Here’s how Mushoku Tensei handled a PTSD depiction well

Rudeus and Sylphy

With its recent episode, Mushoku Tensei anime proved how anime can help accentuate the events of manga with the help of voice acting and other mediums. The introduction of Nanahoshi in the anime was extremely triggering for Rudeus. It roused extreme emotions and brought back the distress he experienced in the past.

The light novel and the manga spelt out the uncomfortable position the character was in. The narrative in the source material was already pretty convincing. The anime took it steps further with phenomenal voice acting, supporting music, and body language. This article will explore how Mushoku Tensei depicted PTSD in its recent episode. 

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a mental illness and this article strictly speaks about the anime and its depiction, nothing mentioned in this article is from a medical perspective. 

What happened in Mushoku Tensei Season 2 Episode 9?

Nanahoshi Mushoku Tensei
A still from Mushoku Tensei Season 2 Episode 9 | Image Courtesy of Studio Bind

In the recent episode, Rudeus encountered Nanahoshi, the girl who was accompanying Orsted. The Dragon God killed Rudeus and posed a threat to Eris and Rujierd whom Rudeus considered close. Nanahoshi is also the girl who was saved by Rudeus in his previous life.

During their encounter, Rudeus remembered the trauma he experienced when they first crossed paths with each other. He freaked out and crawled to get away from Nanahoshi. He was running out of breath and eventually passed out. When he regained consciousness, Nanahoshi revealed the truth behind her identity and her relation to the Mana Calamity. 

The depiction of PTSD in Mushoku Tensei

Rudeus Mushoku Tensei
Rudeus’ reaction after seeing Nanahoshi | Image Courtesy of Studio Bind

The meeting triggered a PTSD induced panic attack, as a result of the trauma he experienced when Orsted attempted to kill him. In his previous life, he didn’t have anything precious to him, he was at his lowest in every way. After the reincarnation, he created a life where he had a family, lovers, friends, and a mentor he cared for.

When Orsted killed him, he still had things he wanted to do. Suddenly losing it all and experiencing it through a physical blow, he died while being extremely aware of everything around him.

Rudeus Greyrat
Rudeus in the recent episode of Mushoku Tensei season 2 | Image Courtesy of Studio Bind

The trauma returned and it was unpleasant to see him suffer as he experienced a panic attack. The depiction is accurate and attentive to detail in multiple ways: 

  • His pupils were dilated and he freaked out. 
  • He became breathless and remembered the physical effect of Oersted’s attack. 
  • The helplessness with which he crawled to get away from Nanahoshi was uncomfortable to watch, and not on a personal level but we could sense the discomfort Rudeus was feeling. 
  • Besides that the voice acting supported all these events along with the background music. 
Rudeus and Silent Fitz
Rudeus after he regains consciousness | Image Courtesy of Studio Bind

All of these symptoms are observed when someone is suffering with PTSD and they come across something triggering that reminds them of the traumatic event. Mushoku Tensei didn’t undermine or overstate the severity or glamorize mental illnesses in any way. 


Mushoku Tensei season 2
Sylphy picking after her mess with Rudeus and Nanahoshi in the background | Image Courtesy of Studio Bind

The last episode with the introduction of Badigadi was extremely rushed. It had fans worried for the future of the anime. The episode lacked context and some jokes as well which are present in the light novel. But the anime compensated for all of that in the recent episode with the emotions and information.

Besides Rudeus, the anime also brilliantly presented Sylphy’s reaction. The intense voice acting and the physical aggression were top-notch and helped us understand what she has been through and how much it has affected her. She was also left out of the conversation between Rudeus and Nanahoshi, the uncertainty from that probably elevated her aggression to some extent.

All in all Episode 9 of Mushoku Tensei season 2 was a testament of how anime can be a wonderful way to draw out the true potential of its source material. 

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