The Duality of Mushoku Tensei

As is to be expected, this review contains some spoilers of both seasons of Mushoku Tensei. Avoid if you don’t want to be spoiled!

I wrote this post about Mushoku Tensei in March of last year, after the first season had ended. My thoughts were that it was a gorgeous looking show with fantastic animation and very promising world building. I also talked about how I do not agree with some of the behavior of the main character. Obviously I took into account that you’re not supposed to root for Rudeus at this point in the story, but I still found that it took away from how good the story was.

So now that almost a year has passed and we’ve had a second season of Mushoku Tensei, let’s revisit by far the most popular topic on this blog (I’m not exaggerating, I’ll upload something on a day and then that new post will get less views than the Mushoku Tensei one, you all love that topic don’t you?” So revisiting seemed like the right thing to do. And my opinion on the show has definitely shifted into a direction, although perhaps not as much as others, from what I’ve been seeing.

Rudeus is becoming a better person.

I really enjoyed season two of Mushoku Tensei. The story of Rudeus and Eris slowly growing closer as they face danger again and again is great to  watch. The family slowly getting together is wholesome to watch and Rudeus grows by leaps and bounds this season. He starts facing his trauma head-on more and more until eventually he doesn’t seem to be shackled by it nearly as much. And then Eris breaks his heart and crushes his spirit all over again. The story takes our protagonists across several continents and they visit several strange people. They say goodbye to Ruijerd and finally say goodbye to each other. In one way or another.

We first find Paul and Norn as they were looking for the rest of the family as well. Paul and Rudeus get into a fight but eventually make up like the grown adults they both are. Rudeus then goes on his way to find Lilia and Aisha. This goes poorly initially but with a little help from the gods, quite literally, he ends up figuring things out and saving both of them. Now all that’s left is Zenith, Rudeus’ mom. She seems to be in a whole lot of trouble though, and I can’t wait to see how that is going to get resolved. 

Yeah, I would have found this funny a decade ago but now it’s just rough to look at.

Now for my opinion on the more questionable parts of this show. The part of this post you’ve all been waiting for, I suppose. Rudeus is still problematic. I bet he even has an Aladdin costume in his parents’ attic. All mediocre references aside, he’s still a grown man in a child’s body at time sexually assaulting other minors, wearing strange women’s underwear on his face and all sorts of highly morally questionable things. Even the scene between him and Eris at the end of the season was questionable, but since it was at least consensual and the laws of their world are probably very different I’ll let it slide. Rudy has definitely grown as a person. His willingness to make up with Paul, his behavior around Eris and other women is better than in season one.

This is not a teenager, this is a grown man.

As someone who did not read the source material for this show, I still have hope that he ends up turning into a half decent person by the end of it. I have no issues rooting for a flawed person as long as they show progress. And Rudy definitely does so. I think he’ll be all right next season in finding Zenith.

And that’s really all I have to say about this show. I wasn’t even going to talk about it initially if not for the fact that it seems like people really like the topic. I think Mushoku Tensei is a very good show, crafted with much love and skill by talented creators. I think the characters are flawed and some of Rudeus’ behavior definitely crosses a line. I think the show could do a better job addressing this. But overal I think Mushoku Tensei is a very good show and if it keeps up this quality as the seasons go on, it might go down as a classic. Definitely one of the better Isekai to come out. Not as good as The Hesitant Hero though, you can read a new chapter of that here every Thursday. Thanks for reading, I really appreciate it!

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