Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation is a fantasy isekai story with magic and sword play and the usual kind of things I love from the genre. It also has a protagonist who at times entertains fairly lecherous thoughts and once or twice has taken things over the line from playful fan-service to actually quite questionable content (guess that’s why the ecchi label is applied).
I ended season one with very mixed feelings but overall I quite enjoyed the plot and seeing Rudeus’ growth. I particularly liked the tone of the final arc which hadn’t concluded so I was very keen to continue watching because I wanted to see what Jobless Reincarnation would do with it. So here we are with the continuation.
Returning to the world of Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation
Interestingly, episode 12 doesn’t give the viewer any kind of recap or overview of the journey so far. No narration to remind us of what is going on or who the characters are. Instead we just get straight into seeing Rudeus, Eris and Ruijerd reaching the ocean and learning that passage home for the kids is going to cost them far too many coins due to Ruijerd’s presence.
Perhaps they made the sensible decision that the only people watching Part 2 of a series are people who did in fact watch part one and they would more or less remember what was happening given it hasn’t been all that long since part one aired.
That said, if you have forgotten any key plot points, you aren’t going to be reminded of them.
Instead, Jobless Reincarnation decides to remind us of Rudeus’ more adult nature by an inner monologue as Eris begins to strip off to swim in the ocean. She doesn’t end up showing any skin at all being stopped from her swim by the threat of monsters, however Rudeus’ thoughts of the 13 year old given in his adult internal voice make this opening scene slightly uncomfortable viewing. Which at least means that this anime is going to stand by its tone from season one and if you didn’t like that you probably won’t be continuing on.
There’s one other decidedly fan-service driven moment in this episode after Rudeus saves a demon from starvation and the young girl begins removing her pants but otherwise this first episode has a solid focus on advancing the plot.
After being given instructions by that white god thing in his head, Rudeus encounters the demon girl in an alley and ends up feeding her. This in turn leads to her giving him a demonic eye.
I found this whole sequence with the eye to be quite interesting and seeing Rudeus learning to use it and putting it into practice in a match against Eris was very solidly done. It did kind of remind me of Sven from Black Cat in that Rudy’s eye now lets him see a few seconds into the future but I guess we’ve seen similar powers in a number of characters. I do want to know if there’s any downside to Rudy’s eye though because at the moment other than having to learn to use it there doesn’t seem to be any consequence.
There’s also a fairly serious tone toward the end as Rudeus realises he’s got very few options in getting Eris back home as they can’t afford the fee for the ship. Jobless Reincarnation surprised me a few times in the first part by having these far more serious character moments interspersed throughout the over the top fan service moments and the usual isekai silliness. Weirdly, they work and the tone doesn’t feel jarring. It more feels like the show knows when to take a breath and let the characters actually work through something.
The conversation between Rudeus and Ruijerd is well delivered and reminds you clearly of these characters priorities and their relationship and also demonstrates how they’ve grown since meeting one another. It’s a solid note to end the episode on even before the guy Rudeus saved earlier in the episode shows up.
Basically, those who liked Jobless Reincarnation back in season one will probably find more of what they enjoyed here. For me, they’ve dropped us straight back into an arc I was enjoying and while this anime is still giving me somewhat mixed feelings at times I’m still finding the plot and character growth interesting. I’m very much looking forward to how this season continues.
Images from: Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Part 2. Dir. M Okamoto. Studio Bind. 2021
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