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Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 9 Review – Best In Show

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Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 9 Review – Quick Summary

In Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 9, “A Chance Encounter,” Rudeus came to in a place that was almost all white. He couldn’t see much, but from what he could see, he was back in his human body. The discovery crushed him. Of all the punishments he could think of, this was the worst. Things took an unusual turn when a tall, slender bipedal being of light greeted him warmly. Rudy, by now knowing better than to trust pretty much anyone, scoffed at the being when it said that it had been watching over him. What does it mean that Rudy is back in his Earth body? Who is this being of light? And why is it so insistent on giving Rudy advice?

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

Favorite Quote from Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 9

Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 9: Roxy's mom doesn't get Rudy's sense of humor.

Rokari doesn’t quite understand Rudy’s sense of humor. Rowin, however, seems to have a good handle on it. Capture from the Funimation stream.

When we first met Rowin, something about him looked familiar. I thought maybe it was the color of his eyes, then I thought it was both the color of his hair and how he wore a small braid over his left shoulder. It didn’t dawn on me until the chief, Rokkus, asked about Rudy’s necklace. Turns out Rowin had the same hair color and style of someone else we’d met before: Roxy! Happenstance or that Man-God (or maybe “wicked Dragon-God”?) had led Rudy right to Roxy’s home village.

The chief and Rowin seemed to be impressed that Rudy spoke of Roxy with pride and respect, since he called her master. But this is Rudy we’re talking about. Even when he behaves, he’s just seconds away from saying something wildly inappropriate. He actually made it all the way to their departure from the village.

Rowin and his wife Rokari escorted and friends to the edge of the village. After a few pleasantries where Rudy scored points with Rokari for saying how young she looked, Rudy hopefully asked Rowin (20:48), “May I call you father-in-law?”

Rokari looked shocked and embarrassed. Without even blinking, Rowin immediately answered, “No.”

This show really knows its characters!

Best in Show Moment for Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 9

Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 9: Rudy gave Ruijerd unexpected hope.

I’m not going to use a word like “good” or “great” to describe the art in this series. I’ll just say this: Shots like this genuinely convey the character’s feelings. Capture from the Funimation stream.

Setup: This is What I Was Hoping For

Back in the comments of episode 2, Dawnstorm offered some discussion on my hope that this series would include a Rudy redemption arc. Dawnstorm thought the evidence pointed to something more like a healing arc. I’ve been thinking about that on and off for a while, and I’ve to a preliminary conclusion. It’s preliminary because I have no idea where the series might go, so it could trample all over my conclusions.

My conclusion is this: I still hope for a redemption arc — a redemption arc that includes Rudy healing, too. Yeah, I’m greedy. But I think we’re already seeing signs that Rudy is healing, if only a little. Remember back in episode 7, when Eris slept beside him? He consciously decided not to touch her. That’s not what we’ve seen him do before. That’s progress.

I’m not saying Rudy’s perfect. I am saying that he’s making progress. Capture from the Funimation stream.

In this episode, we got an even more powerful indication of where Rudy is in his personal journey. When he became conscious in that bright-white space and found he was in his old human body, you could just that the experience crushed his spirit. He became instantly cynical and belligerent, even in the face of the Man-God. Rudy felt convinced the life he had come to cherish was over, and he was sick at the implications.

His attitude changed completely when the Man-God told Rudy that he wasn’t dead. He would wake up in the body and the life he loved. The encounter forcibly reminded Rudy what he had gained and what it meant to him. That prepared him to consider the mission that the Man-God gave him. Saying that Rudy would awaken near a man, the Man-God told Rudy to approach that man (03:55) “and help him.”

So, just how much has Rudy healed?

Delivery: Rudy Has to Make a Choice

Rudy Met a Superd in the Flesh

Remember the stories of the green-haired demons who had red gems in the center of their foreheads? The ones that would mindlessly rend and tear and kill? Well, when Rudy woke up, he saw Ruijerd Superdia, who had green hair and a red gem in the center of his forehead. Rudy shrank back in fear, and Ruijerd kind of rolled his eyes and turned aside. He was obviously all too well acquainted with that reaction, and he was tired of it. Yet, he didn’t lash out. After a moment, Rudy did something that seemed to surprise Ruijerd. Rudy politely introduced himself.

