Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation
by Theron Martin,
How would you rate episode 8 of
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation ?
In some senses, this is a regular episode for the series, one showing Rudy at both his very best and very worst. However, the extremes both ways, and the cliffhanger ending, set this episode apart from the others. “Turning Point,” indeed.
But before we get into Rudy's behavior, I'm not letting Eris's father Philip off the hook one bit. This episode gives a better sense of the power struggles within the extensive Greyrat family, and Philip appears far less accepting of being a loser in those struggles than his normally-blasé attitude lets on. He wasn't joking one bit in the suggestion he made to Rudy about Rudy marrying Eris; Philip genuinely wants to use that to stage a veritable coup within the family, and he seems to see Eris more as a potential pawn in these schemes than a beloved daughter. Granted, innumerable cultures around the world have long and extensive histories of noble girls being used in precisely this fashion, and Eris only being 12 is not a hindrance to that, but seeing that in action is so thoroughly crass; his all-too-serious comments to Rudy about leaving Eris in his bed with her hands tied shows how little he cares about Eris's feelings on the matter.
That raises the question of how much of what happened in the bedroom scene was Philip putting Eris up to it (as Rudy suspects) and how much was Eris's own fumbling attempts at awakening sexuality. After all, she clearly likes Rudy more than she wants to admit and is not shown having any other males even close to her own age around. She also clearly isn't sure of what limits to set, and unfortunately for her Rudy both knows a lot more about sex than his age suggests and isn't exactly the most adept person at understanding age-appropriate limits, either. The one thing I will give Rudy credit for is that he understands that he let himself get too wrapped up in the heat of the moment and went too far, but yeah, him being an adult mentally makes that situation creepier than a more natural age-appropriate interest would be. Still, Eris's “in five years comment” suggests that Philip may not have to force anything if he's just patient. But with Sylphie still being in the picture. . .
Speaking of which, we get the first flashback to what's going on at Paul and Zenith's place since Rudy's departure. A three-year-old being trained as a maid is cute to a certain extent, but I have to wonder how peaceful that home situation is. Seeing an older Sylphie was a nice bonus, too. Roxy also makes another brief appearance to make sure all of the bases are covered on the troubling magic signs. Multiple new characters pop up, too, including the hero (former hero?) Perugius, one of his masked underlings, some other guy who can stare down a dragon, and a loli demon lord. (This is not the first series lately with one of those. Is this a trend?) But what is this big, ominous release of magic that deserves the designation “turning point? Rudy shows himself at his very best in at least trying to help/protect Eris, but there are going to be some serious consequences in play here.
On other random thoughts, the episode once again had some sharp action sequences, even if they were relatively brief. Also, I don't quite buy Eris' mother's sudden change of heart. Yes, the episode does explain why she might take to Rudy, but the transition seems much too sudden given her earlier attitude. Oh, and those who like muscular butts certainly got their fanservice this episode, didn't they?
English Dub: The English dub is now available for the first two episodes, and it's an excellent one so far. I had thought the attitude of Rudy's inner voice might be hard to replicate, but Ben Phillips (Rhiner in Saga of Tanya the Evil, Yoshitaki in Golden Kamuy) takes a somewhat different approach that works just as well in English. All of the other casting choices are on-the-mark so far, too. When it comes to Rudy's more problematic phrasing, the English script tends to imply meaning in places where the subtitles state things more directly, but the same meaning still comes across; for instance, instead of “she looks like her bush hasn't grown in yet, “ Rudy says in English upon first seeing Roxy, “she looks like she can't grow hair anywhere.”
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation is currently streaming on FUNimation Entertainment.
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