Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation (Light Novel)

Alt title: Mushoku Tensei: Isekai Ittara Honki Dasu (Light Novel)

Vol: 22+
2014 - ?
4.369 out of 5 from 357 votes
Rank #925
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation (Light Novel)

Just when an unemployed thirty-four-year-old otaku reaches a dead end in life and decides that it’s time to turn over a new leaf—he gets run over by a truck and dies! Shockingly, he finds himself reborn into an infant’s body in a strange, new world of swords and magic. His new identity is Rudeus Grayrat, but he still retains the memories of his previous life. Follow Rudeus from infancy to adulthood, as he struggles to redeem himself in a wondrous yet dangerous world..

Source: Seven Seas

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Reviews

Scholek
9.5

My review is based on 24/24 volumes read. I found it necessary to at least immediately add a short review for this amazing light novel since there were none. Story  Mushoku Tensei is about a NEET living a miserable life, dieing a miserable death and reincarnating into a fantasy world. With a second chance at living his life from infancy he vows to make no more regrets, work hard, and achieve fulfillment. It's quite the fascinating premise and it certainly promises at least initial interest. The story strongly reminds me of the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. Robert Jordan's series was strongly known for having a deep dynamic world, written from multiple character perspectives, and  Mushoku Tensei starting with it's simple premise offers an impressive amount of depth to the world that is created as the story progresses. The world is not only immersive, but it is also dynamic and changes over time. The writer has a style of writing from different characters viewpoints that is also fantastic. Since it's a fairly long story that is ongoing I sometimes worry about the story's progression and ending. I believe that the author isn't just writing volume to volume without a general story outline. I'm sure the author sits down and really thinks about how to make the story interesting, consistent, and approach a satisfying conclusion. The reason I think so is because events very far back in the storyline are still refered to and are vital to the storyline. It feels like every event that does happen is well thought out and in preparation for the future of the story. There is a strong use of the main characters ecchi themed antics comprising a large portion of the story's comic relief. For the most part I believe that it is pervertedly in good taste. Holy pantsu. It certainly feels that the story is the realization of a fantasy RPG (magic, adventurers, monsters and guilds), but the realistic problems and serious characters distance it from being too light-hearted and childish. There are ocassionally references and jokes that may be unknown to some readers, however the jokes that I understood were very funny. The writer is incredibly diligent and there are new sections of the ongoing story to read nearly daily! That's impressive diligence given that it's been roughly two years since the start of the story. A final bonus is that the story is very long, but doesn't seem to lose quality. It's definitely good if you don't want a story that ends too quickly. Characters The characters are unique and very likeable. They are dynamic and mature well throughout the story. You can strongly feel their emotions and empathize with them. Since the story is written often in the viewpoint of other characters it gives a more fulfilling mental image of their personalities. Since many years pass and events occur in the story you really get a sense that characters mature and develop. The characters seem very believable and human, but also larger than life. The characters all have inner struggles and emotional problems that are any, but superficial. Reading about their struggles, mistakes, desires, and victories feels very rewarding because their problems are realistic and not easily solved (curses, religion, sex, divorce, regrets, murder, betrayel, irreversible mistakes, commitment, parenting, rommance, polygamy, fear, low self-confidence, family, adultery, grief, failure). Even in the case of beloved characters leaving center stage character development doesn't stop. It is most certainly is a thriving world where the passing years leave their marks on the changing characters. The minds of the characters seem suprisingly sensible and their thoughts and actions seem well planned. Often I've thought the characters thoughts and decisions are so psychologically similar to my own that I can easily envision them as individual real people. Final Remarks I started reading it and found myself unable to stop for a few days... I expect that readers who find the first and second volumes wonderful will continue to like the story. Readers that don't particularily like the beginning volumes probably have a fundamental dissatisfaction with the premise, characters, and story that won't improve if they continue reading. The oppostie is also true for fans. Fans will find that generally the quality of the story doesn't seem to wane and that they will continue reading with the same enthusiasm they started with. Once again I am impressed by the author's diligence (nearly daily web releases) and consistency (story quality and attention to detail). The author is strongly materializing a vibrant and complex fantasy world. I never found myself interest in manga and light novels before, but now I've started reading many more in hopes of finding another story I can enjoy. This light novel was definitely better than any anime I've seen in the past two years and it's raised my standards for what constitutes "the best". I feel fairly sad having read it because I'm pessemistic that I won't be able to find another story I enjoy as much in my lifetime. Since I can't rate it 5 billion stars I'll have to just lower the score for everything else haha

