After dying from an attack from Truck-kun, an unemployed adult shut-in finds himself reincarnated as Rudeus, the son of two young adventurers. As he starts getting used to his new life, he starts learning about magic, and while still as a child he figures out how to increase his magic power and cast magic without incantations. When his parents discover his magic potential, they hire a tutor: the young mage Roxy. After showing her what he can do, Roxy is welcomed into the house as Rudy’s tutor, and Rudy finds the motivation to do what his past life could not do: actually make something of himself in life.
We’ve seen a lot of wish fulfillment isekai light novels, many of which were adapted to anime, but Mushoku Tensei is notable in that it is the original wish fulfillment isekai light novel–not necessarily the first one at all, but the first one to become very popular in Japan and thus inspire many similar stories to be written. It’s definitely interesting to see it finally get animated, with all the other isekai series that have come out, and anime-only viewers inevitably comparing this show to those. For the record, I have read two volumes of the light novel, and overall I like how this adaptation is going. One thing about Mushoku Tensei that isn’t seen as much in isekai is that Rudy is reincarnated as a newborn baby, and the story actually tracks his childhood years growing up. However, he still has the mental capacity of his previous life, which leads to an amusing dynamic where his actions as a kid are narrated with an adult male perspective and voice. There’s lots of other amusing comedic moments strewn throughout that help make this adaptation surprisingly fun, helped by very solid animation. Do be warned, though, that some of the humor is very much of a perverted nature. One can infer that Rudy in his previous life was rather depraved, and one thing from the original novels that didn’t quite get mentioned in this episode was just how much of a failure of a human being he was in that life (let’s just say, calling him “a waste of oxygen” is an understatement). Hopefully the contrasts with his past life come up more later as themes of redemption and second chances seem to be important here. Overall, this was a good start, albeit with not too much happening in the grander plot, but it’ll still probably be a fun watch for isekai fans, or those who are interested in the isekai that inspired so much of modern isekai.
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation is streaming on Funimation.