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.


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.


Karandi Shrug Transparent

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

6 thoughts on “Watch or Drop? Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation

  1. You do sort of need the isekai angle as Rudy’s character development is built around a second chance. And I do think the show’s actually quite good with that part. The “fanservice”, though… it’s just so sleezy. The latest episode had a surprising moment of restraint, but I’ve hoped and been let down before, so I’m not that optimistic. What’s so annoying about this show is that it openly admits what’s sleezy only to indulge anyway. That’s sad, because the show’s actually really good at celebrating little triumphes.

    Also, I think this show must have my favourite background art of the season. It’s just so pretty.

    Overall, I’m enjoying this show, but I haven’t been this put off by sleeze in a long time. It’s interesting to compare this to Redo of a Healer, which is content-wise much, much worse, but it’s such obvious and open depravity porn that ultimately I’m far less uncomfortable with it. That discomfort (Mushuko Tensei that is) would be a good thing, if I thought the show had some sort of plan here, but so far it just feels like “I know this is all scummy, but I’ll indulge anyway”, as if being a sexual creep is a minor failure you should excuse because I’m generally a nice person. When it’s not suffused with sleeze the show’s actually cute and optimistic, but it’ll always come back and sometimes it hits like sledge hammer.

    1. There is a lot that is enjoyable here but those other elements make me a bit less thrilled about continuing this one. The cute and optimistic moments work, the rest, not so much.

    1. I think the main reason this one wasn’t a clear drop and instead was a maybe is because of the genre. Maybe it gets better but the first 3 eps are very up and down in terms of enjoyment and there isn’t much new here.

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