With her baptism ceremony complete, Myne begins work in the temple as an apprentice shrine maiden. Awaiting within is what she always wanted: a room full of books! But her new life isn't quite the dream she was hoping for; she's surrounded by nobles who scorn her commoner origins, and even her own servants are causing her trouble. On top of that, she has to constantly battle the weakness of her own body. But with her love for books burning in her heart, she gives her all to her new apprentice duties.
Source: J-Novel Club
Now, I'll admit that I was drawn to this anime because, as a fellow book-lover, I was intrigued by the concept of a bookworm being reincarnated and trying to make books in a world that didn't really have them. However, I stayed because this anime is about so much more than that. Sure, the first season focuses pretty explicitly on Maine's attempts to create books, but I realize that I would have been bored if that was all the second season had done as well. The way I see it, it is still very much about the book-making process, but it takes a more realistic aproach. Instead of this outsider just showing up, inventing brand new technology on a whim and generally upsetting the whole social, political, and economic order with absolutely no resistance unless a big, powerful, magical baddie shows up. Ascendance of a Bookworm shows how something like this would realistically be taken in a world like hers. Realistically, the nobles who hold onto power by being smarter and more powerful than the commoners wouldn't take well to a mysteriously intelligent commoner who knows things no one else does and has an insane amount of mana that chokes out anyone who pisses her off. That just wouldn't happen. The way Maine is going, she'll completely change everything about her world. Not because she's trying to, but because in order to make her books she has to invent new technologies and carve out a niche where she can live and read peacefully, which is not something a commoner can do without changing the way a few things work. Her books are her motivation for everything she does, but Ascendance of a bookworm gives us a deep-dive into her world in order to show us, the viewer, that these things aren't as simple as they seem. Sure, this anime isn't action-packed with great battles, flashy magic, and grand adventures. Instead, it offers a look at the everyday life of its world. The world-building is exceptional, every detail is meticulous, and there are complex layers of interactions. This anime really makes it fell realistic, like you really are looking through a window into another world. It's a different kind of escape than the one offered by dragons and robots and quests, but satisfying on a whole different level to the audience who cares to listen.
Update, the last episode just came out and I'm going to say this gets better after the halfway mark. As time goes on, it gets more and more better. However, what I mentioned below still holds up true. The only reason I changed my score from a 7.5 to this is the story itself has gotten better. Also, it ended with me wanting more now. ----- So real quick, for those of you who seen season/part 1. This isn't like part 1. Part 1 they focused heavily on how books/paper is made. In this one, they simply aren't. They are getting more in the church interworkings. I wouldn't watch this without seeing part 1, but if you loved how she was brining tech to this new world. Well... ya... don't watch this one I guess. It hasn't clearly shown how or anything like that. But you can tell this is lining up for her most likely taking over the church or maybe removing their power. And because this hasn't moved forward by all that much, while it seems like she has if I was to describe everything that has happen. I have to say this isn't as good as part 1 in my opinion. Like she has joined the church and in the same place as nobles. But none of the nobles have any respect for her, and only deal with her because she could kill them. She has gained an orphanage as the director, but almost everything has to be approved and she gets blame if anything goes wrong. She has gotten "slaves", but until the story forced them to they didn't have any respect for her. So a 1 step forward and then 1 step back. It appears she is moving forward, but she isn't if you really think about it. At least to a worth while degree. And what I'm thinking is maybe all these things might add up into something at the end. Kinda like a ton of dimes is a million dollars. But outside of my speculation that I mention above I can't be sure. And even if we used that speculation, her age kinda gets in the way. IDK maybe my rating is a bit low since compared to most others this season and past seasons this is still good. But to me it seems just not as good, and a complete change. It would've been nice if they kept up with the theme of the 2 starting a book store. But maybe they can do that later. However, joining the church seems like a lifetime thing. So IDK if it is possible now. Again, the only reason why anyone puts up with her is she can kill them. And since the church and nobles hate her but need her magic. How long until you think they will find a way to deal with her with getting what they want? She already has several spies that follow her every day
Like somebody else said, this isn't like part 1 so some of the things in it are going to throw you off. I was very intrigued by the concept of a girl who tries to become a best selling author in a world where books are a rarity so to see that get taken away was very disappointing. They replaced that with a plot about how she begins working at a church while dealing with traumatized orphans and an abusive leader. This makes for a mean-spirited tone and a bunch more depressing themes. The first one was dark in the sense that it was about a girl fighting a deadly disease but this one makes part 1 seem like a Disney movie in comparison. Part 2 was just drama after drama after drama. You got bullying, you got slaves, you got child abuse, you got orphans, you got corrupt leadership and it was all too forgettable and bland to watch. By episode 3, the kids who work for Myne end up growing out of their brattiness but it doesn't make up for the fact that this orphan story was completely unnecessary since it's based on the fact that they solely recruit orphans to work as grey-robed. Why do they need orphans specificall-? You know what, I don't care. This whole story is just so forgettable and I really can't say any more since I dropped this after episode 3. People keep complaining to me that "Oh, it's because it's a different world like that tv show". JUST BECAUSE IT'S A DIFFERENT WORLD doesn't mean that you need to have every single thing that could ever exist in ideas or real life IN that world. Because I know for a fact that stories can be good without trying to shoehorn in a bunch of melodrama shit and things that the story could've done without. I really have nothing good to say about this other than the technical elements like the animation and the voices. This story was just all-around awful, the worst story I've seen in a long time. I wish I could give this a huge flat ass 0 if I could. And there's almost no new characters to care about besides a few of the old ones (and there weren't too many characters to care about in part 1 to begin with) and Fran. The first one, while not great wasn't too bad. So far, 2020 has been a very weird yet disappointing year in terms of movies and shows.
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