I feel like I speak for everyone when I say this: getting invested in a story like Mushoku Tensei, only to be left at a cliff-hanger? It’s one of the worst feelings in the world. I know I am not the only one that searches for web novels, manga and anime by sorting whether they are completed works or not. There is a satisfaction in picking up a story that has already finished.
For me, nothing hurts more than a piece of fiction that is either unfinished or on a hiatus. It’s the same when it comes to anime, manga, and even fan fiction. I just don’t like to wait for new chapters or updates, I can’t be that patient. With finished work, you can binge it for hours and have a proper conclusion.
So, when I started Mushoku Tensei, that’s the first thing I looked into. Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation is a JRPG-inspired light novel series by Rifujin na Magonote, the creator, and Shirotaka as the illustrator. It later got a manga serialization by Yuka Fujikawa, and even an anime adaptation under Studio Bind in late 2021. It is often regarded as the pioneer of Isekai by long-time fans of the genre. The novel was completed sometime in 2017 after 23 chapters were published.
Since the anime is fairly new, we will mostly be talking about the novel and manga serialization and their current status. So, let’s get started, shall we?
Jobless Reincarnation: The Story So Far
Our protagonist is an unnamed NEET – aka Not in Education, Employment or Training, a term used to describe lazy people. He is expelled from his parent’s house after he misses their funeral, which leads him to self-reflect on the life he’s spent. He realizes that his existence has been pointless, where he has helped no one or done anything of note. However, that changes when he saves some teenagers from the path of a speeding truck, taking one out of direct danger and sacrificing himself.
And then he opens his eyes, as an infant named Rudeus Greyrat. He learns that he has been reincarnated into this new world, full of magic and battlegrounds and that this might be his second chance at life. He vows to live different this time, an existence with purpose and meaning.
Through early training and foresight, Rudeus grows his magical powers and intellect. Roxy Migurdia, a demonic magician, takes him under his wing and becomes his mentor. His journey of redemption leads him to encounter people like Sylphiette, a demihuman he befriends, and Eris Boreas, a noble heiress he goes on to teach magic to later. This is the story of a man trying his best in one life, to erase the regrets of a previous one.
Mushoku Tensei Novel Vs Manga: Which is Better?
As with any piece of fiction that gets adapted into different mediums, Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation is substantially different in every iteration.
The biggest difference is between the web novel and the manga. The web novel is richer with detail, the world-building is more magnanimous and which leads to a more coherent reading experience. The web novel also takes its time when describing events and moving on to new arcs in the story. It’s paced well and stays true to its lore till the end.
The manga, on the other hand, is a lot more dynamic. But that leads it to be an almost rushed read, where things happen too fast and plot points get dropped out of nowhere. It also ends up glossing over important events in the web novel, which leads it to stray away from the actual source material. A lot of readers have complaints that the manga doesn’t have the same fluidity as the web novel, making the story lose its charm.
Another point of contention is in the translations for both works. The web novel has consistently good translations that don’t mix up terminologies or confuse the readers. The manga, on the other hand, is not translated as well, even leading to blatant changes in names for important characters and plot devices that complicate the reading experience.
Is Mushoku Tensei Anime Worth The Watch?
There is an anime, so of course, we’re going to talk about it! The anime itself adapts the manga more closely than it does the light novel, so the pacing is, again, rushed.
The anime follows the same old Isekai tropes we’ve seen before, but in a way that they don’t seem tired or overused. This ends up adding to the overall viewing experience, enriching the plot. The animation is also stellar, with gorgeous visuals and scenery. And since the lore is taken from the web novel rather than the manga, the story is a vibrant fantasy with good comedic timing and intense conflict scenes.
Has The Story Finished for Jobless Reincarnation?
Here we go, the question that is on the mind of anyone who picks this series. And sadly, there is no simple answer to this because we have three iterations of the same source material, with two of them still ongoing, and one technically finished. But also, not really. Confused?
Okay so from what we have gathered so far, the web novel for Mushoku Tensei has been completed with 24 volumes released in total. But Mushoku Tensei itself is just one-half of a two-part story, according to Rifujin. They went on to state that the second part will start once the light novels, released alongside the original web novel, are also completed. The light novels have 24 volumes out as well, but likely have 2 more volumes to go thanks to a time skip that needed more elaboration.
However, fans unanimously agree that the web novel ended in a very satisfying way, so you can absolutely pick up and binge the entire series without any regret of experiencing an open ending. But the bonus of a sequel is very promising!
Meanwhile, the manga is still ongoing. But the anime was received well enough that it has been greenlit for a 3rd season!
With the manga being so popular, hopes are high for the new season of Mushoku Tensei. Have you enjoyed the story so far? What are your takes on the current state of Mushoku Tensei? Send them over in the comments below!