[Review] Ascendance of a Bookworm S3

Main or Myne, which is correct???

So ends another season with our favorite little bookworm and her team of enablers, and for once I ended at an emotional high. While the majority of the third series aligned well with the previous installments in terms of forward movement on Myne’s goal of more books for everyone, we’re finally at a point where it feels like one story is ending and the real one is about to begin.

One of the biggest reasons for my continued interest in this world and characters is Myne and her steadfast dedication to books. Whether or not you think her methods morally sound, you can’t deny the excitement that overflows from her at the mere thought of reading to her heart’s content. Everything else is peripheral, paling in comparison to the mission of creating a world of literary plenty. This was true in the first season, and is still true in this third season.

This pose will never not be funny
Let’s hope this is the last we see of this man

Less interesting to me is the prevailing religion of this world–let’s not forget that this is indeed a fantastical world into which she is reborn–that seems to govern most aspects of their day to day lives. We’re forced pretty early on into accepting Myne’s role as a blue-robed priestess as unavoidable given her condition, but that doesn’t stop me from chafing at the restrictions and hypocrisy of characters like the High Bishop. Season three starts us right in the thick of her obligations to the church coupled with Myne selling her first book and preparing for more, including the invention of new inks and this world’s first letterpress printer. While I’d prefer to watch Myne grow as a merchant, combining bookmaking with temple drama maintained tension through the episodes and kept me in a near perpetual state of desire.

When Derek was first introduced as a new character, I honestly wasn’t sure what to think. Part of me resented this baby for diverting even more attention away from Myne’s pursuits, while another wanted to protect him from those who would take advantage of his Devouring. In the end, Derek worked well as a connection to events to follow. He gives Delia someone else to focus on besides Myne and the High Bishop, as well as provides her a (arguable?) path to freedom. The High Bishop’s attempt to use him as a means to removing Myne ended up backfiring, exposing some of the corruption running through the noble houses and church.

And let’s hope we still see them in the future

This leaves us with a part of this world that I’ve always loved: Myne’s family. We mustn’t forget that at heart Myne is already a full-grown adult. While Gunther and Effa are only her birth parents in this world and as such aren’t her “true” ones from her original world, she still shares an intimate relationship with them that spans many years and trials. They’ve overcome her Devouring together, and seen somewhat through the truth of her rebirth. I’ve come to love them and the childish joy they bring out in Myne. As an only child myself, I also can’t help but adore the sisterly affection between Myne and Tuuli. I wanted to watch Myne become a big sister to her newborn brother. With the ending events severing almost all connections between Myne and her second birth family, it almost feels like we’ve regressed back to the Motosu Urano who died alone and awoke in a confusing new world.

We’ve made it through three seasons and as much fun as I’ve had navigating the ins and outs of commoner and priestess life, it’s time to move on to a new chapter: noble life. Nothing in this world has felt as painful as saying goodbye to her family. I’m terrified for Myne, despite her fortune of adoption into a highly esteemed family. I’m afraid all of the people and places we’ve enjoyed with her up to this point will be lost to the past in favor of courtly intrigue, but I guess all we can do is wait and see.

Rating: 1 dango

A new story awaits…sooner rather than later, please?

*Rating system:

  • 0 dango – average and forgettable.
  • 1 dango – very good in its category.
  • 2 dango – excellent show that is worth a try.
  • 3 dango – exceptional show one must watch.

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