Farming Life in Another World, vol. 1 documents how Hiraku Machio dies from working to death in Japan and is reincarnated, or relocated, to a fantasy world. This is how most isekai stories start; however, this story diverts from the usual trope of the main character wanting to become a hero in his/her new life. Hiraku has the opportunity for “god” to grant a few wishes before he is reincarnated, and so he chooses to request a healthy body that never falls ill, to not be dropped in a big city with lots of people, and to become a farmer. The god character grants these wishes in addition to mentioning the “complimentary beginner pack” and presents Hiraku with the Almighty Farming Tool. With a very simple explanation of how to make the tool work, “god” teleports Hiraku to a forest and dresses him in villagers clothing. 

The first half of this volume features the main character attempting to learn how to use the Almighty Farming Tool while also finding food and building a shelter. This does lead to the occasional hilarious moments as he freaks out about something new that he’s discovered. Once Hiraku has the basics down, his farm begins to grow as he plants more food and starts to build a family, starting with a pair of horned wolf beasts that act like guard dogs once fed. Towards the end of volume one, Hiraku’s family has grown to include a giant spider, who makes textiles, a female vampire and angel, who start calling him husband, and a tribe of female elves. 

As a fan of isekai stories, I really liked that this one broke some of the tropes by focusing on agriculture and farm planning. I don’t believe it to be an accurate portrayal of what to do in real life, but it was a nice break from the usual video game training and fighting aspects of other isekai. The black and white illustrations do a good job showing the farming aspects with schematics and diagrams. I did find it interesting that there were blurred illustrations when Hiraku beheads some rabbit monsters with the hoe and just the heads are left behind while the body is instantly turned into fertilizer.  

Overall, I think this would be a good addition to a teen graphic novel/manga collection if you want to add some variety to the isekai titles. I will caution that there is a page where sex comes up. The female elves want to procreate with the main character. It reads, “I fight back, but it is no good. Though I don’t mind when they curse at me and call me weak-willed.” This feels like both a description of rape and a plug for kink, and it really comes across as mixed messaging at best. Luckily, there is no sex on the page and this isn’t really referred to again later in the story. The final chapter in this volume introduces the concept of a demon king in the area and how Hiraku might encounter him in the future, which sounds promising. 


Farming Life in Another World, vol. 1
By Kinosuke Naito
Art by Yasuyuki Tsurugi
One Peace Books, 2020
ISBN: 9781642730852

NFNT Age Recommendation: Older Teen (16-18)
Character Representation: Japanese

  • Liz

    | she/her Assistant Professor

    Reviewer

    Elizabeth Hollendonner is an Assistant Professor for Staley Library at Millikin University. She has been reading and enjoying graphic novels and manga since grade school, took a comics class under Dr. Carol Tilley and a book review class under Dr. Deborah Stevenson while earning her Master of Science in Library and Information Science degree.

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