Reborn as a Vending Machine, I Now Wander the Dungeon (自動販売機に生まれ変わった俺は迷宮を彷徨う, Jidōhanbaiki ni Umarekawatta Ore wa Meikyū ni Samayō) is a Japanese light novel series written by Hirukuma and illustrated by Ituwa Kato. The series was originally published in 2016 as a web novel by the author on the user-generated novel publishing website Shōsetsuka ni Narō. Later on the same year, it was acquired and then published by Kadokawa Shoten. It has been licensed in English by Yen Press. A manga adaptation by Kunieda began serialization ASCII Media Works's shōnen manga magazine Dengeki Daioh in August 2021.
The light novels follow its titular protagonist who, after being crushed to death by a vending machine, is reincarnated as a sentient vending machine in a fantasy dungeon world. Shortly after, he meets and befriends Lammis, a young female hunter, who names him "Boxxo" and starts carrying him around on her back, and the two start their adventures in the dungeon together. Reborn as a Vending Machine has received positive reception from reviewers, with particular praise being directed at the novels' unique take on the isekai genre.
The then-unnamed protagonist, a Japanese vending machine otaku, is crushed to death by a falling vending machine. He then finds himself reincarnated in a fantasy world dungeon as a sentient vending machine. He can see and hear but is immobile, with his speech being limited to stock Japanese vending machine phrases, such as "Welcome" or "Too bad". As a vending machine, he discovers he can dispense any item he has bought in his previous life, and can convert such sales to points thus sustaining his existence. He is also able to use excess coins to add additional features to his vending machine body, and is able to choose which items he stocks or the prices of the items. He is also able to use some magical abilities, including a defensive force field.
Stuck in the middle of the wilderness, he encounters Lammis, a young, busty hunter girl. Lammis has a skill known as the Blessing of Might which makes her ridiculously strong, but is still a novice at managing her own strength. The two quickly become friends after he dispenses some food items to the hungry Lammis. Calling him "Boxxo" (the protagonist's real name is never revealed), she starts carrying him around on her back, which allows Boxxo to move, with his weight allowing her to more easily control her strength. The light novels chronicles their adventures as they start exploring the world's dungeon, and the characters they meet on the way.
In the afterword of the first volume, Hirukuma describes his envisioning and road to publishing Reborn as a Vending Machine. He at first helped out with his father's independent business, though, after the death of his father from a high fall, he closed down the business and began pursuing his ambition as a writer. He described his father's death as giving him acrophobia, and recalled thinking "I don't know when I'm going to die like my father did. One question went through my mind: Have I done everything I've wanted to in life?" On a site titled Let's Become Novelists, a site for submitting novels, he submitted several works of fiction including another isekai piece and a battle-themed novel set in the near future, but was initially unsuccessful.
He described Reborn as a Vending Machine as his final effort after four years of unsuccessfully getting his novels published. Hirukuma wrote that "[it was] one that was fantastical and original, and one that I wanted to write [...] This wasn't a novel where I adjusted for the readers' needs, or had to think long and hard about constructing a plot. Instead, I pursued my own style for it, and it garnered the most popularity of all my work".
List of Book
Originally Hirukuma published the series online as a web novel on the user-generated novel publishing website Shōsetsuka ni Narō in March 2016, until Kadokawa Shoten acquired the series to publish it as a light novel.
The first volume was published by Kadokawa Shoten on August 1, 2016. Yen Press announced during the Anime Expo 2017 that they had licensed the series for an English release.
|No.||Original release date||Original ISBN||English release date||English ISBN|
|1||August 1, 2016||9784041047286||April 24, 2018||9780316479110|
|2||October 1, 2016||9784041047293||August 28, 2018||9780316479134|
|3||February 1, 2017||9784041051740||December 18, 2018||9780316479158|
A manga adaptation illustrated by Kunieda began serialization in ASCII Media Works's shōnen manga magazine Dengeki Daioh on August 27, 2021. The manga is also licensed by Yen Press as a digital Simu publication.
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Reborn as a Vending Machine, I Now Wander the Dungeon has received positive reception. Theron Martin of Anime News Network reviewed the first volume positively, praising its unique take on the isekai genre, Hirukuma's writing style, and the relationship between Boxxo and Lammis, which he found to be impressive and not having to "resort to hackneyed gimmicks". Summarising that "this novel's bizarre concept is what will catch people's attention, but the writing is good enough to keep it", some criticism was directed at the light novel's fanservice, which Martin found to be forced, and the RPG elements typical of isekai series. Similarly, Robert Frazer of UK Anime Network found Reborn as a Vending Machine to be "a blast of fresh air to flush out the stale isekai genre", as "it’s fun and different to defeat the villain with Diet Coke and Mentos instead of just firing a Saiyan blast at a higher powerlevel".
Rebecca Silverman and Lynzee Loveridge, in Anime News Network's Spring 2018 Light Novel Guide, also praised the setting but found the writing to "read like fan-fiction-level quality". They ultimately found the volume to "still [be] an engaging read", and compared it to So I'm a Spider, So What? and That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime. Loveridge further included the protagonist's "Death By Vending Machine" on her list of the "7 Strangest Isekai Deaths".
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