In the world of anime, few genres have captured the imagination of fans as intensely as the isekai genre. Transporting audiences to fantastical realms and dropping them into new adventurous lives than the ones they left behind. This season one title that has captured audiences’ attention worldwide is Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation, a critically acclaimed series that weaves together intricate storytelling, captivating characters, and breathtaking visuals.
We had the privilege of sitting down with one of the brilliant minds behind the show, producer Nobuhiro Osawa, to gain insights into the creative process and what lies ahead for this extraordinary anime phenomenon. As one of the driving forces behind Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation, Nobuhiro Osawa has played a pivotal role in bringing the intricate world and fascinating characters to life.
This interview was conducted via translator and has been edited for length and clarity.
BUT WHY THO: Most isekai series often explore themes of self-discovery, changes/growth, redemption, or second chances. How have you enjoyed incorporating these themes into Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation?
Nobuhiro Osawa: Yes, those themes are definitely in this series. This Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation is very interesting because it is a man who has been reborn, and his voice from his previous life is still alive; it’s in his heart. He was a middle-aged guy who didn’t have that much going for him. He had actually given up in his previous life. But his spirit is still existing in his new life. And that is very characteristic of this isekai.
BUT WHY THO: Are there any specific moments or scenes in the series that were particularly challenging or rewarding to adapt, and can you share some insights into the creative decisions behind those moments?
Nobuhiro Osawa: Interestingly enough, this was the first thing that Studio Bind ever worked on. In terms of strategy, we honestly didn’t even have much of a strategy. We just tried to put every ounce of our resources, effort, and staff members into this project and hit it as hard as we could.
However, in terms of the season, in season two we can take the lessons we learned from season one, input those into our creative process and see what we can do that’s more interesting and creative and have a little more of a strategy than in season one.
BUT WHY THO: What do you want fans to walk away with after watching Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation?
Nobuhiro Osawa: What’s interesting about this is that the voice actor Tomokazu Sugita was instrumental in bringing this to life. This is a story of a guy who gave up on his previous life. He does something impossible for us when he is reborn in the next life.
So maybe those who can relate or are in a similar situation of wanting to give up can take something from this isekai. Rudius has all these challenges and has no choice but to put 100% effort into his new life. He does have challenges that he has to overcome, of course, but he just has to hit it as hard as he can.
So that’s the message that I want fans to take. Rudius was able to change his new life. We can’t do that, but Rudius said, I’m going to put 100% into this new life, and that’s what I want people to take away from this series.
BUT WHY THO: What is one reason you would recommend newcomers watch Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation?
Nobuhiro Osawa: That’s a good question. Of course, there are a lot of isekai titles on all of these different platforms. And out of those, if I were to speak for myself, I would say that it’s the absolute quality and Rudius’ growth process. I guess I would compare it to what we call a taiga drama, which is a long-running drama series, that is enormous in scale.
And so the scale of Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation is actually quite large. It’s a very ambitious project. We have overcome many challenges, so I would like people to see it with their own eyes and judge for themselves, but I think the quality is unmatchable.
BUT WHY THO: Isekai genre typically features RPG or game-like elements in their storytelling. How do you incorporate these elements while maintaining a cohesive narrative and avoiding excessive exposition?
Nobuhiro Osawa: The original light novel author, is an avid gamer. That is why some RPG elements are built into the series. So instead, when adapting the story with our staff and strategizing among ourselves, we had a process of going back to the author, Rifujin na Magonote, ask him how we would adapt these elements into the series, Such as how you level up or how you do skill development in a game-like way. That is what led us to make this into something that matches the RPG game elements.
You can watch the complete first season of Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation on Crunchyroll. Season 2 begins streaming on Crunchyroll on July 2, 2023.