Popularity often incites criticism; and never has a series provoked so many passionate feelings than one of the forefathers of modern tensei/isekai series: Mushoku Tensei - Isekai Ittara Honki Dasu (Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation).
Starring an awful, nearly irredeemable character, many readers fall away from Mushoku Tensei before seeing the protagonist’s personal transformation. But dedicated fans know the payoff is worth it—and with 16 light novels, manga spin-offs, and a great anime adaptation, there are clearly more fans than haters!
If you’re all caught up on Mushoku Tensei and want to read something else, then we’ve got you covered! From protagonists getting another chance at life, to ecchi harem series, or gory tragedies, there are plenty of light novel series similar to Mushoku Tensei.
Join us today on Honey’s Anime as we discuss 6 Light Novels Like Mushoku Tensei - Isekai Ittara Honki Dasu (Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation)!
Similar Manga to Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation
1. Re:Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu (Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World-)
- Authors: Nagatsuki Tappei
- Genres: Action, Romance, Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Psychological, Tragedy
- Volumes: 19+
- Published: August 2016 — present
The most defining aspect of Mushoku Tensei is undoubtedly the character development of Rudeus Greyrat. While he was a 34-year-old otaku who wasted his life, getting a second chance through rebirth allows him to finally mature—although it takes a while.
One of the most similar characters to Rudeus is Subaru Natsuki of Re:Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu (Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World-).
Stuck in a variety of “time loops” that always end with his own gruesome murder, Subaru undergoes mental and physical trauma that slowly alters his personality. Eventually, he grows to trust his abilities more, while discarding the arrogance and pride that often lead to his downfall. In a fantasy world where death and dismay await at every turn, Subaru reckons with both his inability to save others, and how he can use his unique abilities to protect those he loves.
Even better, Re:Zero’s author Nagatsuki Tappei and Mushoku Tensei’s author, Rifujin na Magonote, mutually love the other’s series and often compliment the other on their work!
If you enjoy watching a seemingly pathetic protagonist grow to greatness, then check out Re:Zero Kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu (Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World-)!
2. Isekai Maou to Shoukan Shoujo Dorei Majutsu (How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord)
- Authors: Murasaki Yukiya
- Genres: Action, Comedy, Ecchi, Fantasy, Harem, Romance, Shounen
- Volumes: 14+
- Published: February 2019 — present
Among Rudeus’s many, many personality faults, he’s chiefly an otaku and a shameless pervert. He’d definitely find a kindred spirit in Takuma Sakamoto, the main character of Isekai Maou to Shoukan Shoujo Dorei Majutsu (How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord).
Takuma is a legendary player in an MMORPG called Cross Reverie, but when he’s summoned to the world of that game, the ritual goes wrong and he becomes the slave master of the two women who summoned him. Taking the moniker “Diablo,” Takuma begins his crazy adventure in a world where his total lack of social skills is becoming more evident—and problematic—by the day!
The series has some extremely ecchi moments that arise out of Takuma’s complete lack of social skills, along with his natural pervertedness…not that his new companions are any better! The series also has some more wholesome moments along with plenty of exciting gameplay-based magical combat.
How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord leans more heavily into the MMORPG mechanics than a straight-up tensei like Mushoku Tensei, but for a fun adventure romp with ecchi and harem elements, this is a solid recommendation from us!
3. Honzuki no Gekokujou (Ascendance of a Bookworm)
- Authors: Kazuki Miya
- Genres: Comedy, Drama, Slice of Life, Fantasy
- Volumes: 20+
- Published: May 2019 — present
Part of the appeal for Mushoku Tensei is not just the “other world” aspect, but the true reincarnation. With 34 years of knowledge behind him, Rudeus is reborn as a baby and gets the chance to redo life with the knowledge of his previous failings.
A series with a similar idea, albeit with a gentler slice of life approach, is Honzuki no Gekokujou (Ascendance of a Bookworm).
Librarian and bookworm Urano meets an untimely demise just after graduating college, only to be reborn as the daughter of a soldier in a world with scarcely any books. This might sound like a bookworm’s worst nightmare, so Urano sets about fixing the problem by making her own books so she can be a librarian once more!
