Daitoshokan No Hitsujikai
May 24, 2015
If you are a bookworm and an avid reader, there is a chance that you might view life as one big storybook. Every page written is filled with the things that have happened so far in your life and with many blank pages ahead yet to be filled. Or those pages may have been filled and thus your fate of the future already written and predetermined (yes, in the book and not in the stars). So what if you have the ability to read such ‘books’ and see someone’s future? Do you change it? I don’t know. I never liked reading. Not even manga. It’s a very bad habit of mine since young up till today. Anyway, Daitoshokan No Hitsujikai has our lead protagonist as a bookworm. He loves to read and his dream is only that. And by that I mean really holding a real hard and solid cover in his hands. It’s a good thing because nowadays people prefer to affix their eyes on their iPhones, Smartphones and the likes. One day he receives a foretelling message about the change of his fate and he got it rolling when he saves a fellow student from a fatal accident. Something tells me he should have read between the lines… Or I may just be over reading it…
A man sees a young boy reading and tells him the existence of a magic book only found in a magic library. But not anybody can get there. First you must be selfless and help others. Since he wants to go there, he is given a ticket to the place. He must not lose it. Kyoutarou Kakei is now a high school and a big bookworm geek. He is using the ticket as his precious bookmark. He sees a girl, Tsugumi Shirasaki trying to hand out flyers to get people to join her activity, Shiomi Happy Project but is snubbed. Suddenly Kakei gets a vision that a train will derail and slam into her. He quickly goes to warn her (since his bad premonitions are always right) but as he takes her hand, she trips and they fall. His hand over her boobs. What does this look like? She becomes embarrassed and picks her stuffs up and leaves. The train derails but thankfully nobody is hurt. In class, his friend, Ikkei Takamine shows a picture of him holding onto Tsugumi’s boobs (eyes censored out). It is going around. Kakei is sure since this school is so big, chances are he’ll never meet her again. Think again. Because she is just a few seats away from him! The teacher calls her but since she is so shy and soft spoken, her friend Tamamo Sakuraba answers on her behalf. At the cafeteria, Takamine is smitten with the new cutie staff, Kana Suzuki. The student council president Maho Mochizuki talks to Kakei and just like the last time hopes he could join the student council because of his good grades. However like always, he declined because this would mean less reading time. Kakei narrates Shiomi Academy being the biggest and best place for students to study. There is also a rumour of the Shepherd who is always on the school grounds but unseen. It is said to appear only in front of those who are earnestly hard working. Tamamo confronts Kakei because the picture of it now is uncensored. He tries to explain his ability to see the future but she doesn’t buy it and just a lousy excuse. As the picture makes its round, everyone starts to believe he is a molester and he is forced into hiding. This is the thanks he get for saving a girl? Surprisingly Tsugumi pulls him over just to apologize that it is her fault he got into trouble. But in this narrow alley and their bodies are squeezing together so tightly? What are the chances of another misunderstanding? Too late, Tamamo spots them.
Thankfully Tsugumi is able to explain as Tamamo apologizes for being in the wrong. Just when it seems to be over, they are surrounded by karate guys who want to teach Kakei a lesson. Yeah. They don’t believe it either. Too bad Kakei is all talk and can’t fight back. Thank Takamine coming to his aid as he used to be in that club. With Tsugumi stammering to explain, Takamine whispers the words she should say. Everyone is in disbelief to hear that Tsugumi allows it. Things calm down when they think that was just an idiotic couple’s exhibitionism. Kakei brings his friends to the library club where he is the sole member. And there is this fat cat Gaizaemon AKA Giza… Tsugumi tells the guys about her activity to make school fun. She is doing this because as she is an introvert, she thought of changing herself. However Mochizuki disagrees and hopes Kakei will make the right choice. As the girls argue, Kakei notes he wants to join neither as he only wants to read. But after hearing Tsugumi say she experienced a lot of things today because of him and the reason she can start anew with him, he believes she is acting on something other than emotions or words. He wants to know this something he doesn’t understand and decides to go with Tsugumi. This leaves Mochizuki disappointed but as show of goodwill, she will make an announcement to clear his name. Suddenly all of them get the same mail from Shepherd who congratulates them for making a decent start. They wonder if it is spam when a girl chides them for being too loud. As they leave, Nagi Kodachi is seen talking to that man. Kakei is a Shepherd candidate just like her. She is to watch over him and there will be a day when the truth will be revealed and he will take the test. Only then one of them will become the true Shepherd. She is sad Kakei didn’t remember at all.
As Senri Misono sings, she remembers her friend chiding her. Because Kakei is so engrossed in his reading, Tsugumi lets him eat a sweet just to make him notice her! Now that she has got his attention, she talks to him about Shiomi Happy Project. Their first activity will be… Picking up garbage? Where’s the fun in that? Well, it’s not surprising that nobody else is volunteering for it. Kana may be the first one and she knows Kakei because of the webpage from Mochizuki clearing his name. He is now a hero. Tsugumi hands her a poster and it seems she is interested in this kind of things. Kakei sees Senri trying to reach under the vending machine to get her 500 yen. He helps her out and to show her gratitude, she buys him a drink. Later Tamamo shows the research she has done on Shepherd and it seems there are various rumours of how it manifests and if one does its bidding, your wish will come true. Kana relates that she got a similar email last night. On the way back, they find a lost tuning fork. Seems this is planted by Nagi. They try to send to the broadcast club to make a lost and found announcement but she straightaway knows it belongs to Senri, the music prodigy with an angelic voice. Yeah, only Kakei doesn’t know because he has been stuffing his face with books. Ironically, he reads so much and yet he doesn’t know. Tsugumi wants to return it to her at her home and Kakei decides to come along. Takamine leaves it to them to do it since it is rare for Kakei to do such volunteer work.
