Saving 80,000 Gold in Another World – 12 (Fin) – Dragonslayer Mitsuha

The dragon that shows up at the end of last week isn’t just a dragon, but a great ancient dragon, who is the force behind the Empire’s invasion. When talking with the dragon (with a giant drone-projected image of herself) fails, Mitsuha and her military contractors let him have it.

Small arms fire doesn’t do much, but heavy machine gun fire and a bazooka to the mouth does. Once sufficiently beaten up, the dragon flies off with its tail between its legs, and the imperial army retreats. It’s an unqualified victory for the Messenger of Lightning.

Because of her contribution to that victory, the king and nobles are very generous when it comes to providing recompence for Mitsuha’s use of soldiers from her homeland. She makes up a story about them fighting against the laws of their land, and sits back and waits for each and every noble to contribute enough.

The thing is, Wolf Fang didn’t even need Mitsuha to pay them anything, because the dragon fang they’re allowed to take home, along with the patent rights from Harvard research, fetch a more than hefty enough sum for their services.

Mitsuha and Alexis (who makes a “miraculous” recovery thanks to modern medicine) are both bestowed the title of viscountess and viscount, respectively. Her new lands happen to be just a half-day’s walk from Colette’s village, and Mitsuha pays her a visit to invite her to work as her retainer.

Colette is not only over the moon to see Mitsuha is safe and sound from the war, but delighted to come live with her in her territory; her parents are also fine with it. And so now Mitsuha finds herself a powerful viscountess in another world, responsible for the upkeep and development of a large swath of fertile land.

That means there will be quite a few more expenses involved than maintaining a small general store in the capital. As they say, more money, more problems. Mitsuha is now well on her way to that 80,000 gold she needs for retirement. Despite her new station in life and the riches that may lend, she seems determined to stick with that relatively humble goal.

There’s no news of whether there will be a second season of 80,000 Gold, and due to its animation and character shortcomings (Mitsuha’s a little too perfect), it’s not a given that I’ll be tuning back in if one were to be announced. That said, it wasn’t a bad show for what it was: an exploration of the economic and social intricacies one would face in a new world.

Saving 80,000 Gold in Another World – 11 – Bringing Guns to a Spear Fight

Though she can transport herself and Captain out of danger, Mitsuha doesn’t want to abandon the innocent refugees to be slaughtered by monsters. So Captain holds off the horde with bullets along enough to teleport home, grab all the firestarter paste, newspaper, and fireworks she can, and uses it to burn/blast away the remaining monsters and their human handler.

With the refugees saved and able to cross the river, Mitsuha and Captain return to the mercs’ base, where she dons a custom-made “battle gown” and delivers a stirring speech to rally the sixty men who will have to go up against 20,000 imperial soldiers and unknown number of monsters under their control. Captain is impressed by her ability to agitate, while she admits to no one that she borrowed the speech from a manga.

She teleports the entire mercenary contingent into the palace courtyard, then has the motorcade split off to defend the various gates. The cityfolk see the dawn light hit Mitsuha just right, and the legend of the “Messenger of Lightning” really starts to take off. Then Mitsuha has the enemy envoy wounded and takes out all the veteran soldiers and monster handlers, leaving the imperial army in disarray.

Their commander celebrates when their groundbreaking Wyvern Squaron arrives, and Mitsuha sweats her first drop of sweat. However, the Captain and his men have the skies covered thanks to their own personal “God”, an old half-track with twin 20mm anti-aircraft cannons. It once saved their asses in a past battle, and here it tears the wyverns to ribbons. Technically speaking, this show’s ambition is undermined by its limited production values; there’s an awful lot of panning across still frames.

It’s looking like it’s going to be a walk in the park for Mitsuha and her hastily mustered squadron of battle-tested mercs. But then a massive dragon starts stomping through the trees, and all of a sudden it’s looking like they may take some losses. The episode ends with this cliffhanger, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the big guy gets his ass kicked by Colette, Mitsuha’s freakishly strong first friend in this world who is worried about Mitsuha’s safety.

Saving 80,000 Gold in Another World – 10 – Shift in Priorities

While we saw goblins on the march last week, things start out far more casually this week, as Mitsuha attends a cookout back on Earth held by the military contractor Wolf Fang. She brings a brace of antlered rabbits which are a big hit, but I had a feeling their presene would cause trouble once somebody snapped a photo.

The trouble doesn’t have anything to do with cross-world contamination, but a war swiftly brewing in the isekai. The king asks Mitsuha to take Princess Sabine to a neighboring country for her protection, but Mitsuha refuses, as doing so would expose her general store to the imminent invasion. Instead, she considers taking Sabine to Earth where she’ll be safe for sure.

