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


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mangamuscle



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2019 10:53 pm Reply with quote
meiam wrote:
... and then she can figure out how to find that money.


We have yet to see one single coin of currency (and we are already at episode 5), which I think speak volumes of how scarce money is at this particular household. Yeah, they have food at the table, a nice house and clothing; but since they recollect wood instead of buying it at the market and Turi's rag doll was a most priced possession I can bet the kids have never been in possession of a single coin. Whether Turi will receive payment as an apprentice (or it is the other way around and her father will pay for her tuition) and she would give her hard earned money into her sister's new idea is probably not likely.

Quote:
"hey if I bring back XX piece of wood, can I keep some for me?" or something.


One to five pieces, yeah why not, but Myne wants enough to be able to write a complete story (and they probably do not have kanji to compress the amount of characters required to write down a sentence) and that amount is unlikely. Remember, her mother can't read so using so much wood into a toy will look like a waste. Remember that in this era little is wasted, even the ash (that was news to me) is useful!

Bottom line, Myne is not McGyver, she has a very limited room to maneuver and telling the adults flat out her ideas might backfire, I would not be surprised if in this world there have their equivalent to witch hunting!
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mangamuscle



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:30 am Reply with quote
I had an epiphany. Myne is the anti-Tanya von Degurechaff. I do not mean to say they are moral opposites. Neither I refer to the fact that one lives in a peaceful era and the other not. What I mean to say is that Tanya was born without a family and must have had a real rough childhood where food was a feature, not a given; while Myne has lots of love, care and adequate nutrition. But (there is always one) Myne is in a setting that basically ignores her potential, she speaks like an adult, can read, write and do math better than most and they are like "yeah, but go get some wood willya?". Meanwhile Tanya lives in a world that at a very early age acknowledged her potential and gave her means to excel in society. I have to really ask, what "god" was more devious?
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mangamuscle



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2019 1:14 pm Reply with quote
Expected to see other comments about this week episode, here is mine.

Quote:
That Benno's invitation to the two comes in close timing to his comment about the disease suggests that he wants to have Myne checked out, and why not? With the ideas she's already presenting, it's no wonder that he's already regarding her as a potential golden goose.


That is not the vibe I got (again, I haven't read the manga or light novel and have avoided spoilers). Even if Myne were an adult, inventors that have contributed more than once (like Leonardo da vince or Thomas Alba Edison) are quite rare in history, so it would make sense that Benno wants to get his hands on that paper before Myne dies. Drawing with the parallels to polio, there is no reason for Benno to think Myne will survive at all, he must be asking himself if she will last long enough for him to get the process behind said paper. Otto attempted the same with the shampoo, but allowed his horniness to get in the way of future profits.
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Hiroki not Takuya



Joined: 17 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 13, 2019 12:23 am Reply with quote
^I am wondering what may have happened here at ANN because it seems most series are getting little commentary relative to a few months ago or before. Of those posting, there seem to be a much reduced set of individuals and for at least three new series I like and would have thought would generate significant interest like Ascendance, Dr. Stone and Oresuki "last-posts" are two or more weeks old.

I think your observation about Myne vs Tanya is interesting but unless the authors are coordinating, I think it is only a coincidental symmetry. Actually, I always thought characters were more accepting of Tanya than I would have thought realistic but I sort of liked that because it made the show seem more hopeful about people being open-minded about talented and knowledgeable individuals regardless of background (like age). Here, I think Myne is being treated a little more "realistically" in that while many characters react to her as an "unusually mature" kid and tend to discount her somewhat as you mention, only Otto and Lutz see her as "amazing".

Edit- Well Ep7 wiped out my previous opinion and wow, has the show turned toward drama! I can see the "spoiler-ish" comment about magic was true. Really love that the writer was thinking and incorporated other character's observations about Myne's "oddity" organically into the story. Now, let's hope hunting witches aren't a "thing" in that world or Myne may really be in trouble!
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A Mystery
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:42 pm Reply with quote
If you want to see big discussion threads, you have to visit the Crunchyroll and Reddit fora. One plus is that the ANN forum is quite civil.

I'm also following this series and loving it, but haven't commented on anything yet.
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meiam



Joined: 23 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:44 pm Reply with quote
I'm not sure what were suppose to think about Myne "disease" either noble are literally another species that don't have problem with mana or there normal human that have a higher propensity to have mana, in which case getting over Myne disease should be quite trivial since they're obviously not all dying. The disease is known, so it's not like it's some kind of never heard thing, and Benno didn't seem to imply they were seen as some kind of evil children that need to be killed.

So is it dangerous? Benno seem to simultaneously act like it's an uncurable disease and he need to get as much out of Myne but at the same time he act like it's curable and it's totally fine to get into long term contract with her...