The duo return the tuning fork to a very grateful Senri because she was searching high and low for it. However Senri feels sad when she thinks they returned it just because she is the famous Song Princess. Cheeky Kakei lightens the mood and irks her that it may be because she showed them ‘something great’. Nice ass… Tsugumi gives the poster and hopes if she has something on her mind, feel free to contact them. Kakei on his way back sees Kana staring longingly outside the window of a handphone shop. She has him help her choose one to buy. As sign of trust and since Tsugumi is always waiting outside his personal room of the library club, he hands a key to her. She can duplicate and give it to the rest. Kana shows everyone her new handphone and they are very excited and happy for her. So loud that Nagi once more had to tell them to keep it down. She is surprised Kakei got another new member to join the club. She is forced to back out when Giza stares at her. She has some sort of phobia not only for cats but animals. Suddenly the quintet receive a similar email from Shepherd that Senri will teach them something important. Something is strange because Kana just bought her handphone and she gave nobody her email except them. Could it be somebody is watching them? Somebody who is good at computers? Kana thinks there is somebody. A genius who is the pride of the school’s cafeteria: Sayumi Ureshino When a student cheekily wants this loli’s smile to go with his purchase, she charges him additional 10,000 yen! Holy cow! What an expensive buy! But was it worth it? The smile that melts your heart?
Tamamo suggests they split into groups for this. Kakei and Kana go talk to Ureshino and she can try help them if they in exchange help her out to hand posters for her food fair. The rest see Senri to ask her about Shepherd’s mail but the teacher calls her for some special lesson. Back in the clubroom, everyone discusses about the poster handing job and Kakei is disheartened to know that he must cosplay as well. Since they only have 1 outfit, Tsugumi can make one for him and wants to take his measurements. Take off your shirt! Nagi is going to chide them for being noisy again when she hears ambiguous noises… My first time… Did I touch some weird place… She thinks this is pretty cliché and barges only to see topless Kakei and Tsugumi the same height as his waist (taking his measurements). She gets really embarrassed and convinced they were doing something lewd and runs away. When Kakei returns home, he is surprised to see Nagi here. Well, what do you know? She lives next door!!! And they didn’t even know they were neighbours. After she enters her room, she feels disappointed he doesn’t remember her.
The library club members sew a particular animal on their cushion. Because Tamamo is a fox, Takamine and Kana tease her to get her to say what does the fox say! She eventually gives in. Tsugumi gets a mail from Senri requesting to make porridge. The girls head over to her place only to see her sprawled all over the floor. Her fever is very high. Everybody did what they could to nurse her and put her to bed. Senri has been clutching Tsugumi’s hand since and won’t let go. She is sleep talking and doesn’t want her mom to go. Tsugumi pretends to play her mom and promises she won’t go anywhere. At least it made her feel better. Next morning, Nagi comes to Kakei’s place because her TV broke down and there is this show she really wants to watch. Yeah, she is making his place like her home. She asks if he and Tsugumi are dating. He thinks she is referring to yesterday’s incident. Nagi flusters as she wasn’t trying to say it directly. Kakei corrects her about the measurements for his cosplay but Nagi further misinterprets and won’t hear anymore from this pervert. Once Senri’s fever goes down, she reveals that she also got a mail from Shepherd 3 days ago, around the same time when they got theirs. Kana returns with Ureshino’s results and she is able to hack and reveal the position of where Shepherd is sending the mails. Looks like a very slum area. Inside this dilapidated apartment, to everyone’s surprise, it is empty. Completely deserted. It’s like nobody has been here for ages, eh?
When Kakei was young, the teachers weren’t enthusiastic in throwing a birthday party. Kakei on the other hand wanted to get it over with so he could read. Because Ureshino has lived up to the part of her deal (only to find the location and that’s it), it is time for them to live up to theirs. So everyone dresses up to hand out flyers. Mochizuki can’t find Kakei. Well, that’s because he is cross-dressed as a maid! OMG! I wonder if those guys really know who this maid is?! Yeah. I don’t even know how Tsugumi screwed up in making his outfit but we sure know that Kana and Tamamo had a hand in it. Senri comes by to thank Tsugumi for caring for her. However, Song Princess must be such a taboo word because the mere mention of it, the mood suddenly changes. She thinks Tsugumi is doing all that just because she is Song Princess. Upset, she runs away. Kakei goes after her and tells her to believe in Tsugumi’s good intentions. He points out he was once sceptical too but Tsugumi is different from others. Once Senri returns, Tsugumi goes into apologetic mode for being insensitive. Likewise, Senri too apologizes. Then somehow she joins the gang handing out flyers and attracts the crowd. I mean, who doesn’t love a maid with cat ears, no? Senri is invited to their club and she is amused by Giza despite this fat cat might be sexually harassing by showing its butt! With everybody rejoicing for Senri, once more Nagi comes in to warn them about being noisy and to her dismay, looks like this club got another member. Kana then invites everyone to go to the public bath together. Time for them to get close and know each other? More like her heater spoiled. Your usual folly of Kana fooling around and being pissed off with those with bigger boobs.
Nagi knows everyone has some sort of interest in Kakei by their reaction at just the mere mention of his name. She becomes cheeky and makes them sweat by telling them she has already been in his room, lives next door and can come over anytime. Well, they aren’t lies, right? And so some of our girls are sighing over this fact. Kana hooks up with Takamine either because she knows she has no chance with him or just to spite him. Either way it is not working. Tsugumi wants to speak to Kakei. Is she getting serious now? Actually the reason why she wants to change herself is because she has a younger sister, Sayori who is in hospital. She painted Shiomi Academy as a great school and this made her really want to come here. So as the lies kept piling on, she fears she will know the disappointing truth one day. Isn’t she the horrible girl? But Kakei sees her as a good girl because she is trying to make all those lies come true by the time Sayori is discharged. Everyone wants to help out because she is working hard. Next day when Kakei enters his clubroom, everyone pops a surprise birthday party. He has this feeling in his heart and then a vision of the library club enjoying happy times with him. He wants to know what this feeling is and hopes to look forward being with everyone for Golden Week. Tsugumi is so happy that she hugs him. Kakei never thought a day like this would come since this is the first time anybody celebrated his birthday from the bottom of their hearts. Kakei texts back to Shepherd about wanting to meet. Surprisingly a reply mail saying “When you figure out who I am, please come talk to me”.
