Through the Rabbit Hole to the World of Myne the Bookworm


This is how I described my current state of feverishly looking for anime to watch, manga to read, and light novels to lose sleep over for.

I think my descent began during the 2020's intense COVID19 lockdowns. I rediscovered my interest with anime, which was lost due to the busyness of fatherhood.

I rewatched old favorites (Code Geass, Haruhi Suzumiya) and discovered new favorites (Higehiro, Komi Can't Communicate, Gintama, Violet Evergarden, Tanya the Evil, Reincarnated as a Slime). My interest rekindled so much to the point that I even penned a long essay about my disappointment with Quintessential Quintuplets’ end.

Anime, more often than not, is "bitin" since they cannot make new episodes when the manga is yet to release new chapters. So, I just moved to reading the source manga just to satisfy my insatiable thirst for "what's next". With that, I fell deeper in the rabbit hole.

I then discovered that manga is also "bitin" because the mangaka is so slow in releasing new chapters or the source light novel is yet to release new chapters. The former is what I experienced with "I was Reincarnated as a Slime" with a new chapter released once a month or more. So, I just moved to reading the source light novel just to satisfy my insatiable thirst for "what's next". With that, I fell way deeper in the rabbit hole.

Velgrynd kissing Masayuki
Velgrynd kisses Masayuki (one of my favorite scene in Tensura)

I spent sleepless nights finishing the available Machine Translated version of the Slime light novel. I reached the most current available chapter and I was stuck since there is no more source to move over to.

I searched for new anime or manga but  I discovered that my taste changed somewhat. I abhor shounen manga filled with fan service and action/fight scenes is no longer enough to keep me hooked (sorry My Hero Academia). This is when I discovered Ascendance of a Bookworm anime.

Ascendance of a Bookworm

As usual. The anime is "bitin" so I went directly to the light novel and that's the moment I went to freefall into the world of an isekai girl whose singular desire to be surrounded by books in the world where the printing press and mass production of books is yet to be realized.

Ascendance of a Bookworm is about the bookworm Urano who died after being buried by books during an earthquake and then was isekai-ed to a magical world that is still in Medieval Age. Her soul inhabited the sickly body of the 5-year old Myne, who is the youngest daughter of a dirt poor family that cannot afford a comfortable life, much less books! Unsurprisingly, Myne has magical powers that are only common with nobles. Armed with her magical power, knowledge of the modern Earth, and great desire to be surrounded by books, Urano/Myne introduced recipes, inventions, fashion from her former world that pushed her ascendance from a dirt poor commoner to a merchant to a shrine maiden of the temple and into a noble. Her ultimate goal is to create a library and to be surrounded by books forevermore.

Ascendance of a Bookworm is not a typical isekai that already has actions/fight scenes in the beginning. The first few chapters are about a girl trying to invent papyrus, then a clay tablet, and finally paper made from wood. The flow of the story is boring for those who are expecting fast-paced action. The things that typical isekai enthusiasts hate are the ones that I enjoyed. The novel first focused on the life of Myne’s poor family, the daily life of a commoner, the invention of new paper and creating new recipes, discrimination amongst social class, and the magic. As a history buff, the world building kept me engaged.

Ascendance of a Bookworm (Part 4 Vol 5)

The result is the sleepless nights as I rushed to read all the available 18 volumes of the Ascendance of a Bookworm light novel. I cried with Myne when she was separated from her true family when she was adopted into a noble family. I celebrated with Rozemyne when she invented the printing press or became victorious against great odds.

Rozemyne Invented the Water Pump
Rozemyne "invented" the water pump.

The light novel was well written to the point that I even empathize with other characters and enjoyed reading parts of the novel about them such as Myne’s commoner family trying to maintain their very thin connection to the now noble Rozemyne, Myne childhood friend Lutz forging an agreement with temple attendant Gil in looking over Rozemyne, Aurelia and her struggle to join a new society after leaving her old duchy, Roderick and the joy he found with Rozemyne’s kindheartedness amidst the abuse that he received with his family, the laynobles struggle with life to the point of just focusing on the “stronger” offspring and just leaving the weak ones dead, the treatment of nobles against commoners (which is similar to our world’s rich and powerful treating the poor) and so on and so forth.

I enjoyed Ascendance of the Bookworm so much that this is the only light novel I considered worth my money. I do not hesitate to spend money just to get the latest volume and also to support the author.

This is now a very long post. I guess this is the result of the agony of the long wait for the release of the new volume. Now I understand what the fans of the Harry Potter series felt when they awaited the release of the new book in the past. 

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I finished reading the machine translated web novel of the Ascendance of the Bookworm. It was a difficult read since many Japanese words were badly translated. But I had to put up with it since I wanted to finish it and know what will happen in the end.

The ending is good.

I even read the spin-off web novel lead by Hannelore of Dunkelfelger. Unfortunately, Miya Kazuki (the author of Ascendance of a Bookworm) stopped updating the web novel. Now, I am just waiting the new volumes of the light novels, which are very slow in releasing the English version.

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