When Mitsuha returns to the palace, a full-on war council is in progress, and her old friend Alexis von Bozes is in attendance on behalf of his father. When a herald attempts to assassinate the marquis in charge of the defense, Mitsuha dives into the line of fire, but so does Alexis. She gets a bolt to the arm, but he gets one in the shoulder and one in the gut.

That escalated quickly! Suddenly this is a show not about how much fun Mitsuha has making friends and earning retirement gold, but keeping herself and those friends and allies safe from an increasingly volatile situation. She transports Alexis to Wolf Fang, who has a surgeon on staff who fixes them up.

Then she asks the Captain if he’ll agree to a job defending a kingdom in another world. When the Captain bristles at what sounds like nonsense, Mitsuha tries to run him over with his own Humvee. When he opens the door to protest, she transports the two of them and the truck to the isekai.

There, she and the Captain see that the situation has already deteriorated, and a wagon train of refugees are at risk of being slaughtered by goblins. She pays the Captain a gold coin on the spot, and they work to protect the wagons as they try to cross a flooded river.

They find that the goblins don’t go down easily, so I imagine they’ll need to headshot and/or blow them up to cease their advance. Needless to say, they’re going to need reinforcements from Earth.

This will cost Mitsuha dearly; likely all the money she’s saved up from her store and consultations. Maybe the king will reimburse her. But either way, funding her cozy retirement is no longer her top priority. The lands and people she’s come to care about are in danger, so no expense will be spared in helping them out. I look forward to the effort.

Saving 80,000 Gold in Another World – 09 – Restaurant: Possible

Alina comes to Mitsuha’s store requesting a consultation: Her family’s modest restaurant is under attack from a wealthier rival after Alina rejected his son’s advances (she only has eyes for her dad’s handsome apprentice). Mitsuha is happy for another consultation gig, so she takes the job on, while Princess Sabine mimics her every move.

The plan is 3-pronged: get the restaurant back up and running under the current staff, recoup the losses from the days it was closed, and thwart and deter any further attempts at sabotage from the competition. Mitsuha asks Alina’s dad to ditch the usual master-apprentice process and directly teach his apprentice and daughter how to make the necessary dishes.

Mitsuha also employs the maids who were her first customers to spread word that Paradise Restaurant is the only one in town that serves the vaunted “Yamano Cuisine.” She even hires the mercs Grit and Ilse to wait tables, something they’re all too happy to do after getting burned out from hunting. When the owner of the rival restaurant shows his face, Mitsuha is ready.

The rival owner rolls in with two royal guards in tow and with charges of wrongdoing, accusing Paradise of serving counterfeit Yamano cuisine. He’s brought Mitsuha’s apprentice, Mr. Marcel, to judge the quality of the food, a decision that ends up blowing up in his face when Mitsuha emerges from the kitchen and within minutes Marcel is in the kitchen helping out!

Before the rival owner can make any more objections to a situation already well out of his control, both the entire Bozes family and the King and Chancellor arrive at the restaurant; the former because they heard Yamano’s cuisine was being served, the latter because Sabine is working there.

The rival owner is arrested on suspicion of arranging the assault of Alina’s dad, and all’s well that ends well. Mitusha even enlists the king’s help matchmaking so Alina can get with the apprentice. She only makes a single gold coin, but considers it worth it because she had fun with her new friends. 80,000 gold may be the destination, but she’s enjoying the journey!

Saving 80,000 Gold in Another World – 08 – The Messenger of Lightning

Thanks to word of mouth from the three maids, shampoo sales are booming for Mitsuha. One day a gorgeous doll-like girl aristocratic air makes a large purchase of shampoo, plushies, and other products. She thanks Mitsuha and promises to return, but Mitsuha is concerned such a well-to-do young lady has no security detail.

Sure enough, Mitsuha spots a suspicious-looking man following the girl, then grabbing her and forcing her into an alley with three others. Mitsuha puts and end to their human trafficking plot by trying out a nickname “Messenger of Lightning” and demonstrating the power of a pistol-style stun gun…and just plain-ol’ gun gun. The baddies try to flee, but are surrounded by guards in full plate armor: royal guards.

The cutie isn’t just an aristocrat, she’s the Royal Princess Sabine, and suddenly Mitsuha has the gratitude of the entire royal family. She uses this opportunity to present both the king and his chancellor Sahr with reading glasses, which are far better than the crude lenses they’ve had to use since their vision became impaired. Mitsuha assures the king she can procure whatever he wants…except women, of course.