The library club members are doing lots of odd jobs. Takamine can’t help but feel tired. Heck, they even become some sort of consultation group and students with all sorts of weird problems flock to them to seek an answer. Yeah. This school is full of problems, eh? When Nagi comes in, the girls didn’t remember who she is at first and took them a while. Nagi tells them the head librarian wants them to move out to another place because they’ve been using the room inappropriately. Kakei pleads for a chance and she gives them a grace period. So they try to clean up their reputation by picking litter? Mochizuki once more tries to tempt Kakei to join the student council noting that he has changed a lot. Did his members change him? Tamamo stays late to complete some administrative work. Kakei returns and sees her trying to answer weird personality questions about what kind of fish she is. She landed on non-fish types as she tries and tries again. She is happy when she gets an eel. Okay, so that technically counts. She is surprised that Kakei had been watching (I guess she was that engrossed in the questionnaire) that she slipped but Kakei catches her. Their face… Too close… Nothing happens… And it’s like they would satiate our disappointment by replacing it with Kakei sharing an umbrella with Tamamo (who is also putting on a disappointed face) as they walk home. Nagi meets a butler and he considers Kakei passing the preliminary exam. He tells her to stop playing around with the emails as her job is just to observe him. Although this does not disqualify her, at this rate she will not advance past being a Shepherd candidate. She must figure out what she lacks herself.
Nagi then goes over to hang out at Kakei’s room and asks him about his premonition ability. He explains ever since young, he would see a vision of a strange library. There is a magic book filled with letters he cannot read. This vision is what precedes when he sees someone’s future. Nagi teases to see hers. He thinks it won’t be that easy but suddenly he finds himself in a blank space and blocked by an invisible wall. Nagi calls it lame and leaves but in her heart, she laments he is able to see it. Kakei, Kana and Senri go round asking students about Shepherd. Surprisingly, these students are the ones who claimed to have seen Shepherd but now they don’t really remember it. When Kakei spots Nagi, he goes after her as he wants to clear up about last night. But he loses her and only a porn magazine is on the floor. WTF. This has the girls misinterpret. And when they tell the rest, you can see how much Tsugumi is shaking and spilling her tea. Something fishy and scandalous may be going on… Tamamo calls Kakei not for a date (how she’d wish) but to help her out on something. Kakei then hears Nagi speaking to somewhere at this late hour. He rushes over and forces his way in. A dark empty room with no furniture. He realizes she lies about living here. Based on his observations, with his friends and other students don’t remember her, he connects the dots that she is Shepherd. Now that the cat is out of the bag, Nagi admits she is the one who has been sending those emails. The butler congratulates Kakei for passing the preliminary exam and is here to take him to the magic library.
The butler is the one whom he gave the ticket. He is Nagi’s supervisor and Shepherd #771. People call him Nanai. He would like Kakei to be one of them. As Kakei is being taken to the magic library, Nanai explains how this ‘library’ is drifting in the realms of people’s unconscious and exists in everyone’s hearts. Only Shepherds can enter it. The magic library contains books of all the living people on Earth, their past and future. They read and support your future but somehow they end up focusing on those with greater influence on mankind. Naturally, Kakei still cannot read a single book so Nagi teases she is reading an exciting one. Till he teases her back and catches her off guard. He catches that book she drops and somehow could read it. Because it is of his own past. Nanai continues his explanation that his premonitions are the same thing. He has the power to fly into this library with his consciousness and probably peeked inside other people’s books without knowing. If he desires, he can be a resident of this magic library. However Kakei’s wish is just to come here. It’s not like he wants to help anybody. Nanai points out about his club and Happy Project. Didn’t he chance? Even if that is just doing odd jobs, Shepherds are no different and they do it for mankind. He points out he is already doing it as he saved Tsugumi from a mishap. Nanai introduces Nagi as a Shepherd trainee and has a learner’s permit. Once you have passed the second test, you will become a trainee and be able to read other books. Kakei wants some time to think this over. They return to his room. Nagi reminds him he can’t play favourites and has a natural aptitude for that. Ever since others joined the library club, he has neither gotten close to anyone of them. That level is just about right. That night Kakei thinks through. He didn’t help others because he wanted to. He just wanted to find out about this feeling and a peaceful world of his own where he can be alone. Nagi is frustrated that things are turning out like this. She starts thinking that if he dated someone, his chance of becoming a Shepherd candidate will reduced. Giza wanted to comfort her but he scared the sh*t out of her with his gentlemanly ways.
Kakei and Senri are in some gecko finding job (somebody lost their pet). A bug scares Senri as she hugs him. Senri’s friend, Miyu Serizawa is not thrilled to see this because it seems true that she skipped special classes just to fool around. Might as well leave school. Senri is hurt and runs away with Kakei closely following behind. I guess Senri wants to lose some steam so she flirts with Kakei and tries to seduce him to hang out somewhere. Unfortunately here comes Nagi and she puts it in an ambiguous way that Kakei is hers for the day. Senri tells the rest and they start panicking of their new level in relationship. Nagi shows Ureshino’s book. Seems her future is heading to where she would get hurt and she is forced to quit her job and do something she hates. An unhappy life. Their job is to prevent her from getting hurt. Nagi tells him to watch and learn as she counts the right tables and chairs to mess up one. As they hide, they see Ureshino picking it and then walking away. However Kakei sees a vision of her getting killed on her way back. Nagi panics as she thinks she might have miscalculated. Kakei quickly rushes to her and says some embarrassing magical girl line! “I’m gonna take a shot at your heart”???!!! OMFG! So lame that everyone just ‘froze’!!! Though it saves Ureshino, now that girl is upset and embarrassed as she takes out a machine gun and starts shooting him! Wait a minute. That is allowed?! Nagi is down that she messed up. If not for him, she would have failed. Kakei doesn’t view it as a big deal but Nagi is worried at this rate she won’t become a Shepherd. Kakei remembers Nanai telling another reason he chose him. It was written in his book although it is one of infinite number of futures. Kakei wonders if this is the path he must take after all since his entire life is nothing but loneliness and despair. Maybe it is so that he could become a Shepherd. Tsugumi is glad that nothing was going on with Kakei and Nagi. She mentions a heart shaped cookie she made, hinting about if 2 people eat with their eyes closed at the same time… Unfortunately Kakei already chows it down. Tsugumi falls into shock. But she is back up when Nagi throws in the good news that she has talked to the head librarian and they are allowed to stay thanks to the hard work they put in. Also, this is a favour to repay Kakei. Mochizuki is glad the library club gets to stay. Kakei better work hard at this after turning down her invitation. However the vice president, Aoi Takigawa is assessing Kakei’s activities and notes the library crush cannot be crushed yet.
