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Honzuki no Gekokujou: Shisho ni Naru Tame ni wa Shudan wo Erandeiraremasen

Score: 8.07/10

Honzuki no Gekokujou: Shisho ni Naru Tame ni wa Shudan wo Erandeiraremasen

Eng Title : Ascendance of a Bookworm

JP Title : 本好きの下剋上 ~司書になるためには手段を選んでいられません~

Year : 2019

Genre : Fantasy, Slice of Life

Season : Fall 2019

Status : Complete

Rating : PG-13 - Teens 13 or older

Episodes : 14/14

Duration : 23 min. per ep.

Studios : Ajia-Do

Synopsis

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.

Honzuki No Gekokujou is a phenomenal anime. It has great characters, drama, story and pacing that is so perfect it makes you want to watch it all in one go. When I started watching the anime I felt like this would be a boring Isekai from the first 3 episodes but I'm glad to say this was very far from it. What I thought was going to be a disappointing anime turned to be one of the best if not the best alongside Iruma-kun. This anime also has some of the best character development I have seen in an anime. The characters in the anime are great. We start with the main female MC who is a girl that loves books so much she can't live without them in a world with very few books in them and only available for the rich. She starts off as an annoying little girl but she gets such a great development that you can't help but love her even if you didn't at the start of the anime. We get introduced to her family who are so loving and kind people. We see the main lover interest who isn't just a random kid, it is a kid with a dream who works so hard to both achieve the dream and help take care of Maine. He also had great development later specially after knowing who Maine really is in one of the best episodes of the entire anime. The plot of the anime and its pace were also great. While the first 3 eps may have been a bit slow, the story starts to make progress and you start seeing the drama settle in and more exciting stories, problems and characters start appearing everywhere. I really can't wait to watch the 2nd season. The art, animation and overall sound were fantastic and great work to the voice actors who played a phenomenal role and fit almost every character that was introduced. I loved Maine's voice so much and how it changed based on how she was feeling and which character was talking. Overall I would give the anime a 9/10. It was a hidden gem and it was extremely entertaining to watch. I would recommend it to non anime fans if they want a great story with great characters in it.

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