Mushoku Tensei author Rifujin na Magonote had recently been facing backlash from certain sections of online communities. The controversy revolved around the slavery in the Mushoku Tensei universe, and it all began due to a single tweet by the author after episode 6 of the anime’s second season aired.
In the above mentioned episode Rudeus purchases a child slave, Julie, for his friend Zanoba. The latter intended to use her to make figures.
Rifujin na Magonote has a habit of tweeting his thoughts after an episode of Mushoku Tensei anime airs. So, after episode six finished airing, the author put out a tweet explaining the main character Rudeus’ views on slavery among other things from the episode.
“About Rudeus: He doesn’t really have any feelings of hatred for slavery. He feels like, it’s not necessarily the case that all slaves are universally unhappier as slaves than they were before becoming slaves. So while kidnapping is evil, he can’t say with certainty that slavery itself is evil and doesn’t want to impose his own sense of justice upon a culture he is unfamiliar with,” the author’s tweet read.
However, this tweet, after getting reported by multiple media outlets, was blown out of proportion and its intent skewered. Many mistook this comment as the author’s own interpretation of slavery instead of taking it for what it was.
This resulted in the discourse around the depiction of slavery and Rudeus’ morally questionable actions to heat up.
A couple of days after making the previous tweet, Rifujin na Magonote has made another comment, this time clarifying his own views on slavery in an attempt to clear up the confusion.
Here, the author once again clarified that even though he doesn’t condone slavery personally, Rudeus is written as a character who has no particular aversion to that concept.
“I’d like to explain myself, as I don’t condone slavery personally. However, it’s true that I wrote Rudeus as someone who is not averse to slavery. Also, the original story is written in a mild setting and in such a way that it can be accepted as ‘this is normal in this world, it can’t be helped’ Because of this, there’s no point in making excuses,” Magonote wrote.
The author also added that his statement wasn’t exactly an apology.
“Many people have told me that I don’t need to apologize, but in Japan, that statement isn’t recognized as an apology. So, I probably haven’t actually apologized…”
The season will have a total of 25 episodes.
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation is a Japanese light novel series by Rifujin na Magonote and illustrated by Shirotaka. Originally published on the internet web novel website Shosetsuka ni Naro in November 2012, a year later it was announced the series would receive a print release under Media Factory’s MF Books imprint with illustrations done by a Pixiv user called Shirotaka.
A manga adaptation by Yuka Fujikawa began serialization in the June 2014 issue of Monthly Comic Flapper. Seven Seas Entertainment licensed the tankōbon volumes of the manga for localization in North America. The company also has licensed the original light novels.