Mushoku Tensei Season 2 Episode 3 renews our faith in the ability of studio Bind to deliver a story that emotionally resonates with the viewers.
Episode 3 of Mushoku Tensei Season 2 further develops Rudeus’ relationship with Sara, picking off after he saved her in the previous episode. Though there’s no action, the animation quality of the episode is consistent with what we’ve come to expect from studio Bind. They deliver us another impactful episode that talks about heavy topics with a great deal of sensitivity and seriousness.
Episode 3 develops the relationship that Rudeus shares with Sara with great care. Both of them seem to harbour a great deal of respect and liking for each other and they gradually get closer to each other. When Sara suggests that Rudeus invite him over to his room, the latter is surprised but follows up on the hint with composure and seriousness. Rudeus, in no way acts with perversion and this really shows how much he has grown as person.
The episode then follows up with an intimate scene and it’s refreshing to see how it doesn’t make light of this scene and depicts with it full seriousness. Usually, anything to do with an intimate scene is simply condemned as fanservice and but this episode portrays the topic with a great deal of sensitivity which adds to the gravity of the situation.
In the next scene, we see Rudeus drowning his sorrows with alcohol at a tavern after the incident with Sara. Soldat enters the tavern and teases Rudeus with the smirkful attitude and this really sets off Rudeus. No longer able to control himself, he starts hitting Soldat and in the process, lays himself bare in front of Soldat. Having seen Rudeus’ true nature, Soldat no longer doubts him and decides to help him out.
After a bit of a heart to heart talk with Rudeus, Soldat suggests that they should visit a professional to cure Rudeus’ impotence, and thus, they enter the red light district. Following up on this, Rudeus is now in a room with a flowergirl named Elise. Elise eases him up and suggests try out a variety of things. Unsuprisingly, nothing she tries works out as Rudeus has no reaction to any of it. She figures out that the problem must be that Rudeus has become fearful of woman. She suggests that he needs someone who will not hate him at any cost to cure his impotence.
It’s very pleasant to see how carefully the entire scene was handled. There’s not an ounce of vulgarity or perversion in the scene, even the matter of Rudeus’ impotence is conveyed with so much sensitivity without anyone making fun of him. The episode handles the topic in a very mature manner, an outcome of the excellent direction.
In the following scene, Soldat is trying to cheer up Rudeus when they run into Sara. Rudeus accidentally embarrassed himself infron of Sara and hurts her feelings. Sara ends up slapping Rudeus and throws away the dagger that the pair had together selected for her. In a fit of impulse, Rudeus picks up the dagger Sara dropped and tries to end it all. Soldat kicks the dagger away from his hands. Rudeus at this point is so extremely dejected that he cannot think straight, so when Soldat suggests him to join them on their expeditions, he readily agrees.
The entire scene is handled with remarkable brilliance. Rudeus at this point has hit rock bottom, it’s the lowest he has ever felt. He cannot perform in bed, he’s become impotent and feels abandoned, he deeply hurted the girl he had a soft spot for and now he feels like she hates him with every fibre of her being. He’s so dejected that he doesn’t want to continue living. And the episode does a remarkable job of portraying this emotion. It’s so sudden, so impulsive that it catches the viewers completely off guard, showcasing how broken Rudeus is in this moment.
The careful direction is the reason this episode stands out as one of the strongest episodes in Mushoku Tensei. The emotional high points are portrayed with a lot of sensitivity and consideration, so as to convey the gravity of situation. There’s no humor to ease you into the topic, and neither there is any offputting perversion or vulgarity in any of the scenes. The topic of Rudeus’ impotence and his loss of faith in himself is conveyed as it simply is, without sugarcoating or exaggerating any of the elements and this further strengthens the overall impact of the episode.
Episode 3 of Mushoku Tensei Season 2 marks the start of Impotent Magician Arc and it conveys the sensitive topics with a great deal of consideration and matureness. Under the guise of a fanservice, the episode introduces a new problem that is going to plague Rudeus for an extended period of time. But the episode also gives us glimpses into how Rudeus is growing into a better person and that he will continue to do so.
Overall, this episode improves upon all that the previous episode lacked and promises a new adventure that is going to begin in the coming ones. And with the remarkable direction, it establishes itself as one of the strongest episodes in Muhoku Tensei.