Young Roxy lives in the isolated desert village of Migurd. Her tribe communicates by telepathy, but Roxy was born without telepathic powers. Cut off from her people, Roxy’s lonely existence is shaken when a travelling magician named Bloody Kant arrives in town. Roxy is thrilled to meet someone else who communicates vocally, and Kant takes Roxy under her wing. She teaches Roxy the basics of magic and even gifts her with a wand. But eventually Kant moves on. Some years later, Roxy leaves home and braves the dangers of the wilderness to search for her teacher. She joins a party of adventurers, but it turns out that the outside world runs on money. In order to raise funds to pursue her goal, Roxy will need cash.
Mushoku Tensei: Roxy Gets Serious is a prequel and spinoff to the light novel and manga series Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation Story. Fortunately, prior knowledge of the original series isn’t necessary to enjoy this manga. In fact, this is as good a place as any to jump on the Mushoku train. Iwami is consistently good at drawing adorable things. Roxy looks cute, and overall the manga has a light touch, with thin linework and pale gray tones. On the other hand, the fantasy world’s nonhuman races are awkwardly drawn, which is distracting because two members of Roxy’s party, an anthropomorphized horse and pig, are nonhuman. The backgrounds are also bland. The desert town is a cookie-cutter fantasy village full of blocky buildings. The monsters are okay, but not exceptional, and the big dungeon crawl in the first volume is through a brick-lined passage with no outstanding features. The fanservice, including plentiful panty shots, is a little inappropriate considering Roxy’s young age.
If you can live with the gratuitous underage fanservice, Mushoku is an entertaining but not exceptional RPG adventure. The plot is by no means groundbreaking; it’s the usual series of low-level fantasy quests with more mundane work added in, none of which adds up to a riveting tale. The most interesting thread is seeing Roxy grow from a country bumpkin to a confident young adventurer. Hopefully future volumes will focus on developing her character more than her underwear designs.
publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment
story: Shoko Iwami
Art: Rifujin Na Magonote