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Ascendance of a Bookworm Episode #21 Anime Review

4 min read
© Miya Kazuki, TO Books / Ascendance of a Bookworm Production Committee

“Chapter Twenty-One – New Retainers”

What They Say:

Avid bookworm and college student Motosu Urano ends up dying in an unforeseen accident. This came right after the news that she would finally be able to work as a librarian like she had always dreamed of. When she regains consciousness. She was reborn as Myne, the daughter of a poor soldier. She was in the town of Ehrenfest, which has a harsh class system. But as long as she had books, she really didn’t need anything else. However, books were scarce and belonged only to the nobles. But that doesn’t stop her, so she makes a decision … “If there aren’t any books, I’ll just create some.”

Content (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):

With the problem concerning Lutz’s family taken care of, Myne is now worried about her mother Eva who has been sick as of late, by which she informs her daughter she soon will be a Big Sister. Upon hearing this happy news, the former Urano now dedicates herself to making picture books for the coming sibling, but of course, no one knows what this strange item entails. When she meets with the High Priest the next morning and explains her plans, the clergyman is also confused by this venture, even more so when this apprentice priestess asks if she can have the artist Wilma as a new retainer. However while he is willing to entertain this option, Ferdinand is more concerned about her weakness of wanting to protect for her family, and it is something which the Head Priest and other nobles can take advantage of in their schemes against the young girl. Thus in order to protect her, the High Priest insists she learn about noble culture and in turn, their favorite pastime – music. But since Myne knows nothing about this hobby, he stipulates she must take on another retainer who will educate on how to play instruments, her name is Rosina.

And yet when she and Fran go to the orphanage to ask Wilma if she will join them, while she is pleased by this welcomed offer, the grey robed priestess cannot accept since if she leaves, no one will be able to take care of the unbaptised children. Unwilling to give up on the blonde girl, they arrange a meeting with the High Priest, but in preparation he sends numerous gifts in return, including a stringed instrument which Fran calls a harspiel. During their conversation the next morning, Ferdinand intently listens to the problem and offers a counterproposal, since Wilma is resisting the move, this is all the more reason to take Rosina as her new retainer. It is only then when he turns the talk toward a more serious matter concerning Urano’s future: since the number of nobles has been decreasing as of late and thus the amount mana contributed to the church, many people may attempt to court Myne so they may have children who have magic, but this will not happen if she knows nothing about music. The situation will worsen and so will her problems with the Head Priest if she does not know how to play an instrument, and so taking this under consideration, the young girl accepts the offer of Rosina as a helper, but will this new addition be as willing to join her staff?

In Summary:

We knew this situation would happen thanks to the side stories’ opening credits, however with the new problems this circumstance raises, one has to wonder if Ferdinand is as dispassionate as he shows in public. While the High Priest has always helped Myne whenever he can, it is only now does his more caring side begin to show, hoping to protect this carefree girl from future problems. Although the new retainers appear to be helpful and willing to aid in this upcoming venture, one has to wonder if they are also hiding something more sinister, just as most grey-robed apprentices do in order to please the cold hearted nobles.

Grade: A+

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

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