You don’t have to “want to live”. “I don’t want to die” is good enough.
In the latest episode, the spotlight returns to Ranao Academy. This episode revolves around the evolving rapport between Rudeus and Fitz, setting the stage for a series of playful interactions akin to a cat-and-mouse game. Sylphy, with her endearing yet sometimes vexing antics, keeps Rudeus on his toes.
While the audience is aware of their underlying dynamics, Sylphy herself is well aware of what’s at play. However, Rudeus appears either astonishingly dense or extremely preoccupied, failing to consider the possibility that Fitz might be Sylphy.
Rudeus acquainting himself with the now-grown Sylphy is rich with delightful character nuances. Sylphy yearns to rekindle the closeness they once shared and to bridge the gap between them.
She eagerly seizes every chance to spend time with him, delving into his interests and even attempting to understand and aid him with his problems. From her perspective, these efforts hold deep sincerity.
On the other hand, Rudeus finds himself grappling with a classic romantic comedy premise, where a male protagonist unknowingly develops feelings for a cross-dressing girl, stirring questions about his sexuality.
Rudeus holds Fitz in high regard while grappling with an inexplicable attraction—an attraction so potent that it excites a physical response.
Trip to The Slave Market
Mushoku Tensei wouldn’t be itself without delving into controversial territories, and this time, we’re led into the unsettling realm of a slave market. This chain of events is set in motion when Rudeus takes on the role of coaching Zanoba in figurine making.
As it becomes evident that Zanoba lacks magical talent, despite his sincere efforts, he struggles to manifest anything at all. Rudeus proposes that Zanoba practice the ancient craft of sculpting instead. However, Zanoba’s exceptional strength as a Blessed Child becomes a hindrance even in this endeavour, thwarting his progress.
This leads us to confront a moral dilemma: If Zanoba cannot craft figures by his own hands, then why not use a child slave to do the same for him? But beneath this surface, lies a pivotal scene.
Ultimately, Rudeus selects a malnourished 6-year-old dwarf, whom he names Juliette, as the candidate. Opting for a dwarf stems from their known craftsmanship skills and dexterous hands. Sylphy inputs the idea of choosing a young individual to help train their magical skills and capacity.
When Rudeus encounters Juliette, her vacant eyes evoke memories of his own past self—someone who desperately wished for an escape from life’s burdens but was too afraid to do so. On one hand, he is compelled to save a girl who mirrors his earlier self and give her a second chance at redemption.
Yet, Rudeus’ second life has taught him he cannot save those who have no prospect of even saving themselves. Unless Juliette has the drive to change her own circumstances, merely saving her will only put her in a new cage. So, he asks her, if she wants to live, and promises to end it for her if that is what she wishes for instead.
This scenario with Julie provides a deep insight into Rudeus’ evolving perspective on his two lives. Death emerges as an escape for those trapped in despair, while a fresh lease on life offers a gift for those willing to wage their internal battles.
In a clever twist, Mushoku Tensei takes a common trope and employs it as a lens for profound character development.
Mushoku Tensei Season 2 Episode 6 delivered a compelling episode, skillfully navigating through sensitive scenes with a delicate touch.
The result was a poignant display of character writing that portrays each character authentically, without resorting to exaggeration or downplaying the gravity of the situations presented.