As the king has Sahr look more into Mitsuha’s whole deal, a third party visits Mitsuha’s store: President Nelson Adler of the Adler Trading Company. Immediately condescending to Mitsuha and throwing his weight around, he not only offers to take the store off her hands, but to take her and Sabine in, with some uncomfortable subtext to that offer.

Mitsuha asks him to return the next day, and has Sabine deliver an invite to Sahr, her new “business partner”. Sahr arrives, Mitsuha explains the hostile takeover and kidnapping attempts by Adler, and Sahr throws the book at him, warning him that any interference in Mitsuha’s shop, and Adler will be the one personally punished.

So now Mitsuha has the double-edged sword of a legit royal warrant and the fast friendship of a very cute but very spoiled princess in Sabine, who has quickly become addicted to Japanese DVDs Mitsuha has to live-dub in the isekai language. All she needs now is an actual sign for her shop—a breathtaking oversight on her part to this point!

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Saving 80,000 Gold in Another World – 07 – Laid-Back Adventure Camp

Mitsuha invites the adventuers Sven, Zepp, Gritt and Ilse to her store for tea and to hire them to be her bodyguards as she accompanies them on their next trip into the wilderness. Mitsuha impresses the others with her preparation, strange clothes, and general toughness.

While she’s paying them for protection, a nice side benefit of the adventuring trip is that Mitsuha gets to demonstrate a number of products that make camping and hunting easier, from a pop-up insulated tent to a firestarter. She also gets to show off her marksmanship as she manages to kill a bird with her crossbow that Ilse missed with her bow.

That night, Mitsuha also shares some more cheap, easy-to-prepare food from her world that nevertheless is the best-tasting food the adventurers have ever eaten. She vows to make the food and other equipment affordable enough for hardworking mercs like themselves. That said, when she dons a bikini to take her bath, she scandalizes her new friends; apparently this world is a lot more modest when it comes to coverage!

Other than that little snafu, the only snag in an otherwise educational and problem-free trip is when Mitsuha does into the bushes to go to the bathroom and encounters an ornery boar. When she runs, it gives chase, and she unloads her 9mm pistol at it. Luckily, it’s just enough stopping power to bring the beast down before it gets her, but now she knows to pack larger ammo in the future.

When the group celebrates a job well done at the tavern, Mitsuha breaks out one more artifact from her nation: a gravure mag with pictures that confirm that the swimsuit she wore is perfectly normal where she’s from. While Gritt and Ilse concede that point, wearing that kind of thing here is a different story.

The episode wraps up with Mitsuha trying to create large works of art to sell by teleporting to a quarry and teleporting back while thinking of the form she wants the stone statue to take. But since her art sensibilities are limited, the resulting statues are assumed by customers to be ugly on purpose so they’ll ward off evil. Ah well…you can’t excel at everything!

Saving 80,000 Gold in Another World – 06 – Visiting Friends

Mitsuha raked in 260 gold for Adelaide’s debutant ball, which she converts to 26 million yen. That’s nearly $200,000—not too bad! That also means 1 gold = 100,000 yen, or about $760. It also means 80,000 gold is worth $60,871,200. I guess Mitsuha will be spending her retirement in Beverly Hills!

In any case, the success of the feast in particular had every noble in attendance to order their chefs to step up their game, or else. That’s why Baron Turk’s chef is perhaps a little on edge and overly aggressive in his demand for fish, which Mitsuha makes clear she doesn’t sell direct.

Fortunately for Mitsuha, Lady and Duke Bozes enter the store and scare the chef off. Unfortunately for Mitsuha, she must close her store for the day because Lady Iris drags her back to their manor in the boonies for a long-delayed visit.

Beatrice in particular is jealous of being the only one not to attend Adelaide’s ball, and gets Mitsuha to commit to planning her ball when she comes of age in two years. That night Mitsuha is feted with a celebratory feast, the quality of which she does not comment, and also has to come up with some pretty wild explanations for how the logistics of Adelaide’s ball played out.

Mitsuha talks for so long, she ends up staying the night, and Beatrice visits her late at night to get her to reaffirm her promise to handle her debutante ball. Beatrice impresses upon Mitsuha how ladies are engaged at 10 and become adults and marry at 15.

Beatrice also starts asking pointe questions about Mitsuha’s love life, which we know to be non-existent. At one point Mitsuha wonders if Beatrice has the hots for her, then finds notes under her sleeve from both her brothers and her dad, who paid her to pump Mitsuha for info.

Mitsuha agrees to provide Beatrice with intel, but she’ll pay her for it as well (never doubt Mitsuha’s ability to make a profit from any situation!) Also, the information will be completely manufactured, in order to best mislead the Bozes men and maintain her intriguing, mysterious persona.

