One can mistakenly believe that Lady Elianna Bernstein is only a writer of novels. In fact, the first episode of Bibliophile Princess seems to intentionally forward that plot line as the most of what we see is Eli in the library or simply relaxing with her cherished books. Given that Eli narrated the first episode in the first person of the source text, it could seem like an unusual choice to make, but I believe it makes the second episode more striking.. By starting with a purely literary Elianna, we get a sense of how she perceives the world: through the pages of a book, which she then analyzes and utilizes to inform her understanding of the surroundings. By keeping viewers mostly in the dark about anything outside of herself, the program is showing how Lady Irene came to the conclusion that Eli would be an easily replaced doormat, which is not what everyone expects of her, both as the prince’s fiancée and as a noble lady.
Seeing Irene portray a scene from a book like Bibliophile Princess, which we are all so acquainted with, is also kind of entertaining: a quick read. There probably won’t be a light novel among the numerous books Eli has available to read—much less one with a villainess at its center—because Eli’s universe is roughly modeled on 18th or 19th century Europe. She therefore has no reason to notice what is evident to us—that Irene is following all the rules of the villainous playbook, from framing the main character to attempting to make out with the love interest. There are some similarities between Irene’s behavior and that of characters like Caroline Bingley from Pride and Prejudice, although Eli is unlikely to notice that Irene is more like the game’s original Aileen Autriche than Caroline Bingley.
Fortunately for her, Christopher has reportedly been preoccupied for the past eight years planning how he may win Elianna’s hand in marriage. In episode three, he describes his long-standing love for her only to be horrified to remember that she only started falling for him a lot more recently. Though it may be hard for him, it demonstrates to Eli (and to us) that he has been sincere about her from the beginning.. In other words, while Eli was busy thinking his carefully considered proposal to allow her to keep living her biblio-centric lifestyle was just him putting on a show, what he was actually doing was trying really hard to show her that he loves and respects her for who she is and that he doesn’t need her to change. He gives her a secure and comfortable method to grow acclimated to him and his assistants when he offers to let her read in his office, and when he says she doesn’t have to exert herself to attend events, he is letting her know that he knows what she isn’t comfortable with.. By framing their connection as one of love and respect for one another, it becomes incredibly romantic and charming.
It’s true that these three episodes work best together. They effectively build on one another, painting a more complete picture of Chris and Eli and their relationship than any one of the three does on its own. Elianna doesn’t appear very interested in what’s being suppressed, which is certainly not ideal even though the males are purposefully hiding things from her.. Due to the switch from first to third-person narrative, we also don’t get a complete image of the breadth of her reading, although the clues that she enjoys reading primary and secondary sources on a certain issue do give us a sense of this. Furthermore, I find her static reading stances to be acceptable even if they are not aesthetically appealing because I generally read while sitting stationary.
The target audience for Bibliophile Princess’ original novels leans more toward josei, and I believe it is reflected in the pacing of this adaptation. There isn’t a rush to advance the plot quickly; instead, the author has faith that the audience would follow the slower narrative. I’m pleased with how things is going so far, however that might not work for everyone.