The girls are trying to guess what kind of girl Kakei likes… No progress… Till Takamine steps on a landmine saying Kakei may be dating Nagi… Looks like they’ll have to ask him themselves. Kakei just came in at that moment so the girls are in a little panic. This has Tsugumi going up to him to go on a date with all of them this Sunday. EEEEEEHHHHH???!!! And come Sunday, he thought Nagi was playing his doorbell. Actually the library club girls are here. Disappointed they are not the Nagi you’re hoping for? Anyway he overslept thanks to late night reading and the girls aren’t too happy. They hang out in his room till they finally decide to go shopping. To their dismay, Nagi also joins in. Despite this looking like a harem date, there’ll be instances that Kakei will be left with a girl and the rest will be observing and commenting on their actions. Like Tamamo who has a very well planned out schedule on things to do but when it hits a snag, Kakei is flexible enough to accommodate. Then there is the dancing video game challenge between Senri and Nagi. Senri sprained her ankle so Kakei helps bandage it up. They take a photo in a booth and she teases him about couples kissing here to make him put up that shock face just before the camera snaps. Also, Kana enjoys talking and shopping books with him. But the date is cut short when Nagi says it is time for some Shepherd work. Tsugumi’s fate will change thanks to some otaku guy passing by. No, he didn’t turn into a stalker but he was captivated by Tsugumi’s beauty and created a perfect love doll model that becomes famous internationally. Do you want that to happen to her? Yeah, Nagi doesn’t even know what a love doll is till Kakei explained… Now you know, do you?
The plan to stave off this otaku is for Kakei to call Tsugumi and then hug her like a lover! Shocking! The otaku gets scared and walks away. This doesn’t sit well with the other girls. But let’s bring back Tsugumi to the ground before we continue, shall we? Nagi admits that they set this up because it feels like they’re hiding something so they do this to test their reaction. Busted. Guilty reaction. Especially Tsugumi who is the worst liar. They show to him an anonymous email about a girl who likes Kakei but doesn’t know the girl type he likes and thus the quartet tried dating him to find out. Of course Takamine is the one upset from it all because he wasn’t invited… Kakei is shocked that nobody remembers Shepherd, the reason why they are doing this in the first place. But after checking their emails, they come to remember. Later Kakei confronts Nagi about this. She admits she was the one who sent the email but his point is if he becomes a Shepherd, everyone will forget about him. Looks like he caught on. Everyone has a book in the magic library but Shepherds do not. Once a human becomes a Shepherd, their book will be erased. That is why Shepherds don’t remain in human memories or have life spans. She lectures him about the fairytale idea of helping out mankind without any sort of repercussion. Of course when you have great powers… Let’s just say such great powers aren’t for free. Kakei is in a dilemma as he can’t stop thinking about the girls. But Nagi says he better withdraw as a candidate if he wants to continue being with them. Is Nagi okay with this? Yes. She has prepared to throw away everything since she wants to make the world a better place. He is sad he will forget about her too. This struck her heart as she tries to hold back her tears. She turns back and kisses him. He’ll forget about this too. So sad…
Kakei helps Kana recite lines for a beach play. But when he mentions it is not like her to be uncertain, this brings back some traumatic memories. All goes well in this beach play which is some twisted version of the Emperor’s Clothing. It gets even twisted when Kana slips and crashes into Kakei and co. This means Tamamo’s top is off and they beat him up for it, causing the stage background to be destroyed. Kana feels down for the play being a failure. She tries to return to her cheery self but ends up slipping. If not for Kakei there catching her… When Senri gives her a back massage, she asks if Kana likes Kakei. She mentions she doesn’t have the right to have someone like her back but is glad the library club accepted her for who she is. Senri whispers she likes Kana too so Kana teases her back and wants to go yuri. That’s a joke, right? Some small club seeks the library club’s help about some main stage appearance for the school’s festival. Kakei goes to talk to the student council. Aoi is unaccommodating but Mochizuki is kinder and will see what she can do. It is suggested that instead of waiting for the student council to move, they should do something about it. However Kana is sceptical and worries it will fail. When Takamine points out she isn’t being herself, she tries to act her cheery self that she forgot she was holding Giza (she is allergic to cats). When Kakei goes to check on her, he knows she is trying too hard because the Kana he knows is better at hiding it. He thinks she is still bothered by that event. But Kana says it back to him that he too isn’t acting like himself. I mean, up till now he was pretending not to notice, right? And thus Kakei is once again in a dilemma. If he becomes a Shepherd, he could read Kana’s book but then again, what will be of their memories? When Kana didn’t show up at the clubroom, they think she is still reeling from it. Tsugumi suggests writing another play for her.
Tamamo has been hiding in the bushes just so that she can ‘coincidentally’ pop up to show Kakei some email from Shepherd about the elimination of the library club. He talks to Nagi about it but it seems she wasn’t the one who sent it. Because Kakei’s mind is still undecided on being a Shepherd, she mocks him to worry all he wants. Like Kana. Knowing he will easily panic, she continues teasing him of giving that kiss again. Nope. She bites his nose! Then she tells him if he wants to talk to Kana, try it at some hill before daybreak. Kakei meets Kana as she explains her past in a hypothetical way. She and her friend were in some group of friends. She was the clown at the whims of the ‘queen’. When her friend is tossed away, Kana went to help her but was kicked out. Sadly her friend chose to return to that group and took her spot as a clown. She felt sad and decided to go alone till she met a place with wonderful friends. But she remained scared and didn’t want to make waves and just wanted to have fun. As they accepted her for who she is, she is afraid of not knowing her true self anymore and because she doesn’t want to lose that place, she continues this little charade of hers. And so Kakei with lots of words of encouragement, don’t give up, his feelings will never change, always be by your side, etc. This brings Kana to tears as they hug. Kana returns to normal as she hopes for her friends to write another script. Senri ‘lectures’ her about worrying too much about what others think and just do what she wants. No one here will hate her. She hints if she continues tricking herself, she will take Kakei for herself. Ah, can’t hide that little panic there, can’t she? But the happiness doesn’t last long as Senri’s teacher barges in after looking for her. She chides her for running away from her lessons and since the summer competition is almost here, there is no time to waste. Quit fooling around and quit this damn club.
