Perhaps my favorite scene in Toshokan Sensou is the Chief Librarian Practical Exam in episode 9, in which our three junior librarians are tasked to read books to kids. Each of them take their own tack, which reveals something about themselves.
We already know she’s good at this, but it is a treat to see Shibasaki weave her magic. Using her malleable voice, she holds the children’s attention in thrall along with effective use of ambience. Mad skillz from Miyuki Sawashiro.
Shibasaki is a master of control, both direct and indirect. She can emasculate you directly with words, or manipulate you into a situation where you unwittingly perform her bidding. Either way, she calls the shots. I hope she becomes Commander someday–the Media Betterment Committee would never stand a chance, ohohoho~
Tezuka is the most unsure of the three, but he performs extremely well despite this handicap. His approach is highly personal; he brings himself to his audience’s height, trying to see things in their perspective. In doing this, he in turn allows the children to lose themselves in his story, and takes all of their questions seriously.
Tezuka’s style is one I love, because with it I could feel that I am in the story, and this kind of immersion is one I value. A story could be nothing fancy, but if it becomes my story, then I’d cherish it more than a brilliant, yet distant account of unrelatable characters. Also, contrasting with Shibasaki’s approach, Tezuka assumes a more familial demeanor to the children, like he’s reading bedtime stories as a father.
One could criticize Tezuka to be a plain man, but he takes his job seriously, little misgivings aside. And in this difficult test, he seeks empathy, and gains respect.
Unlike the other two, Kasahara doesn’t tell a story, but teaches something with an educational book. She uses some well-made props to get the kids to genuinely participate.
Kasahara definitely knows what makes kids tick. Instead of force-feeding information down their throats, she turns learning into a fun experience, which is something that most teachers can’t even do! How many students would have loved math if it was taught using relevant real-life applications? Or pretty drawings?
I’m genuinely surprised, along with the rest of the cast. Kasahara might be a clumsy girl, but she’s great with kids. In the words of the great Jeffrey Wilder, she’d make a good wife. ❤
I love these scenes as they reveal character in an entertaining manner, and provide a nice breather from the drama and action that pervades the show. It’s also refreshing to see Kasahara excel at something, for a change!