Ascendance of a Bookworm Episode 26

Ascendance of a Bookworm Episode 26

Unlimited Mana Works

The final episode of Ascendance of a Bookworm season 2 was a pretty good one. While it might not be the most interesting part of the episode, my favorite part was when Myne shows the Knight Order, Ferdinand, and us just how much mana she really has.

This scene is mainly good because of the visuals and music used during it, but I think there are still a few important things to discuss regarding it. First off, the fact that Myne has so much mana is important. We know that Ferdinand also has a large amount of mana and could have done what Myne did, but even he’s surprised by how much she has.

And this revelation of the vastness of Myne’s mana pool is what leads to the events throughout the rest of the episode.

Myne performing the healing ritual from the anime series Ascendance of a Bookworm season 2
Myne performing the healing ritual

However, there are a few things I don’t really understand about Myne’s mana and its connection to the Devouring she’s afflicted with. We know that the Devouring and her mana are directly related — the Devouring occurs when a non-noble is born with mana.

Later in the episode, though, it seems to be implied that Myne’s vast amount of mana is somehow related to her previous life. It could be that she has an immense amount of mana even for someone who suffers from the Devouring. So is mana related to how long someone has lived? And why can’t commoners survive with mana?

Then, there’s also the question of how the Devouring affects her body. I thought using her mana was supposed to stop it from eating away at her life force. So why is she bedridden from using mana? Originally I thought she used too much, but it really looks like she had a lot to spare.

Dreamlike World

I don’t know about you, but I found the fact that Ferdinand, the head priest of the church, drugged a young girl within his secret chamber so that he could look into her memories without her permission to be a little creepy. Obviously, he drugged Myne because he knew she wouldn’t consent otherwise.

At first, I thought he was just having her taste test his new mana potion because she had previously said they tasted horrible. And to some extent that may have been true considering she mentioned that this potion tasted sweet. But it quickly became apparent that this was essentially a date rape scene.

Sure, it worked out in the end (for now), but there’s no denying that the casualness with which Ferdinand spiked a young girl’s drink while the two of them were alone is a bit worrying. Is this something nobles routinely do?

Ferdinand syncing his mind with Myne's from the anime series Ascendance of a Bookworm season 2
Ferdinand syncing his mind with Myne’s

I don’t remember what episode review it was in, but earlier on in the series, I mentioned that I think Myne and Ferdinand could end up in a romantic relationship of some kind. This idea was furthered by the events of this episode, including when the two of them sync their minds together.

It’s at this point, when Ferdinand learns of Myne’s past life, that he also learns she was an adult. And as we see, he relays this information to Karstedt, basically laying the foundation of his relationship with Myne.

Him telling Karstedt that Myne has memories of her life as an adult is basically the equivalent of him saying, “I know she looks like a child, but she’s actually legal.” So now we have the fact that Myne will be married off at some point “soon,” that Ferdinand is an eligible bachelor who’s pushed his own interests onto Myne, and that he knows Myne is mentally an adult.

Ehrenfest Noble Society

However, all of those factors aren’t enough for Ferdinand to marry Myne. There’s still one, very important issue he needs to solve: Myne isn’t a noble like he is, so he would never be allowed to marry her.

So how does Ferdinand plan to get around this little inconvenience? He asks Karstedt to adopt Myne so that she’ll be a member of a noble family. You may be thinking that he asks this because he wants to protect Myne and also use her knowledge for his own benefit, but that line of reasoning doesn’t entirely check out.

If that were the case, Ferdinand could simply adopt Myne himself or have another member of his family do it. But if he did that, he probably wouldn’t be able to marry Myne. By having Myne become a member of the Karstedt family, there’s no issue with him marrying her.

Ferdinand and Karstedt discussing Myne from the anime series Ascendance of a Bookworm season 2
Ferdinand and Karstedt discussing Myne

I think that Ferdinand and Karstedt are both members of some movement to overthrow the ruling class of the country (which was revealed to be called Ehrenfest). Whether this ruling class is the church, a king, or even the nobility itself, they need Myne’s help to accomplish their goal.

So, yes, they do want to protect Myne for their own interests. But you have to question whether or not Ferdinand has an ulterior motive when it comes to his involvement with Myne. There are just too many things lining up for it all to be mere coincidence.

Conclusion

I’m looking forward to the next season of Ascendance of a Bookworm. It will be nice to see if Ferdinand’s grooming of Myne continues, or if everything I’ve speculated about was all actually wrong. But what do you think about a potential relationship between Myne and Ferdinand? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of the second season as a whole is available here.

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9 Replies to “Ascendance of a Bookworm Episode 26”

  1. From what I understand, technically anyone with mana be they noble or commoner can suffer from the Devouring. The difference is nobles have access to magical items that can absorb their mana from the moment they are born. These magical items are so expensive that commoners cant afford them and most of them are kept in ignorance anyway.

    I think the Devouring is true to it’s name and devours the physical constitution of people who suffer from it. Essentially Myne’s body has been damaged due to suffering from years of the Devouring before she got access to a treatment. The treatment prevents her condition getting worse but she has a frail constitution due to years of being devoured. It has been said that Myne over-exerting herself can put her back in bed for days on end.

    It’s pretty heavily suggested that this isn’t your usual reincarnation where someone has memories of their past life but that the original Myne died and the Japanese girl’s spirit/soul took over he body.

