|Genre||Science Fiction, Drama, Comedy|
|Written by||Nobuyuki Takagi|
|Original run||April 2000 – July 2002|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Koji Masunari|
|Original run||12 October 2001 – 28 December 2001|
Kokoro Library (ココロ図書館 Kokoro Toshokan?) is a manga series by Nobuyuki Takagi that has been adapted into a moe anime directed by Koji Masunari, who is also known for being the director of the anime OVA series Read or Die and the 2005 anime series Kamichu.
A idealistic young soldier meets a nurse whose bibliophile young patient convinces him to bloom where he is planted as he pays forward his courage to the people with books from a nearby war-damaged library while helping to pick up the pieces. The collective goodwill visited unto him convinces the soldier to construct what is Kokoro Library as the "place where miracles happen" with the nurse as his spouse with whom he spawns three daughters: Iina, Aruto, and Kokoro.
Several years later, Iina and Aruto have refined themselves into the librarians of Kokoro Library with such quality that their baby sister Kokoro wishes to emulate them. A sunny disposition along with a willingness to eschew the stereotypical professional relationship with her customers are among Kokoro's best assets; still, the road to being the consummate librarian is neither straight nor smooth in fair weather. Kokoro Library's seclusion within the mountains away from the city deters all but the most determined and adventurous users—an attribute that has gotten it in hot water on more than one occasion along with the public grant money necessary for its operation. In spite of the odds against her, Kokoro resolves herself for a euphoric epilogue.
- Kokoro (こころ?)
- Voiced by: Chiwa Saito
- At the beginning of the anime Kokoro has just become a librarian at the place with the same name as me. She is very polite and will go out of her way to help her customers, even going as far as to make home visits to collect overdue books. She likes reading, especially Himemiya Kirin novels and enjoys watering flowers and creating rainbows while doing so. She has a cat called Kito and, judging by her taste in the decor of her room, she has a special fondness for cats. Kokoro's hair is very long and similar in colour to Aruto's. Her eyes are grey and her uniform is red.
- Kokoro lives and works with her two older sisters, Iina and Aruto. Both of their parents are deceased. In episode 8, she reveals that her mother died immediately after Kokoro was born and her father died a short while afterwards.
- Iina (いいな?)
- Voiced by: Miyuki Sawashiro
- The eldest sister, Iina has an overactive imagination, is good with computers and likes taking photographs, especially of Kokoro. Her room is decorated with many pictures of Kokoro, including a poster sized one. She adores her youngest sister, perhaps a little more than is healthy. She is very protective of Kokoro and has the tendency to get jealous when Kokoro is with Aruto, Hikari, or Akaha. She even has a Kokoro keyring and a collection of Kokoro dolls, one of which she sleeps with. Iina has light brown hair and green eyes. Her uniform is blue and she drives a white car with cat seat-covers.
- Aruto (あると?)
- Voiced by: Yumi Ichihara
- The middle sister, Aruto is strong-willed, an excellent cook and has the ability to sleep anywhere. She is a talented writer and illustrator. Unknown to Kokoro, she has published several novels under the pen-name Himemiya Kirin. Aruto stays up at night to write her story, thats one reason why she's always seen sleeping anywhere during the day. Aruto has short dark hair and wears large round glasses. Her eyes are blue-grey and her uniform is black. As Himemiya Kirin, she wears a long blonde wig.
The two characters listed below are deceased for most of the series.
- Jordi San (サン・ジョルディ San Jorudi?)
- Voiced by: Susumu Chiba
- Also romanised as Sun Joldy. The sisters' late father. A member of the third squad. He lost his family in a raid. He speaks in a very formal manner which causes good-natured teasing among his comrades. He is very caring and helpful. He feels it is his duty to protect the people of his city. He does not approve of fighting but condones it if it is absolutely necessary to protect the city. Uezawa finds his ideals to be immature. After the war, he helped to rebuild the bridge and spent time in the mountains, living in a cabin and growing vegetables. He shares Kokoro's skill of creating rainbows with a watering-can. Like Shindou, he understands the importance of books and worked to create a library, which he named Kokoro, meaning 'heart', which he discovers is also the given name of Shindo, his future wife.
