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Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 2 Review – Best In Show

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Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 2 Review – Quick Summary

In Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 2, “Master,” Rudeus Greyrat enjoyed learning magic from Roxy Migurdia. Sometimes, he enjoyed it in ways she hadn’t intended, but she maintained her good humor and tried to steer the amorous little child to more respectful displays of affection. Despite how much he learned, and despite how much confidence he had gained, he still suffered serious flashbacks to his previous life. Saying he had an unhappy childhood would have been an understatement. Will Rudeus ever be able to throw off the memories that shackle him to the past? Will he ever learn the why of some of the norms of behavior Roxy’s trying to teach him, along with magic? Or will he be forever confined to his own house and yard?

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

Favorite Quote from Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 2

Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 2: Paul needs to give Rudeus more time to learn the sword

Rudy’s blow on the stone, far from slicing through, made his whole body vibrate. I’m not sure his dad is demonstrating the right technique… Capture from the Funimation stream.

I chose this quote because partly because it’s funny and partly because of what it shows of Rudy’s maturing state of mind. It happened about a year after Roxy had arrived. Rudeus had made such progress learning and practicing magic that he almost never fainted anymore.

His father trying to teach him the sword had the exact opposite effect. The poor kid just couldn’t get it. It didn’t help that while he had an affinity for magic and Roxy was a patient teacher, he had no aptitude for physical combat and his dad was a natural genius. Have you ever tried to learn anything from a natural genius? In my experience, their minds are so far away from mine that they don’t understand why I don’t understand — so they can’t explain it well.

His dad demonstrated a power move and asked Rudy to try it. Where his dad’s sword has sliced through the target with ease, Rudeus only managed to rattle his teeth and nearly break his arm.

“You idiot!” Paul screamed at him (06:19). “That’s stepping in with a hop, and then wham! It’s whoosh, then slash!”

Rudy’s inner monologue said (06:27), “Well, I’m still only four, and my body’s not conditioned. I’ve got a long way to go. I’ll work at it.”

He said that he’ll work at it. I like that! He’s growing! That’s not like the character we’re learning about from his previous life.

Best in Show Moment for Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 2

Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 2: Rudy felt profoundly grateful to Roxy

Rudy sees Roxy in a completely different light compared to just one episode ago. Capture from the Funimation stream.

Setup: It’s Hard to Get Out of a Pit…

After watching this episode, I’m starting to feel a little better about reviewing this series. And it’s because of some of the more controversial elements, though not solely because of them. Put simply: These characters feel real.

Look at the flashbacks we got about Rudy. What his classmates did to him was reprehensible. I could try to be precise and say I could see that destroying a young man’s self-esteem, but it’s way more than that. Those bullies destroyed Rudy’s Earth-side life. There was no way he could even open a window and look outside.

In this world, when Rudy looked past the stone fence at children playing in the road, he had a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)-style flashback. Those can be brutal, which is another thing I liked about this show: Its psychology feels authentic. It was so bad for Rudeus that in the previous episode, he began to shake even stepping into yard.

Rudy was still uneasy about leaving the yard

Even the idea of leaving the fenced yard terrified Rudy. Capture from the Funimation stream.

That kind of trauma manifests itself in a lot of different ways. One of them is in sexual behavior that’s considered inappropriate. Case in point: Rudy trying to peek up Roxy’s skirt as she taught a magic lesson. But notice how she reacted. Did she try to humiliate him? Did she try to punch him? No, she redirected him.

Delivery: …Without a Helping Hand

Roxy’s Humility Made Her the Perfect Teacher

Zenith and Paul clearly adore their son. That gave Rudy a solid family life, but it could only stabilize his psychological treatment. He needed more to began to heal.

Roxy did more than simply not humiliate him. All through his education, she quietly encouraged him. She didn’t berate him when he tried to peep at her changing. When he hid behind his mother at the sight of the horse that was to take him to the final exam field, she simply smiled, shook her head, and said (14:08), “You act your age when I least expect it.”

I almost chose the moment Rudy executed sacred-level water magic as my favorite. That was, after all, the culmination of his education. In that moment, he proved not only that he could succeed, but that he could do something amazing.

