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Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 3 Review – Best In Show

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Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 3 Review – Quick Summary

In Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 3, “A Friend,” Rudeus Greyrat does something that would have been unthinkable before Roxy Migurdia’s education — he went on a walk, outside, and away his home! By himself! His parents Zenith and Paul felt proud, and more than a little surprised. At first, Rudy had a lot of fun. The weather was pleasant, the people he saw waved happily to him, and the scenery was spectacular. After awhile, he came upon three boys hurling mud balls at another who was couched, trying to protect his head. Rudy, outraged, tried to decide what to. Then the biggest of the bullies decided mud wasn’t enough and picked up a large stone. What will Rudy do? Will his own memories freeze him in place? Or will he stop the bullies?

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

Favorite Quote from Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 3

Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 3: Rudy gives Paul ample opportunities to teach

For Paul, the pain was real… Capture from the Funimation stream.

Rudy, Rudy, Rudy…

After the bathtub incident, I give Rudy full credit for feeling like a miserable heel. Because he was. It’s not that I enjoyed seeing him so miserable. It’s that I enjoyed seeing him understand the magnitude of what he’d done and the pain he’d caused. Even better, he knew he had to do something to make it right.

But heaven help him, the little dude has some serious gaps in his understanding…

With his father’s help, he made his way downstairs where Zenith had managed to help Sylphiette calm down. The little green-haired girl looked side-long at Rudy, waiting to hear what he had to say.

He apologized. It was very heart-felt, too. If he had stopped there, things might have gone well. But no, he had to add (18:52), “I thought you were a boy all this time!”

As Sylphiette burst back into tears, Paul said to himself (19:04), “My son may be dumber than I thought.”

I kinda felt bad for Paul in that moment.

Best in Show Moment for Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 3

Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 3: That is not the posture I expect from a 7 year old

Rudy knew he was in the right. Would Paul realize it, too? Capture from the Funimation stream.

Setup: Alone on the Front Lines of Fatherhood

A Grave Responsibility

Are you a dad? If you’re not, please do keep reading! But I want to speak from my own experience as a father, and if you’re a father, I think this will resonate with you.

Here’s a secret that is difficult to express in this moment in time: Raising a son is different from raising a daughter. I’m not talking about things like toy selection or anything like that. I’m talking about two fundamental lessons a father must teach his son — or he’s no father at all.

First, a father has to teach his son the proper use of strength. Boys can be physically aggressive, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But it has to be channeled into healthy outlets. Playing basketball? Healthy. Bullying physically weaker people? Not healthy. A father has to make that point clear, and sometimes, it’s hard. I was profoundly lucky. My son was never inclined to be a bully. But I’ve known fathers who struggled if their sons didn’t take to the lesson. Those fathers were in a better position than the fathers who encouraged their sons to bully. At least the former were trying.

Paul Was All Over It

Early in this episode (01:55), Paul impressed on Rudy that a man’s strength was for protecting the weak.

Paul does the best he can to educate his son Rudy

Rudy made it harder than he needed to, but Paul felt confident he’d gotten the point across: Strength is for protecting the weak. Capture from the Funimation stream.

The second lesson is that a man should always treat a woman with respect. I was lucky in this regard, too. My son was never inclined to be disrespectful. But a lot of problems in society would simply disappear if these two lessons got passed from father to son.

In this episode, Paul fought with both of these lessons, and you know what? He came through pretty well. But it was touch and go for a moment there.

Delivery: Paul Holds it Together

The Burden of Having to be Right

Rudy came home from a day of playing with Sylph. It’d been one of the most enjoyable days of his life. Paul sat in the dark waiting for him. Paul’s duty as a father was a little harder than most. His son wielded Saint-Class magic, and if Rudy misused his power, a city might die. Plus, Paul hadn’t been a father long, and his son used to be a shut-in. This whole situation was new to him.

