When you turned 30, the company you worked for declared bankruptcy. Not long after that, you were sent to the hospital as a result of neglecting your health for years. For almost a decade, you were bedridden until the day you died.
Now you find yourself face to face with what you can only call a deity.
“Am I to be reincarnated?”
“No, you’ll be teleported to a new world. I can grant you three wishes to help you.”
“Alright then. I wish to have a youthful body that never gets sick, to be able to communicate in the new world’s languages and to live a peaceful life as a farmer.”
“Granted, and here’s a little bonus.”
A hoe appears in your hands, seemingly from thin air.
“This is the All-Purpose Farming Tool. It may be a hoe now, but it can become any tool you wish. I’ll show you…turn into a sickle.”
A second later, the hoe you’re holding becomes a sickle!
“It can turn into many things like a hammer or a crowbar, but you must remember that only you can use it. I’ve made it so that you can summon it instantly into your hands at any time, even if you throw it away. Basically, it’s stored in your own body.”
“Well, it’s time for you to go. Are you sure about this?”
“Yes. Thanks for everything!”
“Then I wish you all the best and hope you’ll be a great farmer.”
Suddenly, you find yourself in the middle of a forest.
Your body feels so light! You can’t remember the last time you felt nothing wrong with your body!
You bow to the sky above as thanks to the deity and take a look around. There doesn’t seem to be anyone around.
Food, water and shelter will have to be your priorities right now.
The soil beneath you feels quite hard. How is this suitable for farming?
You summon your AFT and start plowing…
Minutes later, you’ve plowed about a thousand meters through the forest. And yet, you don’t feel tired at all!
Is this the power of the AFT?!
Hmmm…There might be monsters in this forest…perhaps some shelter would be needed first.
You say, “Turn into an axe.”
The AFT changes shape once more. Time to get to work…
Farming Life in Another World (異世界のんびり農家, Isekai Nonbiri Nouka, lit. Leisure Farm on a Different World) is a light novel series and manga written by Kinosuke Naito (内藤騎之介, Naito Kinosuke).
After graduating from college, Hikaru Machio got a job at a black company (ブラック企業, burakku kigyō). As a result of constant overwork, he was hospitalized at 30 and died at the early age of 39. In the afterlife, he meets a deity who offers to send him to another world. With this, Hikaru voices his lifelong desire to live a quiet life as a farmer.
On a new world, Hikaru finds himself in the middle of a forest and quickly sets to work at building a farm around a gigantic tree. He also hunts rabbit-like monsters in the forest for food, builds a temporary shelter and finds a river several kilometers away to provide water for his new fields. Although Hikaru had no seeds in his possessions, sprouts magically appeared in the fields he had plowed and they soon grow into carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkins and other vegetables.
Later, Hikaru encounters a mated pair of inferno wolves, whom he names Kuro and Yuki, and takes them in as pets. He also meets a friendly giant spider he names Zabuton. Kuro and Yuki help to guard the fields while Zabuton crafts clothes, curtains, sacks and other cloth goods.
In the winter of his new life’s second year, Hikaru finds a naked young girl who introduces herself as Ru Rurushi, a vampire. Hikaru takes her in and she helps out at his farm. A month or two later, a winged girl arrives at the village as well. She introduces herself as the angel Tia and she was pursuing Ru. After some difficulties, the two enemies make peace and live together with Hikaru.
Ru and Tia soon introduce new residents to the farm including lizardmen, high elves, oni and other angels. As a result, Hikaru’s farm grows and quickly becomes a village. Its growing reputation soons attracts the attention of dragons, high-ranking demons, traders and other immigrants such as dwarves, mountain elves, beastmen and centaurs. Three satellite villages are built nearby to accommodate the new residents. Kuro and Yuki become elders to a continually growing pack of wolves while Zabuton has spawned countless children. The village becomes an important source of food for nearby settlements and everyone comes to love the alcohol produced there, especially the villagers. Before he realized it, Hikaru had become a beloved village chief!
