Saving 80,000 Gold in Another World for My Retirement, Vol. 3

By FUNA and Touzai. Released in Japan as “Rōgo ni Sonaete Isekai de 8-Man-Mai no Kinka o Tamemasu” by K Lanove Books. Released in North America by Kodansha Books. Translated by Luke Hutton.

(A reminder that the English Vol. 3 is the equivalent of the Japanese Vol. 4.)

I feel a certain regret in my past choices. When I started to review I Shall Survive Using Potions!, I had only read the first volume of 80K Gold, and given Kaoru’s, um, tendency towards war crimes, I described 80K Gold as “beginning” FUNA, Make My Abilities Average as “intermediate”, and Potions as “hard”. The thing is, though, all of these series are essentially exactly the same. You could take Mile, Kaoru and Mitsuha and swap them into each other’s books and not much would have to change, except the Potions cast would wonder where their grumpy cuss went. They are all basically “a girl who looks younger than she really is wreaks havoc on a fantasy landscape, collecting other young girls along the way”. And boy, is much havoc wreaked in this volume. Mitsuha is going on a world tour, and she’s brought a camper van and her own barrel of war crimes.

Having vanquished the invading country with their newfangled ships and weapons, Mitsuha and company now have to tell the neighboring countries about the same danger. While also trying to get them to form an alliance, and possibly sell them some cool guns. A diplomatic team is put together… with Mitsuha as a supernumerary, not part of the actual team, so she can do whatever the hell she wants. She takes Sabina and Colette with her, and, after introducing the two of them to Japan and the wonders of Japanese food (and, after overeating, the wonders of Japanese toilets), she buys an RV that she names the Good Ship Lollipop and sets off in style and comfort… while occasionally waiting for the diplomatic party to catch up to her.

There are always a few light novel series that make me uncomfortable with where they sit on the political spectrum, and this is one of them. The author and the main character love their guns, and we get more discussion of them, along with which ones are best to use in which situation. The diplomatic mission amounts to blackmail most of the time, as basically the other countries have to give in or they won’t get any of Mitsuha’s armaments… and, after observing the effect of one rifle on their standard suit of armor, they HAVE to give in. It can feel a bit mean. She also wins over a new princess and solves the succession crisis for her (good) but also gets her addicted to gambling (bad). This series never gets too serious, unlike Potions, but there is some melancholy as Mitsuha realizes that her unaging self means that in a couple of years she will have to give up her Japanese life for good to avoid unwanted questions. It depresses her.

That said, it doesn’t depress her enough that she’s not rolling through a fantasy world in a camper van with her two child soldiers… erm, assistants at her side. As always, if you like FUNA, you’ll like this. If you don’t, you’ll hate this.

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