Something is afoot in the Asura Kingdom. As Princess Ariel, fourth from the throne, has afternoon tea, a danger approaches her and her retinue. Though Ariel’s guardians attempt to defend her, they are useless against the strength of the beast that has burst into the clearing and is charging the princess. Ariel, however, is uninjured—she’s saved by a girl who has fallen from the skies and landed on the beast’s head, crushing him. That girl is Sylphy, whose hair changes color from green to white in the ordeal. The half-elf is immediately brought into Ariel’s service, becoming one of her guardians. Disguising herself with shades and taking the name Fitz, Sylphy also becomes part of a conspiracy. The father of Ariel’s other guardian, Luke, is colluding with the princess to put her on the throne ahead of her brother Grabell, who holds no love for his half-sister. Grabell’s claim is perhaps as shaky as Ariel’s, for while the latter is the daughter of the king and official queen, the former’s mother is a concubine. And as the two siblings make moves in this power game, Ariel will come soon find herself perilously close to her demise.
Mushoku Tensei returns! Sort of! This is episode 0 of the new season, which like the OVA (episode 24 of season one), links season two to the first and provides necessary information about an important character and possibly significant developments to the story. Both episodes also have this in common: they are very good. Sylphy has mostly been absent from the tale for some time, though she appeared at the very end of season one trying to convince a group to recruit Rudeus to their ranks. It was the last scene of the season and a little confusing since we didn’t know how Sylphy came to be where she was, who these other characters were, and why Sylphy looked so different. Now we do. And although the episode takes a while to get where it needs to go—i.e. it’s not particularly captivating for 3/4 of its length—the last bit reminds us of two great aspects to the show that make it worth watching, even when that means sitting through some episodes that are a little boring and scenes that may be uncomfortable. Mushoku Tensei has extraordinary heart, on par with some of anime’s most stirring series, and it features mature intrigue and nail-biting action that make it more comparable to Game of Thrones (um, the first five seasons or so) than to shonen fare. Mushoku Tensei is a special series. I have no reason to believe that season two won’t be as compelling as the first. And with the first episode being “episode zero,” we’ve only just begun!
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation 2nd Season can be streamed on Crunchyroll.