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EP. REVIEW: Ascendance of a Bookworm [2019-10-26]


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HannoX



Joined: 30 Apr 2012
Posts: 109
PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 3:16 pm Reply with quote
meiam wrote:
It's hard to imagine that merchant couldn't buy that information from a noble, especially since apparently some noble are shun by there family and abandoned in the church. It's not like they'd be asking for some crazy state secret, he just want to know more about a condition that is known outside noble circle. Not to mention, if the crushing is usable by anyone with magic (ie noble) and noble position is assured because they can use magic and commoner can't, well I find it hard to believe that no one noble can do magic.


The knowledge of how to deal with excess mana alone is not enough. You also need a magic vessel into which to pour that mana and it's been stated more than once that nobles control those vessels. And you can be sure they keep very tight control of them. It's not just her grandfather's money that has given Frieda access to some of those vessels, it's also because she has signed a contract (presumably one of the unbreakable magic contracts) to become a noble's mistress that has given her access to what has been stated to be vessels that are almost used up.

And it has already been speculated here that not everyone with mana can use the Crushing; only those with lots of mana. If everyone with mana can use the Crushing you'd think that nobles would have developed a counter to it. There may indeed be one, but presumably you'd need pretty much the same (possibly more) mana than the person using the Crushing to counter it. spoiler[Later in the LNs the Head Priest states that he and Myne are the only ones in the temple who can perform a critical ritual because they are the only ones with enough mana to do so. So that means she has more mana than the High Priest. It is quite likely the High Priest owes his position more to his rank in the nobility than to the amount of mana he has.]
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HannoX



Joined: 30 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2019 6:42 pm Reply with quote
I got the priests mixed up in my last post. Blue Hair is the High Priest while the old villain is the Head Priest. It'd been easier to keep them straight if the subtitles had called the Head Priest the Head Bishop like in the J-Novel club posts of the LNs.
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ThrowMeOut



Joined: 10 Oct 2018
Posts: 87
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 8:50 am Reply with quote
Key wrote:

Even without magic being a factor, this has been a common reality across many world cultures in many eras. For instance, during the Renaissance in Europe, it would not have been at all unusual for enterprising merchants to have wealth which outstripped that of nobles around them, and yet they were still second-class citizens because the name and lineage, and not the money, was what carried status. Add magic into the picture and the nobles have a further powerful way to insure the exclusiveness of their "club."


It's literally the plot of Emma: A Victorian Romance. The male lead, a wealthy merchant's son, is being heavily pressured by family to marry a noblewoman because bolstering their bloodline with noble blood is the only way to get the royals to take them seriously. And they can only take advantage of this because the nobles are in desperate need of money. And Emma is historical fiction. It's not that far fetched at all that there would be a barrier that money just can't cross in Bookworm.

I'm actually frequently impressed by how much thought and research has gone into Bookworm. Sure it's a fantasy story but everything from the ramshackle apartments to the wooden clog shoes to the yearly pig stabbing makes everything feel believably medieval. So far there hasn't suddenly been ice cream or magic cell phones to throw you off like in so many other fantasy anime shows.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 8766
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 10:24 am Reply with quote
HannoX wrote:
I got the priests mixed up in my last post. Blue Hair is the High Priest while the old villain is the Head Priest.

No, the young one is the Head Priest and the old one is the High Priest. I agree those titles are confusing though. Head in English essentially means the highest on the totem pole, so they really needed a different term for him.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the little smile on her face when she knocked out the High Priest and was winding up to kill him. She wasn't angry at that point, she was enjoying herself, which is a little disturbing. I'm also wondering about the change in her voice and speech patterns, as if she's not just releasing energy but rather is possessed by another entity whose energy she's been suppressing. (just musing, not looking for spoilery explanations)
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Yuvelir



Joined: 06 Jan 2015
Posts: 505
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 12:11 pm Reply with quote
ThrowMeOut wrote:
It's literally the plot of Emma: A Victorian Romance. The male lead, a wealthy merchant's son, is being heavily pressured by family to marry a noblewoman because bolstering their bloodline with noble blood is the only way to get the royals to take them seriously. And they can only take advantage of this because the nobles are in desperate need of money. And Emma is historical fiction. It's not that far fetched at all that there would be a barrier that money just can't cross in Bookworm.

I'm actually frequently impressed by how much thought and research has gone into Bookworm. Sure it's a fantasy story but everything from the ramshackle apartments to the wooden clog shoes to the yearly pig stabbing makes everything feel believably medieval. So far there hasn't suddenly been ice cream or magic cell phones to throw you off like in so many other fantasy anime shows.

And not just historic fiction. Poor nobles marrying rich merchants for mutual benefit is a well documented common occurence.

Gina Szanboti wrote:
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the little smile on her face when she knocked out the High Priest and was winding up to kill him. She wasn't angry at that point, she was enjoying herself, which is a little disturbing. I'm also wondering about the change in her voice and speech patterns, as if she's not just releasing energy but rather is possessed by another entity whose energy she's been suppressing. (just musing, not looking for spoilery explanations)

That imposing speech tone is probably spilling over from another recent series where the seiyuu was involved.
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Gina Szanboti



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:05 pm Reply with quote
Yuvelir wrote:
That imposing speech tone is probably spilling over from another recent series where the seiyuu was involved.

