Created By: shimaspawn on February 13, 2011 Last Edited By: shimaspawn on March 1, 2011
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Cute Bookworm

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A cute and brainy bibliophile, this trope embodies the Moe archetype as applied to a nerdy girl. She wanders around with her head in a book, and is ready to spout out facts at the drop of a hat. There's a tendency for her to be shy, young, quiet and socially awkward. Occasionally this is highlighted by having her wear glasses, or have her bangs in her face to hide her eyes. She'll almost always be more conservatively dressed than most of the cast.

This trope tends to be female, but there are male examples, though they tend to be younger males, or at least look it. Occupation wise they might be a scientist, a librarian, a schoolgirl, a Squishy Wizard, or something similar in nature.

May overlap with Badass Bookworm and Adorkable. Contrast Hot Librarian for an older more authoritative version. Subtrope of Bookworm.


Examples

Anime and Manga

Film

Webcomics
  • Criminy from Sinfest is a good male example, from inside his fort of books. His large eyes, intellect, and a sweet demeanour are what Fuchsia falls in love with.

Visual Novels
  • Hiroko in Yume Miru Kusuri which is immensely different from the 'normal' face she presents as Nekoko because her normal life pains her.
  • Kotomi in CLANNAD is very socially awkward, shy and ridiculously intelligent. She also reads to a fairly unhealthy extent.
  • Hanako in Katawa Shoujo, though the social isolation is actually due to a complex over her burn scars. The Peek-a-Bangs part of the trope are also for the same reason. Still a shy, quiet bookworm that covers her face, though.

Video Games
  • Tokimeki Memorial 1 has Mio Kisaragi, a cute and shy Meganekko who loves reading books (to the point of reading four of them per day), thus she spends a lot of her time at libraries, and she often helps at Kirameki High's one. It's also her who finds the Soccer Manual that'll help the protagonist improve his striker skills, during the storyline of the side game Nijiiro no Seishun.


Community Feedback Replies: 53
  • February 13, 2011
    Raso
    [1] good image, and here are some of the examples I know.

    • Male example: Yuuno Scrya of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. Head librarian of the Infinity Library but he grew up to be quite the bishie after the Time Skip.
      • And in a cute librarian example, we have Nanoha's daughter, Vivio, who was already a title librarian of the Infinity Library at the age of nine.
    • Nodoka from Mahou Sensei Negima fits this; she extremely bookish, wears her hair over her face and works at the school The Library Of Babel . Lord Of The Rings is in her top 10 books to have if she is ever stranded on a Deserted Island.
      • The other member's of the Library Exploration Committee apply as well as Yue and Haruna.
      • Negi himself is a Male version of this he absolutely loves books. His first visit to Library Island he was ecstatic at the shear amount of books.
    • Yomiko Readman from Read Or Die. her outright Innocent gitty-ness over books she spends thousands per week on books.

    Kind of unsure on this one if she is Hot or Cute since she is an Alien Space Babe
    • Mass Effect gives us Liara T'soni, who is referred to as "the bookish type" by another crewmember.
  • February 13, 2011
    shimaspawn
    Liara is more Badass Bookworm than either this or Hot Librarian. She's got the wrong attitude for both.
  • February 14, 2011
    Arivne
    Film
  • February 14, 2011
    AceNoctali
    Video Games
    • Tokimeki Memorial 1 has Mio Kisaragi, a cute and shy Meganekko who loves reading books (to the point of reading four of them per day), thus she spends a lot of her time at libraries, and she often helps at Kirameki High's one. It's also her who finds the Soccer Manual that'll help the protagonist improve his striker skills, during the storyline of the side game Nijiiro no Seishun.
  • February 14, 2011
    Xandriel
  • February 14, 2011
    Tiiba
    Sheska from Full Metal Alchemist. Memorized the whole library, and cute as a button.
  • February 14, 2011
    Arha
    Manga
    • Shiori from The World God Only Knows to the extent that Keima actually begins grading her according to the librarian girl archetype from his beloved dating sims.

    Visual Novels
    • Hiroko in Yume Miru Kusuri which is immensely different from the 'normal' face she presents as Nekoko because her normal life pains her.
    • Kotomi in Clannad is very socially awkward, shy and ridiculously intelligent. She also reads to a fairly unhealthy extent.

    The Tokimeki Memorial example would also go here under Visual Novels. Yue and Haruna from Negima are not examples. They're librarians, kind of, but they don't really fit the trope. Negi does fit. As for the definition, the examples noted so far don't really support glasses being that common. Other common traits include normally being quiet and social awkwardness.

    As for images, I have two Shiori examples here. This is the first and this is the second. There may be better out there since it was something of a quick search.
  • February 14, 2011
    shimaspawn
    Examples have been added and removed. Glasses in the images initially shown seem common but not universal. They aren't a required bit of the trope, but they're something associated with the archetype in peoples heads. I did tweak the glasses bit. How does it look now?

