Ascendance of a Bookworm Episode 15

Ascendance of a Bookworm Episode 15

Apprentice Priestess

As you can see, I’ve decided to add the second season of Ascendance of a Bookworm to my weekly episode review schedule for the 2020 spring season. I didn’t review the first season of this series weekly, but if you’re interesting in reading my thoughts on that, there is a full season review.

And to be honest, part of the reason I chose this series for the weekly review treatment is simply because it seemed better than the alternatives. I wanted one more weekly episode review on my schedule, and this is a one cour season of a series which has a decent amount for me to discuss regarding the fantasy world.

So let’s get right into that discussion by talking about the church which Myne has just joined in this episode.

Because Myne has a large amount of mana (and money) the church was willing to accept her as a blue-robed apprentice. Normally the blue robes and the status within the church that come with them are reserved for nobles, while the plebeian orphans who join the church are given gray robes.

This is already important because it sets up a difficult situation for Myne to overcome. The other blue-robed priests don’t accept Myne because she’s a commoner who basically got her way into a higher status within the church by threatening the archbishop. But the gray-robed apprentices also hate her because she’s getting special privileges which they aren’t.

Society in this world is extremely class-based, and Myne is finding out first hand what happens when someone tries to go against the way of the world. Also, it’s interesting that only nobles can use magic, which furthers the divide between the classes.

Gods and Goddesses

There are a couple of things I love to discuss in fantasy series: magical abilities, civilizations, geography, and mythology. But it’s not all that often that I can actually discuss the mythology within a series. They typically either just borrow from real-world mythology directly, or they just don’t bring it up at all.

The religion which the church follows has a mythology behind it, which I believe was touched on in the first season, but basically there are seven gods who created the world.

So the pantheon looks like this: At the very top we have the King and Queen of the gods, the gods of Light and Darkness. The Queen is the goddess of Light, and the King is the god of Darkness. On the surface, these two are probably supposed to represent day and night, though there will undoubtedly be more they represent.

The Gods of Light and Darkness from the anime series Ascendance of a Bookworm season 2
The Gods of Light and Darkness

Below the King and Queen, we get five other gods, four of which represent the elements. Collectively, these five gods are referred to as the “eternal rulers of the earth.”

Fruhtrane is the goddess of Water and wields a staff, Leidenschaft is the god of Fire and wields a spear, Schutzaria is the goddess of Wind and wields a shield, and Geduldh is the goddess of Earth and wields a goblet. We then also have the fifth eternal ruler of the earth, Ewigleben, the god of Life.

Some quick points which I found interesting about all of this are the lack of a god of Death and the colors associated with each of the gods. First for the god of Death, since there’s a god of Life I’m assuming there’s a god, or goddess of death. However, the god of Life could fulfill both roles which may have already been hinted at.

As for the colors, the four elemental gods each have a color associated with them, and they’re not what you might expect. Green is the color of Water, blue is the color of Fire, yellow is the color of Wind, and red is the color of Earth.

Myne’s Retainers

Myne’s retainers are probably going to be some important characters in this season, so we might as well talk about them now. Technically speaking, Myne has four retainers, but only three of them are provided by the church. Lutz is considered to be one of her retainers, but his only real job at this point is to bring her to and from the church each day.

The other three retainers were all selected by the head priest and the archbishop in order to either spy on Myne or make her life more difficult. But what I think is interesting about this is that they’re kind of going out of their way to make things more difficult for themselves at the same time.

I get that the head priest doesn’t exactly trust Myne yet, and the archbishop wants her to pay for what she did to him, but think about what both parties want. Myne wants two things: magic items so she doesn’t die and access to the church library. And in exchange, she’s willing to give the church two things it wants: her mana and money.

So really the church should just give Myne magic items when she needs and grant her access to the library while also milking her for mana and money. There was no real need to let her into the church as an official member since she’s obviously not welcome anyway.

Gil, Delia, and Fran from the anime series Ascendance of a Bookworm season 2
Gil, Delia, and Fran

As for Myne’s three gray-robed retainers, we have Fran, Delia, and Gil. Fran is an adult who serves under the head priest and is tasked with keeping an eye on Myne. Delia is an eight year old who serves under the archbishop and is spying on Myne for him (and also hopes to one day be the head priest’s concubine), and Gil is just the troublemaker of the retainers.

From Delia in particular, we get a bit more insight into the fractured nature of this society. Within the church we already have a very stark split between the nobles and commoners. But when Myne learns of Delia’s dream, and how that’s what all girls in her position aspire to be, she comments on how different that is from life in the city.

We already know that the civilians don’t particularly like the church because of how they do things, and this is likely one of those ideologies which divides the church and the civilians.


What did you think of the first episode of Ascendance of a Bookworm season 2? I felt that the first season got off to a very slow start, but because of all the groundwork it laid, this second season seems to be moving a bit faster from the outset. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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My review of the next episode is available here.

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