Ascendance of a Bookworm Episode 17

Ascendance of a Bookworm Episode 17

Needs

In episode 17 of Ascendance of a Bookworm we learned that Myne is less petty than I am. I would have sent Gil and Delia back to the orphanage in an instant and picked out some new retainers. I’m sure there are plenty of orphans in there who would give anything to be Myne’s retainer.

But, although I would have sent Gil and Delia back to the shadow realm for not respecting my authority, I can see why Myne chose not to do this. Sure, Gil and Delia were still in the wrong, but their actions were partially caused by Myne’s own failure to understand her role as their master.

As was hinted in last week’s episode, Myne’s retainers don’t get to eat unless she feeds them. Or at least Gil doesn’t get to eat. Delia still gets fed by the High Priest (until later in this episode), and Fran gets fed by the Head Priest (which appears to still be ongoing).

The alms of the gods from the anime series Ascendance of a Bookworm season 2
The alms of the gods

This feeding of the retainers is known as the “alms of the gods,” and to fully understand it we first need to understand the three roles within the church. There are Blue Robes, Gray Robes, and orphans — the orphans are just a lower tier of gray robes who aren’t retainers.

Every day the Blue Robes (who live in the church) get fed by the church. They then give the leftovers from their meal to their retainers, and this is the part known as the alms of the gods. Then, if there are any scraps left after that, they go to the orphans.

However, since Myne lives at home and commutes to the church, she isn’t fed meals at the church like a normal Blue Robe would be. And this leads to there being no alms of the gods for Gil, which is why he lashed out at her.

Gil Acquired

Myne acquired Fran’s loyalty in the previous episode when he learned that the Head Priest handed him over to Myne because he trusted him to guide her, and not because he was tossing him aside. But Gil is a bit different than Fran, mainly because he’s never had anyone who cared about him.

It’s for this reason that Gil tends to act out. In his mind, everyone already thinks of him as a problem child, so he might as well live up to their expectations by being a pain.

Luckily, this means it was actually fairly easy for Myne to win Gil over to her side. All she had to do was put some trust in him and treat him like a normal person — and feed him, most importantly. So just like that, Myne acquired her second dedicated retainer.

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

But what role is Gil going to play from here on out? It seems clear that his official job is going to be cleaning Myne’s quarters, but what about his unofficial role? For example, Fran’s unofficial role is to teach Myne about how to behave within the church.

Gil is similar, but with a bit of a twist. Fran mainly teaches Myne how she’s supposed to behave when around her retainers and other Blue Robes. But Gil claims that he’s going to tell Myne when she does something wrong.

Both of these roles have similar outcomes, Myne learning how to act within the church, but they achieve it in different ways. Fran isn’t really going to correct Myne — he’s going to offer advice on what she should do. And Gil isn’t going to offer Myne advice, he’s going to tell her directly when she’s making a scene.

Delia Acquired

So where does Delia fit into all this? While I understand Myne forgiving Gil for his transgression, I really don’t think she should have allowed Delia to remain as her retainer. Delia wasn’t negatively affected by Myne’s failure to understand her role as Gil was.

Instead, Delia’s problems were all caused by herself, and yet she decides to blame Myne anyway. She got in trouble with the High Priest for failing to gather information on Myne, but she failed in that duty because she chose to stay in the High Priest’s quarters rather than doing her job.

So when she was thrown out by the High Priest, she only had herself to blame — but of course, this isn’t what she did.

Delia from the anime series Ascendance of a Bookworm season 2
Delia

Another thing which makes Myne’s forgiveness a bit strange is that Delia doesn’t really offer all that much. Her specialty is in seducing official guests, but that’s not exactly something Myne needs her to do — and she’s like 10 years old if I remember correctly, so if your guests are being seduced by her, that’s probably not good.

In the end, once Delia becomes a true one of Myne’s retainers, her role is basically just to be the female retainer. She helps Myne get dressed, and that’s about it. Any other girl could do the same job, so there wasn’t really a reason to keep Delia around in particular.

I think the implied explanation is that Delia is good at helping Myne get dressed because she has a “sense of style.” But even this isn’t a good explanation.

Conclusion

What did you think of Ascendance of a Bookworm season 2 episode 3? Would you have forgiven Gil and Delia? Or maybe just one of the two? And who do you think was eating that piece of Myne’s pizza at the end of the episode? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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