Saving 80,000 Gold in Another World – 04 – Fish Tales

Mitsuha finds a centrally-located storefront in the Capital, hires a craftsman to renovate it, then stocks it mostly with specialized, semi-useful items from the 100-yen store. But even after pounding the pavement distributing flyers, the day of the grand opening passes without a single customer. The second day reaches 4:00 PM and still no one.

Even when the first three marks customers step through, they’re a little weirded out by how random everything is, and seem particularly off-put by the fish scaler. The three young women are interested in the “hair elixir”, but the 16 silver price tag is a little too steep, so they prepare to depart for lunch. Mitsuha believes if she loses these customers she’s done for, so she makes them an offer they can’t refuse.

First, Mitsuha demonstrates the near-magical power of modern-day budget shampoo in a world with renaissance level of development. In short: a few more pumps are needed for hair that has never been shampooed, but eventually Anke’s hair is as soft and shiny as Mitsuha’s.

Then Mitsuha treats the ladies to a sumptuous multi-course feast…made up entirely of boil-in-the-bag meals from said 100-yen store, fine delicacies of unprecedented flavor to the palates of this realm. When one of the women suggest they might be dealing with a witch, the others shush her.

When they return to the manor where they work with a gift of chocolate almonds (remember to take off the wrappers!), the chef Marcel calls a meeting with the Lord and Lady of the House. The three servants give a detailed report on their unusual visit to General Store Mitsuha.

They all agree that the only plausible explanation for serving fresh fish in a city ten days’ ride from the sea is that Mitsuha is a witch…but maybe a kind one? I love how far into the weeds they go contemplating the logistics of transporting fish to the city.

Marcel pays Mitsuha a visit, and Mitsuha is thrilled that the women spread the word like she’d ask. Marcel buys a basket full of mostly cooking-related articles, then asks her about fresh fish. Specifically, he is unsure of his ability to put on a top-shelf banquet for Viscount and Lady Ranier’s daughter Adelaide’s upcoming debutante ball, but fresh fish could be just the ticket.

While Mitsuha initially envisioned hordes of customers of all stripes packing her store and filing her pockets with that sweet, sweet silver and gold, she instead has unexpectedly received something arguably more important than immediate hard cash: connections.

If her consulting leads to a successful ball, she’ll have powerful, grateful new friend in Ranier, and all the other nobles who attend will want her wondrous services as well. Mitsuha’s store may have endured a slow start, but things are looking up for her overall business. Because even if the products need tweaking, her talents for salesmanship and improvisation are legit.

Don’t Toy with Me, Miss Nagatoro 2nd Attack – 05 – Senpai Down!

Naoto and Hayase aren’t fooling anyone. Certainly not their friends, who catch them red-handed—or rather, holding hands with fingers intertwined. It doesn’t matter if it was technically an accident; it was the result of them messing around trying to grab one anothers’ sleeves. This isn’t one-sided teasing, it’s just plain PDA!

Last week portended a reversal of Naoto’s house visit to Nagatoro, and sure enough, Naoto wakes up one morning feeling like crap. His mom (whom we meet for the first time) has a work trip but offers to stay home for his sake, but he says he’s not a little kid anymore. Now we know where he gets his fuwafuwa hair!

When Hayase can’t find Naoto at school and texts then calls him, she learns that Naoto is home, having caught her cold. Two shakes of a black cat’s tail later, she’s ringing his doorbell. Then, worried he might’ve passed out (just like he was about her) she enters his yard and presses against the screen door. Once she’s in his room (which he notes is weird), she immediately begins searching for porn, as you do!

When he protests and starts coughing uncontrollably, Hayase calls of the search…for today. She’s here not just to return the favor, but because she wants to care for and pamper her senpai. This is the perfect scenario for her to get closer to him in any number of ways, including tenderly touching foreheads to check his temperature.

She cools him down with a cold compress, then makes him some rice porridge, which he allows her to feed to him without protest. At this point Naoto is very dizzy and out of it, and his dream of Hayase in a business suit acting as his doting wife bleeds into real life, to the point he thanks her and casually calls her by her first name, Hayase.

