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


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murdock_tm



Joined: 06 May 2018
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 2:57 pm Reply with quote
Did the video subtitles actually (lazily) subtitle the main character's name as Main?

J-Novel Club at least localized her name as Myne, so readers (and watchers) can not get confused as to the pronunciation of her name. (It would be nice if anime and book medium people would be on the same translation -- for once)

Also thanks for reviewing the series; here's hoping you continue to like it! The book (and manga series) is excellent as well.
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Key
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Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:49 pm Reply with quote
^
Oh, this was my first pick to do (after SAO), so I was happy to volunteer for it.

Discrepancies between CR's subtitles and other official sources on the spellings of names are, unfortunately, not unusual. I, too, think it would be easier if spelled as Myne, and CR has been known to retroactively correct this before (though not always!), so we'll see if we get an update as the season progresses.
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mangamuscle



Joined: 23 Apr 2006
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Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:51 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
she is merely a normal, even frail little girl from a very humble background


Maybe I am going a bit overboard, but humble does not ring about right to me. Even a hundred years ago population was concentrated 90% on rural areas and 10% in the cities. I have read no figures about medieval times, but that percentage is probably even lower, so having been born in a city (and a big one at that, with a castle and fortified walls) is an big unsung bonus in this time period. Had Myne been born on a farm, she could kiss goodbye any chance of learning to read or having the luxury of free time for herself.

Quote:
If I had to liken it to any other fantasy series in tone and pace, it would probably be Spice and Wolf


My choice would be something more like Hakumei to Mikochi, because there is nothing supernatural (at least at first, I was surprised when they introduced a Necromancer, I am talking about H & M, I also had not read the source material for Ascendance of a Bookworm) and instead of some great traveling adventure, the plot revolves around things that are even mundane (to our eyes).
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Key
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Location: Indianapolis, IN (formerly Mimiho Valley)
PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 3:56 pm Reply with quote
mangamuscle wrote:
Maybe I am going a bit overboard, but humble does not ring about right to me. Even a hundred years ago population was concentrated 90% on rural areas and 10% in the cities. I have read no figures about medieval times, but that percentage is probably even lower, so having been born in a city (and a big one at that, with a castle and fortified walls) is an big unsung bonus in this time period. Had Myne been born on a farm, she could kiss goodbye any chance of learning to read or having the luxury of free time for herself.

While this is true, she's still a commoner as city dwellers go so I think the "humble" comment still applies. A City Guard officer as a father isn't the most menial of backgrounds but it's definitely not a prestigious or wealthy one, either. The fact that she's living on an upper floor of what basically amounts to a tenement building (in an era where elevators don't exist) also speaks to a lower-class background.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 6:29 pm Reply with quote
I was not particularly impressed by the first episode, but gave it a chance, still expecting it to be an early drop. However, it's turned out to be pretty interesting after all, so I'll stick with it.

I'm surprised she went for clay tablets before trying to make paper from the pulp of that fruit, maybe mixed with some linen-like fabric scraps, felt or even the wicker fibers she had, ground up a bit more. It might not hold up very well, but it ought to do for a start until she can get hold of better materials.
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mangamuscle



Joined: 23 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 9:11 pm Reply with quote
Key wrote:
A City Guard officer as a father isn't the most menial of backgrounds but it's definitely not a prestigious or wealthy one, either.


Going by the season thematic, if we consider we have at the top the nobles (kings, dukes, earl, baron, etc.) and at the bottom you have peasants (farmers, fishermen, miners, etc.) I will say she is in the middle (average Very Happy since we have seen how (even if they are females, quite progressive for that time period) they are encouraged to learn a craft* asap (the kind that pays money, housewives do learn a lot of crafts but rarely those earn them a living) and no doubt join the respective guild (which back then held a lot of power, you could not freely work even thought you were qualified unless you were a member).

Quote:
The fact that she's living on an upper floor of what basically amounts to a tenement building (in an era where elevators don't exist) also speaks to a lower-class background.


I do wonder. I understand it must suck for Myne to get tired just for leaving/returning to her own house, but I think back then there was no sewage so the odors at ground level must have been quite strong so having fresh air at all times at the top floor looks like a plus. I would suppose they would have some kind of pulleys at the windows to lift water from ground level.

I would say probably what I like the most is that she really has the kind of common knowledge an individual of our time would have, which means there are plenty of holes in it, we take paper for granted and most people never have read about the modern process to create it, much less how it was done in the past. So Myne is not your average overpowered lead that knows all the answers or has all the keys to success at hand.

Another thing of note is that at least at first we are shown a pretty claustrophobic environment for Myne, many rooms without windows and those that have are closed even during daytime. Don't know if as the story move forwards we are going to see less and less closed spaces in an effort to makes the audience feel just as trapped as Myne is at first, born in a frail body in a world where books are not part of peoples lives. AFAIK back then books were made out of animal skins so it makes sense they were pretty expensive (plus the cost of a professional scribe).