Ascendance of a Bookworm isn’t as dark as other entries on the list, but it does handle the “childhood reincarnation” aspect well. Besides, as avid readers, we can definitely understand Urano’s horror at being reborn in a world without any books!
The series is quite long too, with 29 volumes broken into 5 distinct parts so far. There are at least 20 volumes available in English at the time of writing, making it the largest series on this list!
Any Manga Like Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation ?
4. Kage no Jitsuryokusha ni Naritakute (The Eminence in Shadow)
- Authors: Aizawa Daisuke
- Genres: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Harem, Shounen
- Volumes: 4+
- Published: August 2020 — present
A relative newcomer to our list, Kage no Jitsuryokusha ni Naritakute (The Eminence in Shadow) is shaping up as a unique isekai with a self-ironic edginess that blends snappy action with otaku comedy.
Protagonist Cid has always had delusions of grandeur, training every night for his eventual (and clearly inevitable) rise to power. Unfortunately a routine traffic accident robs him of his future…until he wakes up as the head of a secret organization doing battle against evil in another world!
Even better, Cid’s companions put their full trust in whatever he says, so his chuuni tendencies come across as leadership wisdom—plus his knowledge of his previous life comes in handy. Cid’s going to make a name for himself no matter what—after all, he’s been training all his life for this moment!
The Eminence in Shadow’s main character, Cid, is really living the oktau life he always dreamed of; he’s like Rudeus to that extent, although Cid gets to start out on top of things rather than beginning from scratch!
5. Saihate no Paladin (The Faraway Paladin)
- Authors: Yanagino Kanata
- Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, Shounen
- Volumes: 5+
- Published: February 2017 — present
Light novels can often be considered rather niche, even in the world of manga readers or anime watchers. If you’re reading this list and are still unsure about light novels as a whole, then Saihate no Paladin (The Faraway Paladin) might be perfect for you.
This easily accessible light novel stars a young boy, Will, living in a city of the undead, raised by spectral ghosts instead of human parents. When Will begins remembering his past life of idleness and uselessness, he determines to never make the same mistakes again. To make the most of this new life, he’ll need to venture out into a world seemingly devoid of humans, and unravel the mysteries of the world that once was.
Much like Mushoku Tensei, The Faraway Paladin appeals to the desire of repenting for a wasted life. Will learns of his past more sporadically than Rudeus, but both characters just want to be given a second chance—a fundamentally human desire, in the end.
6. Torture Princess: Fremd Torturchen
- Authors: Ayasato Keishi
- Genres: Action, Drama, Fantasy, Horror, Psychological, Tragedy, Seinen
- Volumes: 8+
- Published: May 2019 — present
Torture Princess: Fremd Torturchen isn’t hiding anything in its title. This short series (nearly complete at just 9 volumes in Japanese) is a tragic and gory fantasy that certainly isn’t for the faint of heart.
Our protagonist, Kaito, lives a life of awful abuse, and dies at the age of seventeen, strangled to death by his own father. After being transported to another world, he’s almost immediately forced into servitude to the beautiful and wicked ‘Torture Princess’ Elisabeth Le Fanu. As her butler, Kaito is now contracted to help Elisabeth eliminate fourteen powerful demons—after which Elisabeth will be killed by the mysterious “Church” for her supposed sins.
Much like Mushoku Tensei, it’s the powerful character growth that really stands out here. Rudeus starts as a weak, perverted boy, but his unique adult perspective allows him to grapple with difficult concepts and set things right in a way he never could have in his previous life. Similarly, Kaito grapples with the cruel end of his original life, while coming to embrace this unexpected second chance and the new family forming around him.
For dark fantasy fans, and for some of the best character growth you’ll ever see, we highly recommend Torture Princess: Fremd Torturchen.
Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation is more than the sum of its parts. While its protagonist might be seemingly unlikeable, following his character growth is part of the experience. At the same time, Mushoku Tensei maintains the quirky elements of reincarnation stories that we like best—fantasy, magic, politics, and oddball companions!
No matter what you like best about Mushoku Tensei, there are definitely other light novel series that’ll help fill out your bookshelves while you wait for the next volume.
If you have your own recommendations for light novels like Mushoku Tensei: Jobless Reincarnation, please drop a comment below!
We hope you enjoyed this list, and as always, thank you for reading!