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Jobless Reincarnation Episode 23 Review – Best in Show

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Jobless Reincarnation Episode 23 Review – Quick Summary

In Jobless Reincarnation Episode 23, “Wake Up and Take a Step,” Rudy was absolutely devastated by Eris’ departure. So much so that Alphonse could not even get him out of bed — even by begging he help them continue reconstruction. Has Rudy reverted to his original mental form? Will anything rouse him to action? Just why did Eris leave, anyway? And what kind of progress, if any, is Ruijerd making in his dream to rehabilitate the reputation of his people?

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

Favorite Quote from Jobless Reincarnation Episode 23

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 23: Ruijerd doesn't know how to interact with people just joking around with him

Ruijerd didn’t know how to react when people just joked around with him. But he seemed to like it! Capture from the Hulu stream.

Ruijerd had apparently killed some kind of beast that would have eaten three men in the vicinity of Rudy’s home. They were ecstatic for his help, and they thanked him profusely. One man asked if he were a demon, given the markings on his clothes. Bracing himself, clearly uneasy with what he was about to say, he told them flatly that he was a Superd.

They didn’t run. They didn’t freak out. If anything, they were curious. They even asked to see the gem on his forehead. When he showed it to them, he was shocked that they still didn’t run away. Just to make sure he wasn’t missing something, he asked if they were scared of him.

Maybe if they were kids, one man said, adding that it was common for humans to tell their children that if they didn’t go to bed, a Superd would show up and eat them.

“I don’t eat children,” Ruijerd said seriously (09:52). The men laughed, still very much at ease with him.

It was great seeing him just talking to people. If only Rudy could realize how much he contributed to this moment!

Best in Show Moment for Jobless Reincarnation Episode 23

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 23: Rudy decided to move forward because of his responsibility to Zenith

Rudy’s responsibility to Zenith drove him forward despite all of the pain trying to hold him back. Capture from the Funimation stream.

Setup: Rudy’s Implosion

This show has demonstrated some powerful insights. If I were a presumptuous man, I’d say that Rifujin na Magonote, the writer, has seen some dark stuff in his life. But a good write (and Rifujin na Magonote is, in my not so humble opinion, an outstanding writer) can present different aspects of the human condition without having actually experienced them. So I don’t how much despair or crushing defeat this writer has really experienced.

But I’ll tell you this: He knows how to portray it effectively, honestly, and with power. 

Take my favorite moment in this episode. Rudy had emotionally imploded. Lacking the emotional and intellectual stability to understand what Eris had done in the previous episode, Rudy had reverted to his emotional state at the end of his life, back on Earth. Like then, he could not move forward. Here, as on Earth, he experienced caring people who tried to urge him forward. His mother and father had tried on Earth. Alphonse tried in this world. Even though Rudy wanted to respond, he simply could not.

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 23: Alphonse tried and failed to motivate Rudy

Alphonse tried to motivate Rudy. Rudy was not ready to listen to him. Capture from the Hulu stream.

Ever been there? Know what that’s like? It’s dark. There’s no way to see forward. There’s no way to conceptualize forward at all. Rudy’s state in this episode felt so raw and real and it got under my skin. He had mentally crashed.

In that state, he imagined/dreamed/had a vision of Zenith. She seemed tired, so the Rudy in that vision, a younger version of his current self, said he’d oversee cleaning up the house so she could rest. She gratefully took him up on that. “I’d like you to wake me up when everything’s ready,” she told him. He said he’d accept that responsibility.

Delivery: Zenith, Rudy’s Mom

She watched quietly as Rudy directed Paul and Lilia. After a few moments, she spoke.

“Rudy,” she said in a quiet voice (20:56), a sad, tired smile on her face. “I love you.”

The vision faded. An emotional darkness still engulfed Rudy. Nothing around him had changed in the slightest. He still could see no way forward. This time, though, that darkness didn’t stop him. On Earth, that darkness had prevailed. Here, he had a responsibility to tugged on his will. 

Jobless Reincarnation Episode 23: Zenith is in trouble; Rudy is going to help her

I’ve not read the manga or visual novel. But I have a terrible feeling Zenith is in big trouble. Capture from the Hulu stream.

There was no swelling music. No uplifted spirit. He felt no different than he had the moment before. But now, he put on his gear and took a step outside (21:30). Then another, and another. Rudy had decided to look for his mom. That was enough to make him move forward.

This show has a way of pulling us into real moments like this. It’s a way of reflecting reality to an almost painfully clear degree. Seeing him move forward without hope, responding to the responsibility he had shouldered, is exactly how it works in real life. It was painful to watch. It was painful to write about. But it’s real, and it’s worth experiencing. 

