OP Sequence

OP: 「言葉にできない」 (Kotoba ni Dekinai) by Maaya Sakamoto

「冬の始まり」 (Fuyu no Hajimari)
“The Beginning of Winter”

If I had the enthusiasm and passion Myne had towards books, towards acquiring knowledge, not to brag about my natural intelligence but I probably could have solved world hunger and figured out the secrets to unlimited energy from E=MC Squared. But unfortunately, distractions like anime, manga and games exist. Ooooooooh, and Western TV as well as movies! So unfortunately, my attention is divided. So alas, this is all I can amount to. Nevertheless, it’s good to be back.

With the orphanage finally under her control, and becoming a cornerstone to the runnings of a functional printing press, Myne has pretty much assembled everything required to achieve her goal of bringing books to herself and the masses. From the outside, it sure looks like saint-like altruism. But watching from her perspective, we can all be assured that Myne’s motivations are entirely selfish – saving orphans from a horrible fate, becoming a patron to Johann, etc.

However, one problem solved invites in a new problem to take its place. There is some kind of formula going on here, with set piece villains showing up one after the other. I mean, sure the High Priest remains ever present in the background. Now you’re telling me the Ink Guild are looking for trouble, out of fear that Myne is going to take a huge chunk of their profits off her discovery and innovation?

And just when you think that signing over the rights to said ink production is where the buck stops, even though that contract is signed, it seems like the master of the Ink Guild has some ulterior motives up his sleeve – making a shadowy deal with some wealthy, aristocratic looking figure. Look at that fancy pants, wearing purple. I seem to recall Yoshikage Kira having an acquired taste for purple suits, so let’s hope this one’s not as insanely off his rockers too.

While Myne has no threatening intention or ambition behind her book driven pursuits, it seems that important figures and institutions around her have become extremely wary of her discoveries and how they may shake the establishment. And as such, are slowly coalescing together to take her down.

So why do the aristocracy and church have a vested interest in keeping the common man from knowledge and ideas? A literate population that can spread and communicate knowledge and ideas is a vehicle for transforming the working class, into an educated middle class – who will inevitably hold more political power as a demographic within society, and be able to challenge the Aristocracy and Church to potentially enact far sweeping change. If they want to maintain the status quo, a lot rides on keeping the populace at large ignorant and suppressed.

Even with backing from Ferdinand, Benno, and the Town Guard, I have to say it’s very doubtful that she will eventually come out on top of this one. So I’m beginning to wonder what kind of miracle or intervention down the line might be required, to allow her to fully realise the entire scope of her book and printing press project.

Those of you familiar with Bookworm must feel rather joyous at its return. It’s like walking back into the library, savouring the wonderful smell of aged paper, before diving into one of the fantasy worlds inside the books. Upon returning, I can comfortably say the animation remains very much the same – colourful with a touch more digital processing compared to usual, with chibi styles for comedic excerpts. I’m sure everyone else laughed as well when Myne and Benno went at each other, after being mistaken as father and daughter. Same old, as if being greeted by a friend I haven’t seen in a while. Although I wasn’t a fan of their new hat – in this case, that would be the opening theme.

Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading this post and see you all next week!

ED Sequence

ED: 「あの日のことば」 (Ano Hi no Kotoba) by Nao Touyama

End Card


  1. Generally the animation seems OK, but I think there’s less effort being spent on animating the secondary characters like Lutz (yeah, sorry, Lutz old chap, you seem to just be the tea boy now). And of course there’s the disconnect for JNC LN readers like me of CR still going their own sweet way with translations/transliterations of names and titles.

    I’ve seen it noted elsewhere that it’s unusual for a series to get a third season when pretty much the only thing going for it is the strength of the underlying story because if you take that out of the equation then you’re not left with anything much. Still, that’s fine with me as I’m in it mainly for the story. I’m still worried about how they’ll do the ending though.

    1. Poor Lutz. I wonder if this suggests/implies he will become less important further down the line >.>

      In terms of this series getting a third season, I am of the understanding there has to be will from both sides. Sounds like Bookworm is a passion project for the animation studio, and in terms of broadcasting it fills in a niche that is in demand with viewers.

    1. The word “Ascendance” was translated from the Japanese word “Gekkokujo,” which more specifically implies “someone of a lower standing over-taking someone of a higher standing.”

      Unless Prince of Tennis lied to me.

      1. English titles are usually chosen by the studio, which is why they often end up as Engrish. And that’s happened here too because “ascendance” doesn’t actually mean “rising” like you might expect it to.

        Anyway, it’s clear that Myne does rise even in the previous seasons because she started off as a dirt-poor commoner who was often on the brink of death, and now she’s running a business and raking in the money with her Devouring under control. And it seems making enemies left right and centre – some you win…

  2. I’m going to have to disagree with your analysis about why the aristocracy wants to prevent books from being in the hands of commoners. (At least in the Bookworm world)

    IIRC, at the end of last season, after Ferdinand went digging through Myne’s memories, Myne and Ferdinand had a discussion about the impact of literacy. And a point Myne brought up was that their world is different from ours in that the aristocracy are, in essence, the mana-using portion of the populace. And that the mana-users have a significant advantage and responsibility over the muggles. (Evidenced by Myne restoring the land after its destruction by the trombe)

    Also, literacy is reasonably prevalent in the commoners, just among those who have a reason to read. Look at Benno and the other merchants.

    The real problem is that making books is expensive and time-consuming. Books are handwritten onto parchment. As such, books are very much a luxury item. Which makes reading something of a luxury skill.

    But Myne is very much working to change all that.

    1. Ferdinand is very much an anomalous noble. Think of Ferdinand as being like one of the few progressive nobles, not to mention there’s clearly some abnormal circumstance he finds himself in, given his reluctance to talk about his family and past – which would suggest he’s in a special situation and is not representative of most nobles in the Bookworm universe.

      There are some literate ‘commoners’ such as Benno, but in a serflike feudal system, having educated merchants was never really threatening or problematic for the elite classes. Plus as you say, they have the money to make education a possibility.

      While there is willpower from Ferdinand and Myne to improve the literacy rates, it seems like most in positions of power have backwards social thinking and want to maintain a hierarchy where commoners should ‘know their place’, proverbially speaking.

      Case in point with the various villains who have shown up in the past 2 seasons, such as the High Priest, who seem more reflective of aristocracy compared to Ferdinand (abnormal situation as explained above) and Myne (who is a common born other worlder that has to undergo many unnecessary struggles to achieve her goals).

      1. Oh, I absolutely agree that those in power care about keeping those of the lower classes “in their place”. But this is why I referenced Ferdinand and Myne’s discussion about the impact of wide-spread literacy. Myne admits that in our world, the ruling class was removed more or less, but that our world doesn’t have a society centered around mana-users.

        They don’t need to keep the unwashed masses stupid to maintain their power. The noble classes having mana is what will do that. Those with mana have a significant advantage over those without, as evidenced by an angry untrained Myne “crushing” the High Priest and Ferdinand. (And those two HAVE mana.)

        On top of which, mana is so central to their society that the church was determined to drag Myne in, by crook or hook.


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