- Format: light novel
- Author: Rifujin na Magonote
- Illustrator: Shirotaka
- Translator: Alyssa Orton-Niioka
- Adaptation: JY Yang
- Publisher: Seven Seas
Volume 8 of Mushoku Tensei picks up about a year after Volume 7 ended. Where the last volume ended with a side-step to the Ranoa University of Magic, we open with protagonist Rudeus Greyrat receiving an invitation to become essentially a graduate student there – full scholarship, no classes, able to spend all of his time working on magic research.
Even though it’s the alma mater of his elementary school crush, Roxy, Rudeus isn’t willing to go; he wants to keep looking for the last member of his family missing from the Fittoa Displacement Incident. But the
Hand of the Author Man-God tells Rudeus that he should go to the university and take advantage of the offer and spend his time researching the Displacement Incident. Cannily, the Man-God promises Rudeus a fix for his erectile dysfunction if he goes. As should surprise no readers at this point, that’s more than enough to convince Rudeus to go.
The university ends up being something of an old home week for Rudeus. The overall experience is reminiscent of the high school life that he missed out on, down to the Japanese-style uniforms and start-of-term speeches from the principal and the student council president. Rudeus makes a good start, diving right into his research. Unfortunately, he ends up quickly engaging in some morally questionable actions, beyond his usual gentleman-pervert status.
The problems start with Rudeus helping a fellow student purchase a slave for Rudeus to train up as a magician. While Rudeus does try to make sure she’s treated well – more like an adopted child than anything – the fact that he doesn’t even say a word about the practice is disturbing. Rudeus then quickly follows that up by abducting some of his fellow students for a fairly tenuous reason, and briefly molests them in the process.
In the end, the volume fizzles out. Rudeus’s actions in the back half of the book aren’t great. Afterwards, the volume ends, without any sort of a climax in the plot.
But while the contents of the book were terrible, I still found it compelling enough to keep reading. So, kudos to the author, translator, and other contributors for managing to keep my interest despite Rudeus’s moral failings. The lack of an ending was disappointing, not a relief.
While the time jump could have been a new jumping-on point, the fact that Rudeus was kind of a dick throughout the book makes it hard to recommend for anybody new. But the writing still kept me hooked for the rest of the book, making the weak ending even more disappointing. ⭐⭐⭐