「魔眼を持つ女」 (Magan o Motsu Onna)
“The Woman with the Demon Eyes”
While I understand that the split cour is necessary to create a manageable production cycle, it’s definitely a pity that the significant momentum Mushoku Tensei accrued through the first cour stymied a bit over summer. Nevertheless the series refuses to slow down, picking up and forges ahead from strength to strength. Studio Bind really stamped their foot down on the pedal as they continue accelerating Mushoku Tensei towards the next arc.
As we return once more, there is simply no need for an opening theme – as gentle music plays over immaculate transitions between pristine sceneries, settling us into an ambience masterfully constructed to deliver maximum enjoyment of this series. And for any source material folks out there, I think we can all agree the lyrics were quite symbolic too.
Unsurprisingly, Roxy and members of Paul’s old party find their way to the Demonic Continent, hoping to find Rudeus and safely return him home following the Mana Calamity. Through sheer bad luck and coincidences, the two do not cross paths despite almost bumping into each other many times. With Rudeus and Dead End setting off for another destination, it looks like this opportunity for reunion will elapse as two ships sail past each other into the night.
To make matters worse, every shipping company demands an extortionate amount to ferry Rujierd across the seas, since a gory and violent reputation precedes people of his kind. For all their prowess in combat, this matter of rudimentary economics poses an insurmountable obstacle that brawn cannot resolve – which is what I love about Mushoku Tensei, for seeking to challenge its characters by means other than combat. However, it isn’t all doom and gloom. During his solo adventures through the city at Hitogami’s beckoning, Rudeus is able to encounter Kishirika – a self-proclaimed Demon Empress who he pleases using a meal and some subservient antics. So much so that she actually bestows a demon eye upon him.
Simply put, there’s nothing impressive about what Rudeus did with the demon eyes. It’s a powerful ability of foresight he acquired through complete luck – at Hitogami’s whim. Not to mention it was extremely shameless of him to immediately use it to defeat Eris in swordplay – shitting over her Herculean efforts to improve and severely wounding her pride. Frankly speaking his actions were beyond pathetic. From a human standpoint, it shows how little consideration he has for others beyond himself, and how Rudeus has a long way to go in terms of his personal development journey.
Furthermore, to ‘atone’ for his poor conduct, Rudeus considered selling his magic staff to buy passage across the ocean for Rujierd. As Rujierd highlights, it’s so much easier to talk heart to heart. He was actually happy to make concessions, even if it entailed compromising his principles, and points out that Rudeus would have fractured the party anyway by selling the stuff. The action would only deepen the hurt Rudeus would cause towards Eris, since her gift of that staff is partially emblematic of how deeply she cares for him in the first place. Hopefully Rudeus was able to depart with key takeaways from Rujierd – who naturally possesses many lifetimes worth of experience as a Superd that has walked the realm for centuries.
That gruff man Rudeus saved from being potted in the head? That’s Gallus Cleaner, who just so happens to be grateful enough that he’d offer to stow away Rujierd on one of his boats – thereby circumventing the hefty ferrying fee. Talk about coincidences, eh? The sailing goes so smoothly whenever Hitogami is involved, that one has to wonder what his motives and intentions are.
Anyway, that’s about everything I wanted to discuss. As always, thanks for reading this post and see you all next week!
This show is so special, I can’t believe the last season was only 11 episodes long!
You’re right about how quickly the show got into advancing the story. I had forgotten the details of the first season’s ending and it took me a bit before I figured it out again.
While it’s true that they did encounter an (almost) insurmountable obstacle that couldn’t be resolved by simply trying harder or shouting loudly, it didn’t actually require more than making a new friend. So I think it’s kind of unwarranted to laud the show for being bold for almost half an episode. They were just teasing you.
It’s possible that the show’s creators didn’t want to spend any more time in port than necessary so I guess I won’t dwell on it.
For all the shit people give to recaps, I think they would be quite useful especially between split cours.
I will still give the show credit, because in just about any other isekai MC will use OP ability or muscle their way through inconvenient situations. For various factors – his own morality, the constraints of Rujierd’s principles, etc – Rudeus refuses to resort to these measures even though he very well could. As he did when the situation became untenable for diplomacy towards the end of the first cour.