The scale of Rudy’s sacred-level water magic astounded Roxy. Capture from the Funimation stream.

Rudy Responded to the Respect She Extended

Instead of that, my favorite moment showed the effect Roxy had on him. After saying she intended to follow in the path of Elaina and become a wandering witch (and no, she didn’t really mention Elaina!), she actually apologized to Rudy for not being a better teacher. He couldn’t believe it. To him, she had been an amazing teacher. She was the teacher that showed him the world outside his house wasn’t something to fear.

Roxy appreciated his sentiment, but she could see more clearly than he could. She knew he was already at her level. So after giving him a charm from her home town, she started down the road.

She’d gone less than a hundred meters when he yelled (21:19), “Master! Thank you very much!”

The guy that could only see Roxy as a loli in the previous episode now saw her as a treasured teacher. So much so that he screamed his sincere thanks to the world. In my review of the previous episode, I thought I saw the beginnings of a redemption arc. We still might get that, and I’m looking forward to it. But now I think we might see something even better: A redemption arc with convincing character development.

What did you think of the depiction of sacred-level water magic? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!

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9 thoughts on “Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 2 Review – Best In Show

  1. Awwww. Thank you for your interest. If I finish anything in the near future that doesn’t leave me thinking, eh, I will. Perhaps when I finish Black Lagoon, which I am quite enjoying.

  2. I see a healing arc, not a redemption arc. But I do agree: The people feel real. That makes the ecchi framing more intrusive, though. Ending the episode on a pnaty joke demonstrates this fairly well; it’s not that the main character is unrepentant; it’s that the show is unrepentant.

    That said, the treatment of Rudy’s issues was really, really well done. It’s a very good show in that regard.

  3. It looks like Rudeus is indeed attracted to Roxy as he had indicated in the previous episode. I’m not happy about the authors using Roxy for fanservice by having her pleasure herself out in the hallway. Couldn’t they have had her do it in her room underneath the sheets instead of having Roxy clearly display a lack of restraint when she decided to sit tight on the other side of the door next to Rudeus’s room? It was a clearly contrived scene written /animated specifically for Rudeus to catch her out in the open. The scene also required a significant suspension of belief because Rudeus’s flame that he generated with his hand lit up the hallway up to the point Roxy was sitting at, so it should have been impossible for Roxy not to notice that Rudeus had caught sight of her even if she wasn’t really paying attention and was absorbed in something else.

    I know Rudeus overcoming his fear of the outside world was well done, and the animation continues to be top notch, but I still believe the show is pandering to a very specific audience with the choice to make Rudeus the way he is. The show is meant to be wish fulfillment for that audience. Rudeus could have had some other flaw instead of being a sexual deviant.

    1. “The show is meant to be wish fulfillment for that audience.”

      Well, maybe wish fulfillment on the fantasy side of the world. In his original life? I’m not seeing that as the fulfillment of any kind of wish!

      “Rudeus could have had some other flaw instead of being a sexual deviant.”

      I’m not sure, because it looked to me like his development followed the trauma he survived.

      I’m just not finding it in my heart to condemn the poor guy.

  4. I’m not actually watching this yet, but it has an interesting premise from reading this blog entry. There has been a movement, of sorts, among self help community to write or imagine your life if you had NOT had the traumatic abuse or incident as a healing method. Imagine the person and the life you could have been and be that person. Included is a suggestion that you even write that story, journal it, and I almost wonder if the original story germ here might have been someone’s effort at rewriting an abusive life. Especially when you mention how realistic the PTSD is, because PTSD is something that is hard to get right if you have not experienced it. Just a thought…

    1. Wow. That’s beautiful.

      I love the idea that writing could heal.

      You have a good point about portraying PTSD, too. It’d be easy to exaggerate, or emphasize the wrong aspects of the reaction.

      If you do watch this series, I’d love to know your reaction. Maybe you could review it on your site!

      1. GAsP me, review anime? *faints* No, really, it’s a personal problem based on reactions to reviews I’ve posted in other places before. No doubt my current blog audience would be more receptive. Perhaps I should take this as an assignment…

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