I have read many Reincarnation novels now.
- Souen no Historia
- Jashin Tensei
- Slime Tensei
- This one.
And each main character has a very unique previous life followed by their unique death combination with different purposes given to them by their reincarnation.
The one who shared the most similiar previous life to Rudeus was the MC in Gun-ota.
- They were both bullied and a tramatic event had very huge crippling effects on their psyche.
but the difference in their lives is that Rudeus never recovered and his motivation was constantly destroyed by the fact that others have done better than him and he became very cynical and his pride prevented him from trying hard in something he wasn't really a genius at. The MC in Gun-ota was able to escape his shell and find a job, but the event that traumatized him wasn't because he stood up to the wrong person and was attacked, but because he let his friend and co-victim become a scape goat in the bullying and when he could have stood with his friend, he let abandoned him and shortly after that friend committed suicide. Rudeus in his new life had his regret over letting his pride making him waste his previous life after becoming too full of himself and losing motivation to truly live become the reason behind his drive. The MC in Gun-ota was fueled by his regret of not helping when he should have. At their cores, the two are very different. In Gun-ota, the mc was a normal person and wasn't as cynical and did not become as bad as Rudeus did. The key defining moments are the deaths. Rudeus at the edge of his own life already crumbling around him and with no hope for the world had it in him to save people from dying in an accident and in a moment of self sacrifice redeemed himself after leading a lazy life of leeching off others and wasting his life being an ass too proud to come out of his shell and treating his own family horribly. In Gun-ota, the MC was met with misfortune again after finally turing his life around and coming out of his depressed state. The MC met his former bully that blamed the MC for the death of the MC's friend which caused a series of bad events for the bully like bully being sued by the parents of that friend and his life being ruined by that. Then the MC was killed by that former bully after the MC tried to run away and avoid the bully again like a coward. Well, the MC may have been a more normal human being who was a victim of his bad luck and cowardice. Rudeus was a victim of himself and horrible attitude. Rudeus was once the worst of humanity and had an understanding of how evil people could be and understood and reflected on many of his personal faults as was very self aware of himself. The MC in Gun-ota was still naive and only saw his own cowardice and wished to correct only that part of himself, since he was a more normal human and was more a victim of his fate and cowardice, his best trait is only the training he gained from his obsession with weapons and knowledge of his previous world and didn't have much personal growth. Rudeus took with him not so much as knowledge from his previous world to use and abuse in the new life, took with him his mistakes and had a lot of personal growth as a person as his best trait inherited from a previous life by learning from his many failings in his previous life. The purpose of reincarnation in religion is about the soul going through personal growth and maturing and not about abusing knowledge from a previous life for external benefit. The author of this novel gives Rudeus a chance to reincarnate to have him show actual personal growth and make him mature as a person. Gun-ota is more wish fullfilling and uses reincarnation as a cheat to take advantage of knowledge from a previous more advanced world to make him conquer lets the MC abuse knowledge from a different world.
Souen no Historia is similar to Mushoku Tensei with only one aspect in the previous lives, the MCs both died saving a life. While Mushoku Tensei gives reincarnation to Rudeus as a chance to redeem himself and grow as a person and learn from the mistakes of a previous life, in Souen no Historia it uses reincarnation as a gift to a Hero who was good to others, loved by many, and died a noble death to finish living out his life that ended prematurely and a chance to let him reunite with his loved ones in his old world maybe. Mushoku Tensei is more about the chance to redo and fix mistakes done in the past and Souen is more about a person who would have lived a fulfilling life and giving him the gift to finish that life but some where else. May be the reason why the main character in Souen no Historia has the same name as the one he had in his previous life which indicates that the main character was on the right path and the gods were trying to right the wrongs they made by letting him die in his previous life. Rudeus got a completely new name and we will never know his old name since the purpose is to destroy his past self since he was supposed to redeem himself as a person in his new life.
The rest of the other series aren't really relatable to Mushoku Tensei and are on their own since they can't really be compared as easily.
In Re:monster, the main character was basically a over powerered superman with super powers and was some kind of mercenary/agent of a company that hunted evil in the galaxy/ play boy who lived a fulfilling life already. The novel is more in the style of a video game of leveling the character up and defeating everything RPG style but as some kind of demon lord. in regards to Gun-ota the MCs did both get stabbed to death by some kind of stalker, but Rou/Kanata in Re:monster died because a crazy stalker childhood friend who he saved was in love with him too much. Re:monster is more like a 'you have conquered the world, but was betrayed and sealed away. now you have to regain your power to conquer the world again' type scenario, while Gun-ota had a more wish fulfilment type scenario. In Slime Tensei, it is pretty similar to RPG conquer the world as a new demon lord, but the death in that novel is more like died saving a person but the difference is his last words were embarrassingly funny. No regrets just game like in scenario and go with the flow like in Re:monster. In Slime Tensei, the character was a middle aged salary man so not an over powered person trying to regain his power, but a random person placed in a game like world to conquer it and level up.
Jashin Tensei, the MC died from food poisoning. His reincarnation wasn't even really a reincarnation. It was more like after death he was place in a job and his task is to gain points to go to heaven. One of three normalish people like in Slime Tensei and Gun-ota. Nothing really bad happened to him in life like in Gun-ota and he wasn't really living the life as a playboy like Rou in Re: monster. He does abuse his knowledge of history to his advantage, but that is more like he got a new job after death and was ascended to a god and uses his school knowledge as a tactician. The novel least like a reincarnation novel.
this is what I got from all of those novels I have read so far up to where it has been translated.
- Mushoku: MC was bullied(more like picked a fight with wrong person) which sent him into a shell he never got out of, made many mistakes with his life and wasted it and caused all of the problems in his life with poor attitude and worst human ever-> saved other lives at cost of his own -> reincarnation was used to redeem himself and let him grow as person.
- Gun-Ota: MC was bullied randomly with friend, sold friend out to be bullied alone, forced friend to commit suicide by abandoning him and that guilt traumatized him and put him in shell, got out of shell and started to get life back together-> met old bully who chased him down and he was killed by that bully-> reincarnation is used by author as a form of wish fulfillment and lets MC abuse knowledge of previous more advanced world to conquer new more primitive world and gives a lot of lucky cliched harem encounters.
- Re:monster - MC was Overpowered Super powered man who was playboy and lived awesome life -> killed by someone who was crazy in love with him-> reincarnation used as tool to depower him and make him have to try and regain power and rise again to conquer the world after leveling up and evolving his body like a video game character. also he was reincarnated as a weak monster lower than humans.
- Slime Tensei - MC was normal human adult-> died saving girl from falling at cost of himself, death was a bit funny with his last words pointing out that he saw the girl's panties-> reincarnation used as tool to have him as some sort of video game character trying to evolve his weak body and conquer the world. also reincarnated as a weak monster
- Jashin Tensei - MC was normal human adult -> died from food poisoning -> reincarnation not really a reincarnation. He merely became a god(got a job) after death to lead his worshipper to prosperity so that he can retire to heaven after saving enough money(karma) to retire.
- Souen no Historia - MC was a good natured and hard working average in all other aspects high schooler who was good at house work and had a childhood friend who was in love with him-> died using his body to protect a girl from the impact of a fall from the roof after the support broke on the railing and died noble heroic death-> reincarnation was a reward for his sacrifice and was like an apology by the fates for taking his life away prematurely and from his loved ones so that he can live out the life he would normally have lived out and to reunite him with said loved ones(eventually).