Ascendance of a Bookworm Episode 23

Ascendance of a Bookworm Episode 23

Harvest Festivals and Staying Home

Ascendance of a Bookworm episode 23 is named after the fact that church nobles are heading off to various regions to take part in harvest festivals, and that Myne won’t be able to stay at her home over the winter. But, the episode doesn’t actually touch on these topics all that much, so let’s just recap what we know about them.

The harvest festival either seems to have been created by the church or commandeered by it. My guess is that the latter is probably the case because I’m sure harvest festivals were around long before the church was. So how did the church turn these festivals into pseudo-religious events?

Well, church nobles are sent out to collect taxes from the various townspeople during their harvest festivals. We can assume that the idea behind doing this is that by making a “donation” to the church during this time, you’re effectively asking the gods to ensure you have a productive harvest.

Angry Myne from the anime series Ascendance of a Bookworm season 2
Angry Myne

And the whole thing with Myne is that while she normally lives at her home, this won’t be the case during the winter. The winter is when the church holds a ceremony in which Myne will be donating her mana, and so they need her to be on the church grounds at all times — they don’t want a snowstorm keeping her away.

However, there’s also a potential double meaning to the “staying home” part of the title. This is, of course, the idea that while church nobles participate in the harvest festivals, Myne is a commoner and so shouldn’t be allowed to. This in turn leads to one of the church nobles destroying the library in an attempt to teach Myne her place and keep her from attending the festival.

The Nippon Decimal Classification

With the church library in shambles, Myne is given the opportunity to reorganize it as she sees fit. And the method of organization she chooses is the Nippon Decimal Classification (NDC), which itself is based on the Dewey Decimal System invented by Melvil Dewey.

For anyone who doesn’t know what “Nippon” is, that’s just the Japanese word for Japan. So the NDC is the Japanese Decimal Classification.

This system of organizing books uses 10 main genres which are then divided into a number of sub-genres. The number of sub-genres wasn’t mentioned in the episode and it doesn’t really matter for this context so I didn’t bother looking it up.

Melvil Dewey from the anime series Ascendance of a Bookworm season 2
Melvil Dewey

What interests me more than Myne’s use of the NDS, though, is the inclusion of books on magic within it — or rather a lack thereof. Myne doesn’t know how to classify magic within the system: Do they fall under the Natural Sciences or Technology genres?

When she asks the head priest this question, he gives us some potentially important information. First, magic would likely be classified as a natural science, but that’s not the case for magic items — they would likely be considered technology. That makes books covering both subjects a bit of a gray area.

The second thing he says is what I believe is going to be more important for the future of the series. He states that magic books can’t be housed in the library because only nobles are allowed access to them. And it turns out that being a noble is more than being born into the right family, they also need to graduate from a noble school.

Will we see Myne attend one of these noble schools so that she can eventually read the books on magic? I think that’s a likely scenario.

Benno and Lutz Agree with Me

Last week I explained a number of potential issues with Myne choosing to make a children’s version of the holy scriptures her first mass-produced book. And this week, Benno and Lutz also brought up all of those same concerns.

Again, the primary issue Myne needs to solve is how she’s going to fund her bookmaking. It’s unlikely that the church will fund her endeavors because the church leaders already know Myne makes a profit from her workshop. They’re more likely to force her to use her own money than to fund her projects.

So that means the only way she’s going to be able to keep paying for books to be made is by selling them — something she’s already stated she doesn’t want to do just yet. This first book was made specifically to be a free teaching tool for the orphans of the church.

Benno flipping through Myne's book from the anime series Ascendance of a Bookworm season 2
Benno flipping through Myne’s book

As a merchant, Benno is obviously concerned by the fact that Myne isn’t being conscious of the financial position she’s putting herself in. But as Lutz points out (and as I pointed out last week) even if Myne wanted to sell this book, it’s unlikely anyone would actually buy it.

The target audience for this book is the church orphanage — and as I already explained, the church isn’t likely to pay for copies. So the next option is to sell to the general populace, but they’re not exactly fond of the church so they probably wouldn’t buy a copy of the scriptures.

At this point, I think the only way for Myne to salvage this project is to print even more copies and hand them out for free to the townspeople. They may not pay for the scriptures, but if the book is free they may accept it. And once they learn how to read from that book, they’ll be more willing to buy a future book.


What do you think of Ascendance of a Bookworm episode 23? Do you think we’re going to see Myne attend a school for nobles in the next season? And how do you think she’s going to recover the cost of mass-producing her holy scriptures for children? 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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