I’m not a fan of recaps mid-season but a number of my favourite shows aired one (or more), e.g. Girls und Panzer or Goblin Slayer, so apparently it’s a necessary part of the world. I agree for when there are gaps between cours especially with a show like this where good pacing seems to be a priority. I’ll probably re-watch ep.11 again just to fully re-set my awareness. And maybe I’ll re-read the post here 🙂
Most isekai have garbage writing. People still like them but I think that’s often for reasons unrelated to their quality. I think this show makes an effort and overall does well, which sets it apart from the norm, but I don’t consider that to be a strong moment, Really, the time between problem and solution was just there so he could encounter the maou and upgrade his vision. With that done, it’s time to move on. Meanwhile, I think that some of the other parts were good, e.g. his naive initial solution to the problem and the subsequent conversation between Rudy and Rujierd, from which they both seemed to grow a bit. (Note that I make a distinction between the solution and the discussion around it — I dislike the former but like the latter.) There were other nice touches as well.
Wait for some real battle scenes save episode 7-8 for the best.
They should change the 3 episode rule to the last 3 episode rules.
Was about to really hate Rudeus for abusing his power to bully Eris in combat but I am glad the show decided to give him an immediate karma in the form of Rujierd beating the living shit out of him for letting his new power go to his head, which in turn gave him time to realize he really did Eris dirty leading to that heart to heart with Rujierd. This series really knows how to connect its pieces together.
I do hope as Rudeus grows we start seeing less of the perverted NEET and more of a man ready to mature, the show has, well, showed us that it’s not easy to break out of the shell that is you, especially your negative aspects, but I want to see what Rudeus will go.
Yes! More loli
Hmm, haven’t watched this episode yet, and it’s been a minute since I actually read the light novels. But I don’t recall them doing it as abrasively as seems to have been presented here.
Maybe I’m remembering a later fight, but it seemed like one of those moments where everyone used the experience to realize how far they had left to go, in terms of their training. Considering how much I hated Eris, and got frustrated endlessly with Rudeus (prior to them zapping to the new continent), I was actually quite happy with the character progression by this point in the story.
Eris is a hot chick now.
I know I´m in the minority here, but I never really saw anything wrong with Rudeus using his Demon Eyes to defeat Eris, not when I read the novel and not now.
I guess I´m more of a “to respect your opponent is to fight using your full potential” guy, but I also take into account that Eris is far from a paragon of dueling fairness -as she showed by trying to use petty tricks like throwing sand or even worse by purportedly admitting defeat only to deviously enact a counterattack. She got her just desserts.
Besides, I´m pretty sure that had Rudeus chosen to forgo the perfect opportunity to try his newfound power in such an intense but harmless encounter, but then she somehow found out that he went easy on her, she would have reacted badly nonetheless.
So, my point is I believe that there was no clear-cut correct answer as to how Rudeus should have approached this sparring, just like in real life decisions often entail both positives and negatives and thus he really shouldn´t be blamed whatever choice he decided to take.
I’m actually with you on this one! I didn’t particularly get any nefarious vibes from Rudeus choosing to spar with Eris after getting the eye. They’ve been sparring partners since they started taking sword lessons, so for me it was just a natural choice. Especially since Ruijerd is the strongest fighter in their party and they had no idea of the actual powers of the Demon Eye. It was nice reading your point of view since you’ve read the novels/manga and I haven’t.
I lowkey loved that they gave Kishirika a baby fat-belly. You hardly see ‘realistic’ portrayal of children in anime.
Also agree on this, but I maybe on the extreme side -blame all the Wuxia I’ve been reading, not to mention I’ve always been on the Roxy boat-
It’s a wake up call for Eris to not underestimate an opponent, since it was just a spar only her pride got hurt. If it was a real fight with like an assassin having the same skill, she would be dead and pride is not gonna do crap.
I’ve only read the LN once a long time ago that I can’t even remember Rudeus getting the evil eye.