- Kokoro Shindo (進藤ココロ Shindō Kokoro?)
- Voiced by: Miyuki Sawashiro
- Kokoro, Aruto and Iina's late mother. She was a nurse at a hospital in a war zone, where she met Jordi. She cared for Akari, a child at the time, and was often found in the library, looking for books to read to her young patient. She is very similar in appearance to her youngest daughter.
- Uezawa (上沢?)
- Voiced by: Shinichiro Miki
- The younger Uwezawa's father. Was a driver for hire before the war and dislikes driving weapons for the military.He was stationed with Momochi, Jordi, Kaji and Kameyan. When the war ends, he returns to his old job.
- Jun Uezawa (上沢純 Uezawa Jun?)
- Voiced by: Shinichiro Miki
- The delivery man who delivers new books to Kokoro Library in his white van. According to episode 9, it is not a job that pays well. The sisters take advantage of his huge crush on Iina so he will do small jobs for them such as handing out flyers. He is something of a daydreamer and a romantic but not very skilled at expressing his feelings. His overactive imagination is comparable to that of Iina. He often gets himself into awkward situations and people's misunderstandings of his kindness have resulted in him being labelled a pervert by Iina and, in two instances, being arrested.
- Uezawa has black hair and dark eyes, and he smokes cigarettes.
- Akari Inoue (井上あかり Inoue Akari?)
- Voiced by: Satomi Koorogi
- Hikari's mother. A former patient in a war hospital. She bears a strong resemblance to her daughter, something further emphasised by the same voice actress voicing both characters.
- Hikari Inoue (井上ひかり Inoue Hikari?)
- Voiced by: Satomi Koorogi
- Hikari is a young girl who was sent to Kokoro Library to train as a special-case librarian while her mother was in hospital. At first she appears introverted and refuses to speak or do any work. At one point she even lashes out at Kokoro for looking at a photograph of her mother. After attempting to run away from the library, Hikari opens up to Kokoro and the two become close friends. Once her true personality is revealed, Hikari appear strong-minded, honest and affectionate. Though she is even younger than Kokoro, she seems wise beyond her years as she tells Uezawa to give up on Iina as their 'love will not bloom.' She also criticises Aruto's novels for their lack of realism (though she later admits that she quite enjoys them). Hikari has green eyes and wears a single side pigtail in her otherwise loose dark hair. Her uniform is pink.
- Sergeant Momochi
- Voiced by: Kôzô Shioya
- Marie's father. He was stationed with Uezawa, Jordi, Kaji and Kameyan. He is a good-natured, kindly man.
- Marie Momochi (百千万理恵 Momochi Marie?)
- Voiced by: Yumi Touma
- The town's beautiful female major. She travels in an expensive chauffeur-driven black car. She plans to close down Kokoro Library because its under-utilization convinces her that it is more of a burden on the taxpayers than anything. It is not that outrageous to conclude that Marie's contempt for the Library is because she does not understand the historical rationale behind the Library. Fortunately for Kokoro, Marie backs down when the whole city ties the fate of her career with that of Kokoro Library.
- Midori Okajima (岡嶋みどり Okajima Midori?)
- Voiced by: Yoko Sasaki
- A customer of Kokoro library. She is Akaha's mother.
- Akaha Okajima (岡嶋朱葉 Okajima Akaha?)
- Voiced by: Tomoko Kaneda
- A friend of Kokoro's and one of Kokoro Library's customers. They met when Kokoro helped her find her way home. She is a relative of Misato and is short, helpful and soft-spoken. She lives in a villa in Kokoro's town and likes squirrels and reading.
- Misato Fukami (深海みさと Fukami Misato?)
