Mushoku Tensei: A Jobless, Shameless Reincarnation || Review

A brief spoiler-free review of the 11-episode Winter 2021 series “Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation,” animated by Studio Bind, directed by Manabu Okamoto, and based on the light novel series of the same name by Rifujin na Magonote.


Reborn in a World of Magic

A thirty-four-year-old shut-in has just about had all of life that he can handle. Even when he tries to do something heroic for once in his life, it ends in a tragic accident. Fate, however, has other plans for him, and the man awakens in another world as Rudeus Greyrat, the newborn baby of two loving parents.

With the memories from his previous life still intact, Rudeus quickly adapts to this new fantasy environment. The knowledge from his adult past allows him to latch onto the world’s magic system faster than the other kids, and before long, his parents hire a mage tutor named Roxy Migurdia to help hone his skills. Rudeus learns swordplay from his father, Paul, and makes his first friend in the beautiful Sylphiette. Although Rudeus is no knight right now, his time with the blade will come in handy when he eventually takes on his own young pupil—the fiesty Eris Greyrat—and her buff, beast-human guardian Ghislaine.

Granted a second chance at life, Rudeus endeavors to live in a way that his old self would be proud of. As Rudeus attempts to conquer the traumas of his past, he starts to believe that maybe, just maybe, there is love for him in this world after all.

Gonna have to spit this out there now, but I absolutely despise the isekai story-starter trope of reincarnation. Rarely is it explored to full effect in these shows, and often is the tragic death overlooked by episode 3. That said, Mushoku Tensei is different. Throughout the series, we receive direct narration of events not from the voice of young Rudeus, but rather that of his past self. At first, the cynical and snarky dialogue comes across as largely pessimistic and cruel. But, as Rudeus starts to make connections and brave his way outside the comfort zone, the narration slowly adopts a note of hope. And of course, Rudeus is a pervert both then and now, but you’d be surprised how well he fits the bill as “The Son of Paul Greyrat.”

THE GREYRATS ARE SCUM

I know he’s really a 34-year-old man on the inside, but boy is Rudeus a cutie. I mean, just look at that name ~Rudeus~ I love it. Although we know who he really is, no one else does, and so Rudeus plays the innocent young prodigy part remarkably well. A lot of viewers may not take to him because of this fact (plus that he’s a whole-ass pervert), but I like Rudeus, and I hope he does find that self-love and acceptance he was missing out on in his sad past.

The same well wishes cannot be said for Rudeus’ father, Paul. I won’t spoil what he does (or who he does, yikes!), but don’t let that knightly title lead you to believing that honoring and respecting women is a virtue he exemplifies. THIS MANS IS SCUM. Hell, ALL OF THE GREYRATS ARE SCUM. And yet, I still love ’em all, the horny bastards. Paul is lucky to have a charismatic babe like Zenith!

Although the kind and soft-spoken Sylphiette is who propels Rudeus to become a stronger mage, a character I believe most audiences would resonate more with is Roxy. A wonderful teacher and talented water mage, Roxy serves as a huge motivation for Rudeus. Rudeus’ graduation ceremony from Roxy’s teachings had tears welling in my eyes, and as a teacher of young students myself, I just really hit it off with her reserved yet inspiring teaching style. Roxy rarely yells, but rather guides, and her realizing Rudeus’ potential (which far exceeds her own) hit me in the feels. The prospect of eventually reuniting with Roxy incentivizes Rudeus to work hard at not only magecraft, but also other avenues of life.

Then we have Eris Greyrat, who comes in and stomps on all of Rudeus’ hopes and dreams. I kid, but she’s definitely a stubborn pain in the ass. As Rudeus’ charms slowly start to rub off on Eris, however, she becomes noticeably more tame, even likable to an extent. Were it not for Ghislaine’s overwhelming strength and presence to hold Eris back, I’m not sure how far Rudeus would have gotten in his mentorship!

Quality Character Animation

While searching for more information about the studio behind making Mushoku Tensei, it appeared to me as if this is Studio Bind’s first work—and to this, WOW, I’m quite shocked. The animation of the series keeps up with the spellcasting elements of the show just as well as the dumb ecchi-comedy moments. Specifically, it was the quality of the character animation that grabbed my interest. In fact, I had no plans to watch Mushoku Tensei until one of the sakuga-crazed Twitter accounts I follow retweeted a short animation of Roxy splitting a tree and then healing it. From that moment on, I looked forward to seeing Rudeus’ water magic develop just as much I wanted to see that perverted little face of his warp into a devilish smile.

