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With a title like Ascendance of a Bookworm: Complete Collection, I didn’t know what I was getting into. Thankfully it turned out to be one of the most interesting anime titles I’ve seen in awhile thanks to very likeable characters, some light fantasy action, and some nice slice-of-life moments that, like a great book, will have you coming back.
The plot follows the life of a young lady named Urano Motosu, an apprentice librarian who absolutely loves books. Sadly she ends up dying in a terrible accident, but wishes to be surrounded by books in her next life right before she dies. As the fates of anime would have it, she soon wakes up in a medieval-like world and in the body of a small girl named Myne.
Still having all of her memories and love of books from her previous life, she sets out to find some literature and become a librarian in this new world. She soon learns that Myne’s body is very frail and sickly due to an illness that flares up whenever she’s too excited or depressed. Despite this and other obstacles in her way, such as learning that books are super expensive as they’re made by hand and only the rich can afford them, she clings to her dream of being surrounded by books, even if she has to risk dying a second time to make them herself.
I’m a sucker for anime shows where the main character has a dream/goal and will move heaven and hell to see them done, and that’s exactly what this series delivers and more. Not only do you find yourself cheering on Urano/Myne, but also the other characters that come in and support her dream. Then as a bonus, there’s some light action and comedic moments that arise which seals the deal on the show and makes you want to binge it until the end credits.
Thanks to another great Blu-ray release from Sentai Filmworks, everything looks and sounds great in high-definition, and there’s some nice extras to check out. There’s the standard clean opening and closing titles, and some original Japanese promotional videos, but the best extras are the bonus OVA episodes. If you want to get the most out of these two extra adventures, you’ll want to watch them just after episode fourteen and then watch the rest of the show from episode fifteen on down.
Ascendance of a Bookworm: Complete Collection is a touching and refreshing anime series that features great characters you’ll find yourself cheering on, some action and comedy moments, and more. The series has proven to be so popular in Japan that another season is in the works, which I’m sure will be just as interesting and fun as these episodes that are anything but by the book anime awesomeness.