Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Part 2 Episode 16 – The Long Awaited Reunion Turns Sour Quickly

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 16 Review
https://otakuauthor.com/

I made it clear in my episode 15 review of Jobless Reincarnation and in my first season review that I am not a fan of Rudeus’ character. He’s really not a character I will talk of fondly or collect anything with him on it. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy what Jobless Reincarnation is doing as a story because I actually do like a lot about this series, but Rudeus isn’t really one of them.

He’s more a character I don’t mind seeing things go badly for because so often they go badly because of his own poor choices or things go badly after he’s done something really obnoxious and it kind of feels more like instant karma.

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 16

Jobless Reincarnation swiftly reminded me of both Rudeus’ and Paul’s character faults.

Episode 16 of Jobless Reincarnation delivers Eris, Rudy and Ruijerd to a human city where Rudeus intends to take on some jobs and earn some more money so they can get another ship back home. However, things don’t exactly go to plan when Rudeus spies what he believes to be a kidnapping and decides to try to rescue the victim.

Basically, his actions take him face to face with a much more haggard looking Paul than the womanising man we met in season one. And if I thought Paul in season one was pretty terrible as a parent his efforts in this episode more or less nail the impression.

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 16

Jobless Reincarnation wastes no time this episode in reminding us of both of these character’s failings. Rudeus reverts to his more perverted self when he taunts a swordswoman by licking the inside of her underwear that for reasons that make no sense (given he announces the name of his party) he is wearing on his head as some kind of disguise and then rather than fighting her seriously spends most the time dodging and staring at her jiggling breasts.

Then we have Paul. On finding out his son has survived and crossed continents, keeping Eris alive and taking on adventures to earn money, rather than any relief or happiness, Paul decides anger and blame are the way to go. Why didn’t Rudeus do more? Why didn’t he go about trying to save others who had been transported around the world (others he didn’t even know about)? How dare he not be a miserable wreck?

Wow, every single moment that Paul spoke to Rudeus made me want to walk up and slap him (which in fairness is possibly what they were going for).

Jobless Reincarnation episode 16

Instead of the reunion between father and son being a joyous occasion, Jobless Reincarnation manages to make it decidedly uncomfortable viewing as both characters cross lines, make assumptions, and fail horrifically at communicating and neither one really gets anything but pain from the encounter.

The thing is, Jobless Reincarnation is doing a great job. It isn’t a grim-dark story relying on shock deaths and buckets of blood and grotesque imagery to make an impact. It also isn’t this light and airy power-fantasy that we’ve seen so many times before in isekai stories. Jobless Reincarnation is gritty with characters that aren’t always right or nice but also aren’t just human scum. They’ve balanced out the moments they succeed with the times they fail, their positive moments with their faults, and the story isn’t always comfortable watching but that’s what makes it interesting in a somewhat saturated genre and it makes those lighter moments all the more special and enjoyable.

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 16

One of the things I did love about this episode was after the scene with Paul, when Rudeus returns to the hotel room and Eris finds him sitting in the dark quite miserable. She doesn’t know exactly what has happened or why but she makes a genuine effort to offer comfort to Rudeus. While episode 15 did an excellent job of showing us how far Eris has come, this moment really solidified that the Eris we’re seeing now values her companions and when they are hurting she wants to comfort them even if she’s not sure how.

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 16

It was a touching moment and while it wasn’t exactly a high note to end on (given my heart was still a little bit in tatters by just how wrong everything went with Rudeus and Paul’s reunion) Jobless Reincarnation managed to give us this little bit of sweetness after the bitter taste left by so much of the episode.

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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Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Part 2 Episode 15 – Waiting For The Rain and Understanding People Change

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 15 Review
https://otakuauthor.com/

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.

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 15

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).

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 15

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.

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 15

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.

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 15

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


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Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Part 2 Episode 14 – False Imprisonment and Fire

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 14 Review
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Directly following on from the end of episode 13 of Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation where Rudeus is taken prisoner after returning to the smugglers den to save the sacred beast and getting caught by the beast-men who were also there to save it and the children that had already been rescued, episode 14 spends a lot of time with Rudeus in his new accommodation: A hanging prison in a beast-man village.

