Reading into Novels: Mushoku Tensei

Novel name: Mushoku Tensei: Isekai Ittara Honki Dasu(WN)

Chapters read: 259 + Conclusion volume (COMPLETE)

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MAL link: https://myanimelist.net/manga/70261/Mushoku_Tensei__Isekai_Ittara_Honki_Dasu

On this second edition of Reading into Novels, we will look at the only series that I fully finished so far: Mushoku Tensei. This was a truly wonderful series that left me feeling completely empty and hollow inside when I actually finished it, because it was just so good, I invested my whole into reading it. And now, to convince you people to read this amazing series that will probably never get an anime adaptation for reasons unknown, I will try my best to analyse its strengths and weaknesses as a novel.


Strengths: The perfect isekai in the form of a novel


  • Whenever I finish a good series, be it manga, anime or novel(in the case of novels, only one, this particular Mushoku Tensei that we happened to be talking about now), I will feel a sense of emptiness. It’s as if something important to me was taken away and I will never be able to get it back again. And well, when I finished Mushoku Tensei, the feeling was the strongest it had ever been. It probably partly has to do with just how much time I invested into the series(with its 259 chapters + conclusion volume in the web novel), but it’s mostly due to just how good this series was. I was very attached to the world and the characters by the time I had finished reading the novel and having to see the end and bear with not being to see their adventures again just hit me hard. This just goes to show just how attractive of a series Mushoku Tensei is. However, what exactly makes it so good?
  • Let’s begin from the bottom up. First, we will talk about the most basic thing in a story: the premise. Mushoku Tensei is seemingly very simple in its premise: a good for nothing NEET was reincarnated and begins his new life in a new world, just like any isekai series ever. And well, it really is so. But again, typical-ness doesn’t exactly mean it is bad. Unlike other isekais that sometimes lack coherency and explanations, as the story goes along, you will realise there is much more in the premise for Mushoku Tensei than you think. This story has surprisingly huge amounts of depth in terms of premise.
  • Next, we shall look at the setting of the story. What kind of world does Mushoku Tensei have? As is with it’s premise, the setting seems very typical. It is a new world, with magic and monsters, as well as adventurer guilds. But again, it’s just on the surface. What seems like a stereotypical world setting with no room for improvement in terms of how interesting it is turns out to be a very vibrant world with lots of unique nations with their own cultures and politics, as well as different races that actually mean something(instead of being a ploy for fan-service). I would like to praise the setting even more, but it would go into spoilers territory and become a fanboy session, so I’ll stop here.
  • And even more than that, we have the characters. In Mushoku Tensei, although the protagonist starts out as your typical worthless NEET, throughout the novel, he gains a ton of character development, and we get to see him grow as a character from the start to the finish. Other than the protagonist however, the other main characters and side characters are all very well done. They are all good characters in their own right, with good character developments for every one of them, as well as feeling as if they are alive and real. I grew very attached to all of them throughout the story, and I really saw them as if they were real. Well done Rifujin na Magonote(author), you have earned my respect for bringing so many of my beloved characters to life.
  • Lastly, the story. How good is the story itself? Because we all know that even if a series has good characters, settings and premise, as long as the story and plot sucks, it’s very hard for the series to be good as a whole(as we have seen time and time again by the failures of adaptations when they change the story). Well, don’t worry, because Mushoku Tensei has got one of the most well-thought out and deepest storylines I’ve ever seen. The story is very intricate and just sucks you in and refuses to let you go. Not only that, the series also manages to be very entertaining to read overall as well as handling all the various elements very well: because despite being an isekai, it has a lot of different element mixed in, such as comedy, romance, and SOL. Overall, I love the plot of Mushoku Tensei (as do as most people) since the story caters to such a large amount of audience, and manages to be very interesting.
  • As a bonus, the light novel is very closely related to the web novel, with minor adjustments to the story and the only big change so far being an extra volume of story that didn’t exist in the web novel(which didn’t affect the main storyline in any way, so do not worry). Therefore, the light novel art and illustrations is actually very compatible with the web novel, and even if you were to use this review as a guideline for reading the light novel, you will be fine. What’s more, the illustrations themselves are very well drawn and I pretty much love them. Have a sample:
    mushoku tensei illustration.jpg
    If you ask me, this is one beautiful character introduction illustration.

     

Now, I’m sang so many words of praises, you would definitely think that Mushoku Tensei is simply perfect in my eyes and I’m a fanatic fanboy. Well, that’s pretty true since I absolutely adore the series. But, because this post isn’t for myself to read but rather for me to share to people like you guys, I will (reluctantly) go through the bad points of the series.

 


Weaknesses: Isekai & not for everyone


Yes. Isekai by itself is a bad thing nowadays, simply because of how often it appears and how common it is. It gets repetitive and people simply get sick of seeing it over and over. Well, some people do anyways.

Furthermore, the story actually gets pretty ecchi & erotic at times, because of the nature of our protagonist(he is, well, sometimes perverted). It doesn’t go to any crazy levels and elevate into erotica or anything, but some people can’t stand it, so consider this a small notice. It isn’t a major point in the series and the focus is definitely not on the more ero things, so you are safe for that area if you are worried about how much we actually get.

 


Worth reading?


Definitely, absolutely, surely, and I can confidently say, Mushoku Tensei is worth reading as a series, be it the web novel or the light novel. If you want to go one step further, the manga adaptation is not bad either, although it’s a really slow adaptation due to it being a monthly release.
As long as you are not bothered by the isekai genre, as well as the seemingly typical appearance, or the sometimes ecchi writing, you will be well on your way to enjoy possibly the best masterpiece the isekai genre can offer.
Hey, Mushoku Tensei isn’t one of the top read novels on syosetsu all time for no reason!

mushoku tensei read book.jpg
Aww, don’t be shy. Go on and read the novel!

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