When Mitsuha returns to her store, a fight between a fugitive and a bounty hunter bursts inside. Mitsuha takes a quick check of her armaments, but ends up wisely using a non-lethal pepper spray. When the fugitive runs out with one of her knives, she gives chase along with the swordswoman.

She then meets an archer girl, babyfaced spearman, and grizzle greatsword-wielding veteran: the perfect fantasy adventurer/mercenary guild party. Liking the cut of this quartet’s jib, Mitsuha immediately hires them for a mission—the nature of which we’ll no doubt learn next week.

Saving 80,000 Gold in Another World – 05 – The Debut

Lord and Lady Reiner accompany Marcel and his sous chef to Mitsuha’s for a tasting session. Once again, the menu is exclusively pre-made/boil-in-the-bag dishes, which saves Mitsuha time and money while still exceeding the standards for taste in this world. When the Reiners agree to avail themselves of her services, she doesn’t just want to provide the ingredients and training for the kitchen staff.

If she’s in this, she wants to handle every aspect of fair Adelaide’s big debut party. This marks the first time she’s taken someone with her back to her world—in this case, to a hyper couturier friend of hers who is instantly inspired by Adelaide’s striking beauty. Needless to say, the ethical and metaphysical ramifications of sending someone to her world are skimmed over…we’ve got a party to plan!

Throughout all these preparations, Mitsuha’s store is closed, and we see someone trying to open her door. That made me weary—what if someone got their hands on modern Japanese tech when she’s not there to shoot them? But the debutante even starts off without a hitch, with Mitsuha using projected backgrounds from her laptop and dry ice smoke to add to the theatricality of Adelaide’s gorgeous outfits.

While impressed by the special effects and charmed by Adelaide, the assembled nobles chafe at the paltry portions. But that complaint is answered when they’re presented with an elaborate buffet of foreign delicacies, including fresh fish and seafood. The Bozes family are among those nobles, and Lady Iris snags Mitsuha to chat while her son talks to Adelaide. It turns out Iris was the one trying to enter Mitsuha’s store.

The only real snag the party hits is that it’s been such a blast for all in attendance, no one leaves when they usually would, and the kitchen starts running out of food (and energy). Coach Mitsuha excuses herself from the Bozes, rallies Marcel and the chefs, and improvises, prepping a huge batch of French fries and breaking out a big spread of desserts.

The banquet and ball are a massive success, and Adelaide even flashes an angelic smile of gratitude. Other nobles with daughters about to come of age will have to step up their games, which likely means they’ll be reaching out to Mitsuha for her consulting services—where the real big bucks are.

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.

Saving 80,000 Gold in Another World – 03 – Swiss Army Mitsuha

With all of Mitsuha’s intricate preparations complete, all that’s left is to get chummy with the nobles of this world. When she’s stopped at the gates for lack of appointment or invitation, she improvises. She pretends to have been struck by the Count’s sons’ carriage, and they bring her right into the manor. This way, their first interaction is one in which they have done her wrong and owe her amends.

Once she’s “recovered”, Mitsuha formally introduces herself as “Mitsuha von Yamano” of the distant land of Japan. Her story is that she was separated from her traveling companions and her life was in danger, but she was saved by the people of this land. She offers a Swiss army knife of all things as a token of her gratitude, and her hosts are impressed by its craftsmanship.

That night she wows them with an evening gown and pearls, which while the cheaper cultured kind, are deemed so perfect by the Count’s wife Lady Iris that she goes on a tirade about how they can’t possibly exist in this world. She also meets the Count and Lady’s two sons and daughter, all younger than her, and explains the true reason she’s here was due to a succession dispute in her land.

Freed from that dispute, and from the titles and riches of her homeland, Mitsuha is determined to start over and make her own way by opening a general store in the capital. Mitsuha manages to appeal to Lady Iris by offering her “priceless” necklace because she reminds her of her own mother. She also tells them that all proper ladies in her country are trained in the “knife arts” and carry a blade on them at all times.

As the night goes on, Mitsuha continues to entertain her hosts over tea with her stories and ideas about how they can boost their flagging crops, her ambition on full display. The Count notes how it’s so fun chatting with her he’s lost track of time, and when she accidentally knocks over her cup, she’s suddenly reminded of a real interaction she had with her parents back when they were still alive. She realizes that she never truly wept for her lost family members, and finds herself unable to hold back genuine tears.

