Review Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation part 2

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Episodes: 12 Original airing dates: 4th October 2021 – 20th December 2021
Studio: Studio Bind Genre: Isekai/adventure/fantasy
Prequel: Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Part 1
Recommended audience: Fans of fantasy/adventure anime with a dose of fanservice
Trailer:


Background/synopsis:

Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Part 2 also known as Mushoku Tensei: Isekai Ittara Honki Dasu Part 2 is an isekai/adventure series that first aired in the autumn 2021 season. As the name implies, this is the second part and is a direct continuation from the first season meaning this series is unsuitable for newcomers. If you want to watch Jobless Reincarnation then watching part one is pretty much a requirement as viewers are thrown in the deep end plot wise with little/no exposition.

Whilst the controversy surrounding this anime is not as prominent as before, part two of Jobless Reincarnation still retains the same potential pain point. That is the protagonist’s mental age of 40 which is significantly higher than the girls depicted so that could lead to some uncomfortable scenes if you are inclined that way. What makes this point easier to overlook is the fact there is greater emphasis on character growth than before. It is because of these strong character developments that I would advise overlooking these misgivings as you will be missing out on something good by doing so.

As always please check out my review of season one if you are curious in giving this a go:

Season 1: Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Part 1

Story/characters:


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One of the more memorable features of the first season that made Jobless Reincarnation such a enjoyable series for me was the uplifting introduction we got in experiencing the world through the lens of Rudeus and his happy but somewhat troubled family. It was not only fresh but I got a strong sense of nostalgia in the manner the story was delivered. Now whilst this means of storytelling is sadly gone in part two what we get in return is a much greater sense of adventure and great character moments.

In this second part we get to see Rudeus, Eris and Ruijerd explore various continents across the world learning about the various strange and unusual creatures that grace this world. The means of providing worldbuilding in this manner is strikingly different to what we got in the prequel but is it also effective especially if you are one that is after action and quick developments. Speaking of quick developments due to the range of areas explored the story for Jobless Reincarnation is told at pace and there is never a moment when it stagnates, in fact the opposite maybe true as there were occasions when I felt the story could have slowed up a little. On the whole though it works and we get an entertaining affair that will likely have you ploughing through the episodes at a decent clip.

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Still, despite its good pacing and wide range of environments there are some flaws in this narrative. The main weaknesses I found was while the individual arcs were fairly entertaining, the fact there was no overlying plotline meant there were occasions when this series lacked a sense of direction. As a result of this, the ending for the anime came as more of a whimper than a crescendo to some major climax so you need to manage your expectations when it comes to the ending. In fact, I would go as far to say this is not the primary strength of this anime.

Indeed, it was the character developments that left a much more profound impact on me. For those that watched the first season you may recall the loud, bratty and generally “spirited” Eris Greyrat. Well, the level of character growth she got is quite something and the way she develops makes her a much more redeemable character that is likely to make many sympathise with her unlike her season one counterpart who was a much more abrasive.

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The positives don’t stop with Eris however as we also get some great insights on Rudeus Greyrat’s character who unlike before has to confront situations that challenge him far more than what occurred in season one. These moments of doubts put him under much great pressure and it is these stresses when we see the inner demons that was only at hinted in season one begin to surface. Yes, that may sound corny but it is executed well so it is something that was believable and good for the most part (there was some moments when this matter was pushed a little too much for my liking). This sense of doubt adds a depth that means he is not flat protagonist and it is clearly that he has real flaws (in a good way) in his personality. The fact things do not go his way also underlines the fact that this series is not your typical isekai anime that devolves into a simple harem series with girls dancing to the protags whims.

Speaking of girls (and other characters for that matter), much of the supporting cast also get their moments as we gain significant insights into their personalities and motivations that makes us interested enough in learning more about their fates. In fact, the primary reason to watch Jobless Reincarnation is to see the character developments and the relationships the cast develop with one another.

Animation/music:

The standard of animation in part two is similar to what we saw in season one so do not expect significant improvements here. The quality - like before - is solid and consistent with only a moderate decline come the end of the series. It is not earth shattering and does the job well enough. We get some good scenic shots, the character models are varied enough to keep things fresh but nothing truly ground-breaking here.

Due to the amount of content squeezed in there is no opening sequence although this show does boost four opening songs. These are: 1: "Mezame no Uta" by Yuiko Oohara (episodes 1-2), "Keishou no Uta" by Yuiko Oohara (episodes 3-4), "Inori no Uta" by Yuiko Oohara (episodes 5-7) and "Tooku no Komori no Uta" by Yuiko Oohara (episodes 8). There is an ending sequence and the song for it is "Kaze to Iku Michi" by Yuiko Oohara. Unlike before though I did not find these that memorable.

Summary:

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This is a strong entry that is a worthy complement to the prequel. Saying that, I would not quite rate it at the same level as before with part two being marginally poorer. Whilst the character developments and growth is remarkable the thing holding this series back from being a true recommendation is the fact there is not a clear direction where the series is going. This coupled by the unfocussed ending did leave something to be desired. It was almost like the anime was asking me to read the manga to see what happens next. While this is a valid argument to reserve some judgement my review purely focuses on what the actual series offers and not the way it incentives you to read the manga or some other medium so on that basis alone the ending was little too open for my liking.

As such this show will be great for fans of the first season particularly if you were mostly inspired for its characters. If that describes you then you’ll love this and I suggest adding a point to my scores. Other fans that this series would appeal to are the adventure, fantasy fans as the sense of travelling really does give off this vibe of adventure and discovery. The fact there are elements of coming age only adds to this. People who like character driven; drama will also get a lot of mileage out of this one. If on the other hand you come into this expecting lots of plot developments then you maybe a tad disappointed. If you feel strongly about story developments then watch this with an eye to reading the manga and hope for a season three!

Story 7 – This series is chockful of adventure with various plot developments coming thick and fast. We get a considerable amount of worldbuilding here. The pacing is generally pretty good but it is a touch fast and it would be nice if it did dwell on certain moments a bit longer. The biggest weakness in the plot came with its lack of overarching storyline which was reflected in an ending that had no central focus and was a little all over the place.

Characters 8.5 – Strongest aspect of this anime. As before all the characters are likeable as ever but the bonus we get is the considerable developments in all the major characters with even various supporting cast members getting some decent screen time. The standout is Eris who has matured considerably from her bratty, spoiled self but Rudeus was not ignored either and we got a much closer examination of his inner mindset.

Animation/music 7 – Solid and consistent like its prequel counterpart. There are only some minor drops in the latter parts of the show but the musical score is a little weaker this outing as the opening and ending tracks cannot match the quality from the first season.

Overall 7.5 – Unlike the first season, I would class part two as more of a character-driven anime so if you liked the cast going into part two then you are likely to get a lot of joy out of this anime. The growth and decisions made, particularly at the end, mean Jobless Reincarnation is not your simple typical isekai harem fantasy. The series most powerful moments come from the characters decisions and actions rather than the plot itself. If you like character-driven drama or just like the cast in general then I can recommend this series to you and should add a point to my overall score.

On the other hand, if you are going into this series expecting major plot developments then your response will be more muted due to its lack of overall focus and the rather tame ending. You won’t dislike it but likely be a tad indifferent probably ranking this close to a 7 or even a high 6. Still, with the character driven drama even story lovers will gain enough for this to give season three ago. Well, that is hoping there is a season three!

There is plenty to explore and discover in the Jobless Reincarnation gallery. Check it out in the spoiler tag below!
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Monsta666

Monsta666

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