Recently, I did something personally out of the ordinary: I watched a whole bunch of home renovation and improvement shows. Seeing the way they typically play out, I had a thought: what if there was a home renovation isekai series?
For the anime/manga fans out there who have no exposure to this particular world, home renovation shows are frequently found on channels like HGTV, and they often follow a similar pattern:
There’s an old house in need of repair, and a team of experts (often led by a rugged husband and a creative wife) offer to fix it up for the owners who just purchased it. Along the way, they make various decisions on what to keep and what to replace, and in the end, the owners are wowed by transformation. It’s makeover magic for domiciles, and it hits a lot of wish fulfillment buttons for the viewers at home. There are subtle differences between them (the extremely popular Property Brothers stars twins instead of a couple; Home Town is about trying to improve a single small Mississippi Town), but there’s definitely a reliable formula.
“Wish fulfillment.” “Formulaic.” It sounds like the perfect opportunity for an isekai fantasy.
Imagine a story about a homeless guy, down on his luck, who dies in an accident and is transported to a world of swords and sorcery. As a result of his reincarnation, he obtains the unique ability known as Designer Eyes, which allow him to view physical structures in greater depth and detail than any normal being. He meets a cute fantasy girl who’s destined to become his wife—probably an elf or nymph or something with an unexpected background in blacksmithing or whatever—and together, they do everything from lowly huts to fortresses in the sky, spreading their home renovation magic. Whether or not “home renovation magic” is literal more metaphorical is a toss-up.
And if you want some compelling drama, maybe you could set them against an evil house flipper who’s trying to use renovations to squeeze out potential home buyers.
Would there be an audience for something like this? I get the feeling that people who love home renovation shows and people who love isekai light novels are two very different groups, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s at least some overlap.