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Reborn as a Vending Machine, I Now Wander the Dungeon ‒ Episode 5

How would you rate episode 5 of
Reborn as a Vending Machine, I Now Wander the Dungeon ?

Community score: 3.7

The tear-jerking tale of a girl and her flower-dispensing vending machine.

One of the worst things about the TV format is that stories need to be unnaturally stretched or trimmed to fit a specific runtime. And while streaming originals have been able to move on from this in recent years to great success, most anime are still made under the same constraints they always have been. However, that’s not to say that there aren’t a few tricks TV show creators have learned over the years. Case and point, this week’s episode.

Rather than one 22-minute episode, what we’re getting is a pair of 11-minute episodes—and that is in no way a bad thing. Neither of the two plots could have supported a full 22 minutes. But in the 11 minutes they have, they each show off their best aspects while not overstaying their welcome.

The first half gives us another Hulemy-focused story—which is surprising given she was the main female lead last week as well. However, the point of this episode is to show what happened last time was a fluke—the vast majority of the time she is not a damsel who needs rescuing. She is a genius in her own right and has worked hard to become the famous individual she is today—even if it took a lot of trial and error to get there.

But the really interesting thing about this story is that Boxxo, our main character, does nothing. He doesn’t use magic to protect Hulemy from the rampaging doll nor does he give her just the vending machine item she needs to win the fight. He just sits there and watches as she takes down the doll with a bit of misdirection and her magical talents.

It’s honestly refreshing. It shows that Boxxo is a part of this world, not the center of it. He doesn’t need to be directly involved in every adventure—after all, Hulemy has lived perfectly well for many years before he came into her life. It makes Boxxo seem more human and less like a character. After all, sometimes we are intrinsic parts of the events of those around us while other times we are simply bystanders.

But while this first half of the episode may focus on Hulemy, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have implications for Boxxo. Now we have seen for ourselves that, when a soul is put into a magic item, it goes insane. So that raises the question, what makes Boxxo different? Is it that he’s from a different world? Or could it be that he loves both his new shape and role? Or is it simply a matter of time until he goes crazy as well?

As for the second half of the episode, it’s just a playful comedy. A chain restaurant (literally called Chain Restaurant) is expanding into the town and has the Mom and Pop stores running scared. So they go to Boxxo for help—being that he is both super popular and hasn’t interfered with their businesses. They parody the meeting scenes in , taste his highly flavored hot foods, make their versions, and drive the chain restaurant out of business. It’s silly fun that doesn’t drag on too long.

Overall, while I prefer long-form content as a rule, I’m not opposed to occasional half-episode side stories like these in the future. Be it for comedy or character development, these were both quite enjoyable. That said, I am eager to see where the main story goes from here—and hopefully we’ll only need to wait until next week to find out.


Random Thoughts:

• This week’s rare vending machine: a flower vending machine.

• While Boxxo is not the center of Hulemy’s world, this episode makes it clear that he is already the center of Lammis’.

• It shows just how much Lammis trusts Hulemy that she leaves Boxxo alone with her so often right after his kidnapping.

• I would love it if this series would show what Lammis is up to (as a bit of a gag) while Boxxo is in all these different places. I mean Lammis had to carry him to the party and the meeting room, right? But then what? Did she just go kill time in another room until it was time to go home?

is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.

Disclosure: Kadokawa World Entertainment (KWE), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kadokawa Corporation, is the majority owner of Anime News Network, LLC. One or more of the companies mentioned in this article are part of the Kadokawa Group of Companies.



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