So a few things to discuss with the latest episode of Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation.
We begin the episode with another flashback to the initial disaster but this time from Lilia’s point of view and as the light rushed toward her she instinctively grabbed Aisha to shield her. The two of them then found themselves underwater and had to struggle in dark waters to reach the shore. And then they just kind of walk up to the city and the prince, who just happened to be near the gate and overheard them asking about Roxy, took them captive.
It’s a little bit of a rushed version of how did we get here but it then means Jobless Reincarnation can spend more time on the important things. Such as Rudeus’ jokes about his accommodation and the other prince’s obsession with the figurine Rudeus had made of Roxy when he was younger.
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation keeps its eye on the important things.
I guess we’ll just have this as a running gag every time Rudeus gets taken prisoner that he’ll describe his new accommodation in terms of being an apartment. It was kind of amusing when Jobless Reincarnation did it in the village though here it feels a little more tired and like a little less effort was put into it. Possibly that is because this prison is significantly less scenic than his last one but while I get the joke I didn’t find this round as amusing.
Also, unlike his previous prison, it is quite clear Rudeus can’t get out of this one alone whereas in the previous cage it was fairly clear he could have left at any time if he’d chosen to do so.
Instead, here Jobless Reincarnation brings along Pax’s brother who comes off as a really over-the-top collector who is obsessed with Rudeus’ figurines. He had the Roxy figure that Rudeus had made when he was younger and recognised the same work in the Ruijerd figures that Rudeus is now distributing.
Though, that Roxy figurine with the detachable clothing seems like it had a lot more thought put into it and is also quite creepy when you consider the age Rudeus was when he made it (and yes I get he’s a reincarnated middle-aged man but I’m not sure if that makes it less or more creepy). Again Jobless Reincarnation walks that fine line for me in terms of viewing that I’m comfortable with.
So pretty much Rudeus tells the obsessed prince that he could teach him or something if he gets him out of the prison and after futilely trying to break it, the prince decides that he just has to do something about his brother, Pax, and it will be sorted.
Then we get a very rushed explanation that the obsessed prince is actually super strong and once ripped the head off one of his other brothers.
That kind of came out of nowhere.
And just like that Jobless Reincarnation brings all the characters together with the guards having asked Ruijerd to save their families so they could betray Pax, and Eris and Aisha just kind of coming along because staying put where they were asked was too much effort.
If I’m honest, it feels like episode 20 of Jobless Reincarnation took a lot of narrative short-cuts. Like they knew this situation was too complex to really be resolved this episode but just rushed through things and cut corners to get to the resolution. Whatever the case, it feels like the pace is off. Whether it was the gag with the prison description, the backstory on the Prince’s or Ruijerd and Eris’ role everything just felt kind of dropped in and then moved on from without a lot of thought or finesse.
We do however get a happy ending with Aisha and Lilia rescued so, yay? We don’t get to hear any of Rudeus’ thoughts on the god who gave him the advice this time and he never seems to consider that if the god had given him more information or different information things may have resolved easier without the whole imprisonment thing.
While Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation continues to overall be entertaining enough viewing, this episode didn’t quite hit the mark. The plot does everything it needs to and we get a sweet family moment at the end but it just felt too hasty in trying to get there.
I’m hoping this is because they are trying to get to an actual resolution before the end of this season and that it won’t just stop mid-story again, though maybe that’s being overly optimistic.
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
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