Jobless Reincarnation has a good mix of humour, tension, and then action in this episode.

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 14

Rudeus describing his prison as the opening to this episode was actually pretty entertaining. While I often find his internal thoughts intrusive to the story or at times creepy, here the humour really worked, and watching him over the next four days as he stared out of the prison or flopped onto the floor continued the joke nicely. However, they didn’t let it got stale. Just when the situation could have started getting tedious, Jobless Reincarnation mixed things up by giving Rudeus a cell mate and then things took a turn for the far more serious.

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 14

Before we get on to the events later in the episode, I just have to wonder what it is about villages in forests that makes everyone depict them the exact same way. They always have these elaborate walkways connecting trees and all these ropes and pulleys lifting things up and down. And the entire village is always completely susceptible to fire which is the usual fate for any such village in any story and Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation is no exception.

Something about all that timber makes writers want to set it alight.

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 14

Anyway, Rudeus and his new cell mate are starting to plot a potential escape when the village does catch fire. That’s a small problem for Rudeus as his wooden prison is suspended in a tree which kind of makes it both flammable and is likely to see him die from the smoke. That’s kind of the last straw for him and he uses magic to break out of the prison (which he could have done at literally any time but didn’t because he sensibly knew that running blindly around the forest wasn’t such a great plan).

The fire has been started by yet more slavers who are indiscriminately killing the older beast-men and capturing the children. While Rudeus could just run off using this attack as a diversion, Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation wants to remind us once again that while Rudeus has some thoughts and ideas that at times make some of the audience a bit uncomfortable, he isn’t really scum. He ends up staying to fight.

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 14

This is where episode 14 went from being entertaining to being pretty awesome. While Jobless Reincarnation has given us fights before, Rudeus here delivers a truly interesting clash against the leader of the slavers and he’s supported by the cell mate and the sacred beast (which I guess is kind of like having Eris and Ruijerd around). Anyway, the fight is fantastic and this is Rudeus at his very best rounding out what was a nicely paced episode.

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 14

There is a scene right toward the end where we cut back to Eris’ grandfather and it left me a little confused. I kind of feel like we don’t know enough about what’s been happening back home to really get why that happened and it just seemed to come out of nowhere. I mean, it adds something more to the journey the kids are on given they have no clue what they are heading back to either. Maybe they’d be better off settling down where they are?

Anyway, great episode and it left me looking forward to seeing what the story does next.

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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Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Part 2 Episode 13 – A Rare Conundrum

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 13
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Sometimes I wonder how deliberate Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation is in its plotting. It really feels at times like an awful lot of thought has gone in to a particular situation but then, usually in the same episode, it will do something that makes me kind of thing that maybe they just occasionally get lucky.

That said, Jobless Reincarnation is an isekai anime that despite some questionable content has continued to strike a chord with me. In the earlier episodes it was through the actual meaning behind having a reincarnation protagonist as it felt they actually used this aspect of his personality to great effect. As part one progressed it became more about how the story continually challenged Rudeus.

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 13

In episode 13 of Jobless Reincarnation it is in how I’m forced to second guess my own assumptions from episode 12.

What is the god character playing at in Jobless Reincarnation?

I’m kind of certain people who read the source will know the answer and I’m hoping you don’t spoil it for anime only viewers. However, with the events of episode 12 of Jobless Reincarnation cast in new light as episode 13 gives us the point of view of Roxy who has arrived to search for Rudeus and others.

See, turns out, from Roxy’s point of view she actually spotted Eris sparring on the beach, but because of her fear of Reijerd she runs away. And right past the alley where Rudeus was walking because he was told to go there.

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 13

Seemingly, if Rudeus hadn’t been given the information to go into the alley, he’d have met Roxy. Instead, he did get an eye that can see the future (a feature which was utterly unmentioned or used in this entire episode) but I’m pretty sure he would have rather have been reunited with Roxy and her group. So was the god actually trying to help him? Is it necessary he have the eye later? Or was he just messing with Rudy?

