Mushoku Tensei Review: Should You Read The Famous Isekai?

    Mushoku Tensei is a lot of a things. Sadly, 'worth your time' isn't one of them.

    I’m not going to beat around the bush with this one: Mushoku Tensei is not worth the read. I know, I know, harsh words for someone who gobbles every mid-tier Shojou in her path but hears me out. The problem with the Isekai genre is specifically that it has become so dated and everything is rinsed and repeated. There is no innovation, nothing that genuinely stands out. So, what does Mushoku Tensei revert to? Sadly, shock factor and explicit jokes don’t land.

    Here’s why you shouldn’t read Mushoku Tensei: Because it’s bad but even worse? It’s wasted potential. The biggest problem with Mushoku Tensei is the fact that it was a light novel that held a lot of promise, with a unique setting and a huge character roster. But it throws all of that away for some of the worst plot directions I have ever seen. I mean, when you have to resort to your mentally middle-aged protagonist to groom a literal 12-year-old, well. That isn’t exactly going to pull in any long-term fans.

    And, on that note, can I just say how tired I am of the terrible harem subgenre in most Isekai? All the characters in the harem feel like they only exist to compensate for what the male lead lacks, with no inherent personalities of their own. And with Mushoku Tensei, this gets even worse thanks to the 3 wives’ relationship our terrible protagonist, Rudeus Greyrat, engages in.

    I’m not saying polyamory is bad, but it’s certainly something when you remember that Rudeus was a 30-something unemployed loser who was reincarnated into this new world. I.e., he still thinks like an adult. And he was attracted to literal children. So, if you were thinking about giving Mushoku Tensei a read, here’s why I’d honestly skip it.

    The Premise: 31-Year-Old NEET Gets A New Lease On A Magical Life

    Mushoku Tensei

    Imagine you’re unemployed, in your 30s, and just got evicted from your home because your parents died. Things might not be looking good for you, and then good ol’ Truck-Kun takes you out on a whammy. Suddenly, you awaken in this new fantastical world as Rudeus Greyrat.

    Because of who his family is in this new world, and his memory retention from a previous life, Rudeus grows up as the poster boy for every Isekai ever. He is highly skilled at magic, extremely talented at strategizing, and also has the weirdest connotations about how women work.

    But hey, that doesn’t matter when you manage to pull both your student, your mentor, and your classmate into a sweet, sweet marriage. Also, a magic catastrophe happens and it’s up to Rudeus to figure out how to save everyone from the Human-God that had killed so many. And that’s it, that’s the base plotline for Mushoku Tensei.

    The Breakdown: Terribly Written Wish Fulfilment At Best, Highly Problematic At Worst

    Mushoku Tensei

    So, where do I even start? What went wrong here? I mean, I’ve stated multiple times how Mushoku Tensei is just not worth a read but, here’s the truth: It’s terrible, from start to finish. Not only is Rudeus one of the most unlikable protagonists I’ve seen in anime, period. But the story itself adds nothing to anyone else’s character growth.

    Just by a single read, you can tell Mushoku Tensei is an uncomfortable tale about blatant wish fulfillment that is filled with misogyny and weird power dynamics. And like, don’t get me wrong. I’m not uncomfortable with vulgarity or anything, but there is just something so bizarre with how Mushoku Tensei goes about everything. There is nothing there to salvage when everything revolves around female submission and glorifying characters that are both openly abusive and terrible to their partners.

    And that’s just, like, the surface-level stuff. There is nothing in Mushoku Tensei that warrants ignoring all of it and diving in for a proper read. Like, the plot isn’t very engaging, it’s a basic Isekai at the best of times, and no character calls to you. So, what’s the point of even trying?

    The Verdict: Mushoku Tensei Is The Worst Isekai I’ve Read

    Mushoku Tensei

    Look, I’m not trying to be a Negative Nancy but there are far more superior light novels out there that you could read instead of focusing on the garbage that is Mushoku Tensei. Seriously, I’d pick Sword Art Online over this one and that’s saying something.


    Anza Qureshi
    Anza Qureshi
    Anza Qureshi is a writer, licensed dentist and certified Uchiha fangirl. When she isn't doing root canals or listing down anime waifus, you can find her screeching about her favorite JRPGs across social media.

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    1 Comment

    1. Am I the only one who thinks mushoku tensei is really good? I think the writer did a good job in developing the story, not only focusing on one point of view and also providing an explanation of the character’s origin story which is also very interesting to explore. Even though the MC seems to have a too perverted nature, in my opinion all men are like that even though rudy is pretty too much but still acceptable. Also the medieval setting is very well described in this novel and of course makes the actions in it appropriate to the time.

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