Huh? I don't know what series you're talking about, but what I meant was the electronic filtering used for her dialog as well as the speech patterns that were different from anything we've heard from Myne before now. How would the seiyuu's work on another series affect the script and audio effects?
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mangamuscle



Joined: 23 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:38 pm Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the little smile on her face when she knocked out the High Priest and was winding up to kill him. She wasn't angry at that point, she was enjoying herself, which is a little disturbing. I'm also wondering about the change in her voice and speech patterns, as if she's not just releasing energy but rather is possessed by another entity whose energy she's been suppressing. (just musing, not looking for spoilery explanations)


Oddly enough, in this season episode 20 of Vinland Saga we have a monologue from King Sweyn where he spokes about his crown but TBT he is speaking about power, how he thought he would make great things when he became king but in truth he became a slave of power, who demanded that he defended his acquired power and acquired even more. Let not forget this wise words:

"Absolute power corrupts absolutely"
John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton, 13th Marquess of Groppoli 1834-1902

Yuvelir wrote:
That imposing speech tone is probably spilling over from another recent series where the seiyuu was involved.


Spill the beans, what other series/character are you referencing?
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Probablytomorrow



Joined: 04 Aug 2019
Posts: 53
PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 3:55 pm Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
I'm surprised no one has mentioned the little smile on her face when she knocked out the High Priest and was winding up to kill him. She wasn't angry at that point, she was enjoying herself, which is a little disturbing.

It looked to me like she was still acting out of anger in that moment. The smile might have just been her returning the Priest's big ol' grin from when he attacked them. Maybe. I admit I was distracted by his cliché sneering during the scene.
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Gina Szanboti



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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 5:11 pm Reply with quote
Watch it again. She's wearing a deadpan expression the whole time she's blasting him, until she knocks him out cold with him foaming at the mouth. When he goes down she gets this little smile, and as she raises her arms to really take him out, her eyes look even more malevolent, and she's still smiling. It's more obvious in motion, but I can't do gifs. Smile

..... .....
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Alternative Ice



Joined: 07 Jul 2016
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2019 5:18 pm Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
Huh? I don't know what series you're talking about, but what I meant was the electronic filtering used for her dialog as well as the speech patterns that were different from anything we've heard from Myne before now. How would the seiyuu's work on another series affect the script and audio effects?


Main's va also voices a Symphogear character and gave a similar performance to Main in her Crushing mode.
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Hiroki not Takuya



Joined: 17 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:03 am Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
Watch it again. She's wearing a deadpan expression the whole time she's blasting him, until she knocks him out cold with him foaming at the mouth. When he goes down she gets this little smile, and as she raises her arms to really take him out, her eyes look even more malevolent, and she's still smiling. It's more obvious in motion, but I can't do gifs. Smile

..... .....
I saw that too. I once was about where Main was here, you keep from exercising your strength because that is "wrong" but when you have had enough of bullying and get the upper hand it is a relief and does feel good knowing that you don't have to "put up with it" anymore which I think is where the smirk came from. If I read her right, she was mostly doing the minimum of what she wanted to do but was close to the "going to make you pay" point when she got the smirk. She seemed different likely because when she let go, she was more in control, calm and fully focused on doing what she needed to do. BTW that doesn't mean Main was being malevolent but is definitely a temptation. I think I liked this Ep especially because it shows Main has the power to chart a path for herself for a better future and not just have to go along with societal whims. Head Priest had better behave himself...


Last edited by Hiroki not Takuya on Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:13 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Probablytomorrow



Joined: 04 Aug 2019
Posts: 53
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:24 am Reply with quote
@Gina Szanboti

The smiling does make it look like she's losing control of herself, that's true. It could be due to the mixture of her anger with her mana, though, unrelated to an outside entity.
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Spastic Minnow
Bargain HunterBargain Hunter


Joined: 02 May 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:25 pm Reply with quote
^^^^^

What about an "inside entity"?
Really, Urano is the outside entity. Have we really completely ruled out vestiges of the previous Myne? "She" would be equally mad that someone was trying to kill her parents. I also found it interesting that her parents mentioned how they've both noticed her eyes turning colors. Do they mean just in the past year and a half? More likely The mana had the same effect on earlier Myne, what if "she" comes out, possibly limitedly, during those periods of anger? People with "multiple/split/dissociative" personalities can't remember what the other personalities did
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Yuvelir



Joined: 06 Jan 2015
Posts: 505
PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:37 pm Reply with quote
Don't count on that.

Anyway, I don't see what is so strange about that smirk. The pleasure of exacting revenge is something very human. Videogames make that feeling pretty accesible, I bet even the kindest of people have experienced it after overcoming a specially annoying obstacle.
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Alan45
Village ElderVillage Elder


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2020 8:56 am Reply with quote
Going forward, I wonder if it will there will be a requirement that magical tools have to be made of precious materials? Historically, the rich have had a tendency to gaudy up everyday items to show off their wealth. Gold buckles, diamond encrusted watches etc. Since magical tools were only ever used by nobles it is possible that more mundane materials would work just as well. This last episode shows Myne using mana with no tool at all, albeit in a rather crude manner. Possibly once she has learned how to use it properly she may be able to use a simple wizard's wand.
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