The fact that I’m writing anything about this volume at all likely means that I’m a bad person. After all, vol. 3 had that scene where ten-year-old protagonist Rudy (who is actually a thirty-something otaku NEET who has been reborn into this fantasy world) grope fellow 10-year-old Eris with the intent of getting it on with her when she shows up in his bedroom the night of his birthday. The scene was as creepy-and skin-crawling as you’d expect and was likely the last straw for anyone reading this series who was putting up with its fanservice tendencies in order to appreciate the redemptive arc for its main character. I should’ve done just that. But the volume ended with an explosive climax that had me thinking the end might be near and I wanted to see if it could turn things around for the finale.
“Mushoku Tensei” doesn’t end with this volume. In fact, it seems to be gearing up for an even longer storyline here as Rudy and Eris are transported to the Demon continent and meet Ruijerd, a member of the widely-maligned Superd race. Rudy also has some encounters with one of the gods of the land who wants to advance his own agenda through the boy, and we find out that the magical explosion which transported the kids to this new land may be a sign that the big, bad demon Laplace is starting to rise again. Which means it’s clearly a sign for our heroes and the narrative to shift gears into an RPG-esque guild-joining, quest-taking state of affairs!
Last week I wrote that perpetual hot-mess series “Ajin” would likely have to become boring in order for me to finally give up on it. That’s effectively what “Mushoku Tensei” has managed here. I don’t have the patience to put up with its skeevy loli-fanservice tendencies (and there’s even more of that in this volume) if the narrative is just going to rehash RPG tropes on the page. Which begs the question that if there was a series with a story interesting enough to justify the disagreeable elements of “Mushoku Tensei,” would it be worth reading? With luck, I’ll never know. After my time with this title, I’ll take the easy way out and just stop reading it when the idea of groping a ten-year-old becomes a plot point.