Episode 1: Taro Kira Goes to “Ed”!

Episode 1: Taro Kira Goes to “Ed”!

Taro, an otaku office worker. He will be reborn in the “Ed” period.

Yoshino, the poster girl of the inn “Sazankatei” and the general manager of the shopping mall

Kura, a mysterious cat with a samurai topknot. He speaks a human language that only Taro can hear.



The clock in my office was about to strike 10 o’clock.

I am Taro Kira, 43 years old. I am a salaryman working for a company engaged in corporate revitalization business.

“Oh my God, it’s almost 10 o’clock!”

It is typical of me to lose track of time when working overtime alone in the dark office.

“I’m proud of myself, I worked so hard this week. ……”

Muttering to myself, I closed my laptop, stretched, and hurriedly prepared to leave.

The fresh spring evening breeze felt good as I left the office. When I took my phone out of my bag, my favorite character from “Uma Musume” smiled at me.

 “Ha, you’re so cute today, too. ……”

Uma Musume (Horse Girls) is a game in which players train and race Uma Musume characters, which are anthropomorphic representations of real-life race horses. The game has been further developed in various media mixes.

 In particular, the live performances by the voice actors from the Uma Musume wearing horse ears are most captivating.

Tomorrow, a live performance of Uma Musume will be held at Saitama Dome. Of course, I’ll be there.

Oops, this is not the time to be doing this, I have an early morning tomorrow, so I have to go home early!

I put my phone back in my bag and started to run home.

“I don’t care about work anymore! I’ve got my two-dimensional life!” 

Yes, I could do my company work as a side job.

In high school, I studied hard and was admitted to a prestigious university that was well known throughout the country. After that, I got a job at a prestigious company, and from outside, my life may have seemed like it was problem-free.

However, I always felt a sense of emptiness. No matter how hard I work, wars continue somewhere in the world, and tragic incidents occur every day.

My efforts are of no use in this world, aren’t they? Isn’t it pointless?

One day, while I was going about my daily life with these doubts in my mind, I came across the anime “Uma Musume”.

From then on, I began to devote my entire life to the two-dimensional world.

It was good that I started running briskly, but I soon began to run out of breath, probably because I don’t usually do much exercise.

‘Hahahaha …… hey, is this ……? Was there a vacant lot here? Where did I go wrong?”

When I stopped and looked around, I saw a strange landscape.

“Didn’t this area use to be quite a busy shopping mall ……?”

Right now, it’s an area lined with battered houses.

‘But what is it? I feel like I know this place, even though I’ve never been here before. ……”

Then I stepped into a clearing full of weeds.

“Oh, what’s this? The site of the former Sazankatei ……?”

It was an old wooden sign. It might be the name of a restaurant or something. Strangely enough, it sounded like something I had heard before. ……

— It was then that I was struck with a headache I had never experienced before. It was as if I had been hit with a metal bat so hard I thought my skull would crack. ……

“Ugh, geez, ……!”

My vision shook and distorted, and I couldn’t stay standing. All the five senses were lost. Sound and light disappeared and I fell into …… darkness.


When I faintly opened my eyes, I could vaguely see a Japanese-style ceiling that looked like that of my grandma’s house in the countryside.

Apparently, it was not a hospital.

I gradually became more and more conscious. I realized that I was in a futon.

Suddenly, a woman’s face approached me.


I was so startled that I flung off the covers and jumped out of bed.

“You’re awake! Thank God!”

The woman who had just come over to me was smiling and talking to me.

I said, “I’m …… yes …….”

As I answered, I looked around the room. I was lying in the middle of a Japanese-style room.

The woman was wearing a kimono and had her hair tied up in the Japanese style. She looked quite young.

“How are you feeling?” 

The girl in the kimono was looking at me with a worried look on her face, probably because I was looking at her doubtfully.

“Oh……, well….”

Come to think of it, my headache is completely gone. My body also moves normally and there is no pain anywhere.

“I seem to be all right now….   You are…….”

“My name is Yoshino Oishi. I was worried when I found you collapsed in the middle of the shopping mall……, but I’m glad you have recovered.”

“I don’t remember …… the shopping mall at all. …… Anyway, you saved me, thank you.”

I bowed deeply to the girl called Yoshino.

“Since you looked so modern, I thought you were a traveler who had drifted ashore from a foreign country. Please tell me your name, if you don’t mind.”

“I’m Taro Kira. …… Wait a minute. Modern? Foreign? “

I felt uncomfortable with what she was saying.

“Well, …… Yoshino-san, where am I?”

“It’s the inn I run, the Sazankatei ……”

“What? ……”


I know that name.

Suddenly the events of that night ran through my mind.

On my way home from work.

A strange vacant lot.

I saw a sign in the vacant lot that read “Former site of Sazankatei”

“Um. Taro-san, is something wrong?”

“No, no, it’s nothing. ……”

Sweat broke out on my forehead.

