11 June 2015

戦う!書店ガール Tatakau! Shoten Girl

Title: 戦う!書店ガール Tatakau! Shoten Gāru (Girl)
English Title: Fight! Bookstore Girl
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Year 2015
Episode: 09
  • 渡辺麻友 Watanabe Mayu
  • 稲森いずみ Inamori Izumi
  • 千葉雄大 Chiba Yūdai
  • 大東駿介 Daito Shunsuke
  • 田辺誠一 Tanabe Seiichi
  • 濱田マリ Hamada Mari
  • 伊野尾慧 Inō Kei
  • 鈴木ちなみ Suzuki Chinami
  • 木崎ゆりあ Kizaki Yuria
  • 木下ほうか Kinoshita Hoka
  • 井上順 Inoue Jun
  • マキタスポーツ Makit Supotsu (Sports)

At the Pegasus Books store located at Kichijōji, assistant manager Nishioka Riko takes care of everything.

Aside from managing her current staff, Riko also supervises two employees who are assigned to the store: Mita Takahiko and Kitamura Aki. Riko assigns Takahiko to the children's books section and Aki to the comics section.

All employees seek her assistance when they have some concerns; magazine section staff Kusaku Keīchiro, literature section staff Hagiwara Mami, reference books section staff Tōno Yuka, and cashier Ozaki Shiho.

Tatakau! Shoten Girl is about books, bookstores, and bookstore employees. It is about how bookstores are struggling to stay in operation and how bookstore employees are striving to remain employed in this day and age.

I checked out the drama because I love books, and I've always loved reading ever since I was young. I have an extensive personal library, but the list of books I want to read is long and ever growing that I think I have only read about a quarter of all the books I own.

Tatakau! Shoten Girl seemed entertaining because it takes place in a bookstore, and I can spend endless hours browsing books in bookstores. I've always wondered what it's like to work in a bookstore, but I don't think I'd actually thrive in the environment. Although I appreciate books, I'm only passionate about my favorite books and I'm only knowledgeable about a few genres.

Which reminds me, although I understand Nishioka Riko's policy of not assigning employees to the sections that they are emotionally involved in, I would have to agree with Kitamura Aki that the policy inadvertently wastes the employees' expertise and passion.

I suppose it would help if I take things in a positive way, such as how Mita Takahiko looks at the situation as a chance to learn about something he doesn't know and an opportunity to broaden his knowledge.

Mita Takahiko: I see it as a chance... A chance to get to learn something that I don't know. A chance to broaden my knowledge. A chance to become a professional bookstore worker.
-- E01 The Two Strongest Book Lovers, Clash!!

I mean, for things that we don't know or we don't like, we wouldn't often take the time to study it unless it is a requirement for school or work. Sometimes when we get to know something, we find that we like it and then we are thankful for the learning experience. And even if we end up not liking it, we at least gained some knowledge.

However, there are a lot of things that I don't know about in this world and it isn't really possible to have a working knowledge of everything. Realistically speaking, I would have to narrow down the field, so to speak. Since that's the case, I'd prefer to learn about things I love, and maybe even areas I'm somewhat interested in if I have the time.

Anyway, it was quite disappointing to see the employees at the Kichijōji branch of Pegasus Books work hard to keep the store running only to fail in the endeavor. It would have been more meaningful if they actually succeeded at keeping their jobs against all odds because even though it isn't very realistic, at least that outcome brings hope and good vibes.

Because I watched the drama for actor Chiba Yūdai, I am quite disappointed that his character Takahiko's own story wasn't resolved properly. Takahiko has a one-sided love for his superior Riko but that didn't go anywhere. His colleague Aki likes him, but she eventually married someone else. Ultimately, I can't help but feel that the time I invested to see what happens with Takahiko was wasted.

戦う!書店ガール Tatakau! Shoten Girl