If I’m being honest here, the whole production of Mushoku Tensei won me over far before the story’s premise. The series is accompanied by a wonderful fantasy soundtrack from the genius Yoshiaki Fujisawa. Likewise, all of the grassy plains, vast deserts, and medieval cities provide a pleasant background to the show’s relatively soft visual aesthetic. Lastly, since I watched this one subbed, I did want to toot the seiyuu voicing the project, especially Yumi Uchiyama’s cute lil’ Rudeus, Ai Kakuma’s fiery and passionate Eris, and Megumi Toyoguchi’s tough and throaty Ghislaine.

A Debauched, Self-Indulgent Comedy

Mushoku Tensei probably wasn’t meant to be this enjoyable, at least for me. The series blends ecchi and isekai elements (which I typically cannot stand) into a fantasy drama with ludicrous amounts of world-building lore and pleasure-seeking fun. In addition to the nice magic animation and memorable character design, the series also pursues themes of self-love, reclamation of youth, and goodwill to others with Rudeus’ narrative. You can tell by the end how much taller he stands, and how he’s already so much prouder of the chances he’s taken in this life than the scarring, regret-filled life of his past. With this first season, a man is finally starting to overcome his fears from being bullied and enjoy life under the sun for once. I hope he’s able to go even further in subsequent seasons.

However the story tries to move you, this dramatic character development doesn’t stop Rudeus—and all of the Greyrats for that matter—from being horny on main 24/7. The series is never afraid to have fun with itself, and it remains wholly dedicated to its cause of debauched, self-indulgent comedy. If you’re wanting an isekai fantasy series with perverse, no-holds-barred commentary (and a slice or two of redemption), step right up to the house of Paul and Zenith Greyrat—I’m sure they’d love to have you.


“The worse I am at something, the better I feel when I work at it and learn how to do it.”

Rudeus Greyrat


Afterword

I’ve spent the past weekend trying to finish all the Winter 2021 simulcasts I started months ago. It’s actually been fun seeing how some of these shows ended, and it was equally exciting to see the season two announcement for Mushoku Tensei already greenlit! While I’m guessing the story from here on will lean more on the serious side, you can bet I’ll be back for more Greyrat degeneracy when the sequel airs this summer. For those wondering, I’m welcoming Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation as a “Cake” title here at the cafe, a show that’s not for everyone, but one that certainly scratches that itch you might’ve not have even known you had. I like the show when it’s both dumb and endearing, and that’s rare for even me to admit.

What are your thoughts on Mushoku Tensei? Do you think Paul Greyrat is scum or do you think he’s scum? Also, are you looking forward to more of this series or was this first season enough for you? Let me know your thoughts about the show or this review down in the comments! Thanks for reading, and ’til next time!

– Takuto

End of March Update 4/9/21

Hey guys,

Once again, I don’t have too much to report on from March. Throughout the past month, I mainly spent my days studying, reading manga, and rewatching a few of my favorite anime. It was a therapeutic month, if a somewhat unproductive one on the blog side. While I want to spend April making posts over the things I enjoyed in March, another part of me wants to keep on moving forward. So, there may be posts for older stuff, but also maybe not. I’ll play it by ear. For now though, let’s look at how terribly I failed my goals for March. >.<

Goal Reflection


Write Five Posts Each Month | Did I really only write two or three posts in March? Yikes.

Review More Anime | I did not do this either. If it counts, I did discuss my hopes and dreams for the Evangelion 3.0+1.0 now that it is finally in theaters! And it was a “Cafe Talk” post–like, when was the last time I wrote one of those!?

Continue Writing Manga Reflections | I was able to write a post (AND film a video) for my first impressions of Battle Angel Alita that you can read right here! April will have more manga content for sure!

Write Posts for Video Content | All four of my March videos were uploaded here as blog posts. I’m one short of my YouTube goal there of five videos a month, but please check those out if you’re interested!

Achieve 750 Followers | Current count is 724. Thank you so much for reading and following along~!

What I’ve Watched


The Mystic Archives of Dantalian — I actually started this early 2010s gem quite some time back, but I’ve yet to go further than the first 3 or so episodes. My main reason for starting Dantalian was because it had the same look and feel as Gosick, one of my favorite mystery anime. Although the plots differ, the energy is the same, and I’ll try to keep going with it even if it leans on the slower side. Has anyone else seen this show?

