Our look at the light novels of Jobless Reincarnation continue! When we last left off, Rudeus has returned home only to find everything destroyed and Eris’s family killed. After seeking comfort from Rudy and taking his V-card, Eris promptly skips town leaving our hero alone. Yet instead of withdrawing into himself, Rudy picks up stakes and decides to search for his missing mother. We resume our journey as we head into un-adapted territory! Let’s get into it after the cut!
“I went back to doing the only thing I was ever good at.”
That quote is where we find Rudy in the seventh volume of this series. After a whirlwind adventure spanning across continents, Rudy steps into this entry a broken and beaten down young man. Going from the heights of joy, a true connection with Eris, to being completely alone. Ruijerd has gone his own way, Eris has vanished, apparently breaking up with him, and anyone left in the town who might have known him are dead. With his parents either missing or off searching, Rudy has nothing and is once again at the precipice of despair. Yet instead of falling back into old habits, Rudy decides to do as the quote above said: the only thing he was ever good at. This brings him into the company of a young Sara and her band of adventures. A motley little crew, Rudeus accompanies them on several missions as well as others as he tries to bury himself into quest after quest in order to find some sort of peace in his troubled heart.
At its core, the seventh volume of the series is about grief, and the reader is taken on a journey as Rudy attempts to navigate his feelings towards Eris and everything that has happened. It is the first real time his is able to sit down and you can see how much an effect that whole adventure has had on him, both physically and mentally. He acts reckless, shows apathy to the people around him, makes mistakes both big and small, and neglects chances to move on. While Rudeus is absolutely a better person at this point, being a better person doesn’t mean he can just shrug it all off.
This is shown greatly with his relationship with Sara, the only adventure around his age. Their relationship and how it is built throughout the novel is great at giving you an insight into how Rudeus is feeling, and how much Eris means to him. Even when Sara gives him a greenlight to take things to the next level, Rudy can’t do it and that inability plus a misunderstanding destroys their friendship, even when Sara realized things, it is too late to make amends. It’s tragic but something that is necessary for the story to move forward. That being said though, I was glad to see that volume antagonist Soldat actually has some layers to him as well, giving a man to man pep talk to Rudy that does help push him in the right direction, even if the idea doesn’t end up working.
Jobless Reincarnation’s seventh volume is an in between entry into the series. It doesn’t do much in the overall grand narrative, but it is a needed ‘come down’ period for Rudy, allowing him to process the events of the previous six and get ready for the story that is to come. It is a book of healing, grief and trying to process your emotions in right and wrong ways. I am sure when looking back at the series as we whole, this will be a volume that falls through the cracks, but for now it is a good way to keep the story going. I look forward to seeing this in the anime (really would have thought this would have been a standalone movie or OVA), and seeing what they do with it. Give it a look if you are so inclined and see what you think.