Jobless Reincarnation Episode 21 Review – Quick Summary
In Jobless Reincarnation Episode 21, “Turning Point 2,” Eris saw some red dragons flying overhead, and she was anxious to cross the mountain so she can see them up close. Ruijerd tells her to be patient, and Rudy does his part by not letting her run off the path to try to find them. But suddenly, Eris and Ruijerd freeze in their tracks. Rudy, concerned, peered ahead, at first seeing nothing. Then, the figure of a tall man and a shorter woman come into focus. Who are they? Why have they terrified even Ruijerd, a Superd? And what, if anything, should Rudy do about it?
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.
Favorite Quote from Jobless Reincarnation Episode 21
Eris was shocked to hear Ruijerd’s words. But she had absolutely earned them! Capture from the Hulu steam.
For this entire season, Ruijerd has been helping Eris train. He’s trained her hard, too. Earlier in this season, when Roxy had been spying on their training session on the beach, Ruijerd had lost concentration for just a second, and Eris had been able to nearly touch him. But that was the closest she had come.
In this episode, near the beginning before things went seriously south for our heroes, Rudy watched almost in awe as the two trained again. This time, even without Roxy’s help, Eris nearly touched Ruijerd. Even he looked a little bit surprised. As an outsider watching them spar, two things were clear: Eris was very, very fast, and she was relentless.
As they dried off with the towels that Rudy handed them, Ruijerd considered her. Finally, he said (03:10), “From this day forth, you may call yourself a warrior.”
Eris, of course, was elated. She had absolutely earned that. Watching her progress from a hot-headed, spoiled brat to a seriously dangerous warrior has been a real treat. So much so that seeing it all nearly destroyed later in this episode had an even greater emotional impact.
Best in Show Moment for Jobless Reincarnation Episode 21
The almost understated way the episode framed this moment added to its emotional impact. Capture from the Hulu steam.
Setup: Solid Story Mechanics
Succeeding Where Chain Chronicle Failed
I almost broke out my old review format, because it would let me list my top 3 favorite moments. Because in terms of action and drama, I could gush for hours about this episode. To put it succinctly: I would die a happy man if my writing could impact people the way this episode impacted me. And I think I know how Rifujin na Magonote, Jobless Reincarnation’s writer, did it.
Did you watch Chain Chronicle: Haecceitas no Hikari? It was a fantasy that aired back in 2017. It had a kick-ass OP that I still listen to from time to time. The world was arguably as wide and broad as Rudy’s world. There were intricate political plots. There were huge-scale military battles and intense individual fights. Looked at frame by frame, I’d be hard-pressed to find anything to quibble about. But in the end, I almost never think about it. Even at the time, I more often felt bored despite the spectacle.
Stylistic OP. Good looking character models. Sweeping political intrigue. Yet, I barely remember it. Why? Capture from the Youtube stream.
Today, I have yet to experience a moment of boredom watching Jobless Reincarnation. In fact, I just went on record saying this might be the most dramatic action sequence I’ve ever seen. What’s the difference? What’s Rifujin na Magonote’s secret?
That’s the funny thing. It’s no secret. In fact, it’s the most obvious thing in the world.
Jobless Reincarnation’s Characters Are the Key
Remember Lilia’s hug in episode 20? Remember the dressing down Aisha gave Rudy in episode 19? Rudy’s Redo of a Reunion with Paul in episode 17? Or all the moments that led to those intensely emotional scenes? I can only speak for myself, but by this time in Jobless Reincarnation, I really care about Rudy, and Eris, and Ruijerd. Hell, I care about most of the main characters, flaws and all! Or maybe it’s partly because of their flaws. After all, those flaws make the characters even more real.
Can’t you just see how proud Ruijerd feels? We’ve gotten to know these characters pretty well by now. That made the later events even more powerful. Capture from the Hulu steam.
But that’s only part of it. Do you know what else lent power to this episode? The demonstrated might of Ruijerd, Eris, and Rudy. Ruijerd wiped out an entire hideout of slavers. He hasn’t backed down from a single fight since we’ve met him. Eris is so far past fearless that she’s practically reckless. And Rudy? The little dude came within moments of erasing an entire city from the map back in episode 11. All three of these characters are powerful, dangerous, and courageous. See what the writer did? He got us to care about these characters. He got us to understand their abilities. And now, he threw Orsted at them.
