Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation (Light Novel) - Reviews

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

Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation (Light Novel)
sort
Scholek's avatar
Jan 13, 2015

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

9.5/10 story
?/10 art
9.5/10 characters
9.5/10 overall
Sugao's avatar
May 14, 2020

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.

8.5/10 story
10/10 art
8.5/10 characters
8.5/10 overall
Dolomen's avatar
Nov 1, 2020

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.

9/10 story
10/10 art
10/10 characters
10/10 overall
bobhikes's avatar
Aug 6, 2021

I read volumes 4, 5 and 6 and that's probably where I'll stop.  It is well written and there is character development but its irratic story telling.  You have 3 chapters with a plot and then a chapter concering something later on or eariler that has happend.  One chapter will tell the story from Rudy's view and then the next chapter will tell the same story from someone elses view.  Its not my cup of tea, I like my stories to progress naturally.  Some of the interpting stories are quite good but some of them are boring.  He's also not to good at hiding suprises.  It pretty easy to guess who a mystery person is or which character is going to pop up later and save the day.  If you like choppy story telling then this is for you.  I will keep following the Anime as I'm sure they will drop a lot of the side stories.

7/10 story
8/10 art
8/10 characters
7.5/10 overall
0 0 this review is Funny Helpful
Randomanimefan's avatar
Feb 25, 2016

Everything is very good over all in this light novel. This was my first light novel ever, and is a very good place for you to start reading light novels. If you like Magi this is surprisingly similar, but because you get to read about Rudy and his entire life you will feel bonded with him after time. Also you may find yourself sporting a spiffy after reading of the kinky sex scenes ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°). I dont know what else to say so i will leave an encrypted message for you to decode here:

Vsg tmrwmv hpxfh

 

 

 

10/10 story
10/10 art
9.5/10 characters
9.5/10 overall
1 0 this review is Funny Helpful