「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!