In other words, Rudy treated Ruijerd with respect because Rudy believed that the rumors and stories he’d heard about the Superd might not be true. Why did Rudy believe that? Because Ruijerd had saved him and Eris. If Ruijerd had wanted them dead, he could have easily killed them when they were unconscious. That understanding was the first indication in this episode that Rudy was healing.

Amazing what a "good morning" will do!

Rudy just said good morning. It wasn’t praise or even a sign of respect, necessarily. It was a simple gesture of politeness. But look at the impact such a gesture had on Ruijerd! Capture from the Funimation stream.

The next example is my favorite moment of the episode, based on Ruijerd’s expression alone. In Rokkus’ home, Eris had fallen asleep. That left Rokkus, Rudy, and Ruijerd awake. Rudy asked why the Superd had such a terrible reputation. So Ruijerd spoke of how the he and his tribe had supported the hero Laplace in an ancient war, and how Laplace had betrayed them by giving them spears that overthrew their minds and turned them into killing machines. He spoke of how his own son had given his life to break the curse, and how he now carried his son’s soul in his spear. And Ruijerd spoke of how it was now his mission to clear the reputation of his people.

How Will Rudy Respond?

Now get this: Rudy empathized with Ruijerd. Rudy saw in Ruijerd painful reminders of what he himself had undergone during his life on Earth. In hid mind’s eye, he saw himself back in his original body, glasses and all, as he thought, “Regret, huh?” He thought about what he and Eris could do to help, and he thought he saw a path to solution.

Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Episode 9: Rudy knew too well what prejudice does to a person

Rudy’s mental image of himself reverted for an instant to the image he’d had for more years than the form or “Rudy.” And that old form had seen a lot of hate and ugliness. It informed his perspective. Capture from the Funimation stream.

“I’ll help you,” he said aloud (20:08). “I promise. I’ll do all that I can.”

Ruijerd’s look of incredulous hope almost broke my heart. I can’t fathom what he had been through, and now for the first time, someone had not only spoken politely to him, they offered to help him.

That’s the kind of moment I have been looking for. Seeing magic as magical was a fantastic bonus. Seeing how Rudy has grown out of his brokenness to become a reasonably responsible young man has been great. But seeing him look on another sentient being through the lens of his experiences and agreeing to help? That’s just good stuff.

What did you think of how happy Eris seemed to be when she finally got a blade? What was your Best in Show moment? Let me know in the comments!

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

  1. This episode did suggest a redemption arc, quite out in the open, when Rudy thought to himself that the old him would have just scoffed at him, but now he’s decided to help. We’ll see where this goes. This, however:

    ****That’s progress.*****

    Well, it might be progress. But it’s definitely in line with his condition, I think, to be able to resist now and then. He’s not blind to his faults, he just usually indulges. When it’s about sex he seems to lose it, so the ring quite literally did keep the “wolf at bay”. So far, I’d say that’s just how Rudy ticks. Eris’ earlier kick of punishment, for example, wouldn’t have taught him a lesson, since he’ll just few this as just punishment, and then go about his ways because he can’t help it.

    This is where the setting comes into play. Very nearly every male character we’ve met so far will seem sexualy sleazy (at least) when viewed with moral sentiment. So even if he indulges, he’s going to come off well by comparison, and this world appears quite partriarchal, so few people will call him out. He’ll have to find to better himself within himself, as so far I’m not seeing anything that’ll encourage him to get better.

    But again, the story’s only just beginning. We’ll see where this goes. (As an aside, someone on the animesuki forums posted a link to a youtube video by Mother’s Basement, called approximately “Mushukou Tensei is art, you philistines”. The title is a quote from his comments-section(?), and it’s a quite detailed analysis of what’s going on. I found it a pretty good video, so I thought I’d share. It’s a pretty detailed rundown, and there’s nothing I obviously disagree with in there, but then it doesn’t really adress the genre meta much, and this is where my main gripe lies. Still, the video’s worth a watch.)