What did you think of Eris’ resolve to improve herself? What were your favorite moments in this episode? Please feel free to let me know in the comments!

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11 thoughts on “Jobless Reincarnation Episode 23 Review – Best in Show

  1. I really hoped Rudy would go out and help with the reconstruction. I’ve been in depressions so bad that I tried to move my little finger just to see if I still could. Rudy was still feeling bad; that means not totally emotionally dead yet. In that state I’d probably have just gone the path of least resistance. If that guy had asked me to help, I’d have just gotten up and asked where to go and what to do, and then done that task robotically. That sort of stuff actually helps. Not sure what to do about people trying to talk to me. I tend to be curt and polite in such situations… I do think it would have been good for Rudy to do some restoration work, to bide time and get a feel what actually went down. You know, the frog’s eye view of the desaster. You can learn a lot about this, just talking to regular folk.

    The very last scene… Was that Sylphie? The way she(?) talked about Rudy left me with that impression. I can’t remember anyone else who’d fit that theme. But if that’s her, she really changed. Bleached her hair so she wouldn’t get bullied? Don’t know. (Mushukou Tensei is one of those shows where I was never worried about new seasons. It’s hugely popular and a pretty safe bet. If I was worried about anything, it would have been about me losing interest. But there’s no sign of that yet. Actually, the show’s getting more interesting.)

    1. It’s amazing to me how differently depression can present. It may well have done Rudy good to help, but he just didn’t seem to have it in him.

      I think that was Sylphie. At least, that’s what other commentators have thought. I don’t know who else would speak of Rudy that way. I really liked her glasses!

      The show’s getting more interesting for me, too. Thinking back over the first season, I think my favorite part is that the isekai element is important to who Rudy is. I think that.

  2. Beautifully written review, as always! I had considered the possibility that Rudy was somehow shifting between his past self in his original world, and that this new fantasy world was simply a construction within his mind.

    Going down speculative roads like that can be fun, but I prefer the more credible interpretation, which is that these were memories of the last time he was in this emotional state. It was a really powerful episode, and I’m glad that while Rudy left the tent, he didn’t leave all of his lingering troubles behind.

    It’s a process that may take the rest of his life, but he knows he can’t stop taking one step after another until he finds Zenith.

    1. Thank you!

      I’d seen some interpretations that this world was Rudy’s imagination. He’d have to have a heck of an imagination, though. This world is wonderfully detailed!

      I guess I just said that Rudy would have to have the same imagination as the writer of the series. Which could happen. Hmmm…

      Anyway, I’m glad he left the tent, too. And I think your point about him needing the rest of his life is one of the things I love about this show: the characters are so realistic and deep!

      And I hope he finds Zenith soon. She seems tired. I’m really worried about her.

  3. The mirror of his current situation is the tragedy of his previous life. I think remembering that he eventually got on his feet and walked out the door again in his last life helped him do it in this life. Of course the memory of his mother was the motive for why but he already knew that he could. And that made it happen quicker.

    Although it seems odd that he would have forgotten, if even temporarily.

    IMHO, the people who dropped this because he started out as a pervy little kid really blew it. Helluva character arc here. Not sure why but I knew it was going to happen after watching the first couple of episodes.

    1. It does seem odd that he forgot — but that was (literally!) a lifetime ago!

      I don’t think I’ve able to use that sentence unironically before!

      “Not sure why but I knew it was going to happen after watching the first couple of episodes.”

      For me, I started to suspect this would be something special when I saw magic for the first time through Rudy’s eyes. That moment was so beautiful and so engrossing that it impressed the hell out of me. The show only picked up steam from there!

  4. This was a powerful episode and showed just what Rudeus has been going through. The best thing about this show has been that the characters are flawed and don’t instantly get over whatever it is that troubles them. Even as Rudeus walked out of the tent, you could see his hands trembling. It’s going to be a hard quest for him and I hope it doesn’t get too dark. I’ve been worried about Zenith for a while now… and now, we must worry a little longer! When is season two?

      1. Same. It’ll be interesting seeing it in the written form anyhow and not just because we desperately need to find out what happens next. I have Goblin Slayer volume 3 to finish first though. Need more time!

  5. Between Rudy’s vision and what that demon lord girl (whose name I am forgetting at the moment) saw, I surmise that Zenith is at the bottom of an infamous labyrinth, possibly underwater or submersed in something, perhaps in some sort of semi-suspended state. In terrible trouble, in need of rescue, but hopefully in a way that Rudy has time to find her.

    1. That sounds about right for Zenith’s current state. I’m really worried about her! Which just goes to show how well this show is written, to get me to care about a secondary character so much!

Please let me know what you think!

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