“I want to have your kittens, Meow.” Bold of Eris in this episode of Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation to utter such a line. I’m not sure whether to cringe or laugh, though clearly she knew her audience well because Rudeus most definitely responded.
I’m kind of fixating on that line largely because I’m not sure what to make of the rest of the episode. After such a long journey together in the space of one episode Rudeus loses both traveling companions and we end this episode (or close enough), the second last of the season, with him standing alone in a tent. I’ve called Rudeus pathetic before but he looks so small here and honestly I’m just not sure where the story is going now or what the next step of the journey is.
If there is one thing Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation has repeatedly reinforced, it is that life moves on.
On the one hand, it makes sense given how Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation has played out up until this point. Rudeus’ second life has been full of phases and then changes. Whether it was learning magic from Roxy, tutoring Eris or the initial journey from the demon continent, nothing lasts forever and that definitely gives us a sense that this is a real character who continues to grow and respond to the events around him.
On the other hand, with the constant flux of locations and characters and objectives, other than seeing Rudeus live a slightly better life this time around, there’s no real sense that we’re heading toward a final goal. And episodes like this one leave you feeling like Rudeus’ journey, whether he lives well or not, whether he is strong or not, is ultimately futile.
That’s a little depressing.
The situation for Eris is just as bad if not worse. She’s not even the protagonist so a lot of her struggles have been side-lined and yet her character has arguably grown the most.
Still hurts a lot though to see her react after being told her parents died after being teleported and her grandfather was executed. Though if that isn’t enough pain for one encounter by all means subordinate throw in the fact that some lord wants to take Eris as his concubine. Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation sure knows how to kick characters when they are down.
And all of this comes after the farewell to Ruijerd who has protected, trained, and supported the pair since they arrived on the demon continent. I get the original plan was to get them home but surely after travelling so long together plans might change. It seemed really arbitrary for him just to suddenly decide to head off on his own.
Hopefully this isn’t the last we’ll see of him given he does say see you later, but now with Eris heading off with Ghislaine you have to wonder if the trio we’ve travelled with for so long at this point will get back together.
It’s been a long journey from where we started in Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation, and there’s definitely a sense that times are moving on and characters have to move with them, which makes this feel quite different to so many stories that seem determined to keep the status quo even when it makes no sense. But it does leave you feeling a sense of sadness that a core group of characters that have really bonded have now been split apart.
I do wonder what the final episode of this series will bring and where they will leave Rudeus on this journey. And yes, somehow I suspect another season will be needed unless Jobless Reincarnation plans to try to wrap everything up in twenty minutes but that seems really unlikely.
Read the full review for Part 2 of Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation here.
Images from: Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Part 2. Dir. M Okamoto. Studio Bind. 2021
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