Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 8 Review – Quick Summary
In Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 8, “Turning Point 1,” two years had passed since the previous episode. Eris’ sword craft continued to blossom under Ghislaine’s capable teaching. Rudeus continued to lag behind in terms of physical prowess, but he had taught himself new languages — including the Beast God language, with Ghislaine’s help. All was going well when he overheard Eris and the maids planning something special for Rudy. Was that the kind of special they thought Rudy would like? Or the kind of special Eris would like to deliver? And what has happened with the ringed orb hanging above the city?
Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.
Favorite Quote from Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 8
This is not the look of a man who was joking. Capture from the Hulu stream.
We’re eight episodes in, and some of this worlds politics are coming into focus. And they are brutal. We learned in this episode that Rudy belongs to the Notos branch of the Greyrat family. The head of that family is Paul’s brother, Philemon, who Rudy described as being even “scummier” than Paul. He must be seriously scummy.
There’s a reason Philip was dismayed that Rudy drew attention to himself in the previous episode. Philemon is so hated among among the Greyrat family that there’s a covert move to replace him. Philip belongs to the Boreas branch. If it were to become known that the Boreas branch harbored a young man of the Notos branch, others would see it as the Notos grooming a replacement for Philemon. An advertised coup can be a problem.
First, I love politics on this level. This is solid world building. It’s made even better when the characters sell it. After Rudy’s party, Rudy found himself alone with Philip, who had had quite a lot of wine. They engaged in small talk. Philip and Rudy have always gotten along. Philip jokingly asked if Rudy would like to marry Eris and take over the Boreas family. Rudy, in the joking spirit, asked what Philip expected from a ten year old.
Philip looked Rudy straight in the eye and said, “All you need to do is sit still. I’ll handle the coup” (10:17).
Between his expression and the quiet menace in his voice, the hair on the back of my neck went up. This world’s politics are brutal, just as medieval time’s politics were brutal. It’s wonderful to see that dramatized so well!
Best in Show Moment for Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 8
Who is this man that made a dragon figure, “Yeah, no?” with just a look? Capture from the Hulu stream.
Setup: Craftsmanship Matters
I’ve recently had to defend my choice to review this series. That’s not surprising, because going into the series, I was aware that Rudy would be a controversial character. More precisely, he would be controversial to some people. From my perspective, he was simply realistic.
Have you ever read Dangerous Visions? Harlan Ellison, a Science Fiction Grand Master, challenged science fiction writers of that time to go out there, to write stories that explored topics that haven’t been previously explored. It’s decidedly not for kids. It’s decidedly not for some adults. But for those of us who can’t shake a deep hunger to understand the world, it was a revelation.
To be honest, I don’t think it went far enough. But watching the reaction to Jobless Reincarnation, I have to reconsider. Are we as a race ready for mature topics? Are we ready to grapple with with fundamental questions like how far we’re willing to go to attempt to heal a broken soul — a broken soul who expresses their brokenness as sexual dysfunction? Or will we just pick up stones and start hurling them — again?
I’m pretty sure that knocking on Ghislaine’s butt is a Morally Questionable Act (MQA). Should we tar and feather Rudy? Maybe stone him? Would that be the moral thing to do? Capture from the Hulu stream.
That’s a very, very basic question. It’s a dull, discouraging question. It’s not getting close to the really interesting questions. To even get to the point where you can even talk those questions, as a writer, you need to have a certain level of skill. Presenting difficult questions means presenting complex, realistic worlds where your exploration can take place.
That’s exactly what I’m seeing in Jobless Reincarnation.
Delivery: Foreshadowing Done Right
Roxy Set the Tone
When Roxy stepped onto the balcony and looked at the storm, she wondered aloud (18:11), “Isn’t the Asura Kingdom in that direction? Could it be… Rudeus?” The look on her face and tone of alarm caught my attention. What did she know? What did she suspect? What’s up with Rudy?
That’s one good way to build anticipation!
That was interesting enough. What came next was a masterclass in foreshadowing and building tension. Huge dragons circled above the spine of a mountain pass. A lone man, robed, his hair blowing in the breeze, walked in the twilight. A mammoth dragon swooped close to him and unleashed a torrent of flame right into the man.
The Man Who Intimidates Dragons
When it was done, the man simply looked annoyed. Curious, the dragon lowered itself and landed to look at the man. It reminded me very much of the Flame Dragon from Gate, which, IMHO, is the reference implementation. The dragon gazed at the man. Seeing the intricate glowing patten glowing white beside the man’s eyes, seeing that the man’s eyes looked eerily similar dragon eyes, the dragon decided being somewhere else was a good idea. It flew away.
This guy just stared down a freaking flame dragon. Who is this guy? Capture from the Hulu stream.
So I’m thinking, “Good Lord, who is this guy?” Staring after the dragon, he said (19:16), “Mana is gathering? What’s gone wrong, and where? Oh, well. I’ll find out when I get there.”
This, combined with Roxy’s scene, created a sense of tension and foreboding that I haven’t felt since Made in Abyss or, to a slightly lesser extent, in Izetta: The Last Witch. This is why I watched this show: To immerse myself in a world created by a master of his craft. I’m either about to see some really, really good stuff, or I’m about to see a train wreck. I don’t see this show heading for any middle ground. And I’m okay with that.
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 8: Other Posts
Other Anime Sites
- Reddit: Mushoku Tensei: Isekai Ittara Honki Dasu – Episode 8 discussion
- RABUJOI: Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation – 08 – Growing Up Fast
- Random Curiosity: Mushoku Tensei – 08
This Site (Crow’s World of Anime!)
- Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 1: Jobless Reincarnation
- Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 2: Master
- Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 3: A Friend
- Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 4: Emergency Family Meeting
- Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 5: A Young Lady and Violence
- Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 6: A Day Off in Roa
- Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 7: What Lies Beyond Effort
- Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 8: Turning Point 1
- Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 9: A Chance Encounter
- Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 10: The Value of a Life and the First Job
- Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 11: Children and Warriors