It has been half a year since your parents and your older brother died in a terrible accident. On top of continuing your studies at high school, you’ve been dealing with greedy relatives and unscrupulous strangers hoping to cheat you of your family’s money. One day, while visiting a clifftop viewing point at a beach, a group of suspicious young men invite you to a party. After you refuse, they get insistent and one of them grabs your arm. Noticing the bystanders nearby walking away, you kick the man in the groin, causing him to double up in pain. His friends are enraged at this and one of them violently pushes you against the fence…which breaks as you fall backwards. As you fall towards the ocean below, you realize that you don’t want to die…you don’t…want…to die…
You wake up in the middle of a forest…what? Weren’t you at a beach just now? You wander for a couple of days before you faint again as you come across a dirt road…
Waking up in a small bedroom, you see a little girl with silver hair come in and hug you tightly. She’s talking to you but it doesn’t sound like Japanese…or any other language you’ve heard of. After a while, you realize that her name is Collette. She takes you out of the house and you see that you are in a village of small wooden houses surrounded by a wooden fence, beyond which is a familiar-looking forest. Curiously, there are no street lights, telephone poles, phone booths or any other modern-day appliances.
Three days later, you accompany Collette into the forest to help her gather herbs and plants. While doing this, you and Collette are eventually stalked by a pack of wolves. You help Collette climb a tree to get her to safety while you run away to distract the wolves. You soon trip and find yourself turning around to behold a terrifying sight: a wolf with its wide-open jaws filled with fangs pouncing on you! Closing your eyes tightly, terror overcomes you as you think about your mother, your father and finally your older brother…
Opening your eyes again, you find yourself in…your brother’s room at home?
Saving 80,000 Gold Coins in Another World for my Retirement (老後に備えて異世界で８万枚の金貨を貯めます Rougo ni Sonaete Isekai de 8-manmai no Kinka wo Tamemasu) is a web novel, light novel series and manga written by FUNA. After the death of her family, the 18-year old high school student Mitsuha Yamano somehow acquires the ability to teleport between modern-day Earth and a fantasy world from a mysterious entity with no name. The entity also grants her the ability to instantly understand and use the language of anyone she interacts with. After rescuing Collette using a military-grade slingshot and knives from her brother’s room to kill the wolves, Mitsuha gets the idea to set up a business of selling modern-day goods in the medieval-era fantasy world with the goal of earning two billion yen to ensure a comfortable retirement. Back on Earth, she uses her new abilities to instantly learn English and conduct research on various topics needed for survival. After this, she teleports herself to the base of the mercenary group, “Wolf’s Fang”, in order to make arrangements to learn combat skills, purchase weapons (especially guns!) and establish a partnership to allow her to trade the fantasy world’s gold coins for Earth currency. To earn two billion yen and account for currency exchange fees on Earth, Mitsuha works out that she must earn a total of 80,000 gold coins.
Mitsuha then returns to the fantasy world to visit the country home of the local aristocrat, Earl Klaus Bozes, in order to acquire funding and permission to establish a shop at the local kingdom’s capital city. Pretending to be a former noble from a faraway land, Mitsuha quickly befriends the Bozes family and trades them several unusual items such as a Swiss army knife and a fine pearl necklace (a priceless treasure in the fantasy world according to Klaus’ wife). She soon establishes the “General Store Mitsuha” and stocks it with various convenience goods from Earth such as shampoo, peeler knives, hourglasses, snacks and souvenir brooches. Mitsuha also sets up a sideline consultation service so that customers may receive her advice on any issue for a fee, which is relatively simple with her access to the Internet on Earth!
General Store Mitsuha swiftly gains a reputation for its unusual goods and services, which often seemed miraculous to the fantasy world locals. In addition to selling Earth items, Mitsuha plans the debut party of a Viscount’s daughter (on their 15th birthday, all noble ladies have a debut party as their public introduction to high society), accompanies a group of mercenaries on a hunting mission and enables the restaurant “Paradise Pavilion” to thrive despite a hostile takeover attempt by a rival restaurant chain. She even saves a princess from being kidnapped and uses her teleportation to bring the Wolf’s Fang (soldiers, weapons, equipment and vehicles!) to defend the capital from an invasion by a hostile neighboring country.
Mitsuha Yamano (山野光波 Yamano Mitsuha), an 18-year old high school student from modern-day Japan. Despite being in her late teenage years, she is 152 cm (barely 5 feet) tall and looks younger than she really is, resulting in many people mistaking her for a child. A passing cosmic entity that had been observing the Earth found itself drawn to Mitsuha’s panic over her impending death by falling, resulting in Mitsuha somehow gaining a limited version of the entity’s ability to travel across different worlds. Meeting the entity itself, Mitsuha gained two more abilities: instant language comprehension and gradual regeneration from any physical injury that would otherwise weaken or scar her permanently, such as the loss of a limb. Using her abilities to set up a business to sell simple, inexpensive goods from Earth, Mitsuha is constantly on the lookout for profit opportunities in the fantasy world, but she is compassionate and protective to those she considers her friends. On the other hand, she can be rather ruthless when dealing with enemies, sometimes even thinking of them as monsters.
Captain, the so-far unnamed commander of the mercenary group “Wolf’s Fang” on Earth. While the story does not say where the base of Wolf’s Fang is located, most of the mercenaries appear to be Caucasians. After researching various private military contractors, Mitsuha decided that Wolf’s Fang seemed relatively trustworthy and remote enough to make contact with. Captain personally trains Mitsuha in the use of modern military weapons, particularly knives and handguns, and later takes on her request to hire Wolf’s Fang to defend a city in the fantasy world.
Princess Sabine, the youngest daughter of the King. Mitsuha meets her when she comes to the General Store Mitsuha to do some shopping after learning about the shop from the palace maids. A group of men attempt to kidnap Sabine, but are stopped by Mitsuha, who followed the princess out of concern. While she is sweet and innocent, Sabine has occasionally displayed a selfish, manipulative side whenever it comes to getting what she wants. She quickly grows attached to Mitsuha, treating her like a favorite big sister even though she already has two older sisters in the royal family.
Mitsuha’s ability to freely teleport between Earth and the fantasy world and her use of modern-day technology takes away much of the story’s thrill. Still, it is fun to watch how the people of the medieval-style fantasy world view her goods and knowledge as miraculous or even magical! Something as negligible to us as modern shampoo becomes a treasure to those who never had shiny, healthy hair in the entire lives. The business concept of supply and demand is taken to fantastical lengths as Mitsuha creates a unique market in the fantasy world that no one else can match, resulting in her becoming known as a miracle worker as she gains more customers for her business. This goes a step further when she teleports Wolf’s Fang to the fantasy world and back to Earth again, demonstrating that she could be almost unstoppable with her access to modern-day weapons. Greedier people would likely use such teleportation to steal anything they want without leaving a trace or conquer the less-advanced fantasy world.
Unusually for an isekai character, Mitsuha isn’t seen with any close companions. While she has several friends, Mitsuha often keeps to herself in order to conceal her teleportation ability, which could be abused if the wrong people knew about it! She is a practical businesswoman who hoards her abilities, secrets and goods to maximize her profits, much like how entrepreneurs run their businesses in our world. However, Mitsuha still cares for those she considers her friends and does what she can to help them, even if there is no monetary gain for such. As a result, she encourages customer loyalty and repeat business for her shop.
Curiously, no magic has been demonstrated in this story and no wizards are seen. Most of the “magic” comes from the goods and technology that Mitsuha brings with her, in order to emphasize how “magical” our own lives are!
While it is good to earn money to make a comfortable life for yourself, it is also important to remember and care for your family and friends.