    As for the images, they'll be added to the image picking crowner when we're done here. She looks a bit more Otaku in those images though.
  • February 14, 2011
    Arha
    The thing about glasses or bangs is a good touch. I agree with you on that and wouldn't have thought of it myself. I'm not sure why you think she looks like an otaku there, but we can talk about that in the image picking when it comes up.
  • February 14, 2011
    JusticeReaper
    Wouldn't this fall under Nerds Are Sexy?
  • February 14, 2011
    Raso
    ^You do not have to be a nerd to like books and you do not have to like books to be a nerd, especially in Anime where the common look on what we see as "Nerd" does not apply. And this is "Cute / Moe" not "Sexy" That is Hot Librarian.

    ^^^Otaku? "an otaku is an obsessive, unhealthy, and almost encyclopedic knowledge of their chosen topic." a BookOtaku would fit under this quite well, what most think of when they hear the term as Otaku is usually shown with massive amounts of anime or manga material and under Cosplay Otaku Girl. That image shows nothing of the sort it shows she likes books which is this trope.

    However Cute Manga Otakus would probably fit under this too. Like Nagi from Hayate No Gotoku, Harumi Fujiyoshi Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. Haruna Saotome from Negima

    EDIT: Why did ya remove Haruna from the Negima entry? The Entire Library Trio fits.
  • February 14, 2011
    shimaspawn
    The way the books are drawn makes them look like just stacks of manga. Something a bit more booklike would be nice. They aren't bad. I just think we could do better based on some of the images that have been shown.
  • February 14, 2011
    AceNoctali
    I'm not too fond of Tokimeki Memorial 1, a Dating Sim, being lumped into the Visual Novel section, but I did talk about Tokimeki Memorial Nijiiro no Seishun, a pure Visual Novel Gaiden Game of the franchise, so I'll let it slide.

    I've found two pics of Mio Kisaragi, they'll make at the very least good stuff for the Image Links page of the trope: [1] [2]
  • February 14, 2011
    Arha
    Haruna definitely isn't an example Raso. Yue might be. They're library girls, but they're not really this trope. It's not just being a cute girl who reads. That is why otaku like Nagi don't fit under this either. Way too boisterous.
  • February 14, 2011
    Generality
    Evey starts out this way in The Mummy, before she levels up to Badass Bookworm.
  • February 14, 2011
    shimaspawn
    Yes, this is a personality trope as much as an appearance trope. They need to have a cute personality. Not loud or over the top.
  • February 15, 2011
    Raso
    Its been forever since I have watched it but

    • The older members of the Trio from ROD The TV massive book lovers and all have some of the same moe qualities toward books as Readman, Anita (The youngest) is specifically Tsundere toward books.

    They don't have a very specific look to them though . and only some find Tsundere cute.
  • February 15, 2011
    shimaspawn
    I don't think Tsundere is this trope.
  • February 15, 2011
    Raso
    The other two are this trope, But Tsundere is YMMV I think.

    [1] Good image?
  • February 15, 2011
    Sikon
    Define "socially awkward". I keep seeing this term thrown around on this wiki like everyone automatically agrees on what it means.
  • February 15, 2011
    Raso
    They dont exactly socialize with people and if they do it they tend to be shy or misunderstand what things mean and prefer actual books to actual people.
  • February 15, 2011
    Arha
    By socially awkward, I mean they're generally quiet and have a hard time knowing what to talk about. For example, Kotomi in Clannad would begin talking about advanced physics and has no idea how to introduce herself. Also thinks everyone might be a potential bully. Or Shiori in TWGOK finds it nearly impossible to talk to people. When she does, she often says things she regrets or stumbles on her speech. Panics easily too.

    That kind of thing. A lot of the type it can be less drastic and simply be shyness or being too quiet.
  • February 15, 2011
    shimaspawn
    A laconic of Socially Awkward would be "Makes frequent blunders in social situations."
  • February 16, 2011
    Raso
    [1]?
  • February 18, 2011
    Arha
    Can we clean up some of the examples such as the Haruhi one? It's using What The Hell Hero wrong and is a bit of a run on sentence and stuff.
  • February 18, 2011
    shimaspawn
    Go ahead. I haven't touched the anime ones because I don't know enough about them to fix them.
  • February 18, 2011
    Arha
    I fixed it up a little and added something about adorkable to the related tropes bit since this trope almost always seems to go with it.
  • February 20, 2011
    Arha
    Edited something now so it won't have to be done later.

    Are we basically ready to go on this trope? I don't want it to be forgotten and die off.
  • February 20, 2011
    Heatth
    Isn't Yuki some kind of subversion? She has looks like one and has has many of characteristics of a Cute Bookwormm but her Emotionless Girl personality kinda disqualify for the trope (she is not 'shy' nor has a 'cute' personality). Her alternate self is a text book example, though.

    Also, as it was said by Ace Noctali, Tokimeki Memorial is not a Visual Novel. It should go to under Video Games.
  • February 20, 2011
    Raso
    The way Kyon tells the story she still comes off as a Cute Bookworm and the way he tells how little emotions are coming though like in how she wanted to beat the computer club, but yes her Movie self is a textbook example of this... probably a perfect place for an image too.
  • February 20, 2011
    Heatth
    I don't remember Kyon portraying her as a Cute Bookworm at any point. When her emotions comes up it is certainly 'cute' but, while she is definitivelly a 'Bookworm', it still doesn't make her a Cutebookworm. Her apparent personality doesn't fit at all. She is far off the stereotype.

