Reborn as a Vending Machine – Episode 1 Recap & Review

The Vending Machine Travels

Episode 1 of Reborn as a Vending Machine, Now I Wander the Dungeon begins with our protagonist waking up next to a lake. However, he remembers what led to him arriving here. A vending machine was in trouble (yep, you read that right) and speeding on a bike behind, our poor guy lost control, smashed into the vending machine and died. Now, he’s reborn… as a vending machine. No one should ever doubt that the anime industry is running out of creative ideas!

However, our protagonist isn’t as bummed out as one may expect. Of course, it’s pretty grim being stuck in one place but hey, he has reasonably priced items (based on his perception of yen), a bunch of catchy phrases and inner powers that allow him to remember the price of various goods and conjure forth some nifty powers.

Our vending machine can actually use his inner powers to spend points to allow the items inside to change. He can warm up frozen food, add hot water to ramen and switch out whichever items may be good to turn a better profit. He consumes points to stay alive, most notably that of keeping himself going and not completely shutting down.

Boxxo (the name given to our protagonist later in the episode) works out that each point is worth about 100 yen so realistically, he needs to earn 2400 yen for 24 points a day to keep running. Right now, he has 900 points so he’s good to go for a month or so. He can’t waste any points right now though, but he also needs some customers to keep going.

Unfortunately, this is tested when a frog soldier arrives out the lake and bashes the machine constantly, dropping the durability he has. It turns out Boxxo has RPG stats, including magic. Durability can be restored by spending points… and it looks like he’ll need it, especially when more frog soldiers show up.

Thankfully, Boxxo has a power called “Barrier”, which prevents any weapon from getting through a magical shield around him. While it does work to keep him safe, it also means his points drop at a ridiculous rate. He makes it through the attack… but he only has 311 points left.

Thankfully our vending machine gets a breakthrough when a hunter girl called Lammis shows up with a strange coin and wants to get some soup. After acquiring coin conversion and dispensing some warm soup for her, Lammis immediately decides to keep buying food and drink, eventually falling asleep next to the vending machine. Thankfully, the Barrier power comes in super handy here.

Lammis realizes the vending machine can talk, but only certain phrases relevant to a machine, like “hello there” “thank you” and “too bad”. Lammis believes Boxxo is lonely and decides to move him around. Specifically, to go and meet Hulemy. Hulemy is apparently a magic item engineer and should know what to do with him.

With super strength, Lammis lifts up the vending machine and takes off down the road. She apparently has the “Blessing of Strength” which allows her to lift heavy items like it’s nothing. Boxxo rewards her kindness by changing up the items to more filling food items like crisps. And the two guards outside the village are also happy too, and decide to buy up all the remaining items from inside the machine, allowing Boxxo to continue on for quite some time.

In the village, Lammis makes short work of a bunch of guys in an alleyway picking on a small girl. Eventually, she’s reunited with her family. Lammis has been spending a lot of money here, and she now doesn’t have enough to make it back somewhere called the Transfer Circle. This Circle seems to be the ticket out of this dungeon, called Clearflow Lake. For now, Lammis will need to make some money back working at the inn.

People certainly take a liking to our vending machine though. In fact, with over 3000 points, Boxxo switches up the food items to sell canned Oden, which causes a boom across town. He also stocks up a new sports drink too. It’s all going great, and Lammis even buys a wooden carrier so she can hold Boxxo on her back. Right now though, Lammis needs to save up money to go and see Hulemy, and a new friendship is born as the pair set off together.

The Episode Review

Just when you think Japan have exhausted the creative well, another bizarre and utterly compelling anime comes to the foreground. Reborn as a Vending Machine has a simple and utterly bonkers premise but its execution is actually rather sweet and works better than it should.

The comedy is well placed, and there’s just enough to keep invested in this one going forward. There is a slight contrivance over how easily our protagonist has adapted to being a vending machine, unable to move or do anything while being stuck with his own memories, but this is a silly anime and it’s clearly not to be taken too seriously, especially that ludicrous opening.

This is definitely intriguing and certainly piques the interest, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens next week. What an absolutely wild concept!


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