In Libra of Nil Admirari, Tsumugi Kuze has it rough. Her relationship with her brother is strained because of her arranged marriage. Then, said marriage is put on hold as her brother almost dies – partly because of her situation, and partly because of a mysterious cursed book. On top of all of that, these events have led her to gaining the rare ability to see curses left in books by the emotional torment of their author. It's been an intense few days and her problems have escalated to the point where they're difficult to relate to, but Tsumigi has another source of stress in her life with which we're all much more accustomed.
Starting a new job.
It turns out having a unique talent is an easy way to get hired, especially if your talent is of the “able to detect dangerous magical tomes” variety. Tsumugi is quickly approached by the Imperial Library Intelligence Asset Management Bureau (a doozy – let's go with “Fukurou”) to help them find these books and keep them from harming people the way they did her brother. A comfy government job doesn't seem so bad, right? But right away that brings us to the first point of contention – Tsumugi and books.
Everyone wants to work with the things they love, but when you actually land that dream job things don't always go the way you expect them to. Tsumugi loves books, and you'd think working with people who literally collect and catalog books at Fukurou would be exciting. However, her job is entirely predicated on the idea that sometimes books can be harmful; sometimes, the huge emotions they can manifest in their readers, which Tsumugi loves about them, can cause harm, which ends up forming the thematic core of the story. Really puts a damper on that whole “I sure do love books!” feeling.
In real life we usually end up burned out on our dream jobs because they turn enjoyment into tedium, but Nil Admirari has that too. On Tsumugi's first outing with Fukurou, she and her coworkers spend all day doing essentially nothing. They walk around town trying to find cursed tomes, only to reach sunset with nothing to show for their work. At the end, they stumble upon a man worried he owns such a book, and Tsumugi is able to determine that it is actually fine. She's initially disappointed - after all, when we're just starting, we want to avoid looking lazy and impress our coworkers and bosses with what we initially think "productivity" looks like. Inevitably, though, we find out that there are important parts of every job that are hard to see from the outside; when she realizes she's actually helped the man by alleviating him of his fear, she finds pride in her work for the first time. That moment of understanding how your work positively affects other people is one of the most satisfying, rewarding parts of getting used to a new job, especially when it's in a way you didn't expect.
Of course, we can't talk about jobs without discussing coworkers, and Fukurou is practically flooded with memorable ones. From anti-social Hisui to the too-friendly Shizuru to the over-achieving Hayato, we can all find parallels to eccentric coworkers we've known over the years. Heck, Tsumugi's very introduction to her new job is awkward - Hayato and Akira just stop her in the middle of her grieving to tell her all about some crazy magic books that kill people! Tsumugi doesn't just dismiss them, though, not just because she's nice, but also because it's generally in our best interests to get along with even our most awkward coworkers. That doesn't mean she's a pushover, though; very early on she learns how to put her foot down on the ridiculous antics around her, like ending Shizuru's advances before they can even begin. In real life that's hard to do, so seeing Tsumugi do it so casually is therapeutic. Of course, it helps a lot that her boss is super supportive and one of the best characters in the show, giving Tsumugi the kind words she needs to hear at the exact right times.
Tsumugi lives in a fantastic world where her talents have given her a new purpose in life, but it's hard to say we can't relate to her basic problems. Are there other work-related anime that you relate to? Hit me up with them in the comments below!