Ascendance of a Bookworm Episode 31

Ascendance of a Bookworm Episode 31

This Will Change History

Back in my review of Episode 27, I said that Myne’s movable type printing press would have a big impact on the world. I said it would have the biggest impact of all her inventions to date. And it may even have the biggest impact even considering her future inventions.

In Ascendance of a Bookworm Season 3 Episode 31, Ferdinand says almost the exact same thing. He says that Myne’s printing press will change history. But, Ferdinand is only focused on the “negative” impact the printing press will have.

Now, when I say negative here, I mean negative for the ruling class. If the commoners learn to read, it could have some major consequences. They’ll be able to understand contracts, for example. They’ll also be able to read the news and know what’s going on in the world. And, they’ll be able to organize protests easier.

Myne's movable type in action from the anime series Ascendance of a Bookworm Season 3 Episode 31
Myne’s movable type in action

The thing is, I’m not sure that a printing press will have the same effect in Myne’s world as in our own. And the reason is that magic and mana exist. As far as we know, there is a physical difference between commoners and Nobles.

Mana is (generally) exclusive to Nobles. That means only Nobles can use magic. So, how are commoners supposed to overthrow these magic-wielding Nobles? Myne is a very special exception. Most other commoners born with Mana don’t survive. Their bodies can’t handle the mana they’re born with, and thus they suffer from “the Devouring.”

Also, remember that (generally) only Nobles can hold important positions within the Church. Again, this is due to their ability to use mana. So, in theory, commoners learning to read won’t change the structure of the church. The mana of the Nobles is still necessary for the Church to function.

Magic Necklace

In this episode, we learned that Sylvester has a soft spot for children. I’m pretty sure it’s not supposed to be anything weird. He got along with Gil and Lutz, hunted an animal so the orphans could eat meat, and gave Myne a protective pendant.

That pendant necklace is what I want to discuss in this section. According to Sylvester, while it is a magic item, it’s unlike many of the others Myne has encountered. You could say that it’s more of a magic tool than a magic item if we’re distinguishing between the two.

For example, a magic item is anything you can store mana in. From what I remember from the First Season of the series, objects made of gold serve this purpose. I don’t remember if other precious metals and jewels work too, but it would make sense for that to be the case.

The magic pendant Sylvester gave to Myne from the anime series Ascendance of a Bookworm Season 3 Episode 31
The magic pendant Sylvester gave to Myne

A magic tool is a magic item that also has added magical properties. An example of a magic tool would be the object Ferdinand uses to put up a barrier to prevent eavesdropping. Another would be the earing-looking objects used for telepathic communication.

So, the necklace that Sylvester gives to Myne in this episode would be a magical tool by this definition. We don’t know exactly what the pendant does. But, we know that if Myne activates it with her blood (like a magic contract), Sylvester will come to her rescue.

The spell on the pendant may work like a tracking device. If Myne gets kidnapped, she might be able to activate it and then Sylvester will know her location. Or, it might even summon Sylvester to Myne’s location. While the latter would be neat, the former seems more likely to be the case.

The Birth of Kamil

Toward the end of the episode, Eva gives birth to a baby boy. He’s named Kamil, and Myne now has a younger brother. That’s great, but does Kamil actually matter? After all, Tuuli isn’t all that important. Well, I’m going to bet that Kamil will serve as a sort of bridge between Myne and Tuuli.

As explained earlier in this review, there’s a difference between Nobles and commoners. That difference is mana. But, what exactly is mana? Why do only the Nobles tend to have it? And why are there some commoners born with it in the form of “the Devouring?”

A hint might come from the main premise of the series itself. At the end of the day, what is Ascendance of a Bookworm all about? It’s about reading. Myne wants to read and she wants other people to be able to read.

Tuuli watching as Myne holds Kamil from the anime series Ascendance of a Bookworm Season 3 Episode 31
Tuuli watching as Myne holds Kamil

Aside from their mana, what’s something else that separates Nobles from commoners? Literacy. The Nobles know how to read, while the commoners generally don’t. Merchants like Benno can read, and he’s not a Noble. But, he’s still of a higher class than Myne’s family, for instance.

With this in mind, I’m thinking that literacy, especially at a young age, might lead to mana production. Benno may not have learned to read until he was an adult. But, Noble children would learn to read from a young age. And so, it’s possible that this causes them to begin producing mana.

Myne got summoned into the body of a child after already being very proficient at reading. That would explain why she has “the Devouring.” I’m going to predict that Myne will teach Kamil to read from an early age. And, I’m going to predict that he’ll begin showing signs of mana.


If literacy is the source of mana, then Myne has a real shot at changing the world as Ferdinand predicted. To me, this theory connects everything together. But, what do you think? Is the moral of the story going to be that reading is magic? Let me know in the comments.

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My review of Episode 32 is available now.

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