    Also:

    *Laplace* I had to chuckle. Does that make the Superds ***drumroll**** Laplace’ Demons? Who are the other heroes? Fourier? Fermat? Pascal? (Can magic break determinism? One has to wonder how arbitrary the name is.)

    1. ” I found it a pretty good video, so I thought I’d share.”

      Thanks for the reference. Gotta say, that was a solid analysis. His observation of how Hilda’s reaction to seeing Rudy get emotional at his party (he called it “genius writing) crystalized a realization. I see serious writing skill throughout this series. I think that’s laudable. It disturbs me when I see it disrespected, and yeah, it’s a bit of projection on my part. Some day, I hope to publish, and I want to explore and understand topics that others will judge as unsavory.

      And — heaven help me — I judge the living hell out of people who look down on that kind of skill.

      It’s not that I don’t understand the perspective. I have a bachelors in theology with concentrations in Christology, Eschatology, and moral systematic theology. I _understand_ that there are actions that are classified as “sin” and that there are issues of culpability. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I would have to be both blithering and an idiot not to see that.

      I have no issue with someone saying, “Man, I hate this. It’s not for me.”

      It’s the judgement that I can’t abide.

      Yep. That’s on me. I’m always about two sentences away from my real self losing containment and reverting to how I was back in the USENET wars. An addiction to neurochemicals is still an addiction, after all. I started this site for a variety of reasons, but one of them was to force myself to celebrate and be positive about something. So basically, I’ve put my stubbornness (I _will_ be freaking positive) and my irrational joy at online rhetoric against each other. I’m hoping my stubbornness will win out.

      That’s the source, I think, for my reaction to the conversations about this series.

      “*Laplace* I had to chuckle. Does that make the Superds ***drumroll**** Laplace’ Demons? ”

      It’s been so long since I learned about Laplace’ determinism that I’d forgotten about that. That’s a level of meta my poor brain can’t dive into right now, but I’m going to think about it…

      I wonder if one of their allies will be named Calvin? That’s add a level of spiritual determinism to the causal determination…

      And I’ll keep an eye open for Fourier, Fermat, and Pascal.

  2. I chalk it up to being a translation inconsistency that Crunchyroll first described it as the Human-God language and now calling the white guy Man-God. I believe if Crunchyroll was being consistent that it would refer to the white guy as Human-God. I’m not convinced that this supposed Dragon-God is supposedly an enemy after all, and that’s probably just the Human-God’s intent to stir something up. Rudeus did pick up on him being suspicious, and that could very well of been the suspicious information he relayed to Rudeus in conjunction with useful information like his words about relying on and helping Ruijerd.

    While I will say this was my favourite episode of Mushoku Tensei so far, I still find that there is a pattern of convenient things happening in this story, such as Rudeus and Eris being brought to an area that was close to Roxy’s home village, allowing for Rudeus to meet Roxy’s parents.

    1. “I chalk it up to being a translation inconsistency that Crunchyroll first described it as the Human-God language and now calling the white guy Man-God. ”

      I strongly suspect you’re right. In this context, the terms seem interchangeable. Consistency would have been helpful!

      “I still find that there is a pattern of convenient things happening in this story,”

      It’s probably just my imagination lending an assist, but I noticed that, too. I interpreted it as machinations at the god level — probably the Man-God/Human-God. I mean, they landed on a continent. I don’t know the magical rules of that world. But unless one of the rules is that the demon village was strongly magical, so it exerted an attraction for Rudy and Eris’ landing site, then the location does seem improbable.

    2. “I chalk it up to being a translation inconsistency that Crunchyroll first described it as the Human-God language and now calling the white guy Man-God. I believe if Crunchyroll was being consistent that it would refer to the white guy as Human-God.”

      I think that’s because there are quirks of japanese language at play. Man-god is referred to both as 人神 (human god) and ヒトガミ (Hitogami) in the novels so “Man-god” may be an indicator that the latter option is used.
      Also, Human language is just that, Human. It doesn’t have -god in its name. We can see it in the introduction of the villiage chief in ep.8.

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