October 21, 2019

It's looking Like a Keeper

Three episodes in Ascendance of a Bookworm seems to be living up to its initial promise.

It appears to be a very low budget show animation and art wise, but the story of a librarian who finds herself stuck in a 5-year old body in a parallel world's dark ages remains quite engaging.

Our heroine is saddled with myriad obstacles (for one thing, she's stuck in a 5 year old's body) but she's really determined and I particularly like that not everything she tries works, more-so that she learns from her mistakes and tries different things.

This is actually better than I'd hoped. I initially thought she was a Renfaire enthusiast and/or had experience making paper for calligraphy, but no. It turns out that Urano/Main doesn't actually have any hands on or technical knowledge of what she's trying to do. However, she has some historical knowledge of vaguely how it happened in our world and given that she KNOWS it can be done, she's doing experiments to figure out for herself, how to make a book.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 05:02 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 I love that she fails at simple things for good reasons, and then picks herself up and applies the lesson she just learned to her next experiment.  And also that she realistically starts with a half-remembered chapter in a book or a TV documentary she watched five years ago.

There's a manga called Jin about a surgeon who gets dropped into the mid 19th century and decides to invent penicillin seventy years early.  But he's a surgeon, not a biochemist; he sort of vaguely knows what penicillin is and how to purify chemicals from his undergrad days, but he has to reinvent the whole process based on 19th century technology.  (And then once he starts to get somewhere the local guild of quacks burns his factory down because he's ruining their business.) 

Posted by: Pixy Misa at Mon Oct 21 23:04:36 2019 (PiXy!)

2 Actually, making long-lasting Imperial-grade Japanese paper is a process that involves a lot of steps from basket-weaving, because they make it from strips of bark from a particular tree.
(Hidive has this great live-action show, 100 Sights of Ancient Cities, that is nothing but Japanese crafts from the San-in region. There are several episodes with segments about Japanese papermaking, calligraphy, and prints.)

Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Tue Oct 29 12:28:55 2019 (sF8WE)

3 It turns out that Western civilization used to have a sophisticated abacus-like system for doing math by counting on one's fingers and joints on one hand, with specific hand and finger positions denoting specific numbers. (The pinky finger is left out of the system, which shows a lot of realism about human control of musculature.)
The ancient Greeks and Romans used it a lot, and it survived into the Middle Ages. Bede's book on reckoning apparently gives the most complete description, but there are several other sources in various languages and from various periods. The system did not change, because it worked. Some learned it in school, but most from their parents or other people in their lives.

So yeah, Roman numerals were not really used for math, but the abacus and one's fingers were. So you didn't need to be able to write in order to do math.

Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at Tue Oct 29 12:38:59 2019 (sF8WE)

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