Mushoku Tensei Season 2 episode 2 aired on Sunday, giving us what could possibly be the most disappointing episode of the series so far in terms of, well, everything. This doesn’t necessarily mean the rest of the season will be like this, but it’s not wrong of people to be a little worried about how everything will be the rest of the way. While I said that the if anything can carry this season, it’s the story, this latest episode gives a lot of cause for concern.
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
Was there any good to come out of this episode? Absolutely. The sequence of Rudeus saving Sara looked absolutely gorgeous and it gave me the feeling of the Mushoku Tensei I grew to appreciate in the first season. And that came back around in last week’s episode at the very end with Rudeus torching the bears and again this week rescuing Sara — leading to me what else was good about this episode.
Sara coming around to Rudeus is heart-warming and her appreciation for people who are good at heart is a wonderful quality trait to have in what’s been a depressing past two episodes. Of course, she has many cliche tsundere traits. But the layers on her character are starting to peel back one by one and it presents an interesting side development to a story that very much needs it at this point in time. Unfortunately, those are the only two aspects of this episode I enjoyed.
The animation for Rudeus’ rescue scene and Sara’s development were like the side dishes at a Thanksgiving dinner, only neither were the mac-n-cheese. Meanwhile, the rest of this episode was like an under-cooked turkey and left me wondering why it was served in the first place. I’m usually not harsh on anime episodes because I can still understand the hard work that goes into making them come alive in the first place. But sometimes you have to call it how it is.
I simply didn’t understand a lot about this episode and the choices that were made. One minute, Rudeus is being lifted in the air with his group around him and yelled at by a new character who had next to no exposition whatsoever in the first place. Then the next cut is Rudeus sitting in a chair and his crew comes back from a quest saying Mimir is dead and Sara might be dead.
Excuse me, what? When did that all happen? It was like the entire episode skipped out on a lot of material and just made one of the most random time leaps mid-episode I have ever seen. It further proved my point in my previous article that I was not going to have any attachment to the characters in Counter Arrow because there’s no development here. It’s way too fast-paced and not properly developed enough to care about any of them except Sara.
It’s also worth pointing out Rudeus clearly injected Super Soldier Serum into his veins because he went from a skinny kid last episode to looking like a teenage Captain America at the beginning of this episode. Even worse is that he started nicknaming his legs and arms in the creepiest way possible. I would’ve been fine with this had there been a little creativity behind it.
But Rudeus still has the same “woe is me” attitude he did last episode, despite years passing by and him supposedly getting over everything years ago (technically one episode ago). It was just a little more tolerable this time around.
The “ugly” of this episode stems from the lack of creativity and sense. In the first season of Mushoku Tensei, you could feel that there was some heart and soul poured into the episodes that made it the popular isekai anime that it is today. In this episode, that creativity was nowhere to be found. The entire episode almost looked like it was covered in grain (static) the entire time. Some of the animation and artwork were so bad that even I could eyeball it without slowing anything down or rewinding it.
In the last episode, we had some creative direction. While it wasn’t necessarily great either, we could see there was at least some effort in that department to try and make Rudeus’ internal conflict be reflected in the environment around him. After watching this episode, it felt like it was finished just to say it was finished. The only “little touch” representing the passage of time in this episode besides Rudeus’ six-pack was the shrine he built for Roxy’s panties… That was it.
Mushoku Tensei Season 2 Episode 2 Wrap-Up
Usually, I like to look at the positives in everything because I understand animation enough to know this is no easy medium to create in. And my overwhelming positive looking back at all of this is that the season can’t get worse. The story is just too good for it to get any worse…right? We’ll see. But right now that Rising of the Shield Hero Season 2 ptsd is settling in.
Episode 2 rating: 4/10
If you enjoyed this week’s episode of Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Season 2 then make sure to vote for the series in our weekly poll! The next episode will air on Sunday, July 16. The series is streaming on Crunchyroll with English subtitles.
Screenshots via Crunchyroll
©Rifujinnamagonote/MF Books/”Mushoku Tensei” Production Committee