All that aside, that a large chunk of this episode seemingly focused on Roxy and the blonde elf girl she is travelling with (who seems to be determined to entertain as many men as she can on this trip) we really didn’t get much time with Rudeus and Eris this week. That Roxy’s scenes outside of the changed perspective on her crossing paths with Rudeus were mostly used for lame jokes didn’t do her character any favours.

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 13

When Jobless Reincarnation gets back to Rudeus and Eris crossing the ocean the episode picks up, though the fan service takes off as Eris is sea sick and apparently that means needs to not be fully clothed. Her conversations with Rudeus are at first sweet but take a slightly uncomfortable tone, however even then these two characters work together and their scenes are largely fun to watch.

Lastly, Rudeus then has to go and retrieve Ruijerd from the smugglers who brought him over the water. Easier said than done and we get a brief rescue sequence before Rudeus needs to go back for something and ends up being taken captive by someone who clearly isn’t big on conversation.

jobless reincarnation episode 13

After the pretty solid episode that was episode 12, Jobless Reincarnation felt a little more aimless this week with events seemingly just taking up space before we got to the next thing. That said, the ending point of this episode is a nice set up for the story to continue and I am curious as to how Rudeus is going to make himself understood (no he wasn’t part of the smugglers) before facing punishment.

All tings considered, Jobless Reincarnation carries on many of the strengths from season one and the only real weaknesses are points that I wasn’t too excited about in the first 11 episodes so are expected at this point.

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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Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Part 2 Episode 12 – Straight Into Action

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 12 Review
https://otakuauthor.com/

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.

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 12

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.

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 12

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.

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 12

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.

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 12

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.

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 12

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.

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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Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Series Review – My Feelings Are Mixed On This One

Jobless Review

I’m not sure if Jobless Reincarnation really earned some of the criticism it received. I mean, certainly if you really look at every action and decision in the narrative in the worst possible light you could end up believing that this anime sets out to endorse child molestation. However, while there’s most definitely some questionable content here, it didn’t seem any more objectionable than a host of other anime and more importantly, while various characters engage in questionable behaviour the story doesn’t seem to advocate that this is an appropriate way to behave.

That said, I’m not exactly going to mount a defence of this anime either. Firstly, it doesn’t need one given it still has a score of 8.4 on MAL despite a number of reviewers giving this a 1 rating and this anime has been one that has had a lot of positive buzz from the community.

Click here for more anime reviews.

And secondly, the content is there. This isn’t a case of viewers creating an entire issue out of a throw-away line or single action. There are repeated behaviours in Jobless Reincarnation that are going to cause some viewers to walk away, and that is their decision. No defence needed. Either the content bothers you enough to not watch or stop watching, it bothers you a bit but you enjoy the rest of the story, or it just doesn’t bother you.

Jobless A 9
Rudeus gets taken down a few pegs quite often in this anime so it isn’t as if everything goes his way.

What is Jobless Reincarnation about?

Well, like most modern isekai anime based on light novels the plot is more or less summed up in the title. The longer English title being: “Jobless Reincarnation: I will Seriously Try If I got To Another World”. And there we have it. Another shut in, victim of bullying, who ends up being a burden to his family, dies in one of the few occasions when he ventures outside and in the heat of the moment attempts to rescue someone else before having a close encounter with truck-kun (the isekai anime’s go-to method of knocking of protagonists).

He then becomes a baby and grows over the course of the series but has the mind of an adult so learns quickly though still has a number of things he has to overcome from his past life.

Way to give the story some impact, Roxy.
Good idea Rudeus. You might be a talented youngster but Roxy will smack you down.

One of the real positives of this series is that the reincarnation aspect remains meaningful through the entire story. It isn’t just a starting point and then quickly forgotten. Rudeus Greyrat is constantly haunted by his past demons and it takes a number of years before he even ventures out of his own yard due to fear of the outside world.

When learning sword-fighting, his general timid nature and attitude that will have him retreat in the face of attack hinders his progress quite a bit and a lot of his decisions later in the series are based around an understanding of a world he’s no longer living in (which in one case has quite disastrous results but leads to a good growth opportunity for Rudy).



