Kyotaro – an avid reader – is the only member of his school’s library club. On his way to school one day, he receives a mysterious email from “The Shepherd” that his fate is about to change. Immediately struck by a premonition of a girl being in the way of a terrible crash. He saves her, and soon shy, beautiful Tsugumi decides she’ll join the library club too. As the club begins to grow, they all begin receiving email from “The Shepherd.” Who is the Shepherd, and why is (s)he watching them?
With its harem nature, art style, and odd premise, I wasn’t surprised to find out A Good Librarian like a Good Shepherd began as a visual novel. At its heart, it’s a slice of life series with romance and fantasy aspects.
Unsurprisingly, there’s plenty of fanservice going on. Expect see-through shirts, weird imagined scenes of naked girls caught up in shower hoses, and the shortest of short skirts. Fortunately, this is never a detractor from the show itself. There is some weird humour though, that even now I’m not sure I get the point of.
This series hasn’t been dubbed, so the set is Japanese audio and English subtitle with no options. Thankfully, the voice acting is pretty spot-on!
I’m still not sure how I feel about the actual story. Most of the characters are given a surprisingly decent backstory given that there are only 12 episodes in which to do it. While the mystery of the series is set out in the first episode, roughly the first half of the series is dedicated to the daily goings on of the library club and the friendship that’s blossomed between its wayward members. This can be a bit jarring when suddenly the plot becomes much more magical, but the succinct story length pushes the pace along too quickly to really worry about it.
I do wish there had been more time to explore the story and world of the Shepherds, which seemed like a background plot even though it should have been front and center. Of course, this is likely a result of the visual novel background.
My verdict? A Good Librarian Like a Good Shepherd is a cute, fun little story that will leave you just a little happier at the end. Definitely a bit of a fluff piece, with a world of magic and morals that would have been so interesting to see more of.
The art style is fairly simple, as is the animation. It was by no means bad or low-quality, and it also wasn’t earth-shattering. However, I really enjoyed the opening (watch: here), and the background details were often quite nice.
The art’s biggest shining moment is the Magical Library, which is stunning. In some rare scenes – flashbacks and the library, mostly – the art and animation break away from the show’s regular style, and they do a very good job at creating a surreal setting that helps differentiate the storylines.
My comments here are going to be very similar to my comments for the other Funimation box set I reviewed this week. The box art has grown on me a bit, though it could be a lot more visually appealing. This is also a combo pack, so you’ll get the series on both dvd and blu-ray.
Once again, the extras are pretty meager. A textless opening, textless ending, and trailers are all you’ll find here, meaning if you’re going to buy it, it will likely just be for the sake of owning the series.
However, I’d also like to take a moment to point out that Funimation’s streaming service is actually pretty good. If you don’t feel like chancing money on a series you’re not sure about, you can watch it (and several other shows!) right on Funi’s site. The quality is good and I’ve never had to wait for buffering. A sub-only subscription will run you around $4.99 and all-access is $7.99. They also have several simulcasts available.
If you’ve got the time and want a quick little series with cute characters, check out A Good Librarian Like a Good Shepherd. If you’re looking for something deep, outstanding, or really moving, this might not be the right fit for you.