This obviously flusters Hayase to no end, but she’d probably been hoping he’d do it ever since he learned it from her sister. In fact, she wants to hear him call her Hayase again, but he’s fallen asleep again. This gives her the idea to kiss him, and she gives him every opportunity to stop her if he’s playing dead, drawing closer and closer…

until Naoto’s mom comes home. Hayase’s loafers are in the genkan, so even with her athletic ability, jumping out the window isn’t a viable option. So she heads down, encounters Senpai’s mom, and explains that she heard he was sick and came by to check on him. Like Hayase’s friends, Naoto’s mom wasn’t born yesterday! The next morning, Naoto is right as rain, and his mom asks about the flustered cutie.

When they meet up for the walk to school, Naoto and Hayase are uncharacteristically shy and awkward towards each other, and Hayase overcompensates by piling on the mock judo-kicking. Naoto grabs her leg to halt her attack, just when her upskirt is in full view. That’s the scene when Gamou, Yoshi, and Sakura approach, once again remarking how the lovebirds it again first thing in the morning.

I don’t ask much. I don’t need much. As long as Hayase and Naoto are being a delightfully sweet, playful, and adorable couple, I’m a happy camper! With the exchange of house visits, Don’t Toy with Me 2 continues to offer that in spades. I’m firmly ensconced in rom-com Laid Back Camp!

The Fire Hunter – 03 – Staying Useful

Koushi meets more members of the Okibi family, including his new lovely sister Kira, who is a year older than him. Up to that point, she’d led a lonely, isolated life in her father’s sprawling mansion, and is clearly excited to have siblings. Voice by Hayami Saori, Kira marks the addition of another kind soul who, unlike her father, doesn’t have ulterior motives.

The Okibi family doctor says Hinako probably will never be cured of her fetal contamination, but with proper nutrition, hygiene, and fresh air of the manor, far from the factories, she should regain her strength. She and Koushi join the Okibis (including Kira’s mother Hibana, who takes to her bed often of late) for a quiet but for them quite luxurious dinner.

In the aftermath of the black beast attack, Kaho is wounded but will recover. Benio rightfully says it’s an injustice for Touko to be kicked off at the next village, and urges one of the crew, Shouzou, to talk sense in to the boss, whose main gripe wasn’t that Touko left, but that she didn’t close the hatch behind her.

When the collection truck arrives at Weaver Village, Hotaru gets to take a hot shower and is dressed and made up to the nines. A female crewmember gives her an elegant hairpin as a parting gift. Hotaru can’t say she ever wanted to be married off to lift the curse of her village, but if she hadn’t, she wouldn’t have met Benio and Touko, which she considers a blessing. I can only hope a gentle soul like Hotaru is able to live a good life with her very lucky groom.

Back in the capital, Yuoshichi wastes no time showing his newly adopted son the skyfire his dad had collected, as well as a secret lab where he’ll be expected to develop “bottled lightning.” Yuoshichi reveals his distaste and distrust of the ruling “Divine Clans”. Years before Koushi was born, a huge natural fire burned through the city, and he believes the Gods culled the population on purpose.

With Koushi’s help, and his growing connections to the rebel “Spiders” that lurk in the forests outside the Capital, Yuoshichi intends to be prepared to defend the people when shit hits the fan. Koushi doesn’t hesitate to declare he’ll do his utmost to help make that happen…and to keep all of this a secret. That said, if he lets something slip to Kira, I won’t be surprised.

With Hotaru delivered to her new village and Touko deemed allowed to stay aboard to the Capital, the truck presses on. Shouzou even tells her the boss is impressed by her hard work; she definitely earns her keep. But in the middle of a routine switching of fiendfire vessels, a giant white dragon attacks. The truck is armed to the teeth, but everything seems to bounce off the dragon’s thick scales.

As Touko was warned, the collection truck journey is no Rocky Mountaineer vacation. Between settlements, death can come at any time in any number of forms, and survival is never guaranteed. We’ll see if Enzen and the two dogs are enough to slay the dragon…and who’ll end up surviving its assault.

Rating: 4/5 Stars

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