Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation (Light Novel)

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

Vol: 23+
2014 - ?
4.392 out of 5 from 556 votes
Rank #914
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

Dolomen
10

This review is from reading the first 8 volumes in the officially licensed English Translated Light Novels and the remaining 9 through 24 volumes of the Fan Translated Web Novels. First, the non-spoiler comments. I will mark a large spoiler tag at the end to discuss some of the finer details of certain key events from the novels: This light novel will seem like another run-of-the-mill Isekai Reincarnation novel with an "OP MC" type mentality but it’s not. Firstly, the main character is extremely talented but is not OP. As the story progresses, he learned the limits in his abilities even with the memories of his old life. He becomes strong, but not overpowered. Secondly, the character development and involvement is amazingly complex. Rudeus (or Rudy for short) constantly battles the shortcomings he had in his previous life as he tries to do better in this next one that he becomes a part of. He faces the demons of his past with the help of all of the friends he makes along the way. Speaking of those friends, I’ll not talk about the Character in this story. Characters 10/10 Nearly every side character introduced in this series will have a role to play all the way to the end of the series. Not a single relationship is wasted and the bonds that the characters form with one another feels real. The author has a great talent for showing how real those bonds are despite not having seen characters for multiple novels or in-story years at a time. Everyone is important in their own regard and a lot of them have rich enough backstories that a spinoff novel could easily be created. Funny enough, there already is one from Roxy’s perspective from BEFORE even meeting Rudy. Art 10/10 The art is simply amazing. There are a number of scenes that were sketched out to capture emotions of key points in the novel and I believe that the artist nailed it. Every illustration only added to the story and never took away. Story 9/10 I believe that the story is also an amazing thing itself as well. I did give it a 9 instead of a 10 for one main reason: it’s pace. This was a complaint after reading the 6<sup>th</sup> volume that was already translated and the final product; not the web novel. It’s the official, unchangeable cannon at this point. The story so far had a nice pace and then all of a sudden, a bunch of time just hard cut to the next major section and it felt rushed. This was the first time feeling that since the previous 2-3 novels each covered about 1 year of time for a 3 year journey. This wasn’t the only time it happened either but the other major ones only really happened in the Web Novel so there is a chance that the material going forward will be better. Either way, while I can understand not having a bunch of filler, it just felt rushed. Even with that said, I would leave it at a 9 because I was never once bored with the story, I only wished that it lasted longer in some areas. Overall 10/10 I think overall, this light novel scratches every itch that I could have from a Fantasy driven Isekai novel. I know people love to have on Isekai because it’s a popular genre and I get it. It’s even hard for people who like the genre to find the good apples in the pile of generic trash. As for Mushoku Tensei, I think it is worth your time to read. If I have anything to say about what you should read is that I suggest only reading the official light novels. They are cannon and they will probably have more characters and better ironed out plot points like most LNs that come from Web Novels are. I will be recommending this series to everyone I can and I will be excited to see the anime when it airs in 2021. Thanks for reading! Everything below will be spoilers. ******************************************************************************************************************************************** ******************************************************************************************************************************************** SPOILERS ******************************************************************************************************************************************** ******************************************************************************************************************************************** A couple more points that I want to make are some things that I believe will be more important in the upcoming translations. I have not confirmed if Sarah existed in the Web Novel, but based on looking at the illustrations of the untranslated light novels, it looks like she will play a more significant role in the official cannon story. She is seen in one of the very late volumes with Rudy so I’m kind of wondering if she becomes wife #4 or just an old friend. I will probably continue to purchase and read the officially translated LNs as well as they come out just because I want to know what has become cannon and what is new. I hope to get to see some more of Paul before the hydra fight. I also hope that Rudy sees some more magic improvement as the story goes. Truthfully, he never learned Gravity magic officially despite his future self saying he could and that it was easy if he learned the overall properties of magic in that world. I feel like Rudy only really strengthened himself via the Magic armor and that’s it. I figured that the whole, “use the quagmire spell quagmire caster,” joke would have died by the end but he really only uses like 5 spells from a world that he can master ALL MAGIC. I feel like the imagination of more spells is wasted by limiting his arsenal to only about 5 spells in rotation like he’s a Pokémon and is unable to learn more than 4 moves. What happened to that early day magic usage where he was flying around the playing field when fighting Paul as a child? I feel like he could learn so much more and still not be OP. I at least hope that if all he does is use the magic armor again that it sees some more improvements and functionality. With all that said, by the time I was reading about Rudy’s final moments with his family surrounding him, I was fully invested. I felt like I was in that room and watched an old friend die. Rudy’s passing will stay with me for a long time as he really was a character that just didn’t feel generic. By the end of it, he felt like a good friend, husband and father. I will miss this series as I close the cover on that final chapter, and I’ll never forget it.

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