Ascendance of a Bookworm is coming back with a brand new season, and it's expected to be one of the best isekai anime coming out in 2022. The isekai fantasy anime differs from what we're used to seeing in the subgenre, not only because it has a young female bookworm as its main character, but also because the manner of the protagonist's reincarnation is a bit complicated, as she appears to have taken over an existing child's body. So, what happened to the real Myne in Ascendance of a Bookworm?
About Ascendance of a Bookworm
Ascendance of a Bookworm is an isekai anime the story of Urano Motsu, a book lover working towards her dream to become a librarian. Ironically, the 22-year-old is literally killed by books when she's crushed under them during an earthquake. Does she get her dying wish, to read more books? Yes, and no.
Urano gets a second chance at life, but the setting she finds herself in isn't one that fosters bookworms, as she's been reincarnated in the body of a 5-year-old girl in Medieval times when books are scarce.
Myne won't let this stop her, though. She's determined to keep reading, even if she has to make the books herself! But are we talking about the original Myne, Urano, or a combination of both?
What Happened to the Real Myne?
It is implied, though not explicitly confirmed, that the real Myne, who was ill, died, and Urano took over her body. Let's break this down a bit:
Isekai anime typically feature two main ways in which a character can be transported to another world. Either through reincarnation and rebirth as a new person, as is the case with Mushoku Tensei, or through the inexplicable transportation of an existing character, as in The Saint's Magic Power Is Omnipotent.
The case with Urano and Myne is a little different because Urano only becomes conscious of the reincarnation when Myne is five years old, implying there was another Myne, whose body and identity were taken over by Urano.
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Of course, there are further implications; Myne, as a person, might be the reincarnation of Urano, who only retrieved Urano's memory at the age of five, when she suffered from a serious fever. This is supported by the fact that Myne always had dreams about Urano's world, which would be unlikely for a medieval child.
Moreover, since she became aware of her past as Urano, the main character has kept Myne's memories, suggesting a merge, rather than a complete annihilation of Myne's personality.
As is typically the case with isekai shows, Ascendance of a Bookworm doesn't dwell on the manner of the main character's reincarnation for too long, instead focusing on their experiences in a new world. We might never know exactly what happened to the real Myne, which might be disturbing for some viewers, but, at least, part of her still lives, and further episodes or manga chapters might reveal more about her connection with Urano.