"Jobless Reincarnation: I Will Seriously Try If I Go to Another World" was a Japanese light novel series written by Rifujin na Magonote. He began uploading chapters onto a free web novel website under this pseudonym on November 22, 2012. Readers were instantly captivated with the story, and the story caught the attention of Media Factory's MF Books. A year after its release, it was published as a light novel with illustrations by Pixiv user ShiroTaka which translates to "White Hawk". Despite the immense popularity of Mushoku Tensei, the author was still inexperienced and took many criticisms during its release to heart. Fans often criticized the main character as being overly perverted, and the Chinese streaming network Bilibili suspended the series for being "immoral". Rifujin na Magonote even considered ending the series prematurely, despite earlier intentions to continue the series for at least a hundred chapters. Luckily for us, he pressed on and his web novel hit number one on the site's combined popularity ranking within a year of publication. It was able to popularize the isekai genre and paved the way for many of the shows we see today. Thus, it was bestowed with the title, "The Grandfather of Isekai". In 2014, it was adapted into a manga and the first volume was released in October of the same year. Finally, the anime adaptation was released during the Winter 2021 season.
The series is being animated by Studio Bind, a joint venture between the animation giant White Fox and the management company Egg Firm. Founded in November 2018, the studio was created in order to produce Mushoku Tensei. That's right, an entire studio has been built for the sole purpose of producing the isekai in a "continuous, long-term, and systematic manner". The same team that has worked on the beautiful art in Steins;Gate, Akame Ga Kill, and Re:Zero - Starting Life in Another World has done it yet again, and I must say it is beautiful. The quality of Jobless Reincarnation is almost cinematic, and it is clear how diligently the animators have worked on the scenes. Especially in fighting or magic scenes, the unique style and effects had me absolutely floored. If I could only use one word to describe the art, it would be beautiful. The landscape, characters, and environment all seem to be straight off a painting. The soundtrack complements it beautifully as well, making use of guitars, flutes, and more to give it an adventurous vibe. I especially enjoyed the performances by Yuiko Oohara, in the opening and ending of each episode. Honestly, it all comes down to the time and effort that has clearly been poured into this series.
Mushoku Tensei's premise seems to be rather uninspired, as a shut-in weeb is killed by Truck-kun and is reborn into another world. In fact, all of the characters fall under similar tropes we have seen time and time again in this subgenre. However, something is different about the way that this situation is portrayed in the anime. Upon its release back in 2012, these ideas were still rather fresh and unique and the character tropes we are so familiar with today were not even established yet. No one was familiar with the isekai harem, adventurer's guilds, and overpowered magic systems. This show is able to present the most tired clichés because it doesn't see them as clichés. Rather, they are simply characters in a story that established the tropes of the present. The characters are phenomenal, and my personal favorites include Roxy and Ruijerd. While our main protagonist, Rudeus, is overly perverted and does some rather disgusting things, he is very human in many aspects. Despite being reborn into a fantasy world, he is not automatically perfect or overpowered. In fact, it takes him years of practice in order to command magic the way that he does. The problems from his past life do not disappear either, as he still carries trauma and emotional baggage throughout his journey. He is a very flawed individual, but I think that is what makes him special. Even though he is somewhat unlikeable, he is much more real than many of the perfect protagonists we often see in this genre. Overall, I really enjoyed the first season, and cannot wait for the next. I feel that it will only get better from here, so I highly recommend you check it out on Funimation or Hulu!