Crest of the Stars — The hype of Evangelion 3.0+1.0 has led me down a tunnel of craving vintage sci-fi anime. I won’t lie, this series didn’t initially catch my eye until Funimation licensed and released it on DVD a couple years back. The art looked mystifying, and I finally caved to watching. I’m 3 episodes out from the end (I think) and I’m enjoying how sad yet romantic it is. Loving the space travel aspect, too. More to come in a review!

Sword of the Stranger — I plan to watch more films in 2021, and it looks like this samurai-turned-vagabond adventure flick was first up. I won’t lie, this era of Japanese history isn’t my favorite. BUT, it’s definitely starting to grow on me, and this film was fantastic from start to finish. The fight choreo and animation hold up super well after all these years, and the MUSIC, oh my GOD, so riveting and passionate!! I might review it, but . . . just know that the Blu-ray will stay on my shelf.

Great Pretender — HELLS YEAH I watched Great Pretender, and HELLS YEAH I loved the shit out of it. This is the kind of series I needed to fill the void left by Eden of the East, Baccano!, and Terror in Resonance, and I couldn’t have enjoyed it more than I did. In fact, I binged all 23 episodes of the series in a SINGLE DAY it was that good, and while I want to review it, I already know my words will be senseless squealing over my mans Laurent, my queen Cynthia, my girl Abigail, and mah boi Edamameeee ❤ Seriously, this was the thrill ride I needed to kickstart my love for anime again. The dub is phenomenal, too! GO WATCH IT!

Attack on Titan Final Season — This was the ONLY simulcast I actually finished in time, and WOW what a series this has been. Of course, we’re not done yet, though, as a the second cour of this anime giant is set to conclude the story this winter. I’m thrilled to see how it ends, especially with the manga’s recent completion. But for now, we wait!

The Promised Neverland Season 2 — CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FIRST SIMULCAST ANIME I EVER DROPPED. LOL. After 5 or 6 episodes, I couldn’t do it anymore. Because I still love the story and characters, however, I took to the Shounen Jump app to start reading the manga. That’s right fam, ya boy’s reading Neverland. I can’t wait to get past the content of the first anime to see where the sequel started. Maybe I’ll revisit season 2 after I’ve read it all just to see how some of it was animated, but otherwise it’s manga-only for me from here on out!

Fire Force Season 2 — With all of the Simuldub episodes finally available on Funimation, I was able to binge the second half of the series and see how it compares to the manga. The good news? Fire Force remains one of the most consistently adapted series that the anime fandom has ever seen. The bad news? At present, we’ve no guarantee for a third season. Keep on supporting the manga and the anime and maybe we’ll get a season 3 before too long!!

***I have yet to continue watching episodes of Wonder Egg Priority, Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation, Skate-Leading Stars, Horimiya. Finishing these simulcasts is the first goal of April! I will have more to report then.

What I’ve Read


Please watch my March 2021 Manga Reading Log video if you have the chance, as I discuss all of these titles there in more depth!!

Battle Angel Alita Volume 1 — Read full the post here!

My Androgynous Boyfriend Volume 1 — Here we have a start to the relationship between a beautiful man who likes makeup and his wonderful graphic designer girlfriend. The art style is super cute, and these two pretty much just support each other for life! It’s a simpler story than I thought it’d initially be, but who knows where the story will go. Looking forward to reading more.

Eniale & Dewiela Volume 1 — Between this hope-yearning angel and trouble-seeking demon, a minor fashion disaster in heaven can spell major catastrophe for the people of Earth. Eniale and Dewiela are just about the pettiest (and prettiest) pair of friends you’ll ever find, yet their individual quirks and charms often cause the other to wreak havoc on the other. And of course, who else would be caught in the conflict than the innocent mortals of the lower world. I think there are only 3 volumes in this series, and you bet I plan to read all of it!

Phantom Tales of the Night Volume 1 — My favorite read of the month! In this series, we are following the innkeeper of an enchanted inn that exists between the spiritual and mortal realms. Seemingly innocent passerbys stumble upon the inn, and for safe passage, they are admitted at a single cost: they must forfeit one of their secrets to the innkeeper. Of course, in monkey’s paw fashion, nothing ever goes right for the guests, but that doesn’t stop the devilish innkeeper from preying on humanity and learning more about them. My only regret from this read was that I didn’t have the next 4 volumes waiting for me on my shelf!