I also wished they'd go a bit more in detail about the magical contract. It's flashy that the contract burned after writing it, but now what's stopping Benno from just telling someone else about the process and have them sell it? They wouldn't be bound by the contract and Myne doesn't have a copy of the contract to press any claim. Or does the contract affect the entire human race? Like some guy in this world equivalent of China discover how to make plant based paper but can't make it/sell it because he's bound by Myne contract? What about when Myne dies? Is the process lost forever? And if the contract just stop Benno from sharing it, what's stopping employee from just taking the process themselves? Do they force the magical contract on every single employee?

Also, it's nitpicky but the show brought attention to it, how does she know about the fancy finance words? Presumably they're not speaking in Japanese, instead her word are "translated" into the world language because Myne (the child one) knew word. So lets say Urano want to say "Tree" she think it in Japanese, and it then get translated into the world language because Myne knew what the word for "Tree" is and thus is spoken as the correct native word for "Tree". But then when Urano want to say "collateral" Myne wouldn't know that word, so it would come out in Japanese and Benno wouldn't understand it. The two possibility are the old Myne heard it before Urano time, or New Myne (Urano) heard it since coming in the world. Both possibility means there's no reason for Lutz to be suspicious of new Myne, since in both case she could easily explain where she heard it (either using old Myne memory, or just saying where she heard it "Oh it was when Otto was talking to some merchant at the gate").

As far as ANN comment, I think this season there was some problem at the beginning and the weekly review only started at episode 3/4, on top of that the comment section didn't work for the first week and in a lot of case the episodic review is a few day lates. Not very conductive to weekly discussion.
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Gina Szanboti



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 4:51 pm Reply with quote
I think the magic contract is binding magically, i.e., if either of them breaks its conditions, there are consequences - they die? get sick? lose their magic? I don't think that was made clear, but it seems intrinsic to the contract and not something courts would deal with. It does seem to require the signatories to remember what the terms of the contract were though! Maybe Benno (who looks ridiculously like Howl) can summon it if need be?

At first I had thought that Lutz's issue was feeling stupid next to Myne's negotiating brilliance and feeling more like day labor than an equal partner. That made me feel bad enough for him, but seeing that he knows something is up makes it even sadder that he feels he's possibly lost his friend.

Considering the reactions she's seen to her shampoo, I was surprised she sold it off so easily.
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HannoX



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:12 pm Reply with quote
As a reader of the LNs I can tell you that: spoiler[Nobles do have a way of controlling their mana.] There is more, but I don't want to mention it even with a spoiler warning. It should be revealed soon.
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mangamuscle



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:30 pm Reply with quote
I stopped myself from commenting too soon because I thought mine would obviously overlap with Theron's, but they didn't!?

First and foremost <ainz>they have access to sixth level spells!</ainz> *coff* I mean, the Geas scroll is a BIG deal, it is world changing imo. First and foremost, you have a merchant that does a magically binding contract with a couple of children (that haven't even had their baptism) without first consulting their parents, I would not say he is evil but he is definitively not good either.

The other fine detail, they makes us think that Lutz has already done one before, that is chilling if you think about it, since we are talking about expensive magic, not some cheap light spell. So if Lutz has already been in a contract the only reason I can think of that he IS the collateral in some debt his family acquired, which if not paid would mean he would be sold instead. Before you think that is too farfetched, go read Sans Familie by Hector Malot, it is fiction but set on the all too real France of the 19th century and the protagonist is basically sold into slavery for a few coins at about the same age as Myne. Now the paper process seems all that more valuable, since you can inscribe spells into paper, which if becomes cheaper could mean not only books at lower prices, but mass production of cheap magic scrolls!

I was surprised Urano sold the rights to the shampoo so cheap, remember her family could do wonders with a few extra coins each month. Now, I might be wrong but the only way I see this devouring thing is that this world is just like Black Clover's in the sense that the ruling class hogs magic use and peasants have little or none. They way I see it the nobles simply let peasant children with mana to die while nobles get access to whatever treatment will drain the mana until they are mature to cast spells on their own. The way I see it Myne could simply learn a low level utilitarian spell (cantrip) and casting it daily would be enough to prevent her condition from causing death. Since baptism is common I think the number of peasants born with the so called Devouring might be quite high, even one out of every ten or twenty would be quite tragic.

Now, that scene where she arrived after eating at Benno's house was also chilling. My mother also was sent in her childhood to get water from the well, but she didn't had to climb stairs or had a weak constitution but she hated it nevertheless, that cold shoulder her family gave her was unsettling. To me Lutz recognized there is someone else in Myne's body because no doubt the original Myne was frail not only in body, but in mind/spirit also and even if he did not understood what they were talking about it was clear that the girl he had known as Myne was brimming with confidence.

@meiam. I have no problem believing that off-screen Myne has asked Otto about many words that she does not know in her new native language and since he was a merchant she probably knows many words related to commerce.


Last edited by mangamuscle on Thu Nov 14, 2019 7:15 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Ruri Lee



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 6:33 pm Reply with quote
To avoid spoilers, all I can say is the questions accumulated thus far do get answered in the Light Novel, in regards to how magical binding work, and the loop holes around it etc...