However Senri won’t quit the club and brings her teacher out of the room. She apologizes for the disturbances but Tamamo lashes out at her. Despite Senri claiming she is practising enough, but when a teacher comes in like that, there is a problem. She doesn’t want Senri to waste such good opportunity. Senri is not pleased and runs away. As usual, Kakei goes after her but Nagi picks him up. She points out Senri’s life is at the crossroads now. At this rate she might quit singing forever and the question is how long she is going to drag this. She wants him to leave Senri’s case to her. Kakei sees Senri singing alone beautifully at a closed bar. But she stops and coughs. He gently strokes her back and says she doesn’t have to keep singing. She explains she comes here to practice but doesn’t know why she is singing anymore. When she was young, she used to love singing. She and Serizawa were friends and they entered the same competition. However Senri was told if Serizawa loses this time, she will quit singing forever. Thus Senri didn’t sing her best but still ended up the winner. Her distraught friend wasn’t happy she didn’t give her best. After losing her friend, she got the title Song Princess. She was alone. She thought coming to Shiomi would change something but it’s the same. Now it feels painful to sing. Kakei tells her to stop in that case. What is the point if she is forcing herself and painful? The library club doesn’t care about stuffs like that. Kakei tells the rest that Senri’s decision to quit singing but assures them to leave this to him. Nagi confronts him about this so he tells her to leave it to him and she should just do what she wants. Like she could. Kakei is in an outing with Mochizuki. I don’t know how this is arranged but she is enjoying feeding him ice cream. Unknown to them, pictures of them are being taken. In fact, this stalker has lots of pictures of Mochizuki. She is no other than Aoi. She edits and replaces Kakei’s face with hers!!! OMFG! She gets an email from Shepherd as she promises to make Shiomi the best school ever.
Sayori teases Tsugumi on which guy she likes an inadvertently helps her out in naming their activity for the school’s festival, Minafes. Kana talks to Senri and says those same words right back at her that nobody will hate her. Just do what you want. Tamamo talks to Kakei and feels sorry for lashing out at Senri. She reveals her dream was to become an artist but she gave it up because her parents strongly opposed it. That’s why she wanted Senri to work hard as she is different from her and wants to support her. Tamamo gets another email from Shepherd saying the Shepherd will not allow people like them all. When Senri asks Kakei if it is okay to have this much fun, he reveals he can read books of people’s future and hers is a bright one. She thinks it’s a bad joke and has him close his eyes so she can stamp a seal on his forehead. What were you hoping? Serizawa confronts Kakei because there are rumours that Senri has quit singing. Is this true? He hints to her about the canary who forgot how to sing. And now Nagi confronts him because at this rate Senri will become an ordinary student and her rare talent would be a waste. He suggests giving her more time and wonders why she is in such a hurry. But she is not happy and scolds him like he knows everything. Nanai appears before him and congratulates him of passing the second test. Now it is up to him if he wants to become a Shepherd. As he is brought to the magic library, Kakei asks about the anonymous mails from Shepherd. There are many other Shepherds. As for Nagi being in a hurry, he notes at this rate she won’t become a Shepherd. Although she is competent, it is the matter of her feelings. If she doesn’t figure it out, she won’t pass. He shows him Nagi’s book where it is sealed. If it is returned, she will live a normal life, even if that isn’t the path she would choose herself. When Kakei looks into it, he sees young Nagi calling him her big brother! Nagi takes away the book, not liking him peeking into it. But what can be seen cannot be unseen. Because now that Kakei has realized it, Nagi is his little sister.
With a cutesy little sister act, Nagi moves into Kakei’s room. Siblings need to stay together, right? As for why Kakei couldn’t remember her as his sister, it is because she was only his sister for 3 months. Confused? Before his dad disappeared and the ‘family’ crumbled, Nagi is actually his step sister from one of dad’s many wives. So many that Kakei couldn’t remember which one! Nagi was always playing alone and this made the house servants pick on her. Of course Kakei couldn’t watch it and somehow protected her. While Nagi is in the bath, Tsugumi makes a surprise visit. After all that stammering, she blurts it out. She wants him to be her boyfriend! Turns out it is because she told Sayori so and thus Kakei comes to the hospital with Tsugumi to meet her. Sayori is very polite and hopes he would take care of her sister. This causes Tsugumi to fluster so much that she accidentally pressed the nurse button. While she gets scolded, Sayori reveals to Kakei that she knows they’re just pretending. In fact, she knows everything she says about Shiomi was just to make her feel better. She also thanks him because of him, her sister is less of an introvert now. As they leave, Tsugumi wants to visit his home. Immediately he grabs all of Nagi’s stuffs and puts her outside the balcony! Just a stray cat… Tsugumi is here to cook for him and since not all of Nagi’s stuffs were ‘cleaned out’, he has a hard time hiding them but thankfully Tsugumi is a blur case. Blur enough that she doesn’t realize it is Nagi who is sending her another Shepherd email prank about her cooking. As the library club members discuss the Minafes, Tsugumi gets a good news call that Sayori can be discharged early.
So that day when another ring at Kakei’s door, Nagi doesn’t want to be left out and decides to spice things up by greeting those at the door. It is Tsugumi and Sayori. Hmm… Kakei with another girl. Care to explain? Ironically it is Sayori that is putting her foot down since Tsugumi is too shy. As he explains Nagi is his sister, Sayori feels it is the poorest excuse. Even Tsugumi is breaking down. Because if she is his little sister, why is she the same grade? It doesn’t add up, buster. This causes Sayori to get strict in telling Tsugumi that she knows the couple thingy is a lie but her feelings for Kakei isn’t. So worked up that it causes her body to go into meltdown. Collapsed. Oh sh*t. This is real. Tsugumi panics. Kakei begs to Nagi to use her powers to take Sayori to the hospital. Nagi and Sayori vanish before their eyes. Sayori is fine at the hospital although her mind is still a bit hazy. This has Kakei confess to Tsugumi that he and Nagi are Shepherds among other stuffs. Once his identity is revealed, there is some awkwardness between them. She wonders if he is going away. He says he isn’t except that everyone will forget about him. But to Tsugumi, that is the same as going away and she wants him to stay because she likes him… In a human being kind of sense. Oh, really? But their awkwardness has to be put aside for now since Kana and Senri come running to them with a crisis. Their club has been ‘taken over’. Seems this bunch of boys claim they are from the library club and have joined last year. Kakei remembers them only as ghost members. Now they’re showing up to do proper activities? Besides, they just elected a president among themselves and tell Kakei and his harem to leave (remember, they aren’t official club members). All this might be the doing of Aoi since she has an email that says Shepherd will not allow his existence.
