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Jobless Reincarnation Episode 16 Review – Best in Show

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Jobless Reincarnation Episode 16 Review – Quick Summary

In Jobless Reincarnation Episode 16, “Family Squabble,” Rudy, Eris, and Ruijerd made it to Millishion, capital of a human country. Finally, after a year and a half, they had made it back to human territory! But after declaring a day off, as Rudy lounged in their room at the inn, he witnessed a kidnapping. So, obeying Dead End’s number 1 rule, “Never abandon a child,” Rudy went off in pursuit. However, the leader of the band who had kidnapped the child seemed awfully familiar. Rudy had seen his fighting style before, too. Who was this man? Why had he and his band kidnapped the child? Just what was going on in Millishion?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from Jobless Reincarnation Episode 16

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 16: Eris honestly tried to comfort Rudy

I’ll give her this: Eris tried really, really hard. Succeeded, too! Capture from the Hulu stream.

I knew Jobless Reincarnation could get emotional. But holy hell! I watched this episode about a half hour before I planned to go to bed, and now I have no idea how I’m going to fall asleep. It sparked too many memories, it dredged up too many feelings that I thought had died off years ago. And it put its main character, Rudy, through a moment of absolute hell. 

In other words, it did what a good drama should do.

Yeah, Rudy could have dialed it back. But even when he was an adult in our world, Rudy was a child. I hold Paul responsible for the confrontation (see below). Paul’s the dad. The dad should not have taken out his sense of guilt and failure on his son. Mostly. But it is what it is. And what it is for Rudy was emotionally shattering.

When Eris found out about it, she was all for murdering Paul. Ruijerd, though, gave her a much more difficult task. Ruijerd told her she should comfort Rudy. 

Seeing her try unsuccessfully for so long, striding to and fro trying to come up with an approach, was heart-breakingly beautiful. She finally settled on giving him the world’s most awkward hug.

“I’m sorry, Rudeus,” she said, frustrated at her lack of ability (21:53). “I’m not very good at this sort of thing.”

I don’t think I’ve ever seen her try so hard to do anything.

Best in Show Moment for Jobless Reincarnation Episode 16

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 16: Rudy's life fell apart right in front of his eyes

“…without a care in the world,” huh? Well, Paul, if finding your wife is more important than pulling rhetorical tricks on your son, why not just ask for help? Why not start planning a search operation? Capture from the Hulu stream.

Setup: Disappointed in Paul… Again

I said I hold Paul responsible for my favorite moment, and after thinking about it for a day, as a dad myself, I think that’s right. And I think it’s beside the point. Jobless Reincarnation has done such a tremendous job building realistic, complex characters. As much as I dislike him, Paul is one of those characters. 

Remember how Paul practically beat the crap out of Rudy to knock him out for the trip to train under Ghislaine? Up until that point, Paul had not fared well when he and Rudy argued. Not well at all. It was only with physical force that dad could best his son. As Paul learned in this episode, that one leverage he had over Rudy is gone. Rudy, with his new time-defying eyesight, can now beat his father in a physical fight.

Also, Paul thought Rudy was an adventurer, so he assumed his son knew all about the mana disaster — its scope, the number of people it had taken, all of it. So from his point of view, his son had to look like the most self-centered bastard the world’s ever seen. 

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 16: Paul wanted to blame Rudy for everything

Paul went to great lengths to berate Rudy. During that time, I noticed a distinct lack of news or a request for help with the search. Priorities, I guess. Capture from the Hulu stream.

Excepting Paul, of course.

I’m trying to see this from Paul’s perspective. Honestly, I am. But here’s the thing. Paul could have said two sentences as soon as he realized Rudy had returned. Just two. Those two sentences would have made all the difference in the world. 

“Rudy, I’m glad you back. Did you see your mom, Lilia, Aisha, or Sylphiette in your travels?”

If Paul, who’s supposed to be the freaking adult in this equation, had said those two things, just imagine how differently this episode would have gone. I would have had to choose a different favorite moment, for one thing!

Delivery: A Very, Very Real Moment

Paul Put It All on Rudy

Since Paul didn’t ask, he didn’t know that Rudy had never embraced the idea of being an adventurer. Rudy had done the bare minimum to earn money in his quest to get home. Rudy didn’t know the mana disaster had a general effect. His only view of that event was an approaching wall of flame as he stood in front of Eris. He knew it had taken Ghislaine, but that’s all he knew. Nor had he heard rumor of it in his travels.

So when Paul jumped down Rudy’s throat after the story of Rudy’s adventures, Rudy figured it was just more of Paul’s small-mindedness. To be honest, Rudy could have asked about Zenith, or Lilia, or Aisha, or Sylphiette. He should have. But his pride in his accomplishment, and his assumption they were all safe, blinded him. I can’t blame him too much, though, because here’s the thing: Rudy is not used to feeling proud of himself based on his own exceptional performance.

Why am I analyzing this so much? Simple: That’s how I respond to the reality of these moments. I tease the moment apart to see what I could have done better. I trace its impact back and forth through time to see what I could have changed. 

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 16: Even Rudy's little sister thought Rudy had bullied Paul

From Rudy’s perspective, Norn calling him a bully had to hurt like hell. It could not have been easy for Norn, either, seeing a kid beat up her dad. Paul could have spared her that, had he been the least bit rational. Capture from the Hulu stream.

That’s why I loved every moment of Paul and Rudy’s confrontation. Right up to when Paul said (19:23), “I was sure you’d have realized and started doing something ages ago. But you were adventuring without a care in the world.”