As for the drama, this series is not a shy turn away from getting darker or is incapable of being darker...idk what is with all the pessimistic reviews, just watch it play out.
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meiam



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:00 pm Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
I think the magic contract is binding magically, i.e., if either of them breaks its conditions, there are consequences - they die? get sick? lose their magic? I don't think that was made clear, but it seems intrinsic to the contract and not something courts would deal with. It does seem to require the signatories to remember what the terms of the contract were though! Maybe Benno (who looks ridiculously like Howl) can summon it if need be?


I assumed there was some magical consequence, but there's so many way to get around the strict word of a contract, especially if it's just one page long. And if only Benno can summon the contract at will, it's a terrible deal for Myne. Is this something we're supposed to think about? Cause it sure look like Benno is massively screwing her there.

It's just weird that if you can make magically binding contract, trade dispute is the one area where this would be near completely useless since there's a millions and a half way to get around wording. Ultimately it would always come back to usual court/lawyer and such, for which you need the physical document (in multiple copy for everyone and preferably a neutral 3rd party), but the spell burn that off... If it turn out Myne get scammed off from this, I really can't bring myself to feel sorry for her...

However magical contract must be incredibly useful in plenty of other scenarios, like say the cop need to interrogate someone, magical contract them to only say the truth. I just feel like someone took out the saint grail but is only using it as a paper weight...

@mangamuscle, like I said, if she learned the word from Otto, why not just tell that to Lutz when he got suspicious?
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Key
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:10 pm Reply with quote
mangamuscle wrote:
First and foremost, you have a merchant that does a magically binding contract with a couple of children (that haven't even had their baptism) without first consulting their parents, I would not say he is evil but he is definitively not good either.

The other fine detail, they makes us think that Lutz has already done one before. . .

Er, huh? He just saw what Benno did and is not as skittish about pricking his finger as what Myne is. I think you're straying way off on a tangent here.

Ruri Lee wrote:
As for the drama, this series is not a shy turn away from getting darker or is incapable of being darker...idk what is with all the pessimistic reviews, just watch it play out.

Not seeing how my comments qualify as "pessimistic." I think the series is doing just fine.
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mangamuscle



Joined: 23 Apr 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:53 pm Reply with quote
meiam wrote:
@mangamuscle, like I said, if she learned the word from Otto, why not just tell that to Lutz when he got suspicious?


Because it was not just one word, he himself said that he barely understood half of it and more she speaks about the topic to cover for her true identity, the less natural it would seem for Lutz so she kept it short and sweet.

Also, about the contract, we are talking about magic, if you think or feel you are betraying the letter or intent of the contract, probably then the negative side effects activate. If you ask what side effects here is some food for thougth:

If the victim ignores the geas, penalties are applied until the character either obeys the geas or dies. Suitable penalties include penalties in combat, lowered ability scores, loss of spells, pain and weakness, and so forth

Key wrote:
mangamuscle wrote:
The other fine detail, they makes us think that Lutz has already done one before. . .

Er, huh? He just saw what Benno did and is not as skittish about pricking his finger as what Myne is. I think you're straying way off on a tangent here.

It is probably the case since I am just making deductions, but the part that made me think so was not the scene with a knife but later on:

0:11:32.77,0:11:36.66,I was surprised that you managed to write your name perfectly.
0:11:36.66,0:11:38.73,I was taught how to write it before.

I know I might be putting too much weight on one word (but this is fiction, words are chosen), but we are talking about an era where analphabetism is the norm, where signing with an X should be normal even for adults, but of course a magical contract might have stricter requirements (like your name). When one goes to school it is quite normal that the first word you are taught is your own name, but I doubt anyone in his family needs to learn to read just the same as nowadays most people can't read musical notation (sometimes even those that play instruments). This is a world where Otto has a hard time with basic math and he uses it regularly. Again, I am just having fun.


Last edited by mangamuscle on Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Alan45
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:58 pm Reply with quote
My impression, and I'm not sure if it is from the anime or the light novel, is that Mana or rather the ability to do magic based on possessing mana was originally the dividing line between nobles and the rest of society. It is likely a recessive trait that consistently shows up among the nobles because they intermarry. Mana showing up among the poorer classes is likely due to nobles having relationships there, with it not showing up right away as it is recessive.

Given the level of society depicted, people, both noble and poor, likely die of a variety of diseases that cannot be treated (unless the nobles have healing magic). Children under seven die easier than older children and adults and the poor die easiest of all. Including a distinct possibility of death by malnutrition. Screening poor children for a specific cause of early death would seem to be hopeless. Also the nobles have no incentive to identify such children.
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Leviathonlx



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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2019 10:26 pm Reply with quote
Ascendance of a Bookworm can get pretty dark/grim which is partly why the author has a 'anyone under 15 shouldn't read this' warning on the novels.
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