Ascendance of a Bookworm is a Japanese fantasy light novel series written by Miya Kazuki and illustrated by Yū Shiina. It was serialized online between September 2013 and March 2017 on the user-generated novel publishing website Shōsetsuka ni Narō. It was later acquired by TO Books, who has published 25 volumes since January 2015.
A manga adaptation of the first part with art by Suzuka was serialized online via Niconico Seiga website between October 2015 and July 2018. It was collected in seven tankōbon volumes by TO Books. Both the light novel and manga are published in English by J-Novel Club. An anime television series adaptation by Ajia-do Animation Works premiered the first part from October 3 to December 26, 2019, with the second part airing from April 5 to June 21, 2020. A two-part OVA episode released on March 10, 2020. A third season has been announced.
An anime television series adaptation was announced on March 7, 2019. The series is animated by Ajia-do Animation Works and directed by Mitsuru Hongo, with Mariko Kunisawa handling series composition, Yoshiaki Yanagida and Toshihisa Kaiya designing the characters, and Michiru composing the series’ music. The first part ran for 14 episodes, which aired from October 3 to December 26, 2019, on ABC, Tokyo MX, Wowow, and BS Fuji. Sumire Morohoshi performed the series’ opening theme song “Mashiro”, while Megumi Nakajima performed the series’ ending theme song “Kamikazari no Tenshi”. It covers Part 1: Daughter of a Soldier of the light novel. The second part, which ran for 12 episodes, aired from April 5 to June 21, 2020, and covers volumes 1 and 2 of Part 2: Apprentice Shrine Maiden of the light novel. Sumire Morohoshi also performed the second part’s opening theme song “Tsumujikaze” (Commotion). The OVA episode numbered 14.5 consists of two parts called “Eustachius’s Incognito Operation Downtown” and “Visiting Missus Corinna” and aired on March 9, 2020. The production of a third season was announced on July 12, 2020. Crunchyroll has licensed the series and has partnered with Sentai Filmworks for distribution in North America.
- The titular bookworm, Urano (a college student) was on the cusp of being a librarian when she was ironically crushed to death under a pile of books during an earthquake and reincarnated as a sickly five-year-old girl named Myne, but in a world where books are only for extremely rich nobles. Her frailty is due to a rare disease known as the “Devouring,” which consists of high fevers that spark whenever the host is stressed or depressed. Now, Myne has to put her book-knowledge to the test in order to become a librarian in her new world.
- The High Priest in the city of Ehrenfest.
- Myne’s elder sister by one year who follows her mother’s craft in becoming a seamstress.
- Myne and Tuuli’s mother who is a seamstress by trade and works at a dye factory.
- Myne and Tuuli’s father who works as a soldier and a guard for the city of Ehrenfest.
- Myne’s childhood best friend who helps her in her business to make paper and create books. He initially wanted to be a traveling merchant, but after being dissuaded by Otto, he decides to work with Myne and be the muscle to her brain. He is the first to suspect that Myne is not who she used to be and has been in fact taken over by someone else.
- A former traveling merchant and now soldier and military accountant of Ehrenfest. He teaches Myne how to read and write the language of the new world.
- A city merchant who takes Myne and Lutz under his wing and helps them grow their bookmaking business. After realizing the potential Myne and Lutz have at their craft, he is insistent on training them to be merchants and argues against others who want the pair for themselves.
- An assistant at Benno’s store who helps Myne and Lutz on their journey.
- The head of the Merchant Guild in Ehrenfest and Benno’s senior. He agrees to allow Lutz and Myne to become temporarily registered merchants after seeing the products the duo are able to create.
- Gustav’s granddaughter who wants to buy one of Myne’s hairpins to wear at her baptism. Like Myne, she has the incurable illness known as the “Devouring.”
- A young grey-robed boy who is placed as Myne’s retainer. He is pompous, brash, and believes himself superior to Myne, even though he is beneath her in the temple hierarchy. He eventually comes around and serves Myne faithfully after she shows him kindness and compassion.
- A grey-robed young man who is placed as Myne’s retainer. He is quiet, follows the rules, and is highly devoted to the temple. He is the first retainer to earn Myne’s trust and becomes her right-hand man.
- A young grey-robed girl who is placed as Myne’s retainer. She is out to annoy and frustrate Myne on the High Bishop’s orders, hoping she will grow up to be his concubine if she’s successful. After Myne threatens to send her back to the orphanage, she changes her ways and serves Myne faithfully but still retains her snarky attitude.