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INTEREST: Mushoku Tensei Author Addresses Criticism about Perverted Protagonist


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HappyMN



Joined: 29 Apr 2017
Posts: 7
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:25 pm Reply with quote
The issue here isn't that the protagonist is a pervert, but a pedophile...
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GhostOfShowsPast



Joined: 09 Sep 2015
Posts: 26
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:38 pm Reply with quote
He watched child porn instead of going to their parents funeral among other things and this was before his reincarnation, after he does more dodgy stuff that is the issue a lot of people have there is such a thing as too far perverted. The Highschool DxD mc is a pervert that grows done well that was because his pervertedness was an acceptable level for most people.

Last edited by GhostOfShowsPast on Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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everydaygamer



Joined: 10 Jul 2009
Posts: 591
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:43 pm Reply with quote
It's weird because nothing he has done has actually bothered me. I've seen far more irritating pervert characters in other shows so I'm wondering if this is just a lack of experience with anime in general when it comes to the people complaining.

Last edited by everydaygamer on Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:44 pm; edited 1 time in total
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lossthief
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Joined: 14 Dec 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:57 pm Reply with quote
I guarantee you the people who dislike the garbage this character pulls have watched plenty if anime. Just because they are desensitized to the point of not recognizing pedophilia doesn't mean they're neophytes who learned about Japanese cartoons right before watching this show.
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NeverConvex
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Joined: 08 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 3:58 pm Reply with quote
HappyMN wrote:
The issue here isn't that the protagonist is a pervert, but a pedophile...


Yeah, I think this is the chief issue as well, particularly given his inner monologue about Roxy when he first meets her. Mm, and I'd add that his prepubescent predilections are played off mostly as mildly uncomfortable gags in the world of his reincarnation. Not really ideal framing, I think, and kind of a surprising choice, since the same actions were clearly framed (by the show, that is, i.e., in the perspective it naturally invites the viewer to take of his actions/thoughts through shot composition, artistic style, voice acting, etc; I am not talking about how the world around him reacts within-universe, which is a separate issue entirely) as reprehensible when the show cuts to his prior life in the real world.

He also directs his panty-stealing and leering at his new household's maid; in that case, I still think it is kind've distracting and pointless given how it's framed, but it is much closer to standard fare for ecchi anime, given that she appears to be an adult, and my reaction to it isn't nearly as strong.
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#810704



Joined: 15 Mar 2014
Posts: 84
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:03 pm Reply with quote
everydaygamer wrote:
It's weird because nothing he has done has actually bothered me. I've seen far more irritating pervert characters in other shows so I'm wondering if this is just a lack of experience with anime in general when it comes to the people complaining.


It's definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but the people ACTIVELY complaining about it are a vocal minority. The vast majority of people either don't care too much (for reasons you've mentioned, there are far FAR worse characters out there), or just bow out without further discussion, as they don't want to engage with it further. Rudy's is supposed to be an unlikeable ball of excrement to start with. His previous life is supposed to serve as a caution if anything, of what that lifestyle could lead to, and the novel/anime goes to great lengths to paint him as a terrible person previously. BUT as the author said the medium is different, so you don't have the benefit of quickly seeing the changes that take place as you would in the novel due to the anime weekly schedule. The next episode where he starts actually getting better with his 'antics', so things should start to die down.


Last edited by #810704 on Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:11 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Uchay



Joined: 27 Nov 2016
Posts: 36
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:09 pm Reply with quote
tantananime wrote:
HappyMN wrote:
The issue here isn't that the protagonist is a pervert, but a pedophile...


Anime only here, first off this isn't the real world, he is now a child thus incapable of being a pedophile, he is not the 34 year old man he used to be, your logic cant be used in a fictional world.


I'm totally going to use this logic when people say it's okay to lewd lolis because they are mentally 400 years old. Laughing

Anyway, the matter for most people is that we as an audience know for a fact he *is* a 34 year old who, or at least it was implied, likes to indulge in child pornography. The other characters might not know that, but we do. As for your another point, of course that logic still applies. This fictional world was created by a real world person.

Every fiction has a purpose, and this one happens to drop a character that indulges in child pornography in a place where he can be horny as much as he wants and get away with it, while presenting it as okay and funny, because you see this old ass 34 years old perv is now a little boy haha.

If it doesn't bother you it's fine, but you can't say people aren't allowed to be bothered by what such a thing might mean when you realize creative works don't exist in a bubble, they are linked to reality you wanting it or not.

You see, people are allowed to criticize things, even things they like, while not taking it to a personal level.
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ThatGuyWhoLikesThings



Joined: 04 Jul 2013
Posts: 857
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:15 pm Reply with quote
everydaygamer wrote:
It's weird because nothing he has done has actually bothered me. I've seen far more irritating pervert characters in other shows so I'm wondering if this is just a lack of experience with anime in general when it comes to the people complaining.