    Still, she should quite obviously be listed on the trope. She is an explicit subversion. One expect her to be one, to the point her alternate self personality was made to match her appearance. Even some characters in-seres acts as she is one (mainly Haruhi in Book eight).

    Coming to think now, I think she is more zig zagged. As I said, she appears to be a subversion at first. But after the movie, it is open the interpretation that she is a Cute Bookworm who just happen to be an Emotionless Girl as well (there are who defends her actual personality is quite close the one in Desappearance).
  • February 21, 2011
    bradpara
    Hanako in the Visual Novel Katawa Shoujo
  • February 21, 2011
    shimaspawn
    ^ You need to give me more than X Just X before I can add it to the example list.

    ^^ I am honestly really lost there as I've never seen the series. Just tweak that example until it's right and don't make it too terribly long.
  • February 21, 2011
    Arha
    I fixed up the Haruhi and Beauty And The Beast examples as well as moving the Tokimeki Memorial example. Are you sure that's really a video game? I've never played it, but I thought it was basically a dating sim. And dating sims are visual novels.

    I don't know enough about Katawa Shoujo to make an example for Hanako. You're going to need to elaborate.
  • February 21, 2011
    Heatth
    ^Dating Sim are not, necessarily, Visual Novels. Many of them (specially the old ones, like Tokimeki Memorial) have extensive simulation gameplay. They are close to a simplified The Sims then to your average Visual Novel. They do have Visual Novel-ish interface, though, during the story moments. But you could think on it as cut scenes. The key difference is a Visual Novel is much more a 'novel' while an old style Dating Sim is more like a 'game'.

    About Hanako, she is a very textbook example (quiet, shy enough to run away from the main character, Peak A Bang). The key feature is she is like that because of her horrid face scars (she don't like facing people because this mean people are facing her injury). Sorry for not trying to write a proper example myself, but I am really not good at writing. =/ I make things too big.
  • February 21, 2011
    Raso
    God lets not get into the Dating Sim vs Visual Novels again the image picking thread went on for 7 pages of debate on it with nothing resolved.

    [1][2][3] one of these?

  • February 21, 2011
    shimaspawn
    Cropped too far in.
  • February 22, 2011
    Arha
    I'd prefer to talk about the images in an image picking thread or something personally. I liked the Shiori images I had, though they may need some cropping.
  • February 22, 2011
    Euodiachloris
    Isn't this already covered in Adorkable, Moe and Bookworm? I'm not sure we need another variant... Sorry.
  • February 22, 2011
    Heatth
    It is covered in all of these, yes. Howver, this is pretty much an anime stock archetype. This is being created because it was noticed there were a lot of people adding these kind of character into Hot Librarian.
  • February 23, 2011
    Raso
    ^^ its a specific type of the last two of them and specifically contrasts Hot Librarian. These characters do not have to be Adorkable. An alt title for this would be Moe Bookworm.
  • February 23, 2011
    Arha
    ^^^ It's a pretty well recognized character type that has seen lampshade hangings and subversions. So even if it overlaps with those other tropes to an extent it's still a valid trope.
  • February 27, 2011
    Heatth
    Bump.

    I think we can launch it already, right?
  • February 27, 2011
    sushimonkey
    Fred from Angel
  • February 27, 2011
    Raso
    Yeah launch IMO and get the image picking discussion going there are a lot of options and I grabbed a few screens of Yuki from disappearance.
  • February 27, 2011
    shimaspawn
    I added that it's a subtrope of Bookworm as being a Bookworm is actually a requirement to be a Cute Bookworm. We should probably move the examples on this page off that one.
  • February 27, 2011
    Raso
    If we are going to do that then we should probably steal the Pic off Bookworm too for this trope.
  • February 27, 2011
    Arha
    Why? It's fine where it is and we'd just have to find a replacement. In fact, in that picture she looks a little too... energetic, shall we say, for this trope.
  • February 28, 2011
    Mattonymy
    Do we have to use the term "moe" to describe the character? Moe might be good for the sub paragraphs where it describes how the trope can be found in Anime examples, but using it immediately in the first sentence makes the trope seem like it's a primarily Eastern Only trope.
  • March 1, 2011
    Raso
    ^ uhh have you even read Moe? It is not just an anime trope.
  • March 1, 2011
    Arha
    I also think the word moe should be worked in later in the article if it's there at all, personally. Do you have a suggestion for how it can be worded better?
  • March 1, 2011
    Mattonymy
    @Arha- Certainly. The basic laconic for Moe is "Cuteness and Adorability" but a common trait is that they are extremely shy subversive characters. Since it has already been established that the character is cute, using something like Shrinking Violet could easily get this trope across without making the trope seem too "Anime" biased.

    If Moe isn't a Japanese term it's sure categorized as one.
  • March 1, 2011
    shimaspawn
    If no one replies to this by the time I wake up I'm just going to launch the damn thing and we can revise it more there.
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