Our library club members have to grit their teeth and get out. There is nothing they can do. It seems Aoi is indeed behind this. Kakei believes that she isn’t just helping those guys get back their club but rather must have enticed them with something. Aoi shows an email from Shepherd that she will reach greater heights by facing off with them. She wants to make this school a better place and believes this will lead her to it. Of course everyone is sad and mad that their plans are derailed. But as Kakei puts it, they still have each other. They only lost a clubroom. This has everyone motivated to do their best. But it is going to be uphill because the student council advertises on their webpage about some great symposium and has invited famous alums to the talk. It clashes with their Minafes so there are some calling wanting a refund to attend this. Suddenly Kakei receives a horrible vision that Tsugumi will die at Minafes. This has him think that he wants to become a Shepherd since Tsugumi’s life is at stake. Nagi reveals that only one of them can become a Shepherd, the reason why she was trying to get in his way. She thought if she hooks up with one of them, he wouldn’t have to be one. So they head to see Nanai about Kakei’s decision. Kakei says he doesn’t want to be like his father who didn’t do anything when he needed him most. If there is a way to save someone, that is what he will choose. Nanai takes out Kakei’s book and erases it. When Tsugumi is talking to Tamamo, suddenly she cannot remember moments with Kakei. Heck, because it is like she senses her special memories of him missing, she panics that she is going to forget him. But then it shows she didn’t forget him, right? She runs over to his place worried he is gone but thankfully he isn’t. Surprised she can sense this, he lies that she is over-thinking but she isn’t convinced. She really doesn’t want to forget those precious memories with him and wants him to tell the truth. How do you get a guy to come clean? You kiss him! And what a long kiss it is… What happens next is best left to our imagination. We think…
Tsugumi wants him to take her along to be a Shepherd. But is she willing to have others forget her? Of course not. What about him? He wants to check something. If he can make someone happy, it is prove all that loneliness and despair was for nothing. But Tsugumi rationalizes that if he can’t be happy without becoming a Shepherd, then he didn’t believe in Happy Project. She hates Shepherds. She hates him for becoming one. And Kakei thinks it is for the best because eventually she will forget him so the pain will be less. Kakei gets an emergency call from Kana about Senri. He rushes over to her place only to see it decorated like a love hotel?! What’s this?! Senri dressed up as a nurse seducing him?! You lucky bastard! If one isn’t enough, here is Kana the Playboy bunny to add to the fun! Good thing Kakei is able to resist the temptation and wants to know what’s going on. Seems based on Kana’s lazy research on the internet, feminine seduction is a way to prevent him from leaving. And then a call from Tamamo screaming off her head to get his ass down here right now. There is an article of that picture whereby Mochizuki is feeding Kakei. It states he has agreed to join the student council for Minafes to be recognized. Everybody calms down once Kakei explains this is a ruse by Aoi. As Kakei still has no luck in finding a change in Tsugumi’s future, Senri comes to see him and wants to sing for Minafes. She has him close his eyes as she pecks his forehead. With Nagi releasing rumours to the journalism club about Senri’s singing, it soon everyone is excited to hear this news. Serizawa even interviews her for it as Senri requests her to be the emcee for Minafes. Aoi isn’t fazed with their comeback because the more they struggle, the more it proves she is right. More despair for Kakei because no matter what he tries, Tsugumi’s future still remains bleak…
As Minafes begins, it is packed to the brim whereas the symposium is just barely filling up the seats. Kana and Senri beg Kakei to give them a reward after everything but Tamamo puts her foot down that there is no time to be fooling around. But this is just for her so that she could hint about giving him a reward after this. What is this double standard? Later Kakei catches Aoi in the act of trying to rig and sabotage the stage equipment. He and Nagi pin her down as he tells her what she is doing will have her end up as a murderer. But all the screws are loose as the equipment starts to fall. Tsugumi is below. Her fate is sealed? Kakei uses his power to teleport the equipment away. Aoi starts lashing out in frustration about her goal and thus the need to eliminate useless people or else the school will be ruined. She is also upset that Mochizuki likes a guy like him. When she realizes, she has blurted this entire thing right on stage in front of everyone at the symposium. Sh*t hits the fan. Mochizuki has no choice but to tell her off especially her way of doing things. She has been watching her but never done anything in hopes she would realize it herself. Nagi realizes all this is part of Shepherd’s plan for her to lose. Sometimes it is not just winning but one can learn from the battle itself. Later Nanai talks to Kakei and Nagi. He is not pleased Kakei used his power in public when he is supposed to help them from the shadows. Kakei believes this is the only way to save Tsugumi’s life. He also takes responsibility for it all and dragged Nagi into this. Nagi also agrees with Kakei’s way because this is what she would have done too. Nanai will make both of them Shepherds or else he can’t erase them from the memories of other people. Nagi thought their qualifications as Shepherd have been revoked but there is no need for that when one has decided to make people happy. Nanai reminds Kakei that they have their rules on doing things but since he won’t change the way he thinks, Nanai views he is not qualified to be a Shepherd. Since his book is erased, he is simply an existence people forget. Kakei has no regrets.