So he did what most of us men do when we’re unsure. He over compensated and wouldn’t even listen to Rudy’s explanation. Now, Rudy’s not really a seven year old. He’s (mostly) an adult in a seven year old body. So Rudy reasoned that he needed to help Paul get through this. Unfortunately, adult words like (09:34) “Shout and make your kid apologize before he says anything? I wish I could deal with things as quickly as an adult” came across as profoundly disrespectful.

Paul slapped him.

Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 3: Rudy has a good handle on rhetoric

In Paul’s defense, Rudy’s adult words coming out of a child’s mouth was more than a little insolent. Capture from the Funimation stream.

Already feeling uneasy at what he’d done, Paul felt even more uncertain when Rudy, nonplussed, brushed himself off and continued his laying out his arguments. Paul, frustrated, pointed out that the other boy was clearly hurt, and Rudy threw Paul’s earlier words about protecting the weak back at him. That’s when Paul finally asked what had happened.

The Greater Burden of Doing the Right Thing

Rudy explained (in very sarcastic terms) how he’d stop bullies from hurting Sylph, and how perhaps his father would have preferred he join in with the bullies? And then, when Rudy was old enough, he’d leave his father, because he would be ashamed to be part of family that thought bullying was cool.

Rudy brought every bit of rhetoric he’d ever learned to bear. And in this case, he was also in the right. He was prepared to take this argument however far he had to.

My favorite moment in this episode was when Paul, after trembling in silence for several seconds, simply said (10:58), “Sorry.”

Do you have any idea how hard it is for a dad to say sorry to his son? You feel like you have to be this perfect example. You feel like you have to be the rock. In this world, Paul’s clearly an alpha male not only for his family, but for the surrounding area. An apology takes a ton of strength. As far as I’m concerned, he proved he had it when he admitted he was wrong.

Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 3: Paul had a rough day; Zenith made it better

Paul had a helluva day. But at the end, his family was intact, and he’d done the best he could. That’s all anyone can expect. Capture from the Funimation stream.

Paul proved that he has real courage, too.

What did you think of Sylphiette’s reaction to learning incantation-less magic? What was your Best in Show moment? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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10 thoughts on “Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 3 Review – Best In Show

  1. Whatever else I may think of the show, the execution is top notch. The body language tells you what you need to know at a glance, and the voice acting and voice direction works seemlessly. There’s a world of a difference between Rudy’s smug mode, for example, and his dejected apologies. You just have to feel the scene.

    Also, this show must have the most beautiful background art this season (and it’s competing with Non Non Biyori, who’s up to its good old standards). The walk through the woods that started off the episode was just stunning.

    1. The backgrounds might even top Wandering Witch, and coming from me, that’s saying a lot!

      It actually put me in mind of The Fellowship of the Ring before they ran into the Nazgul. Talk about a buzz kill…

    1. That was a hugely heart-warming moment, wasn’t it?

      I _almost_ went with that one… But the moment I chose hit pretty close to home, and I thought I might have a little more to say about it.

      Still, seeing her joy was really something.

  2. I remember telling my daughter I was sorry for getting angry with her without taking her side into consideration. It really isn’t that difficult if take your children as fully equal to you in humanity and not just a project you need to complete before they leave home.

    1. I didn’t get into this in my review, but it’s hard not to take queues from your own father. I grew up in the midwest, and my dad constantly struggled against the expectations placed on him — always be stern, never show emotions, that sort of thing.

      I have no idea if Paul had that situation or not, but I hesitate to say taking a stern stance automatically means a father doesn’t see the child as “equal to you in humanity.” Paul just didn’t quite know what to do.

      And I don’t think you implied this, but I’d argue that the “project” doesn’t end when they leave home. I don’t think it ever ends!

    1. I really didn’t think much of it until Rudy asked her name, and the wind interrupted her at “Sylph.” So I figured something was going on! But she was dressed just like the boys we’ve seen.

Please let me know what you think!

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