Saving 80,000 Gold in Another World for My Retirement is a rather unusual take on the isekai genre. There’s no forgiving protagonist who wants to help everyone here. It instead follows a young lady on her quest to earn enough money to retire and who doesn’t mind bringing death and destruction upon those who want to harm her.
This is FUNA’s second work to be turned into an anime with ‘Didn’t I Say To Make My Abilities Average In The Next Life?!’ having preceded it. The light novel ‘I Shall Survive Using Potions!’ hasn’t joined them yet, but these three titles have all been localized into English as light novels. FUNA’s work is building quite a reputation. Despite that, we almost lost the chance to read 80,000 Gold.
We’re Not SOL Any More!
This light novel has been released in 2023 by Kodansha. Before that though, Volume 1 and 2 were released in 2019 and 2020 respectively by Sol Press. Unfortunately, despite having released some brilliant work, they went out of business with the owner disappearing.
Kodansha rescued the license, and released Volume 1 and 2 as an omnibus titled ‘Volume 1’. The translator is still listed as Lukas Ruplys, as it was in the Sol Press edition, though it does say it was revised by Kodansha USA. While not yet confirmed at the time of writing, based on page count, future volumes appear to be single volumes, so Kodansha Volume 2 would be a localized version of the Japanese Volume 3.
While I imagine this will cause some confusion (especially with Sol Press Volumes 1 & 2 still available on some storefronts at the time of writing), it does work nicely to get both volumes out at once. It’s budget-friendly too.
Nothing to Lose
Mitsuha has had terrible luck recently. Saving 80,000 Gold in Another World for My Retirement starts not long after she lost her parents and her brother who she idolized. Her uncle tried to steal her inheritance not long after. With all this going on, despite her intelligence, she failed her college entrance exams.
With concerns about how much it would cost to take the exams again and then for years of college, she’s set on entering the workforce instead. The writing establishes well that she’s somewhat lost in life, with no good plans. But something happens. An accident occurs, granting her the power to move between worlds and more.
What stood out to me in the earlier chapters is how it establishes Mitsuha’s bravery and grit. She’s no damsel in distress, being able to keep pushing through when lost for days or jumping into a fight to defend someone else. This seems even more impressive when you realize that she’s only 4 ft 11 and small enough to be mistaken for a middle school student.
New World. New Opportunities
Soon enough, we find that Saving 80,000 Gold in Another World for My Retirement has another major difference from most isekai. Mitsuha isn’t stuck but can hop between worlds with no more effort than opening a door. This gives her the idea to set up a shop in the new world and make money by selling goods from Japan or even offering her wisdom as a consulting service here and there. While the decision to start work in a new and less developed world may seem unusual, it’s certainly more profitable than a dead end job in Japan. It doesn’t really explore it, but it could also be seen as a way to escape from her recent troubles too.
Along the way, she ends up worming her way into the good graces of the local nobility which seems to be a light novel staple. But another thing that sets Mitsuha apart from other protagonists is that she doesn’t seem hesitant to mislead, manipulate, or stretch the truth to get what she wants and this is how she makes those connections. It’s refreshing to see a main character willing to act a little sketchy, despite generally being a good person.
Conflicts and Clashes
There are quite a few conflicts along the way, from being attacked by wild animals, to rivals who want her out of the way. The most notable are the events wrapping up in chapter 15 of 20, which is approximately where the anime ends too.
While the big climax was fun to read, I enjoyed seeing how Mitsuha handled the smaller issues even more. While she makes some clear blunders on occasion due to not knowing the local culture or inexperience, it’s interesting to see her trick people into underestimating her. And yes, as hinted at the start, she’s willing to and does shoot people down if it comes to it.
As ruthless as she can be though, there are the odd touching moments with the new friends she makes. It adds a good amount of humor too, though you might get tired of how often Mitsuha mentions the flatness of her chest in her own mind. It’s never laugh-out-loud funny, but it did spice up the writing.
One thing that did stand out is the lack of scrutiny about Mitsuha from other characters. While some do try to find out more, most believe her easily, or even if they don’t, let things go easily and do not look into it much. Some other aspects are taken more seriously, like the economic issues or how business in the world works, but despite some serious moments, much of Saving 80,000 Gold in Another World for My Retirement is reasonably lighthearted.
While I’ll remain vague to avoid spoilers, a new challenge appears in the last five chapters. This seemed to signal a change in Mitsuha’s policy of how she handles things. I’m particularly looking forward to seeing what happens with it going forward.
The art is by Touzai, who has worked on quite a few titles, perhaps most notably The Eminence in Shadow.
As two volumes combined into one, it has more than the average number of color illustrations, with six color inserts at the front. These do look great, but the issue is that they sum up many of the major plot points. If you’ve not already watched the anime and don’t know about the plot, I’d suggest skipping past them until later.
20 black and white inserts are included, many depicting important or dramatic moments. They show off many of the other characters well, though most focus on Mitsuha herself.
A physical edition of Saving 80,000 Gold in Another World for My Retirement is available. At the time of writing, it seems to be difficult to find stock at some retailers. Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to get a physical copy myself to share my thoughts on it.
I enjoyed Volume 1 of Saving 80,000 Gold in Another World for My Retirement and look forward to the next one. The concept is a fun one and at least slightly different from similar isekai offerings. What really pulls me in is Mitsuha’s character though.
SAVING 80,000 GOLD IN ANOTHER WORLD FOR MY RETIREMENT: VOL 1 IS RECOMMENDED
Many thanks go to the wallet of NookGaming who provided a review copy of this title.
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A gamer since the days of Amstrad and DOS and someone who has dabbled in a variety of professions. He enjoys a wide variety of genres, but has been focusing on visual novels and virtual reality in recent years. Head Editor of NookGaming. Follow him and the website on @NookSite.