As much as there are ongoing elements of Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation that I’m not hugely fond of, one thing I can’t criticise is the anime’s ability to make me care about characters (even characters I don’t much like such as Rudeus). And the reason I get that I genuinely care about these characters is that episode 15 takes a chill from all the perils of trying to cross the ocean and getting involved in a smuggling ring and just has Rudeus, Eris and Ruijerd waiting out the rainy season in the beast-man village and still manages to be a highly enjoyable watch.
It is good to see Eris back in focus in this episode of Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation
One issue I’ve had with the episodes we’ve seen of part two of Jobless Reincarnation so far is that they’ve been very Rudeus focused. Which makes sense given he’s our reincarnated protagonist. However Eris had more or less become background; or worse, a prop. She was someone for Rudeus to protect. She was the muscle when needed. The comic relief in getting motion sick. Or the object of fan-service.
Which, let’s be honest, that last one doesn’t change in episode 15 as the episode opens with Eris and two of the beast girls romping naked in water while Rudeus spies on them through a hole in a box. Though maybe this is just equal opportunity fan-service given Rudeus started episode 14 completely naked and stranded in a cage.
It was kind of a sad down-grade for the fiery red-haired character who from her introduction mid-way through season one of Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation managed to be pretty much the most memorable character and a good companion for Rudeus (when she wasn’t being a shrieking brat).
Episode 15 finally puts some of the focus back on Eris as Rudeus largely takes a passive role this week.
Eris befriends two of the children of the beast-man tribe however this closeness leads to her ring getting noticed. Now the ring was a gift from her sword master, the beast-woman who was protecting her back in season one. Turns out there’s some history.
What follows is some emotional wounds being opened on both sides of the story with Eris having to come to terms with the fact that her master might have a past and isn’t universally loved and the members of the beast-man village having to accept that the girl who left their village changed after leaving them.
In the grand scheme of things this doesn’t advance Rudeus’ journey and doesn’t seem overly important but it is a nice bit of character work and reminded me of a few key points from season one that had started to fade a bit from memory. The end result also helps me to see that as much as Eris likes to be Eris, she’s grown up a lot since we first met her in Jobless Reincarnation.
It isn’t all just sitting around moping though as Eris takes on the task of teaching one of the girls sword-play and it is kind of nice just to sit back and watch them have at it.
By the end of the episode, the rain has come to an end and it is time for the group to get back on the road, plus one. There’s a long way still to go to get home, we have an ominous story about sacred beasts only appearing in times of peril, and now there’s also a story about the seven strongest warriors in the world who all have really comic book sounding names.
For an episode that essentially just let the characters take a time-out between journeys, Jobless Reincarnation really focused in on its strengths and put together a solid episode that is entertaining in its own way, bridges us from one journey to the next, and continued to lay-down some ground work for potential future plot points. Not a lot to complain about there.
You can read the full review of Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation part 2 here.
Images from: Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Part 2. Dir. M Okamoto. Studio Bind. 2021
Thank-you for reading 100 Word Anime.
Join the discussion in the comments.