Thursday, October 9, 2014

Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai, Ep. 1: Like The Good Shepherd

I can understand if you're raising an eyebrow as to why I'm blogging about an episode of this show, of all things. After all, in a season full of promising shows, including a number of other potentially interesting visual novel adaptations, why waste my time talking about (or watching) a seemingly mediocre harem visual novel adaptation that spends much of its first episode over an accidental grope? Well, Daitoshokan no Hitsujikai, also known by the English name A Good Librarian Like A Good Shepherd (although the show doesn't have an official English name yet, for some reason), certainly won't be winning the praise of any critics, but I for one actually enjoyed its first episode quite a bit. It has a unique setting (the mega-academy is rather underused as a school-type setting), a cast of characters that is fairly archetypical but works well enough and has some signs of depth, and an overall premise that looks like it can go interesting places.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the show's premise is the presence of the "Shepherd", who is guiding things from behind the scenes, as well as the hint of a "Shepherd Test" and the suggestion of having lead male Kyotaro take that test. Even beyond that, though, is the fact that Tsugumi Shirasaki, with the help of the Library Club, is looking to bring happiness to the students of the massive Shiomi Academy through some kind of project. In a way, she is trying to become a shepherd herself, leading the rest of the academy to happiness. It is a rather daunting task, because she herself is very much like a sheep: meek, powerless, and just one of many other "sheep" at the academy (there are over 650 students in just one classroom!). But she wants to challenge herself and grow through the experience, so she's doing it.

These are rather interesting words in and of themselves, potentially worth a blog post on their own.
In all of this, the whole Shepherd aspect offers a potential connection to Christianity; after all, God is frequently referred to as a shepherd, leading His people, the sheep, to where He wants us to go. The analogy of us as sheep highlights how helpless we are without Him; without a good shepherd to lead us, we're prone to wandering off into dangerous territory and getting ourselves eaten by wolves. Thankfully, God is more than willing to serve as a shepherd to us, patiently guiding us and keeping us safe.

But if part of the Christian walk is becoming like God, then that means, to an extent, we too are to become shepherds. We might not have to lead all the Christians in the world like God does, but we are called to make disciples, which is a miniature shepherding role in and of itself. For those who are called to become leaders, especially pastors, the role of a shepherd takes even more meaning. But even if all we shepherd is one "sheep" at a time now and then, that is enough reason to seek to become like the Good Shepherd.

It can be a daunting task, though; after all, we are in many ways still sheep ourselves. And the idea of a sheep becoming a shepherd sounds weird no matter how "good" the sheep might be. But that is why we have God as the Good Shepherd that we look to, to give us what we need to do what we cannot do by ourselves (such as fellow sheep who can help us along the way). It's similar to how Tsugumi not only has the rest of the Library Club, but also the mysterious Shepherd who brought the Library Club together (even if his methods are a bit suspect).

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I don't know if I'll be blogging this show regularly like I did for Hanayamata and Barakamon last season. Even if I did, this show is probably not going to be a top-tier show like those two were, even with how much I liked the first episode. Nevertheless, it is definitely one I'll be keeping an eye on, and which I may just revisit on this blog in the future. (It's likely to join the upcoming "3 for 3" feature I have coming up, at least.)

At the very least, perhaps I ought to write something about how being a good librarian can help in becoming like the Good Shepherd?

4 comments:

  1. funny i just posted a blog about this show myself. I also found it interesting that there is a book that is supposed to bring light into the world as what seems to be one of the main quests. Yes its probably not going to be huge and yes it did spend all that time on an accidental grope however it reminds me of Romans 8:28 because in the end if it weren't for that incident they might not have met.

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    1. I checked out your blog and that was a nice post you had on the show. It's certainly an interesting thing to keep in mind how even the... uh, weirder events of our lives can be part of all things working together for our good.

      Glad to see I'm not the only one (crazy enough to be) willing to give this show a chance. ( :P )

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  2. Besides the grope scene, and the light fanservice, I think this was very interesting. The setting is uncommon too.

    What do you know about the source material?

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    1. I know nothing about the source material, other than that it is a visual novel and originally an adult game with erotic scenes, like the other visual novel adaptations this season (Grisaia, Lost Future, and Fate/stay night). And as someone who has seen a number of shows adapted from such sources, I'd say that chances are, the adult scenes will *not* be animated.

      I know nothing, though, regarding the story itself.

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