The lines are blurred since he is a child in this world, but has the mind of an adult.
Mushoku Tensei is an interesting Isekai due to the fact that not only is the protagonist in a new world, but he is starting in that new world as a baby. It has already tackled difficult questions, or at least posed them, when it comes to sexual relationships. What surprises me is the knee-jerk reaction of the anime community at large (although I really shouldn’t be surprised, living in a 2021 cancel-culture world). The surprise comes from the fact that people seemed to be shocked at what occurred in episode 6 of Mushoku Tensei. Why would you be? The signs have been there all along.
Now to be clear, Rudeus has sexually predatory thoughts and mannerisms. This has never been concealed. There has been a clear portrayal of this character flaw the entire time.
It’s as if the community at large is either collectively oblivious or has amnesia regarding his personality. Just because he hasn’t acted out on his thoughts before, we get to know his internal mental dialogue. He is constantly thinking about sex, and even steals Roxy’s panties. He catches her masturbating in the hall to his isekai parents having sex. The entire show has a horny, sexual undertone that permeates into the main story. Did the community forget that Paul, Rudeus’s dad, had sex with the maid in the home? We had an entire scene of heartbreak, and almost an entire home being wrecked because of it. What about Paul’s thoughts regarding Sylphiette and grooming her? There have been plenty of signs and warnings. Why is it now that some in the community are up in arms?
If the signs have been there the whole time I have two thoughts on why people are now caught up in the controversy.
First thought, people love virtue-signaling. There are certain people that want to be seen in a good light and that they were the first ones to speak up about something appalling they saw. If they were truly offended by this character flaw, it would have come up much sooner. We have had 5 episodes prior to questionable sexual relationships and experiences. The line of Rudeus groping and trying to steal panties from Eris was too far for some people. But if that is where the line is for people, then there is a bigger issue at stake here.
If the line was drawn with Eris, then the bigger issue at stake for me says that then you seem ok with all the other things that happened up to this point. Where was your outrage when Roxy’s panties were stolen? Where was your outrage when Rudeus thought about grooming Slyphiette? Where was the outrage when the home was wrecked? Was the community actually ok with all of these things, and then gets upset when the Eris incident happens? If so it strikes me as hypocritical. It screams to me that this is not my fettish and therefore I will now throw up flags.
Anime has always had sexual undertones within its larger context, and there is another form of anime that is dedicated purely to sex.
This leads to my second thought, that there is a large sub-culture of anime that is there for the sexaul moments and tensions that occur. In essence I am confused as to why people who did not wish to explore those themes would decide to explore Mushoku Tensei. It’s very obvious from the first episode. While this is not the other form of anime that is dedicated to sex, there is going to be ecchi at play. There are also going to be lines blurred in the process. There is a level of maturity required at times while viewing anime.
While they are just cartoons, there are plenty of adult and mature themes at play. I always advise caution because you might be introduced to something that makes you feel uncomfortable. And it’s ok to feel uncomfortable. It’s ok to not like things that happened, it’s ok to hate things that happened. If you think Rudeus is a pedophile that is a take I can buy. But I feel there might be more under the surface of the anime that we have yet to discover.
Do you agree? What are your thoughts? I want to know!
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