Dec 9, 2015
270 of ? chapters read
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Edit (11/18/2016): This review has been edited to reflect on the series as a whole after the latest arcs that have not been included in this review during the time it was written (the arcs being Overthrow the King Dragon King, Jobless Oblige, The Ancient Dragon's Old Tale and a bunch of Redundancy Chapters.)
If you have stumbled upon this review, you are probably having trouble deciding whether or not to read this novel. This is where I come in and let you know why I believe this novel is one of the best Web Novel/Light Novel the medium has to offer.
-THE FOLLOWING IS A
Mushoku Tensei is a 24 volume completed Web Novel that is currently being published into a Light Novel series. The author is currently writing Redundancy Chapters on the internet and is planning on writing a sequel to the series that will serve as the main plot to the story meaning that Mushoku Tensei was intended to be a prequel all along.
Do not let this fool you though, it is by far the best fantasy Web Novel/Light Novel in the market right now.
It is the highest rated Web Novel on syosetu.com and is ranked higher than series such as Overlord, Tate no Yuusha no Nariagari, RE:Monster and etc...
Now with the introductions out of the way, let us get on with the review:
Mushoku Tensei is a story about Rudeus Greyrat, a NEET who was reborn into a realm of fantasy and given a second chance at his life. This book is the journey of Rudeus from his baby years all the way into his adult years. As you go through this journey with Rudeus as a reader, you will see how he gradually improves and redeems himself for his past life. There are also quite a few plot twists and developments along the way to make sure the ride never gets too stale.
However, one of the cons to the story is that it does feel quite a bit cliche at times and the overarching plot isn't as mind boggling or grand as other works. There also may be a story arc or two that you may find boring because of the lack of action that goes on.
The world building on the other hand, is incredible. Each area that the novel introduces has its own culture, history and religion that they follow which are important as it impacts how some characters react to certain situations. The author did a fine job of making each city/country feel unique enough without making the world too bland/repetitive. Each country also has their own unique history which is told not through bland dialogue of explanations, but actually through arcs Rifujin wrote such as The Ancient Dragon's Old Tale and such. It really is a show and not tell kind of worldbuilding that Rifujin excels at and really makes the reader feel engaged to the MT-verse.
With the series being originally a Web Novel, it did not have any art at all. However, after being published into a Light Novel series, readers were finally able to get a visual image of the characters. Needless to say, the art in my opinion is really well done and Sirotaka Sensei has done great work for the series.
This is the department that Mushoku Tensei really shines like no other. The cast of this series is diverse and full of unique personalities, motives and quirks. Each character develops in one way or another, certain events changing their view on life and motives.
In Mushoku Tensei, almost no character is left behind to serve as fodder material for Rudeus. Even the main female cast serve as strong entities that can fight side by side or even overpower the Main Character. Not all characters may have a strong fighting ability, but these characters are definitely not useless and play a key part in the overall story. Each character has their own unique perspective on a given situation, and the author does a splendid job of detailing each thought out. It is hard not to get attached to the cast as the story moves along, as certain events pertaining to certain members of the cast will make you feel devastated and joyful at times.
Rudeus is a fascinating Main Character. However, if you are looking for a Gary Stu protagonist, you will not find it here. He is both intelligent but at the same time realistic and relatable. He cowers when he knows a certain situation is hopeless and panics sometimes as well. Some people may say this is what makes Rudeus a frustrating main character. However, it is exactly because of these traits that Rudeus comes off as a much more realistic character than other fantasy Web Novel/Light Novel MCs. Also, he is most of the time quite intelligent and uses his experiences from his previous life as well as strategies to deal with hardships that overpower him.
Not only this, but Rudeus' character development is amazing. To go from a NEET to a respectable man in the future is quite a feat, but what really matters is the process. The author does an amazing job of showing the reader the process of how Rudeus' overcomes his past, fears and insecurities to quite literally grow as a new man.
After catching up to the latest arcs, most of the cons regarding the lack of
well written motivations regarding certain antagonists as well as some unexplained plot points have been fixed by Rifujin. Literally every character we've seen has an arc (in the Redundancy Chapters or other arcs such as Jobless Oblige) written about them regarding their history and the reason why they do the things they do throughout the series.
The story may be a focus on Rudeus' journey to becoming a changed man, but every side character and antagonist is fleshed out to the tiniest detail and this alone really differentiates the series from any other fantasy or Isekai WN/LN in the industry.
I absolutely loved this series. From an enjoyment standpoint, there is almost none if at all any anime/manga/Light Novel/Visual Novel I have watched and read that gives me the joy that this series does. With a cast of characters that I love/care for, the jaw dropping plot twists and the incredible world with infinite possibilities to be expanded on in the sequel and Redundancy chapters, Mushoku Tensei is everything I could have asked for and more in the anime/manga/Light Novel/Visual Novel medium.
Despite some of it's flaws, Mushoku Tensei is still a masterpiece of a Light Novel. Sure there are some cliche tropes played here and there with some inconsistent plot points, but that does not deter the series from it's incredible cast of characters, story and world.
Overall, it is a series I would recommend to anyone that is a reader or simply a fan of fantasy. Mushoku Tensei is a top quality fantasy novel that other Web Novel/Light Novel can only hope to be. If you are looking for a series to read that will stay with you for quite a long time, this is the series you should be investing into.
However, I would not recommend this series to anyone that does not like sexually explicit material or mature themes such as gore/violence. This is a novel targeted at young adults rather than young teenagers.
Feel free to message me if you have any questions or responses you want to make about this review. If you want to debate about the series with me but haven't even finished the series, I will not bother.