Ascendance of a Bookworm Episode 19

Ascendance of a Bookworm Episode 19

Cleanups and Star Festivals

For an episode that didn’t really have a lot going on, this episode actually had a lot going on. I know that doesn’t make sense, but what I mean is that a lot of ground was covered in this episode while still feeling as though nothing of note was accomplished.

New characters were introduced, a bit more world lore was mentioned, and Myne made a discovery that could take down the entire church. That’s a lot of pretty big developments if you ask me.

So two new characters were introduced in this episode: Wilma and Kai. These are two of the orphans who are now in Myne’s employment. I’m singling them out because these are the only two who are actually named. It’s possible that some of the other orphans will become more important characters, like the one angry boy with brown hair, but he hasn’t been named yet.

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

Wilma and Kai were also both given rewards for their hard work on Myne’s behalf. Wilma helped bathe all the younger orphans, and Kai was hard at work on cleaning duty according to Gil.

The only real question I have about Wilma and Kai is exactly what role they’re going to play in the series. What do they bring to the table beyond bathing children and cleaning?

For Wilma, I could see her role being more like Fran’s. Wilma is clearly older than most of the other orphans, so she may be able to give valuable insight as an adult (or almost an adult). She’s obviously more mature than Delia, so there’s value there. But for Kai, I really don’t know what his purpose is.

High Quality Animation

The Star Festival is the bit of world lore I mentioned at the start of this review. But, rather than talking about the festival itself, because there’s not really too much information on it other than the fact it’s different for the church and townspeople, let’s talk about the animation of this series.

I know, you’re probably thinking, “what does the animation of this series have to do with the Star Festival?” That’s a good question, and really it has nothing to do with it. However, the scenes of this episode that exemplified just how poor the animation of this series is all involved the Star Festival — specifically how the townspeople celebrate it.

For example, the image below is a still frame that was shown for seven seconds while we listened to the scene it depicts unfold. And that’s not the only frame like that. There was another used while the orphans under Myne’s care had a Tau fruit fight of their own.

Myne and Lutz running from children in town from the anime series Ascendance of a Bookworm season 2
Myne and Lutz running from children in town

So, what’s my point? Is it simply that still frames equal bad animation? No. In fact, I’ve written about how still frames can be used effectively in anime before. What’s different about this series compared to, say, Attack on Titan, is when the still frames are used.

Attack on Titan obviously has some good animation, and the still frames are generally used for less important scenes which can be conveyed easily without complex animation. Ascendance of a Bookworm does the opposite. It uses still frames for scenes that would have been the most technically challenging to animate.

Does the difference there make sense? Some kids running while throwing fruit doesn’t need to be very complex animation, but it would have been the most complex animation in this series considering there’s very little movement in general. So this series is in essence replacing the (relatively) good animation with still frames rather than the bad animation.

Tau and Trombe

The whole revelation that Myne can turn Tau fruit into Trombe plants is probably the most important development in the series thus far. And if you watched the next episode preview, you’ll have seen Benno hint at this.

First, if Myne (or other children afflicted with the Devouring) can release their mana into Tau fruit, that means they don’t need to join the church or be sold off to a noble family. Remember, this is normally what they would need to do in order to gain access to magic items to pour their mana into.

Obviously if this information got out, it would be extremely bad news for the church and nobles. The church would lose an important source of mana, and the nobles would lose an important source of servants.

Secondly, if Myne can collect Tau fruit and then turn them into Trombe in a controlled environment, it makes gathering the materials she needs for paper much easier and safer. So not only is she circumventing the church to dispel her mana, but she’s also making a profile at the same time.

Myne turning a Tau fruit into a Trombe plant using mana from the anime series Ascendance of a Bookworm season 2
Myne turning a Tau fruit into a Trombe plant using mana

The one question regarding all this which you may have thought of, though, is, “why hasn’t anyone else figured this out before?” That’s a valid question considering we know the nobles can use mana, as can children afflicted with the Devouring.

And while we aren’t given an explanation, I have one for you.

Children with the Devouring probably don’t come into contact with Tau fruit in their raw form. These are weak children who don’t live very long, and any Tau fruit they come in contact with is probably prepared as food.

Also, Tau fruit appears to be a “commoner’s” food, which means nobles wouldn’t interact with it much. We can infer this partially by the fact that it plays such a major role in the Star Festival the townspeople celebrate. It has to be a cheap commodity in order for them to waste it as they do.

And lastly, even if someone figured out that Tau fruit can be used as a mana vessel, the fact that it turns it into Trombe would put them off doing this. As we’ve seen, Trombe is a very dangerous plant, so it probably wouldn’t be worth doing for most people.

Conclusion

As a final note on the Tau fruit and Trombe plant relationship, I think this also may hint at the true nature of the world and mana in this series. Are all Trombe plants Tau fruit with mana? And what does this say about mana if it turns fruit into monsters? Can it do the same to people?

What are your thoughts about the whole Tau fruit and Trombe plant connection? Do you have another reason why this hasn’t been discovered before? Do you think mana is somehow evil? And is the church collecting it for nefarious reasons? Let me know your thoughts 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.

Loading Likes...

Leave a Comment

Bitnami