Ascendance of a Bookworm Season 2

Alt title: Honzuki no Gekokujou: Shisho ni Naru Tame ni wa Shudan wo Erandeiraremasen 2nd Season

TV (12 eps)
4.249 out of 5 from 9,133 votes
Rank #233

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

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Apprentice Priestess

Episode 1

Apprentice Priestess

Blue Robes and Uncommon Sense

Episode 2

Blue Robes and Uncommon Sense

Needs

Episode 3

Needs

Orphanage Reforms

Episode 4

Orphanage Reforms

Cleanups and Star Festivals

Episode 5

Cleanups and Star Festivals

The Path Ahead of Lutz

Episode 6

The Path Ahead of Lutz

New Retainers

Episode 7

New Retainers

Wilma and Holy Scriptures for Kids

Episode 8

Wilma and Holy Scriptures for Kids

Harvest Festivals and Staying Home

Episode 9

Harvest Festivals and Staying Home

Knight Orders and Requests

Episode 10

Knight Orders and Requests

Trombe and Battles

Episode 11

Trombe and Battles

Dreamlike World

Episode 12

Dreamlike World

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Reviews

ThatAnimeSnob
4

Ascendance of a Bookworm was hailed as one of the best isekai ever made. Something which the fanboys say for every isekai there is, therefore this statement means nothing. What matters is the execution, which for this show was supposed to be how it’s not a power fantasy about a male loser getting reincarnated into a videogame where he is overpowered and forms a harem while fighting the demon lord with his broken superpowers. This show is better because the protagonist is a girl, there are no videogames, no harem, no demon lord, and no superpowers. It’s a simple coming of age, about a simple girl, in a simple medieval setting. Or so it was at first, because that is no longer true by the end of the second season.But first things first. Every story needs to give the viewer reasons for keeping up with it, and this one offered a down to earth isekai. It had a heroine who was struggling to achieve small victories in an almost mundane setting with not much to struggle towards. On top of that she is not exceptionally powerful just because she got isekaied, since she has a very frail body that can kill her if she works hard or if an incurable disease kicks in. Plus she can’t even openly say she is from a different world, because the church is going to execute her as a witch. Plus, because the setting is medieval it lacks even the most basic luxuries and services we take for granted in our contemporary society. They still have slavery and public executions and women wish to be sex toys for men. Everything she does is harder in that world compared to ours and thus every little victory she achieves comes off as rewarding despite being mundane as hell for the rest of us. Or so it was at first, because that is no longer true by the end of the second season.Anyways, since we need a plot so that the show won’t be a slice of nothing happens, the heroine sets forth to read books. Something a bookworm like her finds to be super important, although it isn’t, but we need her to have an otaku-level obsession over something, so we can also have an objective. Otherwise there will be no plot. It’s why everyone is obsessed with one particular thing in most anime. In Yugioh everyone has nothing better to do than obsess over a children’s card game, in Bookworm Isekai the heroine has nothing better to do than obsess over reading books.Thus we spend the first few episodes in her trying to find books to read only to find out books are very expensive and very rare and there are no public libraries because the setting is medieval. Thus she sets forth to… print her own books (wut?). Because the most logical thing you can do when you can’t read books, is to print your own books, so you can read… your own books (wut?). If this sounds like a really stupid leap in logic, get used to it because it’s going to keep happening every few episodes. By the end of the second season the objective will have moved and changed so many times to a point where the initial premise will not matter in the least. In fact it won’t even make any sense. Why did the heroine spend all those episodes in trying to print books when she could simply join the church? They have mountains of books in their temples. Oh, that’s right, it’s because we wouldn’t have a show if she did that.It’s also a plot hole that renders most of the first season completely pointless. It wouldn’t be an issue if the objective wasn’t constantly changing every few episodes, but that was not the case. Each time it happened it wasn’t only moving the goalpost; it was also changing the world and its limitations. Basically, the internal consistency of the story was changing for the sake of plot, thus becoming more and more distant from what it was in the beginning. I mean, it is expected to have changes happening in a coming of age story, but it becomes bad writing when the changes betray the premise and gradually change the show into a more mundane fantasy adventure. The sickly typical girl that makes you so happy to see her achieve small victories becomes a super awesome teacher and a super awesome inventor and a super awesome merchant and a super awesome cleric, while everyone around her are constantly amazed with all the stuff she can do. And boy does she enjoy the attention by constantly smiling smugly. How is this not an empowerment fantasy, and just another isekai, like the ones it was supposed to be different from?And it doesn’t stop there. Her sickly body that could kill her with simple daily activities ends up having a dark superpower hiding inside her, which makes her far stronger than most people. There goes that appeal; she’s another shonen protagonist with a demonic power inside her. Oh, and that part about not being able to reveal she is from another world because she will be executed? It got revealed eventually, a priest tried to punish her, she used her awesome superpowers for force-chocking the guy ala Darth Vader and then she got forgiven because her super important knowledge of our world will make her kingdom very powerful. What happened to the whole fear of dark magic they all had all this time and how is this not yet another empowerment fantasy isekai, just like the ones it was supposed to be different from?You think it stops there? In the first episodes the setting was almost magic-free. There weren’t many things you could do with spells to make life easier. By the end of the second season there are huge magical trees and flying lions and knights that use magic to protect the world from evil entities. Which means there is a demon lord out there and they want to use the heroine to help them in defeating him. The show became another isekai, just like the ones it was supposed to be different from.All that aside, the show is not realistic even in depicting plain people. Many of the kids the protagonist interacts with are super smart with no explanation. There are no scammers who try to exploit her powers by lying about the worth of her skills or, even more extreme, kidnap her to force her into working for them. Everyone is good and polite in the show. Even thieves act like Robin Hood. It’s not a realistic world; it’s wholesome to the point it becomes as fake as your average high school romcom.Therefore Ascendance of a Bookworm is another generic empowerment fantasy that took its time before revealing its true colors as another light novel isekai and betraying any good thoughts you initially had about it.

StellaeSamos
10

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 feel 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.

pinkarray
4

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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