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EP. REVIEW: Ascendance of a Bookworm Season 3


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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
Posts: 5485
Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Mon Apr 18, 2022 8:36 pm Reply with quote
Glad to see my favorite series continue unto a third season. Considering the limited amount of legal merchandise out there, I am always worrying about this show.
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Hiroki not Takuya



Joined: 17 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2022 12:03 am Reply with quote
Sometimes I think some fans are a little too fond of action, as if a really entertaining story has to have a fight every episode and little dialog. However, I don't see how a show can set the stage for the audience to appreciate that intrigue is happening off-screen efficiently without someone saying what is going on. It would cost a lot more to purely show/animate than just tell. So this Ep I appreciate the "infodumps" because there is a lot more going on than last season hinted. It's interesting and highly plot relevant, not boring.

Now, I'm not sure I like how Head Priest ends up laying out that Main either gets adopted or goes for the Academy and lose some or all of her protection, even from him. It seemed he was one who was on her side no matter what, but now...
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
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Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2022 7:50 am Reply with quote
Hiroki not Takuya wrote:

Now, I'm not sure I like how Head Priest ends up laying out that Main either gets adopted or goes for the Academy and lose some or all of her protection, even from him. It seemed he was one who was on her side no matter what, but now...


For a long time I hated the Head Priest and wondered why he was so popular in Japan. Now I am just used to him. Once you learn about his circumstances you get alot more forgiving of his actions.

But, unpalatable as it is, he is right to some degree. Nobles can drag commoners off the street for their pleasure. Myne and Lutz are just little kids in size. Easily disposed of, easily kidnapable, easily to be abused. An all too real fate for Myne is to be chained to a dungeon wall and be forced to supply mana until the day she dies. And when she gets a little bit older, she'll probably be abused in other ways while still chained to that wall. And it can still get even worse than that.

spoiler[Not sure if this is a spoiler or not, but some nobles have boys and men with the devouring who are litteral slave soldiers. Forced to do the bidding of their Noble master, and easily disposed of, when inconvenient for their Noble.]

Don't forget that the High Bishop attempted to take Myne by force and kill her parents when he found out she was a commoner, just to use her to deliver mana into the church's chalices.
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Hiroki not Takuya



Joined: 17 Apr 2012
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2022 10:19 am Reply with quote
^^I have no doubts about everything you bring up, that is what has made those aspects of the plot and worldbuilding so realistic! It seemed Head Priest because of his circumstances would be Myne's best ally and he has been, but it is also very realistic that he has to operate within social constraints and it may be he is just being straightforward about what the alternatives are and their consequences. Sort of like Naofumi in SH. It just sounded a little more threatening than before but also believable. With what he knows of Myne, there are limits on how much he can allow lest other nobles take over and do worse.
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2022 1:00 pm Reply with quote
Did they show how Lutz got away from the Ink Guild thug? One moment he is being dragged off, and the next we were told he is being walked home. Going to have to reread the light novel.
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Taederias



Joined: 20 May 2018
Posts: 34
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2022 4:17 pm Reply with quote
Hiroki not Takuya wrote:
Sometimes I think some fans are a little too fond of action, as if a really entertaining story has to have a fight every episode and little dialog. However, I don't see how a show can set the stage for the audience to appreciate that intrigue is happening off-screen efficiently without someone saying what is going on. It would cost a lot more to purely show/animate than just tell. So this Ep I appreciate the "infodumps" because there is a lot more going on than last season hinted. It's interesting and highly plot relevant, not boring.

Now, I'm not sure I like how Head Priest ends up laying out that Main either gets adopted or goes for the Academy and lose some or all of her protection, even from him. It seemed he was one who was on her side no matter what, but now...


The anime even (necessarily) tones down the details present in the novels rather heavily, but nonetheless it almost never feels superfluous there. This is not a story that jumps from one action sequence to the next, but a realistic portrayal of life in a world not our own, based on the premise of the story. Not literally everything is described of course, but there is much more to it than the "big, significant" events, or rather one learns to expect that even minute details can be significant in one way or another. I do not expect the full extent of this to be shown in the anime, just how many plot threads are going on, traces of them entering and leaving the protagonist's view, but this much is absolutely necessary to invoke the intended feeling of a lived-in world that does not revolve around the protagonist.

This is also not a big-budget production, so expect costs to be saved wherever they can be.

