「人の命と初仕事」 (Hito no Inochi to Hatsu Shigoto)
“The Value of a Life and the First Job”
When cast into an unknown continent, with only clothes and some weapons as well as a singular guardian figure, it stands to reason that there are two priorities – food and shelter. Naturally, these two things typically require gold. So Rudeus and Co set out to find a job – a first for our NEET, who has no prior experience to call upon from his previous life.
The First Demon City
It wouldn’t be Rudeus if he wasn’t behaving horny over something. This time, it’s a demon onee-san with triple oppai. To be honest, although his perverted tendeices can be really off-putting, I honestly prefer protagonists who are open-minded and happy-go-lucky, as opposed to prejudiced or racist against beings that look slightly different.
From their interactions with the demon guilds, it seems like they will have to progress through a ranking system, where they fulfill a quota of quests at the lowest available level before being able to take more difficult quests that pay better. This type of progression can bug me at times. Is there absolutely no exception even if a super genius who breaks the mold shows up? But I digress. Despite their capabilities, which we as viewers are very much familiar with, it’s not like Rudeus, Eris or Ruijerd have exhibited their powers to the demons. So work their way up through a meritocracy they must – or do they? Whether Hitogami can be trusted or not, there’s no denying that he dispenses valuable advice to Rudeus – telling him to trust Ruijerd despite the reputation preceding the Superds and asking him to take up the Cat Rescue Quest.
Repairing the Superd’s Reputation
So why do they let people laugh at them instead of kicking some asses in the guild tavern area? Part of the reason is that they want to reshape the public image of the Superds. By having Ruijerd pass off as a Migurd pretending to be a Superd, behaving amicably without killing anyone, and carrying out deeds for the public good before eventually revealing he really is a Superd, they can potentially transform mainstream perceptions. Sounds like a solid idea on paper, but I have my doubts. I don’t think I could forgive an ex-terrorist even if they set about atoning for their sins. It’s not just something you can wash away with good deeds, taking the lives of innocent people.
Not to mention Ruijerd very much carries that horrifying streak which earns him the awful reputation when he instantly executes the demon without giving him second chances, even if sucker punching a kid like Rudeus is reprehensible. Something I really enjoy about Mushoku Tensei is how the setting contains a distinct set of moral standards which vastly differ from that of modern earth in a first world society. Eris is barely phased by the two brutal executions she witnessed, carried out by Ghislaine and Ruijerd respectively. It seems in this world, lives are valued so much less with death being rather commonplace.
This actually wouldn’t be far out of line with medieval societies across the world through history – where public executions were attended for entertainment value. When your family members die of whatever causes on a regular basis – war, starvation, illness, murder, etc (all offset by modern peace, agricultural advancements, medical advancements, crime enforcement improvements, etc), many become so used to death they feel desensitised from it. On top of religion, it also serves as a coping mechanism for people to come to terms with their unavoidable mortality. So who should adapt to who? The new world society to Rudeus and his ethical beliefs, or should Rudeus accept his new reality? Still, I can appreciate for all his flaws, he still has this familiar human touch about it.
Seems like they have an arrangement in place with the two surviving pet traffickers – where they can use them to gain access to higher rewarding quests with better rewards, while having the pet traffickers conduct the lowest tier quests. Essentially bypassing the requirements. The guy with the horse head looks like bad news though. And I suspect he has a vague idea about what’s going on. So I will be interested to see how he’ll look to throw a wrench into the works, because if you ask me, if he hasn’t realised Ruijerd is a Superd, he’s severely underestimating what he’s bargaining for.
Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading this post and see you all next week!
I couldn’t tell if Rudeus was legitimately upset for moral reasons when mantis man died, or because it messes with his plan to help Ruijerd. Bojack horseman upto no good for sure, horse people always fucked up in the head.
Probably both. Even then, though there is his clever scheme, Rudeus seems to have taken to task that Ruigerd’s redemption is tied to his own, and the best way to help himself is to help Ruigerd. Also, even though he was a reprobate in his previous life, he did sacrifice his own life to help others.
Though he is a degenerate, there is also a good person inside of him. While he’ll probably always have his negative tendencies, becoming as good of a person as possible will be part and parcel of the “Hero Journey”.
nah. as we saw with the kidnapper, who by many moral standards would be considered fine to have been killed (or at least, far more so than this guy). Rudeus, being from modern day Japan, simply has no experience or tolerance to seeing death in his face, like most modern day people would be from a sheltered life. Rudeus is just using the morality and helping Rujierd as an excuse to cope and rationalize. his thoughts leak out when he says to Rujierd “Don’t make me afraid of you”
I agree with this interpretation. The ending of episode 5 is basically a mirror to this one.
It also highlights that it’s very much a cultural difference: in both cases, Eris was completely unfazed by the deaths. I’m pretty sure than she’s been conditioned to accept that level of violence as normal from the environment around her. And she’s just a kid.
“This time, it’s a demon onee-san with triple oppai.”
Rudeus, start the reactor!
I must commend the series’ commitment to worldbuilding. I like how they keep using “demon languages” to showcase the cultural differences rather than go through the universal Japanese translator.
Some of the seiyuus even douns believably fluent. Not Rudeus, although that might be intentional, since he’s supposed not to be a native speaker.
Glad to see the horseman find a job after so many years. Last time I saw him he was way more muscular.
Jokes aside, this is the first time I think I’ve seen an anime commit to a foreign language, gotta commend that effort you are putting in for this. It would have been so easy to start with the demon language and then just switch to Japanese, pretending it’s still the demon language, but they stuck to the guns. Kudos man, kudos.
Has anyone noticed that Eris is notably happy slaughtering wolves and generally adventuring around? Not to mention overwhelmingly happy when Rudeus buys her cloak? (I feel pity poor demons that incurred her wrath by damaging htat cloak…)
Interactions between Ruijerd and Rudeus remind me on John Connor
teaching Terminator not to kill…
Virtual upvote for the Terminator thing, I completely missed that.
It’s easy to see she much prefers proactively adventuring, compared to sitting in school and learning by rote.
Eris was like this rude stranger death does not concern me, what Rudy is DEPRESSED eat shit Ruijerd XD
how refreshing to have this series blogged by someone who really appreciates and enjoys it non-judgementally, without any woke-ness, and with having familiarity with the LN source material.
thanks zaiden for your excellent blogposts on this series, which are currently the no.1 draw to RC for me at present.
P.S. are we ever getting the ‘Best of Anime 2020’ post???! Was, and am still, very much looking forward & still waiting for it!
When we get new people (we’re currently pretty understaffed) which should help relieve me of other site related responsibilities, I’m confident I will be able to finish up the post. Funnily enough, the main written part’s been sitting on complete for a while now. It’s the formatting/images/outro that need to be sorted out – but I haven’t been able to find time between real life commitments, weekly blogging commitments and preview related workload.
great, thanks for the update and your hard work, just wanted to know that its release is still planned and it hadn’t beeen abandoned or forgotten!
I dropped this one cause they killed off my wife Hilda(large chested)
I think him asking Rujierd to never kill again is also going to backfire on him as well and get one of them hurt or even killed.
Why do people refer to horse guy as Bojack?
Why can’t you guys just call him Lord Stallion or Pegasus. (｀∀´)