Bibliophile Princess Review

Bibliophile Princess, also known as Mushikaburi-hime, is an anime series by Madhouse (the same studios responsible for titles such as Death Note, One Punch Man, Hunter X Hunter, No Game No Life, and many more popular anime) and is based off the Japanese light novel series written by Yui and illustrated by Satsuki Shiina. It was serialized online from September 2015 to January 2022 on the user-generated novel publishing website Shōsetsuka ni Narō. It was later acquired by Ichijinsha, who has released seven volumes since July 2016 under their Iris NEO label. A manga adaptation with art by Yui Kikuta has been serialized via Ichijinsha’s josei manga magazine Monthly Comic Zero Sum since August 2018. It has been collected in seven tankōbon volumes. The light novels and manga are both licensed in North America by J-Novel Club. An anime television series adaptation by Madhouse aired from October to December 2022. The anime series consists of 12 episodes of 23 minutes each. Similar anime recommendations include Snow White with the Red Hair (a personal favorite), and Ascendance of a Bookworm (also a personal favorite).

The main character of this anime is Elianna Bernstein. Elianna is unique in that she is known as the Bibilophile Princess, who comes from a family of bibliophiles. By the standards of her predecessors, she is considered as somewhat of a national treasure that benefits the Kingdom as the “brains of Sauslind” but chooses to be politically neutral in the sight of conflict. Being a bibliophile and a bookworm herself, she agrees to Christopher Selkirk Ashelard’s proposal, the crown prince of the kingdom, for the benefit of her being able to read books undisturbed and for the Prince to stop being spammed with proposals and matches. Elianna chooses to house herself in Sauslind’s royal library just for the added perks of being able to access the royal archives and read all day long, which consequently earns the ire of many others in the kingdom’s walls as she is not “noble enough” and completely ignores the happenings and proceedings, and most importantly, the crown prince Christopher himself in order to read.

The narrative sees Eli fall in love with Chris and this is where her self-doubt starts. While she is remarkable in her own way and very intelligent Eli doesn’t have a very strong character. Chris has been in love with her since their childhood days though for some reason that has yet to be explained (in a second season perhaps?) Eli has no recollection of her time spent with him as children. Chris basically bribes her to get engaged to him in hopes of her falling in love with him then for the duration of their relationship he makes plans behind her back in an attempt to show the rest of the kingdom her worthiness to be his wife. This is the cause for a lot of internal conflict for Eli because she doesn’t realize when she earns an achievement that benefits the kingdom and no one tells her either.

I may have overhyped myself for this anime when I started watching it, being a book-lover myself I felt that this anime had a main character I could relate to, but I must admit I was a little disappointed in how soft and fragile Eli’s character is. Mostly the anime was also one big tease as Eli and Chris would grow closer and then apart again and although Chris made all of these advances on Eli its almost as though she didn’t even realize he actually really loves her (my eyes are rolled so far back at this point I could probably see out the back of my head). I will console myself in thinking that this is only because it’s the first season and the story is simply developing its foundation and that a second season will be far more interesting if they actually release a second season.


I won’t say the anime was entirely unenjoyable, but it wasn’t entirely satisfying. It’s a pretty chill anime so definitely watchable to kill some time or for a relaxed watch. I would like a second season because I’d like to know why Eli has no recollection of her childhood time spent with Chris. There’s also definitely material here for an Otome game if the characters could stop being so painfully reserved. I mean I admire Eli’s innocence but open your eyes woman and also stand up for yourself from time to time! I mean if you’re going to be queen, you’ll need some backbone.

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Character Development