Analyzing Mushoko Tensei, the web novel that put Isekai on the map.

Jemini

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Rudus character is a copy and paste of the 1970-1990s Japanese protagonist in anime and manga. That kind of character was already dated by the time we entered the 2000s. It's fairly 2 dimensional if you ask me.

You seem to misunderstand. The thing that makes this a well applied character flaw is not any kind of originality. Copy-paste? Yeah, maybe so. However, in this case it is deep because 1. It impacts the story directly and is not just a superficial trait of the character. A lot of major plots in the story are directly the result of mistakes Rudeus makes, several of which have to do with these flawed traits of his. 2. Those mistakes he makes are something he learns from as he gradually grows out of his character flaws one by one.

Those are the things that make a character deep.

Also, you might want to re-read the 1st paragraph of my OP. I only just started reading Mushoko Tensei after the anime released. The anime is the current season, and I started reading after seeing episode 2. In other words, I only just started reading this series a week ago. No nostalgia involved in that.

That said, there is a lot here that comes from the perspective that I have been studying literature for a while and have been very considerably impressed with how well several writing techniques that I learned about were applied. Seeing them in action after reading so many Isekai (both eastern and western in origin) that completely neglected those techniques is something that really caught my attention.
 

ForestDweller

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Despite having this sort of content, it actually manages to avoid becoming a basic wish-fulfillment story by making the MC have several flaws, place them into gut-wrenchingly difficult situations, and challenging them a lot with interpersonal drama and situations that really have no right answer. Instead, Rudeus (the protagonist of the story) has to simply do the best he can and winds up making horrible mistakes despite his best efforts that are often a driving part of the next phase of the plot.

I have to warn writers though that making an isekai protagonist like that might draw the ire of your readers. A lot of readers don't like reading about a pathetic failure after all. :s_tongue:

Just see my story's reviews for a good example. :s_tongue:
 

Yorda

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I finished reading Mushoku Tensei about 5 years ago. I remember it as a wish-fulfillment premise with an author who wrote an unlikable perverted MC who gradually got better and sought redemption for his old life mistakes. However, the MC was still fairly perverted throughout the story. I remember liking his entire family better than him.

In hindsight, Mushoku Tensei had a uninspiring villain whose backstory was never explained and remained a mystery. The villain's character building could have been so much better than the static I-am-evil-because-I-am-evil thing.

The parts where the story shined for me was the epic length, variety of excellent supporting characters, the broad ground covered by the character in terms of world exploration and world building, and how the story's timeline covered the entirety of Rudeus' lifespan and beyond. The story is complete. The power progression and characters' aging was epic. The battles were fierce.

Edit: It's hard for an author to write a POS MC from chapter one and maintain an audience. At least I couldn't hate Rudeus at the end.

Roxy is best girl
Wise words follower of Roxism.

Edit: I favoured Eris and Roxy.
It was enjoyable for me to think of Eris as a mother and her children getting beat. Roxy's child was enjoyably mysterious.

I will be honest, I am bias at anyone praising Mushoku Tensei considering it being the first few JP web novels I read.

I read it in tandem with Tate Yuusha, Arifureta, Re:monster and I dropped the trio just for more Mushoku, probably because I felt that it resonates with me more instead of just being a dick stroke.

That being said, there are also certain aspects that I disliked and liked, first being harem, at least they fucked. Second being how occasionally Rudeus just paralyze in fear and uncertainty when compared to the trio, which I get it, you are once bullied, stop that and function normally.
You named all three stories that I dropped around that time. :blobrofl:

Tate Yuusha - Not half-bad (Probably around 300 WN chapters read)
Arifureta - Too chuuni and the romance is pathetic (Around 100 chapters read)
Re:monster - F***ing author writing about slaves, MC eating other people, tentacle harem sex, stupid immoral power trip ... (40-100 chapters, can't remember)

Mushoku - MC is pathetic and a pervert but redeemable, main villain barely makes sense (Every single word of 24 light novels read)

Zero no Tsukaima is the progenitor of isekai.
Magic Knight Rayearth or Escaflowne
I will see your magic knight of rayeath, and raise you one john carter of mars.
Raise you
Urashima taro!
Let me in on this game too. My ancestor once told this story to my other ancestors in the ancient cave, "Ug went to the poison swamp filled with alligators and was never seen again. He went to another world."
 
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someonesomeguy

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I really want to discuss how amazing musoko tensei is but i would go into spoiler.

but i must say this is the most realistic novel i have ever seen . It's one of the few novels whose effects never fade. I always get reminded of [retradected spoiler] when i just hear the name. even[ retracted ] still just [retracted]. just [retracted].

This is what i find most realestic . Perfect ending. Also the fact that even after all this [retracted ] was [retracted] reached.
 

someonesomeguy

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I finished reading Mushoku Tensei about 5 years ago. I remember it as a wish-fulfillment premise with an author who wrote an unlikable perverted MC who gradually got better and sought redemption for his old life mistakes. However, the MC was still fairly perverted throughout the story. I remember liking his entire family better than him.

In hindsight, Mushoku Tensei had a uninspiring villain whose backstory was never explained and remained a mystery. The villain's character building could have been so much better than the static I-am-evil-because-I-am-evil thing.

The parts where the story shined for me was the epic length, variety of excellent supporting characters, the broad ground covered by the character in terms of world exploration and world building, and how the story's timeline covered the entirety of Rudeus' lifespan and beyond. The story is complete. The power progression and characters' aging was epic. The battles were fierce.