Caste Heaven Volume 1 — This darker BL series explores what happens when high schoolers are forced to find cards scattered all throughout the school and that also dictate that student’s role in the social hierarchy. Poor Ones and Twos will yield to Fives and Sixes, and Sevens and Eights will obey Jacks and Queens. Of course, the King is on top, and anything they say goes–including manipulation and sexual favors. This series is far from clean, but I’m interested in seeing how certain characters will play the game past this initial volume.

Fire Force Volumes 19-20 — When you watch more Fire Force, you naturally want to read more of it, too. Things are starting to gear up towards the series’ climax, I can almost feel it. These volumes cover the end of Season 2 and some change, so if you’re dying to know what is happening to the Tokyo Empire and Company 8, Volume 20 will give you that sneak peak! Now that I’m all caught up with what I own, I can go out and pick up the two latest volumes, yay!


As a whole, March enjoyed a bunch of odd watches, random catch-ups, and much relaxation from school work. That said, April will be tricky if I try to blog more. But, as I’m sure you all know, I never choose the easy way out, heh heh. I’ve already got a head start into manga reading for April, and I don’t plan to slow down. Also, I’ll get back on my simulcast game so I can take a look at what’s new and airing. WAIT, are you telling me that the Spring 2021 anime season has already begun!? Looks like I’ve got lots to catch up on this weekend!

We had a couple rainy days this past week, which was an amazing relief from the dramatically warmer temperatures we’ve been having. Though, it also snowed the other day, so who knows what’s what with weather anymore. I hope you are all doing well and staying safe. Here’s to hoping I get my vaccine shot this weekend!! Thanks for reading, and ’til next time!

– Takuto

End of February Update 3/1/21

Hey guys,

With school ramping up for midterms, I haven’t had much time or energy to blog. Even my anime watching has diminished, and I can’t remember when I last picked up a volume of manga that wasn’t for the Manga Love Readathon on Valentine’s Day weekend. (You don’t know how badly I just want to drop all my school work and crack into some Yona of the Dawn >.<)

So, this monthly update will be pretty sparse, but I hope you enjoy reading about what I’ve been up to. First, let’s discuss goals.

Goal Reflection


Write Five Posts Each Month | I fell two posts short of this goal. School is tough!!

Review More Anime | I published two anime reviews this month, one for Gunbuster: The Movie and another for its sequel, Gunbuster 2 or Diebuster. We’ll see if I write another post about Diebuster: The Movie. An “Anime Revisted” post for Emma: A Victorian Romance is in the works!

Continue Writing Manga Reflections | As previously mentioned, I was able to book off the entire Valentine’s weekend to read for the Manga Love Readathon. During the readathon, I read from five different titles, yet I never got around to writing about them! I’ll see if I can give some of them proper reviews, but until then, I hope my recap vlog will suffice. ^ . ^

Write Posts for Video Content | All four of my February videos were uploaded here as blog posts. I’m one short of my YouTube goal there of five videos a month, but please check those out if you’re interested!

Achieve 750 Followers | Current count is 714. Thank you so much for reading and following along~!

What I’ve Watched


Gunbuster: The Movie — A mere 1200-word post cannot describe the magical experience that is the classic Gunbuster. This year’s V-Day Special was dedicated to the popular GAINAX franchise, and I couldn’t be more pleased with what I watched. In case you missed it, I wrote an entire review that you can read here!

Gunbuster 2 — Most of the same glowing compliments could be said about Gunbuster‘s sequel, Diebuster. While I enjoyed Gunbuster more, I found the zany nature of Gunbuster 2 (review here!) to scratch that itch that the Evangelion Rebuild films left for me. (Who’s excited for the final Evangelion film to come out March 8!?! DEFINITELY ME!!!)

Diebuster: The Movie — I just finished my journey through this franchise with the Diebuster recap film last night. It takes on the daunting task of cramming six 30-minute episodes into a single hour-and-a-half-long film (like its predecessor). Despite the cuts, I really enjoyed it! I’ll try to write a post over this film, but should this be the end for now, check out my two reviews. 🙂

Attack on Titan Final Season — SASHA NOOOO. I’m about ready to YEET a dumb little kid off the face of the planet if we continue this frustrating BS. My anger aside, however, I LOVE where this series is going. The War Hammer Titan rises to the top as my favorite of the Nine Titans (so cool!), and I continue to soak in the wondrous sounds of Hiroyuki Sawano’s OST. Still a little scared about how this is all going to wrap up in the coming months!