    I think Ferdinand’s overall agenda might be less about overthrowing the current regime and more about restoring it to how he thinks it should be. I think he believes in the system but thinks the system has been corrupted.

    1. I agree that nobles can probably suffer from the Devouring just like commoners can. However, from what we know, all nobles have mana. For commoners, the only ones that have mana are those with the Devouring. So there still must be some distinction between nobles and commoners with regards to mana and how it’s used by the body.

      You do have a good point about Myne’s body already being weakened due to years of living with the Devouring, though. I didn’t think of that, but that makes a lot of sense to me.

      And I agree that there’s something unique about Myne’s reincarnation. From what we’ve seen, I think it has to do with the Devouring specifically. I wouldn’t be surprised if this sort of reincarnation happened to everyone who died from the Devouring, but Myne was the only one who actually managed to continue surviving once her soul was in this new body. For most people, they probably just die of the Devouring again with the new soul in their body and nobody knew.

      1. I’m going to sound like I’m talking out of my posterior because I’m a bit vague on the specifics but I’m pretty sure you are wrong about the nature of the Devouring based on my recollections from season one.

        In season one Myne befriended a merchants granddaughter – Freida – who also had the Devouring. Freida was a commoner but also wealthy and was able to get access to highly priced defective magical items for absorbing her mana.

        Freida explained that both her and Myne were physically underdeveloped for their age because of the Devouring. Freida also said that the only way to survive into adulthood would be to marry into a noble family in order to get permanent and reliable access to magical items.

        The explanation for the Devouring (as I remember it) is that EVERYONE who has mana needs a magical item to release it or it builds up in their bodies and poisons them from the inside. That build-up and poisoning is the Devouring.

        Nobles have exclusive access to these magical items and in addition commoners are poorly educated and many don’t even know what the Devouring is or how to treat it.

        Commoners being born with mana isn’t unheard of but is considered to be a rare freak occurence. Most people inherit it from their parents. Of course because of the level of ignorance amongst the commoner populace there may be a lot more people being born with mana and dying than even the nobles realise.

        1. Actually, your point about Frieda also having the Devouring is a good one and goes against what I said regarding the Devouring and reincarnation. If they were connected in that same way, then Frieda would also be a reincarnation — and everyone with the Devouring would be.

          I’m still not entirely sure about the nobles and the Devouring though. It’s true that the Devouring could simply be how some commoners describe the deterioration of their bodies due to mana. And if this is the case, since the nobles don’t have that problem, they simply wouldn’t have a name for it.

          But on the other hand, I think the Devouring is slightly different from simply having mana. We know Myne has the Devouring, and we also know Myne has much more mana than even a noble. So I think the Devouring is connected to that excess of mana, not necessarily mana itself.

          We basically need more information from the series.

  2. iirc the main difference between mana in nobles vs commoners is the fact that nobles, being rich, have access to magic items that suck away mana to a tolerable rate. commoners don’t so it builds up & they usually die during childhood like original!myne. in my opinion her incredible mana does have /some/ connection to her past life- she suppressed the Devouring by envisioning it “enclosed in a box” which is not a common mindset, so i can really only attribute it to her adult, modern mentality. normal ppl wouldn’t have known how to do that on their own. plus, repeat that for months (years if we include the current events) and it’s no wonder her “mana box” seems kinda bottomless now

    i think the drugging bit is more of lost context because ferdinand did explain and ask for consent in the novels, and it was supposed to help her mana flow better or something, idk, with the side effect of severe drowsiness. rip ferdinand XD

    as for a relationship between them… well, if we count myne’s adult mind/past self, she’s probably closest to ferdinand’s age than any other character. i wouldn’t mind if something grew between them but it’s gonna take a biiiig development considering they have more of a partnership rn, like myne with benno, and he may just be interested in what she can offer in the form of products etc. but hey, fanart exists and damn would they be quite the power couple

    hoping for a next season too!

    1. I think that there are still just a lot of questions for me regarding mana and the Devouring. We’ve been given bits of information, but I’m still thinking that the Devouring needs to be something more than simply having mana. Of course, that could be the case if it turns out that mana itself is some sort of evil entity, as I theorized about in one of the earlier episode reviews.

      That’s good that the light novel went into more detail with the scene of Ferdinand and Myne connecting their minds. The anime really made it seem like Ferdinand just slipped her a spiked drink.

      And I don’t think that there needs to be any sort of romantic relationship between Myne and anyone in this series. Not every anime needs to have a romance plotline. But based on all the information we’ve been given about Myne coming up to marriage age, Ferdinand being single, Ferdinand trying to teach Myne qualities she’ll need to be the wife of a noble, the fact that only people with mana can have kids together, etc. it just seems like that’s a possible direction the story is headed in. But again, this could all be a misunderstanding like the spiked drink.

  3. Since the 3rd season is already announced you’ll learn next year what the other devouring people have been doing (when you are poor)… They’ve been exploited that way so.sad for them..You will thank the existence of Head Priest Ferdinand for being there in ep14…

  4. i also think that’s where they’re going with myne and ferdinand! but you forgot something, nobles can only have children if their partner has the same amount of mana capacity, since ferdinand has a huge amount of mana myne is probably the only one that can have kids with him…

    i don’t think myne is going to want to be with ferdinand (i personally don’t want them to be a thing either) but she might consider it because of obligation or whatever bs the writers come up with.

    1. I could see them getting together. But I think for that to happen we would either need a time skip or some sort of magic to make Myne not look like a child anymore. Unless Ferdinand is into that.

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