*whatever baptism they go trough seems to me that more than a religious ceremony, is the moment children become old enough to legally work (as apprentices).
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nargun



Joined: 29 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:09 pm Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
I was not particularly impressed by the first episode, but gave it a chance, still expecting it to be an early drop. However, it's turned out to be pretty interesting after all, so I'll stick with it.

I'm surprised she went for clay tablets before trying to make paper from the pulp of that fruit, maybe mixed with some linen-like fabric scraps, felt or even the wicker fibers she had, ground up a bit more. It might not hold up very well, but it ought to do for a start until she can get hold of better materials.


The amount of sheer brutality you have to imflict on plant fibres to get them to stick together is not widely appreciated; "beating to a pulp" -- boil for hours in caustic soda while hitting with heavy mallets -- became a byword for violence for good reason. Most people "make paper" by skipping that step and starting with scrap. And Myne can't even get the caustic!
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Hiroki not Takuya



Joined: 17 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:21 pm Reply with quote
I for one wouldn't think to complain about this show. I look forward to it more than MHA and being quite the fan of the latter, it surprised me that would be the case, but such is this show's quiet charm and well executed, well everything...
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Hiroki not Takuya



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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2019 10:29 pm Reply with quote
Has there been a change or is there a broken link? I clicked on the link from the Ascendance article and it spit my reply into a general forum post not associated with this thread.
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blameitonStarBlazers
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 12:18 am Reply with quote
Well, it has endeared itself to me. I’m hooked. I totally get Main. I couldn’t live without my beloved books. Enjoying the world building. I really appreciate how realistic the story has been so far. Excited about the journey we’re taking with this show.
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Hiroki not Takuya



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 3:44 pm Reply with quote
Test Test...Works. Now to get the others before this linked in from the Forum...
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:02 pm Reply with quote
I'm really liking it but can't shake the feeling that the person who wrote this doesn't actually know that book contain... knowledge. Not once does she actually use something she learned in a book, every time she use "advanced" knowledge it comes from her mom art class she took. Otherwise she does seem strangely ignorant for someone whose all about book. Maybe the introduction where she outline the type of book she enjoy (almost all non fiction) was some sort of aberration (miss translation?) but even then there's a startling lack of book reference.

In the end it feel like you could replace her book obsession with literally any other hobby and you wouldn't have to change anything in the story. Say she was football obsessed and instead of making book would be trying to make a ball.

But yeah moving pass that issue, it's pretty nice. it's one of the very few isekai that actually seem to realize the real advantages from being reincarnated in a lower tech world is the science, not being randomly gifted an OP power. (althought that sequence in ep 4 is kinda scary). The proto love story with the other kid is kinda weird when you consider there supposed to be like 5 year old. She also comes off as somewhat autistic, 5 minutes into the new world/body she goes "I'll never see my mom again, well w/e, where's a book?".
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meruru



Joined: 16 Jun 2009
Posts: 386
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:19 pm Reply with quote
meiam wrote:
I'm really liking it but can't shake the feeling that the person who wrote this doesn't actually know that book contain... knowledge. Not once does she actually use something she learned in a book, every time she use "advanced" knowledge it comes from her mom art class she took. Otherwise she does seem strangely ignorant for someone whose all about book. Maybe the introduction where she outline the type of book she enjoy (almost all non fiction) was some sort of aberration (miss translation?) but even then there's a startling lack of book reference.


The stuff she's had success with are things she's actually done -- like cooking, crochet, and the shampoo. The stuff she's failed at -- her various attempts at actually making some sort of book -- are things she's only ever read about. So she totally is using knowledge from books. The problem is more she has imperfect memory, and she's the type of person that declares defeat if what she tries doesn't instantly work.
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blameitonStarBlazers
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 5:45 pm Reply with quote
Hiroki not Takuya wrote:
Test Test...Works. Now to get the others before this linked in from the Forum...

I guess that was me? Thanks for fixing. I’d never been the first poster before. Didn’t know if there was something special I was supposed to do . . .

Anyway, here’s what I wrote (in some other forum post that I don’t know how to delete):

Well, it has endeared itself to me. I’m hooked. I totally get Main. I couldn’t live without my beloved books. Enjoying the world building. I really appreciate how realistic the story has been so far. Excited about the journey we’re taking with this show.
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meruru



Joined: 16 Jun 2009
Posts: 386
PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2019 6:49 pm Reply with quote
murdock_tm wrote:
Did the video subtitles actually (lazily) subtitle the main character's name as Main?

J-Novel Club at least localized her name as Myne, so readers (and watchers) can not get confused as to the pronunciation of her name. (It would be nice if anime and book medium people would be on the same translation -- for once)

Also thanks for reviewing the series; here's hoping you continue to like it! The book (and manga series) is excellent as well.


I think the author actually decided her name is spelled that way. As evidenced by their alphabet really obviously mostly just being weird variations of the English alphabet, like the first letter of her name looks like an upside down M with a line through it. So it looks like it's spelled "Main" in their fantasy alphabet. Hilariously, you can even easily pick out mistakes in their own fantasy alphabet because of this. In the manga, there's a panel of a shop that has a sign that says "CLOSD."
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