OOOhhh I forgot about it but yeah! At some point that would have been an awesome library

  9. Yes! Finally some love for Read or Die. Either the library or Yomiko’s room totally qualify. She’s the biggest bibliophile in anime history. Hahaha!

  10. This post was basically like one for my bookish soul haha. From this list, Gosick is definitely my favourite one. I’d live in that library with my 42 cats in a heartbeat and a stack of sweet treats taller than Tokyo tower. (okay, I’ve clearly had way too much coffee this morning)

    1. The architecture of the library itself isn’t that striking to me. The layout is also a little cramped. It was on the first draft but when I stated looking for a nice picture I realized how surprisingly little of the series actually takes place in the library itself. I guess to me the show left much more of an impression of libraries as a concept than as a setting? Does that make sense?

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