Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation 2nd Part
Episodes 12-14

by Kim Morrissy,

How would you rate episode 12 of
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation (TV 2) ?

How would you rate episode 13 of
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation (TV 2) ?

How would you rate episode 14 of
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation (TV 2) ?

Hi, everyone. This is Kim, and I'll be taking over from Theron for the coverage of this cour. Thanks for having me.

Since I'm new to covering this series for the streaming reviews, I think I should get some things out of the way first. I don't intend to rehash old arguments about the vulgar content every week, so this will be the first and only time I intend to address it directly. I've accepted that this is a show that could have had mass appeal as a beautifully realized fantasy epic, but it doesn't because of how uncomfortably the children are portrayed in particular. I understand and sympathize with the concerns that some may have about it, but at the end of the day I still like Mushoku Tensei and I don't want to spend every week couching my reviews with “Yes, I know this is problematic.” I think it's fine for this to be a niche show.

Moving on, I'm happy to report that the anime's story is hitting its stride. What I really like about the Displacement Incident as a plot device is how it hasn't come attached with an obvious call to action for our hero. He's simply trying to make do in this new normal and reunite with his family. It's been a year since the event, and yet no actual villain or perpetrator has appeared, nor are any of the characters particularly interested in solving the mystery. This is one of the big reasons why Mushoku Tensei feels like a lived-in world; although the story remains firmly focused on Rudeus's coming-of-age narrative, the world moves on without him.

The Man God's interference is the one major exception to the rule. In episode 12, he contrives for Rudeus to obtain the Eye of Foresight from the demon lord Kishirika, who very obviously looks like she'll be a big player in the future. At this point, though, it's hard to anticipate just how Rudeus will get directly involved with the larger-scale events, and it's this low-key intrigue that makes his coming-of-age story continuously interesting. Mushoku Tensei might play with the “Chosen One” trope, but our hero has really got to earn it before that plot can truly begin, and he's still only at the start of his personal journey.

These past few episodes are also effective at juggling its bawdy humor with a genuine sense of danger and stakes. Roxy's interlude in episode 13 might not add much to the story beyond reinforcing the joke that she and Rudeus have kept passing each other by, but the contrast makes the glimpse of Sauros's fate at the end of episode 14 all the more powerful and shocking. This series has already featured a lot of violent deaths, but Sauros is the first side character of importance to meet such a grisly end. It belatedly drives home the idea that there are tangible stakes and consequences to the Displacement Incident beyond missed encounters and a long journey home. There's a sense of confidence and purpose in these episodes that affirm why Mushoku Tensei became an isekai classic in the first place.

Rating:

Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation 2nd Part is currently streaming on Funimation.


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