Rudy’s World Imploded

That statement was so blatantly false and so stunningly true that Rudy had to take a step back. False, because we know Rudy had plenty of cares. True, because Rudy had no idea about the scope of the disaster.

Rudy’s assumptions lay in ruin. His perception of himself had been tattered. And yet, he wasn’t wrong. He was a child who had done the best he could — despite his mental age, which I maintain wasn’t that much older than his current physical age.

That moment was so real that it consumed me. That’s only happened a few times before, like the scene in Made in Abyss where Regu is about to operate on Riko. Except, I had only been in that moment. Jobless Reincarnation went a step further. This time, the moment was in me. It affected me so much I couldn’t get to sleep last night. It resonated with too many memories of my own successful failures and failed successes. And as you can see from how I analyzed the moment, I even reacted to it as if it were a real event. 

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 16: Rudy is luck he has Eris and Ruijerd on his side

What must it be like for Rudy? For the first time in his life, he thought he didn’t suck. And his father just tried to convince him that he’s wrong. Capture from the Hulu stream.

That’s the kind of craftsmanship in storytelling that inspires the hell out of me. Moments like that are why I watch anime, or read science fiction. I want to experience these worlds and meet these people, and Jobless Reincarnation just gave me a moment as real as any I’ve encountered in fiction. How could it not be my favorite?

What did you think of Rudy’s disguise when he tried to rescue the hostage? What were your favorite moments? Please feel free to let me know in the comments!

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7 thoughts on “Jobless Reincarnation Episode 16 Review – Best in Show

  1. The confrontation between Rudy and Paul was great. What impressed me the most was how well they handled the crowd. There were (at least) three social circles. Paul and Rudy being the inner circle; Paul’s Party being the outer circle; and the patrons being the environmental circle (how many of them were regulars who knew Paul?). And here’s the thing: Paul’s party and probably many regulars knew Paul. They didn’t know Rudy. So they’d watch the scene. That one girl from the party tried to take Paul back a little, but then Rudy accused Paul of hanging out with “that” sort of woman. Everyone pretty much knew they were watching a train-wreck, but the party members felt like: “What should we do? We can’t do anything, can we?” Both of them are entirely self-centred in this scene. Rudy casually insults Paul’s female party members without even noticing. It’s intense, it’s personal… and it’s public.

    And when Rudy finally realises it’s public, it’s not to see what he’s done to disrupt others; it’s a trauma trigger. He needs to get out, and it’s in that mental state when he finally learns the truth.

    Well, there’s also his little sister who I ignored for the sake of managability. But the scene’s just such believable chaos. Nothing held back. Two self-absorbed people clashing, but only one of them having to re-assess his situation.

    And then, in the scene with Eris that follows, we see that Ruijerd is far better at getting through to the people around him than Paul – and everyone who doesn’t know’s frightened of him.

    This was definitely a key episode. I certainly didn’t expect the first re-union to be Paul.

    1. I completely didn’t talk about the crowds in my post. The confrontation between Rudy and Paul was already overwhelming. Factoring in the crowd would have made me lose focus and coherency.

      Because you’re right. That crowd was very impressive.

      As far as Ruijerd goes — he did show a deft hand. Maybe he should be called Kennel Master instead of Rudy!

  2. This was a very “real” episode, wasn’t it? I…..have had similar problems to Rudy in the past. It’s kind of a personal thing my mom wouldn’t want out there- so I won’t say. But…….I have been torn down at my happiest before. And it wasn’t fun. So I get Rudy’s plight.
    And like him…….I’ve been the “bully” before. All this is me trying to say: This episode kind of hit me hard. I remember having a similar reaction to the thought of confrontation before.
    I kind of think he’s about to go down a similar character arc to a certain wonder boy recently. You DO read “My Hero Academia” weekly, right? It will most likely be something like like what HE did. Although he’ll have his support network from the get-go.
    I wonder what Zenith and the others have gotten into by now…….

    1. There were times back in high school when I remember being a bully, but only in retrospect. At no time did I intend to be. That’s no excuse, of course. It’s weird. The shame still burns after all these years! It’s probably why I have such little patience for bullies now.

      I wish I had time for the My Hero Academia manga! Unfortunately, I have way too much going on… Sigh.

      But. I should be able to retire in under a decade. So I’ll keep the manga on my backlog!

      I wonder about Zenith, too. I’m less worried about her, because she was a retired S-class adventurer. But Lilia, Aisha, and Syphiette might be in real trouble.

      Man, this show knows how to build drama!

      1. You too, huh? Yeah; used to pick on my brothers…… A LOT. I was a real jerk. And my brother makes sure I remember that- and everything else I did.
        I didn’t intend to be, either- I just kind of wanted everyone to leave me alone for a minute. I….often didn’t have my own room growing up. And I’ve never been good at verbal conversations like I am here. So I just wanted everyone to leave me be most of the time.
        So when ever I see a bully in a show; I can get kind of irrationally upset- chanting something like “DIE.” Here, though; I actually didn’t feel like that- towards Rudy OR Paul. I can kind of saw both perspectives as equally valid- but they also shouldn’t over look each other, nor should Paul be trying to tear Rudy down. It’s a difficult situation to be sure.
        Zenith might be fine, but the other 3…….well; Sylphie learned magic from Rudy, and probably continued to study it, but……. I don’t know how far it’ll take her. And Lila and Aisha are DEFINITELY in some trouble right now.

    1. Some series I like, but I have to turn off the more critical parts of my brain. Jobless Reincarnation? Its craftsmanship is well beyond me! So I can enjoy it on many more levels than most series. What a treat!

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