Urano Motosu loves books and has an endless desire to read literature, no matter the subject. She almost fulfills her dream job of becoming a librarian before her life is ended in an accident. As she draws her last breath, she wishes to be able to read more books in her next life. As if fate was listening to her prayer, she wakes up reincarnated as Myne—a frail five-year-old girl living in a medieval era. What immediately comes to her mind is her passion. She tries to find something to read, only to become frustrated by the lack of books at her disposal. Without the printing press, books have to be written and copied by hand, making them very expensive; as such, only a few nobles can afford them—but this won't stop Myne. She will prove that her will to read is unbreakable, and if there are no books around, she will make them herself! [Written by MAL Rewrite]
If you’re normally averse to isekai stories then you might want to make an exception for this one. Based on its first episode, Ascendance of a Bookworm is about as far departed from the genre norm as you’ll find.
Though the story starts with the familiar refrain of the main character dying in the modern world and being reborn into a fantasy world (or perhaps just an ordinary medieval setting; there’s been no hint of magic or anything fantastical yet), that’s also where the familiar ends. The most immediate evident difference is that the singular main character both started out and still is female, and a child under the age of seven as well. Unlike most reincarnation stories, where the character is reborn as a baby and either is always aware of their reincarnation or doesn’t become aware of it until a certain age, in this case Motosu seems to have been transplanted into an existing child, and only knows the language and who people are by her mind integrating with the memories of the boy’s previous inhabitant. What might have happened to the original soul is unclear; was the girl on the verge of death and revived by the transplantation? I’ll honestly be surprised if the story ever delves into that, but I would be interested to know.
But the series isn’t just different because of the circumstances. Instead of swiftly transitioning into some grand scheme, the first episode dwells on the minutiae of how medieval life differs from, and would be a difficult transition for, someone raised in a modern first-world country. It even confronts things like the nasty reality of bedpans, the unpleasant smells, or even how washing one’s hair on a regular basis wasn’t practical. It also deals with an issue that’s often glossed over or even outright ignored in both general and isekai fantasy anime: that literacy just wasn’t a part of daily life for most commoners prior to the invention of the printing press. As long as you could read digits for marked prices, you could get by just fine, since store signs were typically pictograms. In fact, literacy, rather than anything overtly heroic, looks like it is going to be the main focus of this tale. But there’s a certain nobility in spreading the love, knowledge, and enthusiasm for literacy, isn’t there?
The other selling point of this series is that it’s very, very cute. The artistic and animation efforts aren’t anything spectacular, but Myne is utterly adorable and features an appealing kind of precociousness. The frequent chibi asides, which are typically quite rough artistically, are less welcome and impressive, but the first episode as a whole is visually appealing. The musical score, which leans on medieval instrumental standards, is also strong, and the opener should be among the season’s best. All-in-all, this is a very promising start to a very different take on isekai. You can alos free anime Honzuki no Gekokujou: Shisho ni Naru Tame ni wa Shudan wo Erandeiraremasen watch online and free download.