I write about the Mushoku Tensei manga because I thought it was terrible
DISCLAIMER: I’ve only read until chapter 25 and honestly I cannot see myself reading past it. [SPOILERS]
Mushoku Tensei, also known as “Jobless Reincarnation” (referring to the protagonist’s NEET status, rather than “Class Jobs” common in JRPGs) is, obviously, an Isekai manga, where the protagonist, a 30+ year old NEET who gets kicked out of his family home, dies by getting hit by a truck [lol] while saving some highschoolers and then gets reincarnated as a baby in a fantasy world to a hot mom and a muscled ex-adventurer dad, so the protag vows to “Live his life to the fullest”, whatever that means.
Now, with introductions out of the way, let’s discuss why this manga fucking sucks:
Let’s start with the protagonist, I would say he’s one of the best representations the medium has in regards of complete and utter terrible protagonists, every time it seems like he’s about to have a moment of personal growth he immediately stifles it a page or two later, he’s having a tearful farewell with his beloved magic teacher? Few panels later, it’s revealed he stole a pair of her panties, why? because anime fans will eat literal dogshit and tell you it’s good.
He says something sweet and kind to another character? His next thought bubble reveals that actually, he doesn’t believe that, it’s just the “right” thing to say (He randomly comments that he wishes to be a “Good hearted MC”, so a lot of his interactions feel very robotic as a result, since I couldn’t shake the feeling that he doesn’t mean most of the stuff he says, though later chapters do show him genuinely caring about one issue).
While I’ve mentioned the protag’s “perverted” side, it feels like I haven’t quite made it justice just yet. There’s a panel of him thinking he’s about to awaken to his “shotacon” side because a “beautiful boy” was staring at him slightly hard, a genuine good percentage of the MC’s thought bubbles consist of him thinking of disgusting shit about the (generally underage) girls he interacts with, like a good 30% to 40% of the ways he’s drawn show him having a “perverted face” because he’s near a woman, and there was once that time he tried having sex with a 14 year old and got instantly beat up to shit for it, having an epiphany in the process that, wow, other people have feelings too.
Making it hard to even care a little bit about him in any capacity, sometimes making you even wish he suffered/got hurt more in the fights he’s involved in. Just kidding, it made me wish he just died.
Don’t get me wrong, though, I know exactly what the story is going for by making a character so utterly devoid of good characteristics the protagonist, I understand perfectly that it is trying to go for a “redemption” story where he becomes a better man, it just utterly fails at it for a few motives:
The protag, Rudi, is utterly devoid of charisma in any capacity, most of his jokes and gags fall flat, his flaws so deeply outweigh his positives that it makes you think he doesn’t even have any, and as of writing this, I can’t really think of any positives besides the occasional “kind” comment he does (which as I’ve mentioned, feel utterly robotic) and, uh, well, yeah. That’s it.
Like, c’mon man, you really want me to “cheer” for the guy who just tried having sex with a 14-year-old? Don’t try telling me he’s a 10-year-old either, that’s a grown man in a child’s body, also, why are you writing this scene anyways? Why was it so necessary that he learned about how other people have feelings too through this way? Couldn’t he have learned it any other way that didn’t make me want him to die?
Most of the other characters are also, sadly, not very interesting, since they arent really allowed to outshine the protagonist, and since the protagonist doesn’t shine, nobody else gets to, either.
Overall, the story isn’t very interesting or flashy, either, with the world, or rather, what’s shown to us in 25 chapters (each chapter having 30–40 pages each isn’t very interesting or original, which I suspect the story knows, and that’s why it avoided showing us much about it, and what was mostly shown seemed to be copy pasted from other Isekai shows (Demon race, Beastmen race, Elves, dwarves, etc.)
Also, so much fanservice. Its awful.
Honestly, I don’t really know how to end this review, so I’m gonna screenshot the MC being a fuck up pervert.