This episode of Biblia Koshodou no Jiken Techou (ビブリア古書堂の事件手帖 – Biblia Rare Books Case Files) is about the books we read as kids that, if we were to read again, would bring long-unaccessed memories to mind.

Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 000

While Shinokawa (Gouriki Ayame) and Daisuke (AKIRA) are out visiting a shop that sells photobooks and has a gallery . . .

Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 001Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 002

. . . Jesse-kun gets his most substantial scene of the series so far, as it seems like there’s something between his character Fumiya and Kosuga Nao (played by Mizuno Erina). It’s still a throw-away scene, though, unless they actually plan to do something with this relationship in a later episode (which I doubt).

Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 003Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 004

At the gallery-shop, Daisuke bumps into someone he didn’t expect to see – former girlfriend Akiho.

Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 005Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 006Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 007Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 008

When Akiho discovers that Shinokawa owns a bookstore, she asks Shinokawa for help in finding a particular book she barely remembers from her childhood – one with a raccoon.

Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 009Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 010Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 011

Back at Biblia, Shinokawa and Daisuke listen to the best description she can give of the story. She even draws the main character and gives a pretty good synopsis.

Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 012Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 013Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 014

Shinokawa asks for time to figure it out. She and Daisuke head to the cafe where they get the usual unsolicited advice that doesn’t help at all.

Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 018Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 019

Meeting Akiho again, they find out details that she had failed to mention the first time – a rhinoceros and boy who got bad grades in school.

Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 020Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 021

None of it rings a bell with Shinokawa. Daisuke asked what precipitated her sudden interest in the book.

Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 022Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 023Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 024

Through the conversation, they discover that Akiho has trouble facing her mother, who may know something about the book, and so they go with her as backup.

Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 025Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 026

After that, we begin getting details about the case – and yes, it really is all about trying to find a particular children’s book.

Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 027Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 028

A lot of dialogue is spent on establishing the tension between Akiho and her mother, but when it comes time to see that tension in action, it doesn’t fully materialize. Akiho’s mother tends to pester a bit, but nothing too extraordinary. Akiho gives the cold shoulder as if a petulant teenager, but there doesn’t seem to be a reason for her to be afraid to face her mother.

Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 029Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 030

As it turns out, Akiho’s mother has some books to sell to Biblia – leftovers from her late husband. That occupies Shinokawa’s focus while they’re there.

Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 031Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 032

Outside, Akiho once again insists that she dislikes her mother, and attributes it to a ‘mother-daughter’ thing that she doesn’t understand. That’s not good enough, though. The writers seemed to deliberately try to avoid making things dramatic, but I don’t know why. It’s also notable that Akiho is not the only person in this show with mother issues – both Shinokawa and (perhaps more toward his grandmother than mother) Daisuke do, as well. So . . . what’s with the writers and their mothers?

Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 033Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 034Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 035

Daisuke is driven to do some investigating on his own. He clearly has some feelings for his old girlfriend.

Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 036Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 038Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 039

But searching bookstores for a book with a raccoon is sort of an unwieldy approach.

Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 042Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 043

Shinokawa’s brother gets a second scene, though considering she later says he gave her the key to solving the mystery, he could probably have had a much bigger part in this one than he got.

Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 044Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 045

Meanwhile, realizing the futility of searching bookstores, Daisuke goes back to Akiho’s mother, sure that she really does know something about the book.

Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 046Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 047Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 049

And things start to unravel after that. Shinokawa reveals the solution twenty-three minutes into the episode – halfway in. So, once again, we get a slow unwind to the show with almost torturous pacing.

Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 073Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 082Biblia Koshodou Ep 09 083

Granted, this drama was about a bookstore owner who solves mysteries, but the one kind of mystery I didn’t want to see was the one where she helps a person to find a book. That’s . . . so boring. I mean, the stakes are so low that it doesn’t seem worth spending an hour on. There isn’t even a way to judge it with normal mystery terms like motive or method.

Technically, the real stake in this episode was the relationship between Akiho and her mother and healing that rift, but they did such a bad job of establishing the existence of a legitimate issue between the characters that the resolution felt trite.

Altogether, this was a totally miss-able episode, and one of the least interesting of an already lackluster series. I really hope they try something special and a bit more balanced for the last two episodes, because it’s depressing to see a drama go this flat.