And, well, on the one hand, there is no reason to assume at this point that Ferdinand is on Myne's side no matter what, but regardless, he knows the world and society that Myne is now a part of far better than her. If he is saying that she can not viably maintain an existence like the current status quo long-term lest she get in mortal danger and also become a danger to all, and will not be allowed to try than that is likely because it is so, and it is better to make that clear straight away than dance around the subject.

More will be revealed about the world and the characters' place in it in the future (much more in fact), but for now Ferdinand has earned the right that the viewer should try and understand the harshness in his approach. Keep in mind that he now also knows Myne really has the mind of an adult in large part, so there's that too.

P.S. It was perhaps not clear, but the deal was that at the maximum age of 10, she will get adopted, and go to the Academy as a noble.

TarsTarkas wrote:
Did they show how Lutz got away from the Ink Guild thug? One moment he is being dragged off, and the next we were told he is being walked home. Going to have to reread the light novel.


It was only implied, and also wasn't too detailed in the books, but they weren't exactly trying to capture him, but rather pressure him into answering some questions about Myne. We did hear Benno say that people started trying to obtain information from Lutz, but that was more or less it, and he of course did not go into unnecessary and largely irrelevant particulars when talking with Ferdinand and Karstedt.
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Covnam



Joined: 31 May 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2022 10:48 pm Reply with quote
Great to see the series return.
The ink guild feels a bit forced as a conflict though. Wouldn't a book publishing guild be more threatened by cheap competition?
While at first I dismissed them in regards to books, I did realize afterwards that they would also be used for writing on scrolls and what not, but still, it just seems like an odd choice. It's just hard to imagine ink makers becoming such a cabal.

I thought that Myne was acting a bit too childish at the beginning of 28 (it had barely been a day) considering her mental age, but remembering how previous life and family does make sense to really exacerbate things.

Nice to see out of control mana Myne make a return.

Surprised to hear Schicicoza got executed. For the setting, the punishment, while a bit extreme, doesn't seem out of place, but I still wasn't expecting that plot thread to go there.
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Ruri Lee



Joined: 18 Oct 2017
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2022 11:10 pm Reply with quote
TarsTarkas wrote:


For a long time I hated the Head Priest and wondered why he was so popular in Japan. Now I am just used to him. Once you learn about his circumstances you get alot more forgiving of his actions.



The deeper you get into the novels, the more Ferdinand's history and character is understood; that he's just someone who actions are based on pragmatic rationale and efficiency.

But he does get a lot of major progressive developmental changes throughout and especially in the last quarter of the novel series. So much so he left a lot of readers crying actual buckets of tears.
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blahmoomoo



Joined: 27 Jan 2020
Posts: 271
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2022 11:14 pm Reply with quote
Covnam wrote:
The ink guild feels a bit forced as a conflict though. Wouldn't a book publishing guild be more threatened by cheap competition?
While at first I dismissed them in regards to books, I did realize afterwards that they would also be used for writing on scrolls and what not, but still, it just seems like an odd choice. It's just hard to imagine ink makers becoming such a cabal.


Aside from Myne's invention, books are very expensive to make and are generally exclusive to nobles and the church. So, there are probably specialists that are directly commissioned to produce books. Books don't appear to be a product traded by merchants, so there's no need for a guild. I think the bigger risk is yet to come: what nobles or the church will do if cheaper books are used as a tool to empower the citizens.

On the other hand, ink is used by all merchants and some soldiers to make official documents, and it is fairly expensive (as Otto said when Myne took an interest in season 1). There is a market to corner there, hence the guild. It just so happens that the guild is also run by someone shady.
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Taederias



Joined: 20 May 2018
Posts: 34
PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2022 11:18 pm Reply with quote
Covnam wrote:
Great to see the series return.
The ink guild feels a bit forced as a conflict though. Wouldn't a book publishing guild be more threatened by cheap competition?


The point being made was exactly that while the ink guild might have some stakes in this, but on the whole, they are not the ones pulling the strings here. The interaction at the end of last episode served to make that clear too.

Covnam wrote:
Surprised to hear Schicicoza got executed. For the setting, the punishment, while a bit extreme, doesn't seem out of place, but I still wasn't expecting that plot thread to go there.


In fact, it was largely glanced over here, but in the novels the situation was a bit further elaborated on.

On the one hand, Myne also showed this kind of surprise in her internal narration at the punishment.