There are a lot of people that love Araragi but hate Rudy, so no, I think it's just that people recognize a garbage protag when they see one
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Blanchimont



Joined: 25 Feb 2012
Posts: 2391
Location: Finland
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:28 pm Reply with quote
everydaygamer wrote:
It's weird because nothing he has done has actually bothered me. I've seen far more irritating pervert characters in other shows so I'm wondering if this is just a lack of experience with anime in general when it comes to the people complaining.

Yeah, I agree. I think people take a little too much issue with him. So far, in his reincarnation, has he actually done anything that a real 5-year-old might not have done, given opportunity?

What he's done in his previous incarnation might be an issue, but as far as this world goes, let's see where it takes him, and what lessons he learns...

Personally, I don't have a beef with him. And yes, he remains partly pervert throughout his new life, if the current English translated books by Seven Seas(which I've read) are anything to go by...

And kudos to the author for sticking to his guns about their work...
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NeverConvex
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Joined: 08 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:36 pm Reply with quote
Blanchimont wrote:
Yeah, I agree. I think people take a little too much issue with him. So far, in his reincarnation, has he actually done anything that a real 5-year-old might not have done, given opportunity?


I think this is kind of a ridiculous defense, given that he isn't portrayed as a 5-year old mentally and so I don't see why we should as viewers interpret his actions as if he were 5 years old, but to indulge you anyway: what 5 year old's first thought on meeting his tutor is to muse about her lack of pubic hair and how that makes her an ideal wife for him, or would watch her masturbating, immediately understand what it was, and take glee in having caught sight of it? Even the stealing of underwear or sneaking peaks at taboo anatomy, while common with some young kids, would generally not be done at that age with any kind of sexual intent, as was obviously the case in Mushoku.


Last edited by NeverConvex on Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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octopodpie
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Joined: 02 May 2011
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:36 pm Reply with quote
Blanchimont wrote:

Yeah, I agree. I think people take a little too much issue with him. So far, in his reincarnation, has he actually done anything that a real 5-year-old might not have done, given opportunity?


I'm not sure how much experience you have with real five year olds, nothing Rudy has done is typical behavior, from the magic to the underwear stealing. That's because Rudy isn't a five year old, he's a 34-year-old man in a toddler body.
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whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 1911
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:39 pm Reply with quote
I mean, the author set out to create an intentionally unlikeable protagonist, so I don’t know that he really gets to be all “surprised Pikachu face” when he succeeds so handily that he turns people away.

There’s a deft art for creating flawed, unlikeable, but relatable characters, and then there’s having so little confidence in your work that you way overcompensate by diving headfirst into pedophilia.
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ATastySub
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Joined: 19 Jan 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:47 pm Reply with quote
whiskeyii wrote:
I mean, the author set out to create an intentionally unlikeable protagonist, so I don’t know that he really gets to be all “surprised Pikachu face” when he succeeds so handily that he turns people away.

There’s a deft art for creating flawed, unlikeable, but relatable characters, and then there’s having so little confidence in your work that you way overcompensate by diving headfirst into pedophilia.

I would agree if that was the actual intent, but the framing can't even decide if it is bad or not. Leading to what we see here with some people insisting he gets better, while others are arguing that pedophilia isn't included in that because there's nothing wrong with it. Really highlights the problems with the story's framing.
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Uchay



Joined: 27 Nov 2016
Posts: 36
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:51 pm Reply with quote
I'm telling this to the person who said you can't use this logic because it's a fictional world and that's not quite like that. Being a fictional world doesn't make it criticism-free or the concerns of people any less valid about how certain scenes are framed.

In this case, what some people would consider problematic is framed as comedy, and naturally it will bother them. Then people who like the work will be bothered by the people who are bothered and it goes on. Laughing

Either way, at the end of the day it is still the author's work and as long as it isn't obviously breaking a law, he's free to do with it as he wishes, just as people are free to react and perceive it the way they want, and discuss about it the way they want to, including the people from the blue-bird site.
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killjoy_the



Joined: 30 May 2015
Posts: 2196
PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2021 4:56 pm Reply with quote
ATastySub wrote:
I would agree if that was the actual intent, but the framing can't even decide if it is bad or not. Leading to what we see here with some people insisting he gets better, while others are arguing that pedophilia isn't included in that because there's nothing wrong with it. Really highlights the problems with the story's framing.


Like the author said, the perverted stuff isn't part of him 'getting better'. Granted I haven't read very far (only 4 volumes of the LN before I quit), but his being a pervert is just treated as a non-issue as he grows up. The entire world around him matches him in level of perverseness. The 'growing up' the series is about is becoming a member of society/not being a hikki/etc.
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