Anime Stereotypes: The Library Girl

Glasses? Check. Messed up hair? Check. Air of distraction? Check. The Library Girl is a common stereotype in anime. Smart, socially inept, and often clumsy, she has her own groupies. However, she also doesn’t get enough credit. Spending 16 years (since most are teenagers and genius as well) reading everything in sight gives the Library Girl knowledge that bails out the protagonist in the end.

Typically the Library girl avoids anything social, preferring her fortress of books. She does have a bit of a hidden wild side, however. She also can be a gamer. She is also unfortunately naive. This creates a good source for jokes at her expense. She is also oblivious to how much she turns on the guys – another easy source for gags.

Just about every high school anime has a Library Girl. Of course, she is sexualized in some series. People want what they cannot get. We also can’t forget the school uniform fetish added to the mix. Unfortunately, the Library Girl fetish can get a bit out of hand, even in mainstream anime. She is often a victim of the Pervert and has to be protected by the stronger female characters.

The Library Girl is also often the subject of “coming out” or growing up story lines. The push is away from her introversion and toward a more acceptable extrovert lifestyle.

I am rather fond of the Library Girl stereotype. I prefer the characters that are not clumsy and are comfortable with their lifestyle. The stories that push the Library Girl toward being a socialite annoy me. The world is too full of loud extroversion. It could benefit from being silent, thoughtful, and liking solitude. Not all Library Girls are weak or victims. Nor are they all naive.  The stereotype is more a male fantasy than a reflection of reality. Although I have met some people that match the pattern.

The Library Guy is a rarer breed. They fall closer in like with the Prude than the Library Girl. It is rare to see a guy walled away in a castle of books. Most of these type of guys appear in harem anime. The Library Girl is found in just about every high school anime. Considering just about every anime we get here in the West deals with high school in some way, this is a very common stereotype.

3 COMMENTS

  • Library girls are a rare breed indeed. Only a handful of them are also memorable in anime. My personal fave is the library girl in TWGOK. She completely fits your description but without someone protecting her. So cute~

    • I thought she was a good character, and one of the more interesting characters in The World Only God Knows. I agree. Library girls are fairly common, but few are memorable.

    • I was thinking of her the whole time I read this article xD

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