On the other hand, it was told to her that the parents of Schicicoza, the knight who betrayed his charge and his lord, were given a choice to either accept that their son is executed but is recorded as having died honorably and let the matter rest, while partially financing Myne's new robes too, or their entire house will be destroyed, meaning they would be put to death as well. And that while the father is determined to preserve their family name and status, the mother, whose only child was Schicicoza, seems dead set on having some kind of vengeance, maybe even at the cost of bringing her house down (adding another reason for Damuel's presence as a bodyguard).
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Penrhos



Joined: 09 Jun 2021
Posts: 119
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2022 7:57 am Reply with quote
As of this week they've adapted up to Page 40 of Part 2 Volume 3. So the pacing is pretty consistent.

The execution emphasizes how this part of the world (as Mine/Myne hasn't experienced anything further afield yet) works where people lower down the food-chain are seen as worthless & expendable, with the word of a higher ranking noble being absolute...

The "best case scenario" Myne would get if she wasn't protected by Ferdinand would be the same outcome as Freida has - to become a nobles mistress in exchange for her mana. Worst case she would be locked away and drained of her mana & knowledge until she would die or simply killed to get rid of the problem.

Ferdinand is playing the Erenfest company man through and through, Country first, Church second, protecting Myne as she's a major asset to the country and he knows the only way to protect her is to raise her nobility level by adoption and or marriage..

Also note he's been very careful with what information he's passed on about Myne even to his superiors as they could order her execution if she was deemed to be a threat to the status-quo or to a high noble.
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TarsTarkas



Joined: 20 Dec 2007
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Location: Virginia, United States
PostPosted: Thu Apr 21, 2022 8:33 am Reply with quote
Covnam wrote:

Surprised to hear Schicicoza got executed. For the setting, the punishment, while a bit extreme, doesn't seem out of place, but I still wasn't expecting that plot thread to go there.


Schicicoza went against the will of his Aub, he disobeyed the orders of the leader of the mission. and he harmed the one who was going to heal the land.

He had the chance to acknowledge his mistakes and beg for forgiveness, but instead he gave Ferdinand plenty of rope to hang him. He was practically raving about his actions.

Schicicoza knew he was a dead man, when Ferdinand spelled out who he disobeyed and who he went against. You could see it in his face.
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poltroon



Joined: 26 Sep 2018
Posts: 91
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2022 3:53 pm Reply with quote
Covnam wrote:
Surprised to hear Schicicoza got executed. For the setting, the punishment, while a bit extreme, doesn't seem out of place, but I still wasn't expecting that plot thread to go there.


As with the incident with Myne's parents, this is a pretty harsh world. They don't really do imprisonment and they don't care a lot about misunderstandings. Who You Know and who likes and can protect you is super important.

(Aside: I happened to recently note style similarities of the Ehrenfest justice standards to the Code of Hammurabi, pretty interesting.)

Benno talks a lot about how nervous he is around nobles, how they're unpredictable and all powerful, and you saw it with the High Bishop. Even small errors by commoners can be punished with death if you make them in front of the wrong noble. It is a high risk place he walks as a merchant, to court their business and their money, but as you can tell by his fancy clothes and his cash flow for Myne, so far he's done rather well with it.

The dialog at the end of this second episode is that Myne "will be dealt with" if Myne doesn't agree to be adopted by age 10 (she must be adopted by a noble to attend the Royal Academy; she must attend the Royal Academy to be trained in magic.) In the novel, he explicitly says at that point she'll choose between adoption or she *and her family* will be executed.

It is actually quite remarkable that he gives her that leeway and consideration, to stay with her family 3 more years. As Karstedt noted at the end of last season, Ferdinand must be becoming fond of her.
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poltroon



Joined: 26 Sep 2018
Posts: 91
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2022 4:23 pm Reply with quote
Covnam wrote:
Great to see the series return.
The ink guild feels a bit forced as a conflict though. Wouldn't a book publishing guild be more threatened by cheap competition?


There isn't a book publishing guild. At this time, books are handmade, transcribed one at a time (often by low ranking or young nobles), with elaborate hand made leather covers. Each one is an individual work of art.

But as you say, and as our real world history shows, the technology to mass print books is incredibly destabilizing to any established order, and in several different ways.
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Saeryen



Joined: 26 Aug 2020
Posts: 517
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2022 7:15 pm Reply with quote
I'm surprised Myne just went "aww" when Fran said she couldn't hug her attendants. She seems really interested in making this world more progressive and treating everyone as an equal. I've always said if I were a medieval noble I would treat those who worked for me as equals and friends rather than inferiors, because I don't view myself as above anyone, and I'm sure Myne also doesn't.
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