Home Mushoku Tensei Season 2 Episode 23 - Missing Some Novel Context, but Roxy Still Saved Rudy

Mushoku Tensei Season 2 Episode 23 - Missing Some Novel Context, but Roxy Still Saved Rudy

Mushoku Tensei Season 2 released episode 23 this Sunday, and it looks like Rudeus might need some defending again. Before someone accuses me of justifying cheating, I’ll say that, while I obviously know that cheating is morally wrong, I absolutely will be justifying it in this case.

Although the episode showed the struggle Rudy was going through after losing Paul, I still feel like it didn’t do the story justice and that Roxy got depicted more aggressive than we might expect from her. It seemed kind of uncharacteristic, so I went to read the part in the original novel. Sure enough, there was some important cut-off context. Spoilers ahead for Mushoku Tensei Season 2: Episode 23.

First off, the discussion on what to do with Rudy was almost entirely cut off. It was way uncharacteristic of Roxy to just suddenly come on to Rudy like that on her own after previously hesitating to even tell him she liked him directly. With her saying she needed to ‘discuss’ something with Elinalise afterwards, it was implied that the experienced elf had had some role in it. However, it wasn’t clear that Roxy was actually pretty much their last option to try and save Rudy.

Rudy’s depression was kind of watered down. The episode showed how he made a parallel to his past life parents and that he realized he repeated some of the mistakes he’d made, but it didn’t give the details on just how bad he was having it. He had not left his room for almost a week, refusing to eat or talk, and getting dangerously close to going back to his old lifestyle. The anime showed that his cheeks had sunk in, but it just made it kind of weird to have to guess how long it had been and what he’d been doing.

We already know Rudy was severely damaged in his past life, so him going back to that state of mind would’ve been terrifying. Everyone thought that he would snap out of it on his own, but Roxy was the only one truly worried due to remembering what he was like as a child in Buena Village before she helped him get outside and tackle his past life trauma.

They also briefly touched on this with a quick flashback in the episode, but it felt like it may have been too short and just thrown in there as justification after the fact. Roxy had this in mind from the very start and knew how fragile Rudy’s mind could be.

Then they shared the primitive (but eventually effective) idea that sleeping with a woman can cheer up a man, recommending Elinalise as the first option. She didn’t want to do it because of Cliff, so even Lilia and a brothel were mentioned as options. Still, they thought Roxy was the closest to Rudy’s heart with Sylphie so far away. Roxy knew about Sylphie and their baby, but she thought that it was worth trying if it meant saving Rudy. In her defense, while she did initiate it in the novel as well, I think the anime also made the situation seem a bit more one-sided.

In the novel, after Rudy snaps at her about how her parents are both alive, Roxy mentions that she had an ‘older brother’ figure who died while covering for her when she started adventuring, so she understands at least a fragment of what he is feeling.

Though that doesn’t help much and Rudy knows it’s not the same anyway, it’s also an interesting piece of info that wasn’t important enough to be included. After she hugs him, the novel has Rudy thinking how Roxy’s heartbeat and smell feel oddly relaxing. He feels at ease and, after a few more exchanges, he says he violently pushed her down, almost as if to vent out his anger. He later thinks about how she took all his feelings in silence, feeling both grateful and apologetic.

In the anime though, it appeared as if Rudy was just complaining about his situation while Roxy handled everything. While most of the actions are there, the lack of context which would be Rudy’s thoughts makes him seem completely unattached to the whole thing, while they further drive the notion that Roxy is just taking advantage of him for her own sake. They even made it seem as if Rudy tried getting away, with Roxy pulling him back (also didn’t happen in the novel).

Rudy made a mistake. He cheated on Sylphie after saying he was going to be loyal to her just a few episodes ago. There is no way around this fact and I am not trying to say he made a good choice. However, one of the reasons I enjoy Rudeus as a character is the fact that his past life gave him an adult’s way of thinking while showing the emotional intelligence of a child at times. As he usually is, he is instantly aware of what he’s done and knows he did wrong by Sylphie. Still, he had no chance of recovering on his own after Paul’s death and he almost gave up on everything again.

Roxy also isn’t just anyone. It’s his master from childhood who has been his ‘Goddess’ since pretty much the beginning. It’s no wonder he felt relaxed with her, and he even says later in the episode that he can’t say for sure who he loves more between her and Sylphie despite only being back with Roxy for a short time.

The anime also cut short their discussion afterwords to basically Rudy just asking what he needed to do now and Roxy answering “Face the family you have in front of you.” In the novel, Rudy tells her about a ‘fictional story’ about a man who lived like trash, started over a new leaf but again lost someone important. Roxy listens to that and only then says that the man should face forward as that’s the only thing he can do. She brings it back to Rudy and tells him directly that he needs to face the future and that everyone is waiting for him. After he goes to check on Zenith again and talks to Lilia, he decides they are going home.

After this, the party begins their travel back, and Elinalise suggests to Rudy that he should marry Roxy if neither he or Sylphie are devoted to the Milis faith which allows only one partner. This ends up with Rudy proposing to Roxy in a rather awkward way after deciding he would rather be scum than regret not trying. Though they know Sylphie has to approve of it first.

In the end, I believe Roxy did what she had to do to save the man she loves. He was back in a dark place, and she was the only one who could save him. They are both aware that their actions were a mistake. Roxy knew it was a last resort to try getting Rudy back to normal, while Rudy was not capable of reason. Mistake. Still, they are two people who love each other. Their world has no issues with multiple partners, and the worst thing in the whole situation by far is that Sylphie did not deserve it.

I believe Sylphie might be confused at first, but she will 100% prefer Rudy taking Roxy as his second wife than him dying in his room and not coming back. I expect she will quickly accept the second wife, just as Zenith accepted Lilia. Rudy is scum, just like Paul. He fell for two women, wanting them both. This is something even he himself doesn’t try to deny.

Elinalise said something more to him that was omitted in the anime, though it was clear that she practically forced him into trying to take responsibility. This was a bit disappointing, especially considering we know that he loves Roxy just as much as he does Sylphie.

He should’ve immediately wanted to tell Sylphie about what he did and been ready for her to leave him (all of us including him know that wouldn’t happen). I am not complaining though. Under the current circumstances, I think the end result was the best possible action to take for everyone involved. It’s a fictional world, with fictional characters, and if they all genuinely love each other, I believe it’s fine for them to have a fictional happy family with as many wives as they are content with.

The anime topped our weekly ranking last week. If you watched and enjoyed Mushoku Tensei Season 2 Episode 23, you can vote for the best anime of week 12. If you are interested in the novel, Seven Seas Entertainment is the place.

Images via Crunchyroll
©Rifujinnamagonote/MFBOOKS/Mushoku Tensei II Production Committee

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