No, no, I don’t believe it……, but did I slip back into the past?

Can such a cartoonish thing happen…… in this modern age? No, no, no, no,…..

While I was thinking about all of this, a cat with a samurai topknot came in from somewhere and sat down on her lap.

The cat stared at me and nodded its head.

“Mm-hmm. You seem to have noticed me. Good, good.”


Is it my imagination or ……?

I thought I just heard an old man’s voice coming from a cat with a samurai topknot …….

“My name is Kura. Taro, it is I, of all people, who called you here.”

“The cat spoke!”

I pointed at the cat with the topknot.

“What’s wrong? What’s wrong with Kura?”

She stroked the cat’s head with a puzzled look on her face.

“Didn’t you hear that? That cat just ……! “

“What’s that about ……?”

Don’t tell me I’m the only one who can hear the cat’s voice! Or is it just a hallucination?

“Sorry, Yoshino-san, it’s nothing.”

I sat back down on the futon, glaring at the cat with the topknot …., or Kura, I should call him.

“It’s no use if you ask Yoshino about me. It’s only you who can hear me talk.”


Kura talks to me while Yoshino strokes him.

“I repeat, it was I who brought you to this town. I have a mission for you to fulfill.”


Kula continues.

“First, you must leave this inn and see the outside world.”

–What is this “mission” …… that I must fulfill?

Since I don’t know my way around here at all, I have no choice but to follow this cat’s words.

“Yoshino-san, may I go outside for a bit of fresh air?”

“Yes, of course. I will go with you.”

She then took the cat in her arms and led me to the door.

When we walked out of Sazankatei, I found out that the inn was located almost in the center of the shopping mall.

There were few people walking on the street and quite a few stores were closed. You can’t exactly say the area was bustling.

What surprised me more was the townscape. The old one-story houses that I had seen in textbooks when I was a student were lined up in rows.

“It’s just like the Edo period!”

It was not only the townscape. Everyone walking around the town was wearing old Japanese clothes such as kimonos and hakama.

“Are we in the Edo period?”

“I see you’ve noticed, Taro. This town is Ed, though it’s a little different from the Edo you know.”

Kura grinned at me as I stood stock still there.

“You were reborn in a different world called Ed. And now the year is 2023.”


I was a slave to a Japanese company, but before I knew it, I was in a shopping mall in Ed, where I’m an absolute stranger…… That’s just like a parallel world reincarnation anime!

In Japan, a bunch of “parallel world reincarnation anime” are broadcast, including those where not only people but restaurants or trucks are reincarnated, as if anything can be a hit if something in it is reincarnated into another world.

Do Japanese people want to escape from reality so badly ……?

No, it’s not that. My question is, have I become the main character of such a parallel world reincarnation anime?!

“Taro-san, what did you think when you saw this shopping mall?”

As I was thinking about this and that, Yoshino-san, who was standing next to me, spoke to me with a serious look in her eyes.

I said, “Well, ……to be honest, there are not many customers, and the atmosphere is gloomy. I think it’s slipping away.”

I switched my head and answered seriously. Hearing these words, Yoshino-san began to speak with a dark expression on her face.

She said, “Yes, you would think so. …… Actually, I am the general manager of this shopping mall. I took over the role from my grandfather, my predecessor…… I also took over the Sazankatei together with it at that time.”


Yoshino-san nodded.

“Yes.” she said. “Just before he left this world, my grandfather gave me an assignment., saying, ‘Yoshino, I’ll leave the management of the shopping mall with you.’ ……”

“Oh, really ……”

“I didn’t know my way around about this business, and everything I did was a complete failure. …… Since I took over as general manager, the shopping mall has seen a steady decline in customers. I have no idea what to do to make it as lively as it used to be.”

 Her voice was trembling as she said this.

 This girl is carrying an enormous role on her small back. I felt like I couldn’t leave her alone.

 Then Kula came to my feet, looked up at me from below, and said, “Taro, you’ve understood the mission you must fulfill, haven’t you?”

“What is this about …..? What she just said concerns me? …… No way!”

Kula nodded.

“The shopping mall is now so inactive that it could use a cat’s help. Taro, you must help to revitalize this shopping mall and save Yoshino!”


 …… It is true that today, I am a businessman in the corporate revitalization business. I may be able to use the knowledge I’ve learned on the job to revitalize the shopping mall.

“When the shopping mall gets bustling with customers and full of smiles, I will return you to your original world. What do you think?”

……Then, there’s only one thing I have to do.

“Well, Yoshino-san.”


“Actually, I’m looking for a job right now……. If it’s alright with you, Yoshino-san, I’d like to help you and make the shopping mall lively again.”


Yoshino-san’s face suddenly brightened with a smile, and she nodded her head widely and repeatedly.

 –And so, reincarnated in the Ed period, I would be helping revitalize the abandoned shopping mall.

(To be continued)

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