By the time it is library club’s turn to go on stage, Kakei is missing so Takamine is made to take his role. Tsugumi is grateful for Kakei becoming a Shepherd for had he not, she would have died. She feels sorry for saying she hates him and hopes he returns. Before the finale, Tsugumi goes out to give her speech. Nervous as usual, but once she gets into her groove, it is the usual speech of encouragement, cooperation and moving on. You know, they started out as a small group to make this school a happy place, they’re weak and have experienced tough times but when they put their strength together, they overcome the obstacles and move forward. She hopes everyone could walk together with them. The crowd gives her a standing ovation and unwavering support. Mochizuki has Aoi hear all this and hopes she learns something. It is time for the final performance with Senri taking the stage. At the backstage, Kakei returns to Tsugumi and mentions he is fired as a Shepherd. He wasn’t cut out for the job anyway. But for Tsugumi, it doesn’t matter what happen to the book because what is important is that she won’t forget him. Emotionally clinging on to him, she hopes he could walk forward with them. His magic bookmark disappears. All is not lost since Kakei’s book reappears in Nanai’s hands. Aoi repents and apologizes to the library with all her heart. Kakei is surprised to see Nagi moving in next door with real stuffs. She has been appointed as the Shepherd in charge of Shiomi. That’s a good thing, right? But why does Kakei looked so surprised? And with his library club members coming by, Nagi is going to play a little prank on them…
In this picture drama that lasts almost 10 minutes, we see Tamamo having Tsugumi as a model. As she sketches her, we hear Tamamo describing all the good body parts and we too have a glimpse of those good parts but short of anything that would be considered ecchi. As they take a break, Tsugumi sees the drawing and is shocked to see a sketch of her naked body! Tamamo tries to explain herself like how she wanted to sketch her body but the clothes got in the way, etc. However Tsugumi knows she isn’t that kind of girl and allows her to do it if she wants to. So in the next round, Tsugumi is stripped completely naked as Tamamo continues admiring her great body and skin. All that embarrassment soon turns into love that turns into lust… OMFG! Tamamo can’t hold it anymore! She is going to yuri rape Tsugumi! YURI RAPE HER!!! So what she confesses she always liked her all the while, because all I see his RAAAAAAAAAAAPE!!!!!!!! Turns out it was a just a dream from Tsugumi as she fell asleep while Tamamo was sketching her. I knew it… But when she looks at her sketch and sees the naked body, isn’t this exactly like her dream? Which means, reality may turn out the same as well? Holy sh*t!
Your Heart An Open Book: A Baa-d Thing?
So uhm… That’s it? Kakei gets fired and isn’t going to be a Shepherd anymore? How will he continue to save lives then? Does this mean he cannot see the future anymore and thus not be able to change it? Well, let us look on the bright side. At least we have Nagi around. Plus, with everybody in the library club loving Kakei so much, it would be just tad sad to erase him from everybody’s memories. I mean, nobody thinks about Nagi that much, right? :(. So yeah. All is well, ends well.
Although the concept of Shepherds and the magic library is interesting (including the part where a book of a person’s life and fate are represented by infinite tree-like branches), there are some things that I just don’t get. I mean, the concept of Shepherd itself seems to be widely known by almost everyone. Whether or not they truly understand the role or what a Shepherd is, but it seems that you know, it is like something similar to everyone knowing about Santa Claus. In the final episode we hear Mochizuki asking Kakei and Nagi if they were Shepherds although she stops short of interrogating them this instant. As well as Sayori who knows very much about Shepherd and what they do because she wants to be like them too. So, isn’t this Shepherd thing not really a big secret after all?
Plus, the concept of them not existing from people’s memories feels inconsistent. Take for Nagi’s case as an example. Although people don’t really remember her, after a while and a few constant reminders by the one who did, then they start to recall who she is and the memories come flooding back. In the long run based on this concept (I think), they should at least forget earlier interactions with her. But it seems they remember her right from the start when they first met as that annoying librarian who constantly comes barging in to remind them to keep it down. And oddly too, when Kakei temporarily became a Shepherd, shouldn’t he be erased from everyone’s mind? Because from the way I see it, his club members still remember him like as though he was there all the while and the mind boggling part is how Tsugumi actually could sense she is going to forget him! Talk about being dramatic and ironic. So really, I don’t quite understand how this memory erasing thing works. But I have a vague feeling of how it works because there are times myself when I felt that something was done by someone but couldn’t put my finger on it. I’m sure we all have experienced such moments. So Shepherds are like mythical beings like Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and the Sandman? Who knows? Not like we can remember them anyway.
I thought they were going to do some sort of ‘harem elimination’ when they start it late. Harem elimination? You know, the case whereby they focus an episode on a girl with our male lead to resolve whatever issues they have. It is like to satiate fans of that particular girl and have a mini route for her before they hit the guy off with the so called main girl. That is why I thought this was happening when they started off with Kana followed by Senri. I am not sure if Nagi after that is considered but by the time the revelation and confession of things, we don’t have time for Tamamo! So she doesn’t get an episode for herself? Well, maybe that is why throughout the duration of the series, we see short clips of her giving us the big hint that she likes Kakei. Therefore perhaps if you sum up all those suspiciously small parts, it may add up as good as if she had an episode herself.
Thus romance wise, it is just hinting and not very deep. We know every girl likes him from their reactions and thinking. Even more obvious when Nagi teases them about her relationship with Kakei vaguely. It gets them really worried-cum-worked-up. It tells a lot even if they don’t say it. They wouldn’t even pass the qualifying rounds of a love poker game. If that ever exists. While I noticed Senri is the most daring of the lot as she is bold to get up real close to Kakei, I feel Nagi’s actions are just of the teasing type and leaning more towards tsundere. Tamamo also feels a bit tsundere although she tends to get jealous easily. It goes without saying that introvert Tsugumi is the most obvious one when it comes down to it. She becomes stiff, nervous and ‘broken’ if you bring up this topic. Easily written all over her. But ever since Kana and Senri’s issues were ‘resolved’, they have become even closer friends to a point where you think yuri is possible. It just might happen. More likely in the event if Kakei chooses some other girl…
Not forgetting Mochizuki whom I feel also has feelings for Kakei. Otherwise, why be persistent in bugging him to join the student council? She also does certain things within her power for his sake. So is she an unofficial member of the ‘harem’? Because if she likes him that much, she would have just quit the student council and joined the library club. Then again, that would be irresponsible and besides, the newer members of the library club are unofficial. Can’t do something against the rules, right? It would be great if Mochizuki could be ‘admitted into the harem’ but I guess you need a girl or two who is neither in nor out of the harem for ambiguity sakes.