Another part of this story that I found quite interesting was in the narrative structure. We progress through stages of Rudy’s life with each stage essentially getting its own setting and mini-narrative arc. There’s his younger days as he trains with first Roxy and then Sylphiette in his home village. Then he gets sent to his relatives where he is to work on his sword-craft and tutor Eris. Finally the series sends the two young Greyrats to another continent and gives them the challenge of trying to find their way home, accompanied by Ruijerd, an outcast due to his race.

Jobless A 1
That’s an understatement, Ruijerd.

Now this anime series ends before that final arc is concluded but a second season is already set to air in July so we won’t have to wait long for a continuation, should we want one.

And I find that I do. As much as some of the weaker elements of this anime leave me feeling a little hot and cold on this series, I found that each arc was stronger than the previous one and the final arc really did have Rudeus growing up and learning and while he maintains some of the creepier aspects of his personality, they were less prominent and the anime seemed to finally find some balance with knowing when to inject some of its version of humour into a scene and when to just play it straight.

The final couple of episodes were actually really great and if the whole anime had been in a similar tone I’d be singing this one’s praises more or less unconditionally.

Outside not so scary anymore.
No. Come back. You were just getting interesting.

So now that I’ve covered some of the highlights of Jobless Reincarnation, lets address the elements that have caused concerns for some viewers.

Fan-service is more or less a staple in anime and isekai anime having male characters living out some kind of fantasy with various girls around them is pretty much what you expect going in to this kind of escapist power-fantasy narrative.

When done well, while you could object that the character is not acting in a manner that is 100% morally acceptable to all viewers (and what action is?) the situations and scenarios are usually played for laughs, exaggerated to a point where they don’t really connect with reality, or are depicted in a way that makes it seem more or less like the other characters accept what is happening, which kind of mitigates the creepy factor of scenes that if portrayed in a different way would in fact be off-putting.

Jobless Reincarnation moves between the cute power-fantasy and occasionally funny side of fan-service into the somewhat creepier side on a number of occasions. Rudeus himself makes it hard to really get into his story of growth and overcoming past traumas because of his fairly lecherous actions which could have been played a little more on the light-hearted side but everything from his facial expression, internal monologue and his chuckle make it actually feel really just make it hard for me to want to empathise with his character journey.

Add in a couple of incidents that cross my individual line (the trying to remove underwear from a sleeping girl definitely fell into this line because reincarnated or not that’s just creepy) and Rudy becomes a character that while in his better moments has some fairly admirable traits and an interesting character arc but returns again and again to being cringe-worthy.

Jobless A 3
I know Zenith was directing this at her husband but she really should have included Rudy.

The general discomfort I felt with Rudy’s character, particularly in the earlier episodes until just after the half-way mark in this series, isn’t aided by other male characters, such as Paul and Phillip seemingly encouraging Rudy’s more lecherous behaviour even from quite a young age. Even in the later episodes there’s a male character who is now being tutored by Rudy’s former master who seems to have a reoccurring joke of groping Roxy’s chest before she sets him on fire and while it is played for laughs, on top of the other subject matter it all just feels a little excessive.

While it wasn’t a deal-breaker for me, after three episodes I only had this one as a ‘maybe’ for whether I should watch or drop it. The mix of tones felt unbalanced and while there were definitely fantasy elements I enjoyed and seeing Rudy overcome some aspects of his past life through studying magic and bonding with his tutor worked, the intense focus on some of the more ecchi elements felt at times intrusive. Other isekai anime include similar elements without them feeling like they break us out of the overall narrative and don’t feel so excessive.

In my watch or drop post I actually compared this to How Not To Summon a Demon-Lord which did have over-the-top fan-service moments and yet it managed to make most of it pretty entertaining and while objectively it actually showed more explicit situations it almost never pushed it to a point where I felt too uncomfortable (there’s a lot of modifiers in that last sentence).

And basically, that’s my issue with Jobless Reincarnation. There were multiple moments where I felt uncomfortable as a viewer and that kind of put the brakes on my general enjoyment of the series.

So, Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation is actually a pretty decent isekai anime. There’s a pretty solid story and great character journey to watch unfold here. Whether you get into this or not will entirely depend on whether those other elements put you off or not and that is going to be an individual decision.

You can read the full review of Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation part 2 here.

Images from: Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation. Dir. M. Okamoto. Studio Bind, 2021


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Watch or Drop? Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation

Watch or Drop Jobless
The old reincarnation ploy.

Watch or Drop? Rules

Rules modified for the Autumn 2021 season.

  1. The anime must be new (not a sequel or spin-off).
  2. I’ll watch as much as it takes to make a decisionas to whether the anime will be added to the watch/review list or dropped and forgotten. For good.
Outside not so scary anymore.
Stick around: You might make the cut.

Jobless Reincarnation First Impressions:

Let’s be real, it is the standard middle aged shut in for reasons goes outside and is promptly killed by a truck only to be reincarnated in another world. Only real stand out point in this premise is that the main character had an awful life but from his own narration and views expressed is just a pretty unpleasant person.

He still didn’t deserve to be run over by a truck mind you, but realistically it is really hard to want to care about what happens to the young Rudeus when he is narrating a story in his middle aged man voice and peeking at a girl’s panties. On the other hand when young Rudy is being left to be more just a young kid learning about magic, there is an almost charm in these episodes so my first impressions are pretty mixed.


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Series Positives:

I genuinely did enjoy watching Rudy teach himself to read and learn magic and his initial experiments that ultimately led to him blowing a hole in the wall of his new parent’s house. The interactions between Roxy and Rudy, when they didn’t focus on more sexually focused content, were actually really pleasant and his final magic exam with her was one of the stand-out scenes of these first three episodes.

Rudy's first wand.
What every child magician needs – something to enhance their power.

There’s also his meeting and befriending of Sylph and standing up to his dad when being falsely accused of attacking another boy in the village. Now, if the same episode didn’t then have him forcibly stripping his new friend for a bath scene the whole thing would actually be pretty sweet. But again, there’s a genuine chemistry between the two characters and watching Rudy teach magic and the characters simply running around and being kids is again relatively charming.

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Series Negatives:

I’ve definitely already touched on this because I kind of felt I couldn’t write the positives without touching on these aspects. I’m not against fan-service and in an anime like How Not To Summon a Demon Lord the fan-service and more sexualised elements actually felt like they were part of the story rather than tacked on, awkward, and to be honest, a little uncomfortable. The best moments of this anime come from Rudy being Rudy, a young kid learning magic and doing things a bit differently.

The awkward moments or moments that pull you out of the story are usually associated with an internal monologue from the middle-aged version, or a flash back to his prior life. I’d ask whether the story needed to be isekai at all but at least a couple of Rudy’s traumas do have grounding in the events of his previous life so there’s some requirement for it to remain in the story. Though I’m failing to see what benefit the night scene with Roxy has to the overall narrative.

Another truck forced reincarnation - wonder if this one matters.
Yep, he is about to reincarnate in another world.

Equally, there’s not a lot new to be found here for long time consumers of isekai stories. We haven’t seen much of the fantasy world given Rudy is still a child and didn’t venture out of home for a large chunk of the three episodes, but so far it seems to be the standard generic fantasy setting.

There’s no indication yet of an overall plan or driving point to the narrative other than Rudy living a second life so it kind of feels like this might end up being more slice-of-life-ish. That isn’t necessarily a problem if the characters can make it interesting enough and if the world has a bit of depth but the first three episodes are landing more in the decidedly average arena for me.

Verdict?

Karandi Shrug Transparent
Maybe

I don’t know. On the one hand, generic isekai stories and I get along pretty well and it doesn’t take much effort to make me want to watch them. On the other hand there are definite aspects here that don’t sit well with me, not so much because of the content but the fairly ham-fisted way it is thrown into the script. I guess it will depend on how many other anime I end up tasting actually make me want to watch them. For now, Jobless Reincarnation is firmly on the wait-and-see list.

Update: Full review – Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation

Other Impressions:

Images from: Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation. Dir. M. Okamoto. Studio Bind, 2021


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Karandi James