A couple of comments on using his eye to mutilate, fold and spindle Eris’ self-esteem:
In general terms, Rudy has character flaws. We all do but they’re a key component of his character, enough so that his likeability is a topic of discussion. While it’s never cut and dried, if he did it, it’s probably a coin flip as to whether it’s wrong, at least when it comes to him being a decent fellow.
Note, that’s not necessarily a bad thing for the story because, being a jerk is part of his charm, maybe even central to it.
Here’s one way he could have acted that would have gotten me to say that he handled it with decency: He tests it out while doing anything but sparring with Eris (i.e. something her self-esteem isn’t tightly wrapped up in) and after he figures it out a bit and she’s seen how powerful it is; then they can spar if she wants to. She knows he has great power as a mage and can accept that but emotionally, she depends heavily upon the swordsmanship pecking order that has Ruijerd at the top, her next, and Rudy below.
Her worldview was just dropped on its head. It is harsh to expect a young girl to handle this event with composure. She’s probably struggling with whether she’s even fit to be a member of the party now.
Note that none of the criticisms accuse him of deliberately trying to stomp on Eris but he was wholly indifferent to her, as he was with his plan to sell her precious gift. In this respect, despite his tremendous advantage in years, he is less mature than she. I should add, that depending upon whatever, if they were utterly desperate and he truly had to sell the staff, he should bring up the issue with her. If she felt that was really the case I bet she’d suggest it.
“Obliviousness” or if you purposefully want to portray his attitude in a negative light let´s say “indifference” is not tantamount to lack of decency.
Indeed, Rudeus being an extremely flawed individual is key to the story. Thus, it is never disputed and often I consider some people have a tendency to take advantage of that fact to pile on unforgiving criticism on him, more than they should or would on other characters in similar situations. This whole sparring situation being a case in point.
Let me first say I heavily contest your assertion that he is less mature than her. Both are immature, but because of him mentally being over 30 years older than her he has put on his shoulders the obligation to safely return Eris to her home. He knows they are in possible danger of dying on the road even with Rujierd as a guard and so he has plan every tiny detail about their journey accordingly.
He cares so much about making sure everyone is fine in the big picture that he fails to take proper consideration of everyone in the small one. He is not being indifferent to Eris or Rujierd, he is overburdened by his self-imposed duty. To the point that he never even considered the grievous consequences on the party relationships of pawning Eris´ birthday present to him until Ruijerd talked him into reason.
As I said before, I don´t believe someone who is working him himself to the point of mental exhaustion due to his concern for others should be blamed or criticised as harshly as he was this time.
Regardless, I think your solution to the sparring situation requires some mental gymnastics he was incapable of doing in his actual state. In addition, I don´t think it would be a good idea. The next chance he might have had to try his powers could be a life-or-death situation. What if he failed to protect Eris because the seconds he took to get used to his Demon Eyes in a battle against an enemy of unknown skills or strength proved fatal? He can´t risk those chances, so testing them in an intense but harmless scuffle like this duel seemed ideal to me.
I stand by my point that all that criticism for him being indifferent or whatever was biased and unfair.
PD: Thank you for your reply, Gabie. I was feeling that Rudeus should be cut some slack this time and that prompted me to write my post. I´m glad to read that at least someone agreed with my viewpoint. Now that this opportunity arises I should mention that I remember I quite enjoyed those write-ups from you I read, mostly first impressions since the very few shows I watch now are those that are strictly my cup of tea. I do hope that someday I get to read you covering a show I happen to like, that would be nice.
I am quite satisfied in how the story kept the actual power of Eye of Foresight manageable….
1-2 seconds is amazing in the heat of the battle, but does nothing for true important decisions regarding long-term consequences.
Like, well, selling the VERY important gift from Eris. That would have devastated her , considering she just got curbstomped by Rudeus in combat.
As for the Eye itself I would not call it a gift of pure luck, after all Rudeus showed compassion to someone who looked quite awful…. And courtesy to someone who looked ridiculous. And had wisdom to exactly carry out God’s suggestions.
As they say, people make their own luck.