Ascendance of a Bookworm Episode 16

Ascendance of a Bookworm Episode 16

Blue Robes and Uncommon Sense

My review of the previous episode of Ascendance of a Bookworm season 2 had a lot of readers so I’d just like to point out that yes, these reviews will continue to be on Mondays. I get that the episodes come out on Saturdays, but they come out in the afternoon, and I prefer to get my work out of the way in the mornings, so Monday it is.

Sorry, Boruto is grandfathered into the Sunday slot.

Anyway, as I mentioned briefly last week, this second season is a lot more interesting to me than the first season was. We’re learning a lot more about the society in which Myne lives rather than how the first season really focused on building up the premise of the series (which I don’t care too much for).

In fact, the first season really feels like it was just a prologue at this point. It spent a long time setting up the idea that this world doesn’t have books and that Myne was going to have to make her own. However, we’re already passed that point and I don’t think we’ll be going back.

Myne threatening Gil from the anime series Ascendance of a Bookworm season 2
Myne threatening Gil

Yeah, I get that a lot of people probably liked seeing Myne creating her own books Dr. Stone style, but that really has nothing to do with the plot of this series from what I can tell. I guess at the end of the series maybe Myne will write a book about her experiences, but aside from that I don’t see what books really have to do with the plot anymore.

Myne likes books and will do anything to read them. Alright, but that’s not a plot in itself. There has to be something more, which is where her struggles as an apprentice priestess come into play. The real plot is based around how Myne adapts to her new life — books are just the reason behind her actions.

Life as a Blue Robe

So what is life like for a Blue Robed priest, specifically Myne?

We’re told by the Head Priest that there’s a shrinking number of Blue Robed priests within the church. This was also touched on in the first season, which is partially why the church agreed to accept Myne as a Blue Robe. Simply put, they need her for her mana and her money.

Additionally, with the shrinking Blue Robe population, more work is being piled onto the Head Priest. So, since he knows that Myne can read and write, he sees her as a way to lessen his own workload. However, along with helping the Head Priest with his work, Myne also has all her own duties to perform, such as donating mana and reading the scriptures.

Myne and Benno dressed up to meet the Head Priest from the anime series Ascendance of a Bookworm season 2
Myne and Benno dressed up to meet the Head Priest

All of that isn’t a very big deal, though. Myne can easily handle the extra work as long as she’s able to read the books found in the library. However, what’s a bit harder to deal with are her newfound societal roles — such as the fact that she literally holds the power of life or death over her retainers.

Now, I’m not saying that Myne can kill them if she so chooses, but as we saw with Gil, they (specifically Gil because he has no other master) cannot eat without Myne’s blessing. So since Myne doesn’t understand this role she’s supposed to be filling, Gil goes without food for the day.

There’s also the fact that Myne didn’t understand the effect her strolling through town in her robes would have. Not only do the citizens generally hate the church, but Blue Robes are also prime kidnapping targets because it’s assumed they come from noble families with money.

Benno vs. Head Priest

Have we actually learned the name of the Head Priest yet? I don’t believe we have, so I’m going to keep referring to him by his titles even though I know he has an actual name.

But, anyway, when Benno meets the Head Priest, we see from Myne’s “inner persona” perspective that these two are locked in combat. They aren’t really fighting, but each of them is trying to win out over the other in terms of information gathering and concessions.

For example, the Head Priest is probing Benno in order to gain information about Myne which he can use against her (and Benno himself). And on the other hand, Benno is attempting to have his “demands” met by the Head Priest while also protecting the profits he receives from Myne’s inventions from going to the church.

Myne cheering Benno on from the anime series Ascendance of a Bookworm
Myne cheering Benno on

However, me saying that the Head Priest is trying to basically blackmail Myne and Benno paints a much worse picture of him than I think is real. With Benno it’s obvious that he’s a businessman, so we view everything he does from that perspective. I think we need to view the Head Priest the same way.

The High Priest is definitely a bad guy who wants to take down Myne. But the Head Priest is really treating the church like a business. He doesn’t care what Myne’s background is as long as she can provide what the church needs (and lessen his own work load).

Also, remember that in the first season at the end of every episode we got chibi Myne and chibi Head Priest doing the next episode preview in a friendly manner. It’s clear to me that the Head Priest isn’t some antagonist.

Conclusion

What do you think about Myne’s new role as a Blue Robe? Is she going to continue to be molded into that role as we’ve seen so far? Or is she going to break out from the pressures put on her and change the church from the inside? I think the latter is the obvious choice, but let me know in the comments.

If you enjoyed this review, remember to click the like button ❤ down below. Also follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank HeavyROMAN for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika tier this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

My review of the next episode is available here.

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