Sugao
8.5

So I've binge-read through all 24 volumes over the past few days. Major spoilers ahead. Don't read if you want to enjoy the story. It's good from start to finish but the last few volumes felt rushed. The conclusion was pretty sloppy imho. There were only a few characters I didn't like as much as the rest. There's that feeling probably everyone who ever read/watched any of the mediums, regardless of it being anime, manga or light novel/book in general, knows - that hole in your heart after diving into a story, taking a liking to the characters, feeling as if you're part of it and developing actual emotional attachment. It doesn't have to be a bad feeling but in this case, it is. I think one can differentiate between an emptiness that's caused by "not being able to get into contact with the characters anymore" (i.e. happy end but there's nothing left to read), the characters ending up dead or losing their memory etc. and the emptiness that's caused because the story is leaving too many things open, abrupt ending, getting ripped out of the immersion. In the case of Mushoku Tensei it's a combination of both. A really disgusting feeling. The story including the end is good. Some may even say it's good the way it ended but here's where my opinion comes flying in. Mushoku Tensei comprises a solid amount of 24 volumes. Sadly, the "conclusion" (vol. 24) ends after ~70 pages. The actual conclusion chapter is probably only half of that. The rest is additional info, a biography and other stuff. Volume 1-22 are years 0-22 if I remember correctly (no, it's not year per vol.), volume 23-24 are a 12 year time skip after the final battle and afterward his death at 74. Grand-children are introduced (most of them without names), Eris' death of old age confirmed, Silphy and Roxy still being alive, Aisha and Norn getting married to some random guys but no further introduction. So all in all, you end up with the MC being old and senile, dying, not knowing if they actually defeat Laplace since the last thing you get to know is that Hitogami has a super crazy plan to let all his descendants fight and hate each other. On top of that, yes, Rudeus is the mc, I get it but Roxy, Silphy and many others were as important as him, not to forget Eris who's death got confirmed in one line. The story shouldn't end with the death of the mc. What I am missing is an actual conclusion + what happens with the other characters. I mean, you can't introduce a bunch of people over the course of 20+ volumes and then end the story in 1 + not even half a volume (I repeat, in my opinion). Everything is left open and it annoys/hurts me extremely. I really ended up liking a bunch of characters but feel like the author wanted to finish the story faster than it needed to be. Now there's an emptiness inside me because 1. I can't read more. 2. The end felt rushed and abrupt. (in relation to the overall length of the novel and the way it actually ended)  3. There are too many things that needed to be said or expanded on. Also, Rudeus' death felt pretty stupid. 74 year old, senile, forgetting but also not forgetting stuff. There was healing magic able to reconstruct limbs and memory, immortal people you can chop into thousands of pieces and they would survive, but the super-intelligent, mega-talented guy with (was it saint class?) healing magic dies age 74, senile and not being able to move. Seems not-so-legit imvho. Even my chain-smoking grandma is still alive and turns 80 this year. Still able to move, roaming around the streets, throwing around insults for not eating everything. I know it differs from person to person, blabla but come on. In that fantasy world, that dude, dies at age 74 of old age? Naah, no way. Eris dying at 70 (iirc) is also weird af. That Roxy and Silphy are still alive makes me feel uneasy as well. How long do Migurd/Elves even live? Will they end up with someone else? When will they die? Are they participating in the war? Will they die in the war? Too many open questions and I'm not one of those people who can say "It's up to the reader's imagination". I tend to like cheesy ways of getting happy ends for my heart's sake so something like researching a way of slowing down the aging progress in the next few years so he would be able to live with his wives until they die as well would've been a nice way to lead the story to the war and them all dying around the same time. Regardless, it's a nice light novel. Read it. I hesitated at first because the story description makes it seem like the mc is a total degenerate but it's not that bad. Sure, he's a total degenerate but it doesn't influence the story. He's not getting any power-ups from fondling breasts or stuff like that, that's a huge plus + he has morals. lol Also, there was not even one cliche scene where he fell onto a girl and accidentally touched her private parts. Fascinating.

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