Ascendance of a Bookworm Season 2

Ascendance of a Bookworm Season 2

Ascendance of a Bookworm Season 2 anime series cover art
Ascendance of a Bookworm Season 2

Season Overview

Ascendance of a Bookworm season 2 (Honzuki no Gekokujou: Shisho ni Naru Tame ni wa Shudan wo Erandeiraremasen 2 / 本好きの下剋上 司書になるためには手段を選んでいられません2) picks up right where the first season left off. But, that doesn’t mean the second season is exactly the same as the first.

The first season mainly focused on Myne’s time attempting to create books on her own and working with the Gilberta Company. Season 2 sees Myne taking her bookmaking operations to the next level, getting involved with other causes she supports, and living as an apprentice priestess within the church.

These changes allow for the story to become much more complex. Inventing books is cool and all, but I think it’s safe to say that most people aren’t interested in the story to watch Myne do that. At least for me, the whole book aspect is just a background gimmick of the series, and the real draw is exploring the world.

Benno and Myne at a meeting in the church from the anime series Ascendance of a Bookworm season 2
Benno and Myne at a meeting in the church

Every isekai anime needs some gimmick in order to stand out from the crowd. Simply being about a character who’s transported to another (often fantasy) world isn’t enough. But that gimmick doesn’t need to be something that lasts throughout the series, or is even at the forefront.

A book-obsessed girl being sent to a world without books was the gimmick here, but the series has become so much more. With everything Myne’s doing within the church, like acting as the orphanage director, learning about the magic of the world, and learning how to fit into noble society, I often forget the initial book concept.

I’m sure these two series have similar audiences, but I kind of view Ascendance of a Bookworm as the opposite of TenSura. This series has taken a fairly bland premise and turned it into something interesting, while TenSura took a unique concept and threw it away after the first episode.

New Characters

The main group of new characters in season 2 is Myne’s retainers. Originally she’s given three retainers by the High and Head Priests, but by the end of the season, she effectively has five. These retainers are Fran, Gil, Delia, Wilma, and Rosina.

Fran is Myne’s head retainer and also appears to be the oldest of her retainers. It’s possible that Wilma, or even Rosina, is around the same age as Fran, though. Fran’s role is to be the primary caretaker for Myne — a job that includes carrying her when she’s ill and advising her on how to properly act within her position.

Gil is the retainer who oversees the majority of Myne’s manual projects going on around the church. These projects include cleaning areas of the church ground under Myne’s control, like the orphanage, and processing materials for Myne’s books.

Delia has an important job, but not one that really seems to be utilized that often. She’s basically Myne’s fashion expert who helps her get dressed up for special church events. As I said, this is a very important job because looks are everything in church and noble society. But I don’t know what Delia does the rest of the time besides normal chores.

Wilma is the one retainer who I’m not sure counts as a true retainer. The first three were officially designated as Myne’s retainers, and Rosina is designated as a retainer later on. Perhaps I’m just forgetting when Wilma was designated as a retainer, but either way, unlike the others she doesn’t live with Myne. Wilma’s primary role is as the orphanage caretaker.

Lastly, we have Rosina, who’s just Myne’s music teacher. She does other random chores when she isn’t teaching Myne to play instruments, but that’s about it. She’s not quite as important as the others.

Comparison to Season 1

Overall, Ascendance of a Bookworm season 2 is better than season 1. I think it’s actually better in every way possible. There’s nothing that the second season does worse than the first season, and that’s what I like to see from series. They should always be improving on, or at least staying at the same level as, previous seasons.

As I discussed at the beginning of this review, the main improvement of season 2 over season 1 is that the series became much more interesting as the world was explored further. We learned more about mana and magic, noble society, and the darker sides of the church.

Of course, season 1 is still necessary. Without season 1 laying the groundwork, nothing in season 2 would have been quite as impactful.

Myne holding a magic item from the anime series Ascendance of a Bookworm season 2
Myne holding a magic item

Mana and magic is probably the best example to use to illustrate these improvements. We knew about mana in season 1. Back when it was introduced, we learned that it’s used for magic, it’s primarily held by nobles, it can cause an illness known as the Devouring, and it can be expelled into magic items to prevent the Devouring.

But all of that is pretty theoretical. We didn’t actually get to see magic used by people until season 2 with the Head Priest and the Knight Order. And while we knew magic items existed, we didn’t actually get to see them in use until the second season as well — such as items used for secret conversations or for connecting minds.

Basically, season 1 introduced concepts about the world in which Myne found herself, while season 2 put those concepts into practice.

And this distinction between the two seasons can be seen in basically every aspect of the series. Even looking at noble society, we knew it was different from commoner society in season 1, but we didn’t actually get to see it until season 2.

Conclusion

Ascendance of a Bookworm season 2 is a 7/10 from me. While I thought the first season of the series was alright, the second season was what I actually consider to be good. I think the end of season 2 mentioned that the anime was going to get a third season, but even if that isn’t the case, I’m sure it will get a third season. And I’m looking forward to it.

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