Edit: It's hard for an author to write a POS MC from chapter one and maintain an audience. At least I couldn't hate Rudeus at the end.


Wise words follower of Roxism.


You named all three stories that I dropped around that time. :blobrofl:

Tate Yuusha - Not half-bad (Probably around 300 WN chapters read)
Arifureta - Too chuuni and the romance is pathetic (Around 100 chapters read)
Re:monster - F***ing author writing about slaves, MC eating other people, tentacle harem sex, stupid immoral power trip ... (40-100 chapters, can't remember)

Mushoku - MC is pathetic and a pervert but redeemable, main villain barely makes sense (Every single word of 24 light novels read)





Let me in on this game too. My ancestor once told this story to my other ancestors in the ancient cave, "Ug went to the poison swamp filled with alligators and was never seen again. He went to another world."
i liked villain cause thats how life is no grand villians just random people with different goals. It just felt realistic. The shit life throws at you for no reason and you just live through it . shit at face doesn't make you god.
 

Yorda

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I really want to discuss how amazing musoko tensei is but i would go into spoiler.

but i must say this is the most realistic novel i have ever seen . It's one of the few novels whose effects never fade. I always get reminded of [retradected spoiler] when i just hear the name. even[ retracted ] still just [retracted]. just [retracted].

This is what i find most realestic . Perfect ending. Also the fact that even after all this [retracted ] was [retracted] reached.
It was quite the epic story but what do you think about *spoiler below*

That main villain Hitogami who has no background story, no complexity, and is just a typical internet troll. "I screw with people because it's fun. I'm the greatest god of everything." (2015)

Edit: You replied to my question before I even asked and posted it. You get points for psychic foresight.
 

someonesomeguy

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It was quite the epic story but what do you think about *spoiler below*

That main villain Hitogami who has no background story, no complexity, and is just a typical internet troll. "I screw with people because it's fun. I'm the greatest god of everything." (2015)

Edit: You replied to my question before I even asked and posted it. You get points for psychic foresight.
no i am pretty sure he was screwing cause if he did not do anything he would get sealed by MC's children. He can see his own future and no matter what he tried he still ended up sealed cause of MC's children. He was literally trying everything he can to not be sealed.

I always thought that he once thought hey maybe i will just help that guy and let's see what my future is. Nope i am still getting sealed by MC's children. I am pretty sure there is a naruto esque fate at play which can't easily be resisted and the MC was just part in that fate trying to live


I always read musokho tensei as momento mori. Life will throw shit at you. Your heart's desire won't come true. (example wishing for living forever won't make it happen) . You would have to make choices with very less information. You may not achieve your full potential
(he never learned gravity control or time travel. ) I am getting a feeling that if everything had went perfectly and he had perfect drive he would have just time travelled into future and changed his race into demon race and lived forever [this would have or something similar would have happened in other isekai] but that did not happen.

In another timeline when he did learn time travel he died cause of a stupid mistake. Instead of small jumps in time and restoring mana he just all at once and became a corpse. If he had jumped slowly he might have lived and even helped the MC. So you are going to do stupid shit which you can never change.

And that is just life. It's not good or perfect it just is and the saddest part is if you don't live in reality . You die in reality. It's not idealestic. Logic is not enough. Everything can't be proved. Some of your desires are just straight up not dependent on anything you can do but just on lottery.

Even all of MC's plot armour couldn't save him.

I liked mushoko tensei cause despite being fantasy world it did not feel like fantasy but real.
 
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Yorda

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no i am pretty sure he was screwing cause if he did not do anything he would get sealed by MC's children. He can see his own future and no matter what he tried he still ended up sealed cause of MC's children. He was literally trying everything he can to not be sealed.

I always thought that he once thought hey maybe i will just help that guy and let's see what my future is. Nope i am still getting sealed by MC's children. I am pretty sure there is a naruto esque fate at play which can't easily be resisted and the MC was just part in that fate trying to live
I agree with you that Hitogami was actively trying to prevent his downfall by assaulting Rudeus, his family, and allies, in any possible way. Hitogami especially made anyone and anything into his pawn causing massive collateral damage with no morality or conscience to slow him down. However, Hitogami was still the god of douche bags, and enjoyed all the suffering and mayhem he caused. "It's not evil; it's fun!" (Hitogami 2015)
 
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someonesomeguy

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I agree with you that he was actively trying to prevent his downfall by assaulting Rudeus, his family, and allies, in any possible way, especially by turning anyone and anything into his pawn. However, Hitogami was still the god of douche bags, and enjoyed all the suffering and mayhem he caused. "It's not evil; it's fun!" (Hitogami 2015)
Eh he probably thought . I would be fucked if i don't do anything or even if i do so better i just try something. Rudeus doesn't seem like the type of guy who would show mercy to me if dragon god threatened to kill his family if he did not fight me. If i am fucked either way atleast i would try something
 

High-in-the-skys

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Just gonna say that Digimon is an isekai...
Also if you're finding for a good romance and drama in an isekai go try fushigi yuugi and inuyasha.
 

Jemini

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Just gonna say that Digimon is an isekai...
Also if you're finding for a good romance and drama in an isekai go try fushigi yuugi and inuyasha.
Perhaps the title should have had the term "webnovel" shifted to the right a few words. I meant to say it put Isekai on the map within the webnovel community. Until 2012, Isekai were an anime and manga thing. Nowdays, the terms Isekai and Webnovel are almost synonymous in a lot of people's minds.
 
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