The Promised Neverland Season 2 — I’m a little disappointed, not gonna lie. If y’all are following this one, you’ll know that the latest episodes deviate from the manga significantly (or rather, jump ahead seeeveral chapters). A certain character makes a comeback, and I couldn’t help but feel it wasn’t milked for all its worth. Like, we knew, we knew, but it’s still weird to know that hey, this is it. We’ll see if things get better.

Wonder Egg Priority — I’m behind the latest couple episodes, but where I last left off, the four girls have gathered together! Looking forward to catching up on egg time ~~

Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation — Rudy leaves home and we meet Eris. She’s a brat, but I’m sure Rudy can handle her. I’m also behind on this one, but I’ll catch up!

Skate-Leading Stars — While I don’t “love” this series, I do find it entertaining enough to be worth finishing. That said, I’m behind on the latest couple episodes, but I hope to finish it soon.

Horimiya — Annnd I’m also terribly behind on the season’s most popular romantic drama! (See a reoccuring theme here? Yeah, school bites.) I’m loving the screencaps that I see of this series on Twitter, though. 😛

What I’ve Read


5 Centimeters Per Second: One More Side — This is the only novel I’ve been able to follow since February started. It was a spontaneous decision to pick up, but then I remember telling myself I would reward my reading efforts by picking up Shinkai’s hardcover published novels from Yen Press–IF and only if I read what I already had. So here we are reading this alternate perspective story of Shinkai’s popular 5 Centimeters film, and I’m surprisingly enjoying it a lot. If the film is a favorite of yours, consider picking up this novel which explores the other side of the story!

This begins the titles I read for the Manga Love Readathon, so check out the vlog for more information!

Love in Focus — This is my first Yoko Nigiri manga and OMG, I love her style so much! Love in Focus is a quaint little three-volume series which follows a high school love triangle between two members of the photography club and an ex-child model (who is now an introverted high school boy living at their dorm). It’s cute, quick, and I like the childhood friend (AKA the other boy, Kei). Love in Focus is the perfect Valentine’s read!

A Tropical Fish Yearns for Snow — I read the first three volumes of this sweet yuri series and I love the main couple so much! Anything aquatic will generally catch my eye, so the days spent doing activities with the aquarium club are pleasant. This is kind of one of those healing manga, but it does have a romance plot. Looking forward to picking up the rest of the series!

Let’s Dance a Waltz — After YEARS of sitting on my shelf, I finally gave this short three-volume shoujo drama manga a read. The good news—it’s earned the spot on my shelf for a long time to come! The series follows a girl who picks up ballroom dancing because she fell in love with a boy. At the boy’s family studio, she meets two other professional youth dancers, and the four grow to enjoy each other’s company (some wishing to push the boundary of friends). The characters are so kind to one another, and if you’re wanting a fast-paced manga that showcases the beauty of ballroom dance, definitely give it a shot.

The Young Master’s Revenge — I finally got around to reading volume one of this series and omg, no regrets! Rich boy Leo wants to get revenge on rich girl Tenma for making him look like a fool during their childhood. However, upon reuniting as teenagers, Leo finds out that the Tenma’s family business has gone under, leaving her out to dry. She wishes to serve Leo as a personal maid to make some money, but Leo’s not sure how this change of events will affect his plans for revenge! Such a fun premise. I’ll pick up the other three volumes sometime.

Komi Can’t Communicate — Last but not least, I started Komi! This is the highly beloved shounen comedy manga about an antisocial girl who just wants to make 100 friends. Komi leans far more on the gag comedy side, so I’m not sure if I’ll keep up with this digitally or find copies at my library. It’s a fun series, but IDK how long I’ll keep up with it. Glad I read this first volume, though!


If you couldn’t tell, the whole of my February was occupied by two projects: the Manga Love Readathon and my Gunbuster marathon. Not much else got done, but I still enjoyed myself immensely. February is one of my favorite months, perhaps because I always use the Valentine’s holiday as a time for self-love. We also slowly emerge from the slow cold of winter (hope all my midwestern pals withstood the sudden freeze!), and the onset of spring begins. I hope the warmer weather will boost my productivity, and I also hope to work harder on the blog and my channel in March.

School continues to be tough, but we never asked for the easy way out, did we? Hahaha, oh how I can taste the end! Only three months of my undergraduate career remain, and as I gear up for graduation, I hope you’ll continue to come back and read my posts. But what am I saying, we still have all of March and April—and this update has gone on too long! Please let me know what you all enjoyed this past month, and remember to take care of yourselves! Thanks for reading, and ’til next time!

– Takuto