- Voiced by: Tomoe Hanba
- A lonely rich girl Kokoro encounters while on holiday. She suffers from the same unspecified sickness her late mother had. Though she is getting better, her over-protective father and strict butler do not allow her to leave the house or socialise, therefore she is very happy to receive a visit from Kokoro. She spends her time reading and watching the ocean view from her window. She dreams of seeing the ocean up close and touching a dolphin, dreams which Kokoro and Akaha help her to fulfill.
- July (Juri)
- An android who sacrifices herself so that her power source can be used to blow up a bridge, halting enemy advance. She does not appear nearly as human as June, a later model, and has a more mechanised voice. She wishes that in the future, her kind will be used for helping people, rather than battle, a dream which comes true.
- June (珠音?)
- Voiced by: Maaya Sakamoto
- June is a long-haired brunette with bright green eyes wearing a blue librarian uniform that warmly greets Kokoro as her roommate when she is sent on a librarian training course. June explains that she is a comparoid -- a type of android that has parallels to the persocoms in Chobits -- developed by Nakanishi Industry and sent to attend the training session to appraise the quality of her programming and the utilization of the library-related data installed in her electronic brain as a new development. Much to Kokoro's pleasant surprise, June does not oppressively wield her emphasis on efficiency when she counsels Kokoro on how to conquer the training session. She learns what it means to be a librarian from Kokoro.
- Kaede Hoshino (星野かえで Hoshino Kaede?)
- Voiced by: Rio Natsuki
- Kokoro's first customer. She rides a moped and becomes quite friendly with Kokoro. When she does not return the book she borrows, Kokoro takes it upon herself to retrieve it. Kokoro is disheartened when she learns that Hoshino has moved away because of her job. However, the book is returned to the library in the mail.
- Sarara Saeki (佐伯さらら Saeki Sarara?)
- Voiced by: Satsuki Yukino
- Aruto's editor. She works for Celery Library's editorial department. She assists Aruto in hiding Himemiya Kirin's identity from Kokoro and Iina.
- Inspector Kajihara (梶原警部 Kajihara-keibu?)
- Voiced by: Fumihiko Tachiki
- Nicknamed Kaji by other officers. He is sent by Interpol to track the Funny Tortoise Thief and arrives at Kokoro Library which is being targeted. He is accompanied by a number of female officers known as Kaji's Angels. He is constantly seen smoking a cigar and is always on edge and very suspicious of everyone. He was formerly in the army.He was stationed with Uezawa, Jordi, Momochi and Kameyan. He lost his wife and children in a raid.
- Hibiki Asakura (朝倉ひびき Asakura Hibiki?)
- Voiced by: Michiko Neya
- Asakura is in charge of Kokoro and June's librarian training.
- Funny Tortoise Thief (ファニートータス Fanī Tōtasu?) (Real name
- Kameyan Aigame)
- Funny Tortoise is notorious thief and master of disguise who disguises himself as Uezawa, Kokoro, Kaji and as a policewoman by the name of Itou to steal a valuable locked book (which turns out to be Jordi's diary) from the library. He travels in a hot-air balloon with a tortoise logo on it. He is also talented at imitating other people's voices. Though a criminal, he has a good heart and helps Kokoro on several occasions.
- Aigame is the thief's true identity. He met the girls' parents as a 14-year-old soldier with no family. Before the army, he was a thief, working his way up from petty theft to highway robbery. As punishment, he was forced to join the army. He often argues with Kajihara. After the war, he disappears, leaving behind a note simply bidding everyone farewell. Jordi speculates that he has returned to his old life of crime, which, of course, turns out to be true.
Kokoro Library's anime adaptation was met to generally positive reviews. The first DVD volume was reviewed by Paul Grisham of Mania.com, where he praised the colors used, saying, "Colors are rich and warm and convey the fairy tale setting of the Kokoro Library and the nearby town effectively." Paul also commented on the audio, calling it "warm and inviting without even the slightest hint of distortion." Jeremy A Beard from THEM Anime Reviews praised the "general pleasant feeling and atmosphere" of the small town depicted in the anime. Despite finding the "overall Kokoro Library experience enjoyable", Jeremy remarked that it's "accompanying relaxed pacing" would turn viewers off.