Kokoro Library

Family Portrait from Kokoro Library    Two Kokoros?! from Kokoro Library

Alternate Earth – In a small library located in an unpopulated mountain, there is a quiet and kind girl, a strong-minded girl, and a girl who has the same name as the library. These three sisters, Iina, Aruto, and Kokoro, (ask someone who knows Japanese to tell you what Kokoro aru to ii na means) have inherited this library from their parents and are entrusted to taking care of this place where miracles are supposed to occur…

At first, this may seem like an utterly boring premise, but, despite slow-paced scenes, there is an undeniable amount of heart infused into this particular anime. Kokoro is old enough to become a librarian, so she trains under her sisters. Despite the fact that no "users" seem to come to the library, this does not stop the three from dutifully carrying out all of their chores. One cannot help but be impressed with the effort that Kokoro puts into her work. We watch Kokoro enthusiastically train, and, in the process, the audience is given glimpses of the small miracles that occur at this mysterious library. What could be so special about this place? Ah, but that would be giving away too much. The episodes slowly reveal the secret behind Kokoro Library, and when you finally witness the events that led up to the founding of this miraculous place.

The animation, characters, and scenes combine to create a work that warms the soul and helps one feel better about oneself and the world in general. The music is especially noteworthy since it is good enough to stand on its own, which you can’t say about most anime OSTs. I liked it so much that I imported it from Japan. Worth every penny. The melodies are solid and simple, creating a synergy with the animation. Unfortunately, most people won’t get to hear it since they might be put off by the anime. Give Kokoro Library a try and find out how to create miracles in your own life…

During Anime Expo 2001, I went to the Meet the Guests reception, and I met Masunari Koji, the director of Kokoro Library and Read or Die. The creator of Read or Die, Kurata Hideyuki, was also there, and most of the questions were directed to him regarding Read or Die. When it came to my turn, I asked Masunari some questions about Kokoro Library; he seemed quite happy to talk about it. It was sad to see that most of the other people at the table had no idea what we were talking about (Kurata seemed bored during my questions since he didn’t work on it). Finally, I thanked them both for Read or Die and Kokoro Library.

Kurata then asked everyone around the table, "Which do you like better? Read or Die or Kokoro Library?"

I was the only one who said Kokoro Library. Masunari smiled and gave me the "thumbs-up". I gave it back.

Kurata rolled his eyes.