In the world ofToshokan Sensou, foliage stops bullets.
I have a rule, called “Ridiculous Leap of Logic Rule” (RiReRoRu for convenience’s sake), that I use to judge TV shows and movies. If, in the course of watching a TV show or movie, I’m forced to make a leap of logic so great that it’d start at one end of the Great Wall of China and end up at the other, the show has broken the rule and becomes unwatchable. Alternately: ‘One small step for Sunrise, one giant leap for mankind’ (the part of it that likes consistent logic in their shows anyway).
The rules of logic that is applied varies between shows. Each world setting has its own internal set of rules that, for the sake of suspension of disbelief, should never be broken. For example, I can accept that Simon not only broke through the heavens, but also the space-time continuum, because he did not break the rules of the setting – which is a world where giant robots literally powered by awesomeness do awesome things, and what’s more awesome than destroying space-time continuum (i.e. anything goes if it’s awesome)? However, if Suzaku did it in Code Geass, no amount of giant robots would help him, because within the bounds of the logic of the world of Code Geass, breaking through the heavens would require a leap of logic so great that when I land my femurs shatter into a million pieces.
The existence of the giant robots that gets increasingly more gignormous (yes I know that is not a word) helped raise the bar and expand the limits of the rules as Gurren Lagann went on. Bending and evolving the rules are acceptable in two, and only two, circumstances -
1) it is done for laughs in slapstick comedies, e.g. someone gets mauled by a bear and can do a triple somersault for three 10′s two scenes later; or
2) it is done for AWESOME in action, e.g. everything John McClane does in Die Hard
- because, within the scope of those respective universes (the Slapstickmedyverse and the Actionheroverse), the bending of the rules make things better instead of worse.
Now hopefully you understand what the RiReRoRu is. Let me go and illustrate how Toshokan Sensou failed the test within the first three episodes.
First, let me define the rules of logic that the show should abide by. For all intents and purposes, the universe of Toshokan Sensou is the same as this one that we real people reside in. No, not the Internet, the other real world. An anime should be judged by the same rules of logic as this world, as long as it can be done convincingly in live action without spending, on special effects, enough money to fund a small civil war on a Pacific island state, and Toshokan Sensou falls convincingly into this category. It should adhere to the same kind of physics, common sense, and general expectations that we have in this world. A well trained army should act like a well trained army. A war should be like a war. Clearly intelligent people should act like intelligent people.
Leaving aside the ridiculous leap of logic that it took me to overcome the very setting of this series (the Parliament passes a law to censor the media by giving one part of the executive power to use lethal force, then passes another law to counteract the first law, not by repealing it, but by arming another part of the executive so that it may wage war on the part that is doing the censoring – see what democracy gets us?), Toshokan Sensou went off to a good start. Episode one was usual P.I.G. quality – great presentation, a unique visual style that’s a feast for the eyes, the voice acting was excellent and great songs for the OP and ED topped things off.
Episode two was fine for the first half, but when the Media Improvement Agency showed up, things went to hell. 7 people show up at the library, 4 went up to the curator’s office, 1 was left on the roof and… where did the three who went down first go? Shouldn’t they be waiting at the bottom for their important books and for the last member of their squad to get down? In fact, shouldn’t the books be going down with the second or third member, not the last, so that they are secure? If they’re so important that Ikuhara would risk certain death to go grab it and run away with it, you’d think the MIA would care enough (and be smart enough) to ensure that they don’t risk being recaptured. You know, like have people stand guard at the bottom of the rope so that they can catch it when it was thrown down, instead of buggering off to who knows where. Maybe they went for a smoking break, grab a cup of coffee… it’s hard work, being retarded.
To make things worse, in the process of grabbing the books, they went out of their way to mess up the chairs, used a bush that wouldn’t stop a single bullet as cover, and six of them somehow managed to be fell by 3 bullets.
Then there was episode 3, and I will only raise one point for it, a quote from the episode, because if I listed all the examples I found I would be here until One Piece ends:
“Try not to hit them. If there’s any casualty, the situation will become worse. If the enemy is provoked, our team on the ground will get the hit. We don’t have to be accurate, giving them pressure is good enough.” (Ocha! subs)
It’s a fucking WAR for fuck’s sake. Hey Crusader, how would you feel if your CO told your snipers not to hit the enemy, because getting hurt will piss them off?
Crusader: Well I am sure some wise guy is going to salute the CO in the field… in full view of the MIA. Me? I would do nothing you would hear about…
Oh, and I lied about that “one thing” thing in episode 3. Here’s another. “Isn’t there one more container?” “That is for them, those are books and magazines which we already have back-ups.” (Ocha! subs)
What kind of idiots do they think the MIA is? That they would send in all those troops to seize a stack of books that are meaningless to them? “We can’t let them go back empty handed”? “It’s give and take”? “Allies of justice”? MY ASS. It’s mocking them. “Har har we flew off with allllll the important books, suck it losers! Oh wait, have these ones, the ones that we already have copies of, and as such are meaningless in your hands! HAR HAR! LOSERS!”
I don’t know what Production I.G.’s writers and director were smoking when they wrote that episode, but with it Toshokan Sensou completely broke my “Ridiculous Leap of Logic Rule” and became unwatchable. I’ve read that it becomes worse, where in episode 6 Ikuhara, while being pursued by MIA forces in the dark, opens her cellphone with its brightly lit screen in order to contact Doujou. That’s fine, Ikuhara’s been shown to be a moron from the start, but Shibasaki watched her do it and didn’t try to stop her? The supposedly intelligent and talented Shibasaki? Is stupidity contagious, and did Shibasaki catch it from Ikuhara? Did the production staff of Toshokan Sensou catch it as well, or did they allow shit like this to happen because they thought we would catch it?
Production I.G., I don’t care if Toshokan Sensou sold 720,000 copies, or if you’ve got good animation, great music, and good characters; or that it is meant to be a love comedy, or the Holy Grail, or whatever. Those are not reasons to treat us like idiots. You want this to be a love comedy? Strip away your supposedly important world setting, because with that level of care and detail, you’ve shown us that you don’t give a shit about it at all. The clear lack of thought going into these scenes is made more infuriating by the fact that they paid enough attention to use real weapons. If they did that much for the weapons, why couldn’t they do a little more for the story? At this point in time, a quote from my grade 7 maths teacher sums up my answer for that question nicely: “Who knows? Who cares? You don’t, why should I?”