Hikaru Machio (街尾 火楽, Machio Hikaru), former salaryman, farmer, and chief of the Taiju (“Big Tree”) Village located in the dangerous Forest of Death. While generally agreeable and easy-going, he is also responsible and protective, particularly towards his farm. As gifts from a deity, he has a healthy, youthful adult body that never gets sick and the All-Purpose Farming Tool (AFT), a personal magic tool that can transform into any farming tool that he wants such as a shovel, a hoe, a watering can and a sickle. The AFT can also become a powerful magic spear, enabling Hikaru to fight against even powerful monsters such as dragons and giant snakes. The village’s people consist mostly of beautiful women of various races, of whom many wish to have personal relations with their chief. As a result, Hikaru is now the father of several children, each by a different mother.
Kuro & Yuki, a mated pair of inferno wolves, wolf-like creatures that are intelligent enough to use magic and even play chess! After both of them were rescued by Hikaru from a grappler bear, they settled in with him. They became parents to four pups and these pups became parents themselves over the next few years. With more children maturing into adults and giving birth to their own children, a large pack of inferno wolves now helps to guard Taiju Village.
Zabuton, a female giant demon spider. She is a skilled seamstress and has crafted clothes, curtains and other goods at Hikaru’s request. According to legend, a demon spider fought a Demon King to a standstill in the past but it is unknown whether Zabuton is the same spider. First encountered by Hikaru as he was working on a waterway, she quickly became friendly with him. After settling in the village, Zabuton has spawned countless children. Most of the village’s women fainted when they saw her for the first time.
Ru Rurushi, a vampire. Although she can suck on blood to nourish herself, she is not undead and is actually a type of demon. She can also change her body and age to suit her needs. A famous magician, Ru is also highly skilled in chemistry and researches medicines for the village. After falling in love with Hikaru, she became the mother of Hikaru’s first child, a boy named Alfred.
Tia, an angel. A highly skilled fighter, she is the leader a small band of angels. Despite being called angels, they are simply strong, winged humanoids that humans once worshiped in the past. They guard the village, scout its surroundings and act as messengers when needed. After falling in love with Hikaru, Tia became the mother of Hikaru’s second child, a girl named Tissele.
The story addresses real-life issues such as finding a suitable water source, constructing accommodations, growing enough food for the villagers to last the winter and creating community rules that everyone can obey to improve farm productivity and security. Even waste management is addressed since Hikaru has to build public toilets and a basic sewer system that uses slimes to dissolve all organic waste. Eventually, Hikaru had to devise a homemade currency system using reward medals in order to ensure fair trade within the village.
There are dozens of characters in this story, but not much personality is given to each individual. Instead, they are generally portrayed as parts of a community. For example, the high elves build and maintain the village’s houses, the oni maids cook meals and keep the houses clean, the dwarves work to improve and diversify the village’s alcohol and the hardy lizardmen are particularly strong farm hands.
As village chief, Hikaru not only has to manage his village but also maintain good trade relations with his neighbors. Dragon lords and demon lords establish diplomatic relations with Hikaru. Other settlements provide their goods in exchange for Taiju Village’s produce and alcohol such as metal utensils from a mining village and seafood from a seaside village. This is a basic example of how trade can benefit all involved.
A running gag in this story is the fact that all the villagers besides Hikaru greatly enjoy drinking the wine produced from the farm’s grapes. In fact, they held the village’s first trial against a slime for the crime of drinking an entire barrel of wine without permission, only to drop the charge because slimes are non-sentient!
Despite wishing only for a quiet life as a farmer, Hikaru has become a hero in his own right by growing high-quality crops, trading food to communities in need, and providing accommodations and meaningful jobs to refugees. In this new world, a farmer has become an influential leader to be reckoned with!
Agriculture is important to a community’s survival and prosperity, since all of us need to eat.