Delivery: The Characters are Key
Ruijerd and Eris Set the Tone
Ruijerd and Eris had been walking a little ahead of Rudy. Suddenly, they stopped. At first Rudy couldn’t see why. Then he saw two figures: One very tall man and one woman wearing a mask. Rudy didn’t know what to make of it. When he turned to ask Eris and Ruijerd, he froze in shock.
The two of them wore expressions of utter terror. The two characters who we have never seen back down from a threat, the two characters we have seen almost always eager for a fight, stood rooted in fear. So immediately, I’m thinking, “Whoa!”
We know intimately how brave and capable Ruijerd and Eris are. And yet there they stood, frozen in fear. Capture from the Hulu steam.
You know what happened next. Rudy unwisely engaged Orsted in conversation. Then Rudy even more unwisely admitted that he knew Hitogami, the Man God. Who turned out to be Orsted’s enemy. Orsted instantly attacked Rudy. You remember Ruijerd leaping to Rudy’s defense, only to be battered in mid air and left for dead. You remember Eris throwing herself at Orsted. On instant, she was closing in; the next, she found herself battered nearly unconscious against the cave wall.
At this point I’m pretty much speechless. I remembered Orsted from the end of the first cour. I remembered a dragon seeing it had accidentally approached Orsted before turning tail and flying away. And now, I saw him lightly touch Rudy’s sides and destroy Rudy’s lungs.
Rudy Fought Until His End
Credit to Rudy. He knew he was dying, but he didn’t give up. He raised a rock to lean against and unleashed his most devastating magical attack. The attack was so powerful it even made Orsted raise his eyebrows. But only for an instant.
Rudy’s attack actually cracked Orsted’s spell Front Wyrmgate. But it wasn’t enough. Capture from the Hulu steam.
The next instant, which is my favorite of the episode, was powerful, fast, and inevitable. Orsted punched his open hand through Rudy’s chest. For a moment, Rudy hung there, blood cascading from his body.
I knew Rudy couldn’t die. He’s the main character! And yet, in that moment, the show so perfectly drew me into its spell that I felt as if I had just watched Rudy die. I mean, seriously, it’s not easy to pull me out of this world! But this show did it yet again.
Yes, Hitogami’s later hints about the wider world were interesting. I’m dying to know what Nanahoshi said to Orsted to make him change his mind about killing Rudy and Ruijerd. But that moment where Rudy’s shattered body hung in the air, impaled on Orsted’s arm, was amazing. It was all the more amazing because it wasn’t magic that made it happen. It was solid story craftsmanship. So, there’s hope for me as a writer!
And if this show can make me think that, even for an instant? It’s accomplished someone no one else has been able to do.
What did you think of Eris’ reaction to Rudy not dying? What were your favorite moments in this episode? Please feel free to let me know in the comments!
Jobless Reincarnation Episode 21: Other Posts
Other Anime Sites
- Reddit: [Discussion] Mushoku Tensei Episode 21
- RABUJO: Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation – 21 – A Spot of Bad Luck
This Site (Crow’s World of Anime!)
- Jobless Reincarnation Episode 12: The Woman with Demon Eyes
- Jobless Reincarnation Episode 13: Missed Connections
- Jobless Reincarnation Episode 14: No Such Thing as a Free Lunch
- Jobless Reincarnation Episode 15: Slow Life in Doldia Village
- Jobless Reincarnation Episode 16: Family Squabble
- Jobless Reincarnation Episode 17: Reunion
- Jobless Reincarnation Episode 18: Separate Journeys
- Jobless Reincarnation Episode 19: Route Selection
- Jobless Reincarnation Episode 20: The Birth of My Little Sister, The Maid
- Jobless Reincarnation Episode 21: Turning Point 2
- Jobless Reincarnation Episode 22: Dreams and Reality
- Jobless Reincarnation Episode 23: Wake Up and Take a Step
- Jobless Reincarnation Episode 24: Eris the Goblin Slayer