I am not sure if Kakei also realizes if the girls do have feelings of him because as we know, he has shown his observation skills. He might be just pretending not to notice and that goal of finding this feeling is just an excuse to cover it up. Or maybe it is because he is just like any other guy when it comes to love because guys are just oblivious in this department. Hey, not everybody is perfect. He might be the best observer in the world but that doesn’t mean he is perfect in observing everything in detail.
The characters themselves feel a bit bland and nothing extraordinary. Because you have Kakei like your typical male lead, despite claiming he is just doing stuffs for himself and seemingly aloof, he helps the girls out whenever he can. It is like he is contradicting himself and being hypocrite. The ‘varied’ girls in the harem consists of a shy introvert, a serious and strict hard worker, a popular singer, an energetic and lively ‘entertainer’, as well as the girl-next-door who often teases-cum-tsundere. Not forgetting other side characters filling the shoes of other tropes like the other best buddy guy, student council president, the real little sister who is also the eternally sick girl, the mysterious cute loli and the zealous misguided b*tch (looking at you, Aoi). As usual, most of them have their dark past and issues but as far as I can see in this anime, they’re just scratching the surface. So it is hardly any deep development except that the library club members gradually grow closer to each other to the point that they see each other as vital and necessary in their activities. It is hard to say if Tsugumi has made great progress over her introvert as we don’t know how shy she is in the first place and over the course of the series she still stammers and hesitates from time to time. But it’s safe to say that it is better than before. Heck, now she can go on stage and do public speaking.
Something tells me that Takamine is just like all supporting buddies in such genres. His role is reduced to something minor that it is like a running joke. Comic relief character? Not even his final scene of taking over Kakei’s main role elevates this ‘status’ because it feels it doesn’t make a difference. Yeah, the play isn’t so important, right? Also, when the girls discuss among themselves, it is like they ignore he ever existed in the same space with them. His only solace is Giza whom I am not sure if that fat cat shares the same sentiments. Speaking of Giza, I suppose he is the anime’s mascot but at the same time he is some sort like a comic relief character. Every time he gets a few seconds of screen time, you tend to hear him say short sentences in an old grandpa’s voice and sometimes putting on that troll face looks like as though he is trolling us all or something. I thought he might be just more than a lazy fat cat bumming around and could be related to the Shepherd or something but I might be just reading too much…
And yes, personally I think Ureshino is the best character in the series because of not only her cheerful appearance and mysterious background (I mean, a genius loli hacker?) but some of her punch lines like that smile really costing a bomb if you really want it to go as extra with your food (I guess there really is no such thing as a free lunch in this sense) and the ‘winning moment’ when she took out a machine gun to shoot at Kakei for doing the most embarrassing thing ever in public. I think I would do that too if I were her.
Just like any other adult visual novel games adapted into anime, the art and drawing feels pretty generic. So much so I thought I have seen certain characters from somewhere. For instance, I thought Kana and Tamamo were Infinite Stratos’ Cecilia and Houki respectively. Mochizuki looks a bit like Princess Feena from Yoake Mae Yori Ruriiro Na and strangely Senri has the uncanny resemblance to Nagato of Suzumiya Haruhi No Yuutsu’s fame as well as Serizawa looking like Saki’s Nodoka. Ureshino’s hat always reminds me of Da Capo or President Aria from Aria The Animation. Guys like Kakei look typically like your lead male guy and Takamine stereotypically like the buddy for the male protagonist. Yeah, blame me for watching too many animes. For some unknown reasons, I do not know why at first when I looked at the characters, their design reminds me of those in Hidamari Sketch. This anime is produced not by SHAFT but Hoods Entertainment whose many works are of the ecchi genre like Seikon No Qwaser, Manyuu Hikenchou, Vanquished Queens, Aki Sora and Kagaku No Yatsura. Since they also did Kanojo Ga Flag Wo Oraretara and Fantasista Doll, maybe that is why the cuteness of the girls is reflected in this anime.
The opening is On My Sheep by Mitsuki Nakae and the ending theme is Aozora To Green Belt by Hagumi Nishizawa. They sound like generic anime pop and nothing special that attracts me. The next episode preview is my favourite segment because it consists of short funny clips from the characters talking to each other. For example when Tsugumi asks Kakei on what he will be doing for Golden Week. He’ll be reading. And then read. Followed by more reading. And more reading and reading and reading and reading! Or when Kana coaxes Tamamo to make that fox sound and get jiggy with it only to her embarrassment to find Kakei is around. Then there is Senri playing with Giza with a cattail S&M style (?!), Takamine ranting of his unkind and ignored treatment in the library club (don’t worry, at least you’re still useful as the club’s gopher) and Mochizuki lamenting about Kakei not joining the student council maybe because there are more cute girls and fun in the library club. But the thought that he might just be pretending to be a good guy and date multiple girls at once gives ‘hope’ to her that she may have a chance. May…
On a trivial note, I am tempted to make a few sheep, lamb and shepherd puns because I feel there is a play on words between hitsuji (sheep) and shitsuji (butler). Do you see the vague connection of Shepherds in this anime? Combine them and they could be called baa-tler! Hah! If Kakei becomes the Shepherd and his harem girls are his little lambs, can this association be called a RELATION-SHEEP?! Kakei is adamant in wanting to help others to the point that he doesn’t mind being forgotten. That’s really SHEAR determination. No? Tsugumi’s shy and introvert nature… Doesn’t that make her SHEEPISH? Remember, a library is a quiet place to read books so keep silent and stay SHHHHHHeep! And finally with that ending, is that all’s wool, ends wool? Sorry if you find some of the jokes lame and baa-d. But is it worth to contin-ewe? HAHA! XD! Okay, I stop right now. Let’s get moo-ving on… ;p.
Overall, this anime is just one of the many okay types in my books (ironically, I don’t read any books!). Nothing too fancy, nothing too deep. Just enough to keep you company for this sort of genre for the time being till the next one. So it goes to show that reading despite is still a very good habit, but not all of life’s experiences can be found in books. There needs to be a fair share of that as well as interaction from other people to help learn, grow and move forward. You know, all that basic stuffs. Because if you noticed, Kakei didn’t learn all that from his books, right? There are no books or classes that will provide you the greatest lesson in life unlike firsthand experience. Therefore books aren’t everything. Hah. A new excuse for me to not take up one.