Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation
Episode 5

by Theron Martin,

How would you rate episode 5 of
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation ?

After the dramatic end to last episode, episode 5 represents the first major shift in the series' story, moving it away from Rudy's early home life and on to locations outside his family's manor and village. This expands both the world-building and the cast, as the young redhead shown in the opener gets introduced this episode. Things clearly won't be dull with her around.

First, though, the episode explains at least some of what Paul's subdual of Rudy last episode was all about. Shipping Rudy off with Ghislaine is, as expected, part of a job, and one that will force Rudy to be away for five years. His parents felt he was getting too dependent on Sylphie (although the reverse is at least equally true), so he gets to grow up away from her while also earning some money. As long as you ignore Rudy's physical age, the logic behind this makes a certain amount of sense, and this does involve a family connection, since Rudy will be tutoring the daughter of one of Paul's relatives. The “no contact” proviso seems needlessly harsh but in line with Paul's “man up” attitude. Or could it be that he feared the consequences of what he said in that letter? That Ghislaine objects to being called a meathead but not to being referred to as one of Paul's conquests is amusing, though again, I suspect that Zenith does not know about that. Rudy is probably better off with five years away from Paul's influence, and this is the kind of opportunity he probably would have jumped at if not for Sylphie.

While the venue shift is a positive move, Eris is a disappointment. She is the most stereotypical character that the series has introduced yet: a violently volatile, privileged redhead. The natural trend would be for her to end up as a tsundere (and that is clearly what Rudy is hoping for), but we'll see. She certainly isn't going to make it easy for Rudy, and it looks like even a bloody beating from a kidnapper is not enough to diminish her fiercely strong will. That makes her an almost diametric contrast to Sylphie, which was likely intentional. She is also the type of girl that Rudy probably more needs to be around right now; Sylphie was the empathy-inducing girl who helped him make his first true friend, and now Eris is the girl who will keep him on his toes and won't let him get away with any crap.

This is also the first episode that showcased real violence. (Rudy's duel with Paul last episode does not count since there was no chance of anyone getting seriously hurt.) The kidnapper's beating of Eris was savagely realistic, but that was nothing compared to the battle in the alley. Rudy made a good showing of himself, but the true savagery came from Ghislaine. This is the second episode in a row now which has featured some eye-popping action moves, giving the series yet another strong point in its favor. As for Eris' father's seeming predilection for beast girls of various species as maids, I could not help but be reminded of the lord's home in Italica in GATE. (Since that series was originally written a few years earlier, I have to wonder if it was an influence on this one.)

In terms of the Rudy Obnoxiousness Factor, he is at his lowest level yet and seems more sincere than ever before about bettering himself over his past life. (He also seems to genuinely miss not getting to see Sylphie.) That gives me hope for the series down the road.


Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation is currently streaming on FUNimation Entertainment.

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