After how the interactions with her brother were happening in her head for mostly comedic and expositional purposes, it was surprisingly touching to see that this interaction with another family made her yearn for her own, and properly grieve them for the first time. And even though that wasn’t her intention, it only supported her calculated plan to gain the nobles’ trust and affection.

The next morning they send her off on a carriage to the capital with attendants with both the financial and moral support to get her empire started, with the understanding that she’ll always be welcome in their home. It’s a win-win-win situation for Mitusha “von Yamano”, and her future is looking bright!

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Saving 80,000 Gold in Another World – 02 – Sweating the Details

Once Mitsuha determines the products from her world that would do well in the new one, and learns that the village is ruled by a local lord, she decides it’s time to move on to bigger and better things. That means saying goodbye to Colette and her bone-crushing hugs, but she promises she’ll return someday.

While aboard the horse-drawn carriage out of the village, Mitsuha realizes that not only is she not appropriately dressed to credibly pass as a merchant, she also stinks from having not bathed in while, so she returns home, washes up, slips on her business suit, and gets down to business.

Before Mitsuha even starts wheeling and dealing in another world, she’s determined to be prepared for any threat that might befall her. To be fair, that’s the right move; she’s all alone in that world, and fairly petite besides. So she uses her cash savings (which she’ll be able to replenish with gold coins) to get the best self-defense and marksmanship training money can buy.

The show really goes into intricate detail describing and animating the types of weapons she’ll be handling, which I guess speaks to the fact the original creator is a gun otaku. At no point does Mitsuha explore non-lethal forms of self-defense, and even gets into a philosophical debate with the memory of her brother, a stalwart pacifist.

After more gun training and research on feudal societies, Mitsuha procures a scooter with which to get to the village more efficiently, but is almost detected by a group of adventurers. She transports back into her room, scooter and all. I enjoyed how the episode got into the nitty gritty with details like this.

And while I wish Mitsuha weren’t so gung-ho about labeling enemies she doesn’t even have yet as less than human and vowing to eliminate them without mercy by pumping them full of lead, the fact that she’s a stranger in a strange and unpredictable land (and the last surviving member of her family) still stands.

Once she prepares a selection of goods from her world and procures a bespoke wardrobe that’s appropriate to the style of the other world, Mitsuha transports over and is finally ready to do business. So far her charm, humor, practicality, and ambition make her an appealing lead. Hopefully would-be thieves or brigands will steer clear, because they are not going to want her smoke!

Saving 80,000 Gold in Another World for My Retirement – 01 (First Impressions) – Making the Best of Things

Yamano Mitsuha’s parents and older brother were killed by means the show doesn’t get into, but suffice it to say, she’s alone. When she fights some aggressive flirting guys and is pushed off a cliff, she doesn’t want to die. But instead of landing on the rocky shore, she wakes up in a soft, sprawling grassland. The giant moon is a dead giveaway: this is another world.

She wanders across the vast plain until she reaches a forest, and there she encounters another human, and passes out from exhaustion and hunger. She comes to in the girl’s home, and while she learns her name is Colette, she speaks another language. For the time being, Mitsuha lives with Colette and her fam and helps forage for mushrooms and the like.

When Mitsuha and Colette are stalked by wolves, Mitsuha shows her mettle (partially inspired by her late, brave and confident otaku brother) by getting Colette to safety and getting the wolves to follow her. But while she’s willing to put others before her, she still doesn’t want to die, and she doesn’t: she transports back to her house. Turns out she can go back and forth at will!

Mitsuha arms herself with her brother’s slingshot, kitchen knives, and pepper, and returns to the other world, and is successful in fighting the wolves off, killing the biggest and intimidating the others before passing out again. Then she has a conversation with a “being of pure energy” taking the form of the lucky cat her brother gave her, and explains her situation.

Frankly, the explanation is fairly half-assed and played for laughs, and isn’t even necessary. All that matters is that Mitsuha can not only travel between worlds, but take items with her. Items like gold.

If she can create a lucrative market for Japanese goods in this other world (a good bet) she figures she can make enough money—roughly 2 billion yen—to retire early and comfortably in either world should she lose her power.

I’ve seen isekai series with enterprising protagonists, but I cannot recall one in which they are able to move back and forth at will, and without any apparent catch. Another factor in this show’s favor is that Mitsuha is a girl, which just makes this feel fresher than if it was another Taro-kun.

Also, while typically a sister would be embarrassed by her otaku big brother, Mitsuha remembers him fondly, and his inherited wisdom proves useful to her on multiple occasions. Mitsuha’s design is fine, but the general animation and art is uninspired and underwhelming. But the series has enough going for it so far to make up for its visual shortcomings.

%d bloggers like this: