Recettear - Recette

Recette Lemongrass, and Tear


Recettear: an item shop’s tale is an indie (“dōjin”) Japanese RPG for Windows released in 2007, and translated in 2010 by an indie localization shop .

It’s a small but cute and funny thing. It also seems to have had an outsize role in the evolution of the Steam video games services, as chronicled here .

This profile is based on the English language version of the game. It includes S P O I L E R S.



  • Real Name: Recette Lemongrass.
  • Marital Status: Single (minor).
  • Known Relatives: Papa (father, missing).
  • Group Affiliation: Partner of Tear.
  • Base Of Operations: The Recettear shop on the main street in Pensée.
  • Height: 4’5” Weight: 90 lbs.
  • Eyes: Brown Hair: Brown

Powers & Abilities

Recette is thick as a plank and seems kinda useless. She has no life experience whatsoever and not much education, leaving her to struggle with even relatively simple concepts.


However she’s good with her hands – she’s quick and competent with various sorts of arts and crafts. It’s not a genuinely marketable skill, but her DIY and decoration skills are handy to run her shop. So those of you who can’t even assemble Ikea furniture right should stop looking down their nose at her.

She is maybe 15, though it’s not as much an hindrance in her heroic fantasy world as it would be in the real world. Living by herself and running a shop full of dangerous things isn’t something that’ll get her in legal trouble, for instance.

Recette is perennially optimistic, friendly and cheerful. Some find it annoying, but generally it helps with her saleswomanship. It also makes it remarkably easy for her to gain friends, since almost everyone sees her as adorable.

As the game advances, it becomes clear that for all her apparent shortcomings Recette has a remarkable impact on people who get to know her (high AURA, in DC Heroes RPG terms). Her generous, simple and loving nature is unusually attaching, and she manages to turn all sorts of people into friends. Including one demon.

And as we all know, friendship is magic.

Ah, I knew that !

She also displayed some odd and sundry skills out of the blue, such as some first aid and knowing edible plants in the area. When asked how she knew this, Recette just giggled.

Having characters suddenly and briefly demonstrate unusual knowledge and/or wisdom is a recurring anime-style gag in the game, represented in game terms by an Omni-Knowledge limited to Familiarities.

The gamemaster should feel free to waive the 5 Hero Points fee if the out-of-the-blue Familiarity is simply used as a joke.

Barter and fusion

As the game advances Recette becomes more proficient at haggling and at running a retail business.

Somehow, she also becomes capable of creating magic items. More precisely, she can reinforce the dweomer  of existing magic items by using arcane ingredients and some sort of magic workshop at the Merchants’ Guild.

Recettear - Recette's sprite, running and skipping

In DC Heroes this corresponds to Occultist (Build Artefacts) at a pretty good level. However, doing anything with it requires very specific components which are usually only found within dungeons, plus a specific magic item whose properties Recette is going to reinforce using the dweomer from the components.

In our game stats, what will likely happens is that Recette uses her Omni-Knowledge to create a short-lived Familiarity with a given recipe – which in practices means a 5 Hero Points fee to create an artefact, approximating the requirements in Merchant Level and components gathering in Recettear.


Tear is a fairy – a very small winged woman. Her on-screen size seems exaggerated so she’s visible. The narration gives the impression that Tear is at most as tall as Recette’s knee, at it is mentioned that she is too small to do needlework. As such her physical abilities are negligible.

Tear is a serious professional trained in commerce, finance and operating among humans. She’s more commonly referred to as a loan shark, though.

She also has magic powers, waving the traditional magic wand around. Her main spell is to make herself and Recette intangible when they accompany an hired adventurer into a dungeon, so they can observe and advise (mostly about which items to bring back) without being in danger.

If the situation goes bad Tear can also make the hired adventurer intangible, but she can only affect so much mass. Thus, if an adventurer is wounded and Recette and Tear want to bring them back to town, they’ll have to leave the adventurer’s backpack and loot behind.

Friendship is magic

Recette and Tear have been authorized to work with a number of adventurers. These persons have given them their professional card, which means the Recettear shop can legally pay them to enter dungeons and loot what they “liberate”.

The adventurers that can be unlocked within 5 in-game weeks (the duration of the core game) are :


Recette is a teenager living in a Generic Fantasy Town in a Generic Heroic Fantasy World from some Japanese CRPG such as Zelda.

Since most of the names and interjections are in French — and the one Japanese-looking character is from far away in the East — it might be a JRPG version of medieval France, albeit with a goofy and tongue-in-cheek tone. The town is named Pensée (“Thought”, though often used in the specific sense of a “kind thought”).

Recettear - Recette's sprite, cheering, side

Since it’s a Generic Fantasy RPG World, there are of course adventurers exploring dungeons (what else ?). When the game opens dungeons have recently been discovered near Pensée, and adventurers are coming to town to use it as a base. The town welcomes the additional business, and the adventurers’ guild is trying to keep things organized.

There’s a theory that the dungeons are somehow alive and sapient – their floorplan changes all the time and they seem to adapt to the strength of explorers. As the game progresses, this theory increasingly seems correct.

The setting is heavily dominated by human activities. For instance Tear, as a fairie, needs to have a job in human society to get enough money to live. However, nobody trust fairies because they can be impenetrable tricksters (among other stereotypes). Thus, she is employed by a placement firm specialized in fairy workers, who teach them from infanthood to be reliable contractors for human business – and acts as a combination training and temp agency.

It was noted that fairies were one of the few species able to join human society, due to their talent for management and administration. Other species, such as gnolls, are thus presumably “monsters” since we’re in Generic Fantasy Setting.

Elves aren’t quite considered monsters, but they still keep their distance from humanity and both species are wary around each other.

Other setting notes

Recettear is a comedy game, so the tone is generally silly – with many references to anachronistic concepts (such as the heroine’s “capitalism, ho !” cry — even though what she does has little to do with capitalism — or adventurers obsessing about “phat lewtz”) and nostalgia about the goofier aspects of early computer RPGs.

Albeit the tech level is heroic fantasy-ish, there are plenty of anachronic items laying around such as a large calculator on Recette’s shop counter and the vending machines she might buy to grow her business.

The business aspects are also modern, though that isn’t as anachronic (many sophisticated ways to handle and make money seem to date way, way back into prehistory). Tear even refers to Adam Smith.

The “magic items shop” is an old RPG tropes, dating back to the late 1970s. To my recollection it has always been controversial, since it turns the wonder of magic into a commercial commodity. But people have a hard time renouncing the allure of convenient shopping, even in imaginary worlds.

The Recettear shop is affiliated with the merchant’s guild. As the guild is powerful and big on maintaining its influence, this shields Recettear from backlash from selling magic items.

The condemnation of magic and magic items by religious authorities has been on the rise recently, and may result in major problems. But for now the merchants’ guild is too influential.

Recette’s name may be a pun in French, where the word means both “recipe” (to cook food, since Recette loves eating) and “receipts” (as in positive cash flow for a business).


Little Recette woke up one day alone in the house – her beloved papa had vanished. She didn’t worry too much, as he was a very strong man. But Mr. Lemongrass did not come back – and the person who knocked at the door 3 months later was a repossession officer from the Terme Financial Company.

Mr. Lemongrass had borrowed a ginormous sum from Terme, apparently to join the adventuring rush in the area. He vanished or was killed whilst fighting a dragon atop a volcano. Since the repo woman (a fairy named Tear) couldn’t locate Mr. Lemongrass, all debts were now borne by little Recette.

The panicked and useless Recette clearly couldn’t raise the money, and though the Lemongrass house was a very nice one selling it and leaving Recette homeless would presumably only recoup part of the losses.

However, Tear proposed a plan B to pay back the debt.

Ye olde magick shoppe

With the dungeoneering boom in the area there was money to be made in buying and selling magic items and adventuring supplies. The Lemongrass house was ideally situated for that – downtown on the main thoroughfare, and with ample floor space to open a shop.

Tear thus offered to restructure the debt and help Recette run a magic items shop for adventurers, until Terme Finance was fully paid off. Having little choice, Recette agreed. Tear stuck around to advise her and teach her commerce and shopkeeping, to minimize Terme losses.

Recettear - Tear's sprite, taking notes with a clipboard

Recette was also popular at the Merchants’ Guild, who liked her missing papa – which meant the commercial license was easily transferred to let her operate, and buy wholesale from the guild.

After the first few days it turned out that Recette wasn’t that dumb – and with ample advice she could credibly run a little, well-located shop in her hometown.

Since Tear was her partner, Recette named her new shop Recettear.

Capitalism, ho !

Since the debt repayment schedule could only be restructured so far, Recette approached the Adventurers’ Guild. The idea was to sponsor a dungeon run and sell the loot. Though she would have been unable to retain a professional adventurer — there’s a whole system of authorizations using certified business cards — she got lucky.

A young man named Louie, from the cold North, had recently arrived into town. However, he couldn’t afford the gear he needed to prove his fighting skills to the Adventurer’s Guild and get his clearance. Tear offered Louie a deal – they’d loan him gear in exchange for resellable loot as he adventured into a dungeon to get his certification.

The partnership was successful – Louie was accredited by the Guild, and the loot was resold as pure profit at the items shop. Louie selected Recettear as his first authorized corporate partner, and they continued to regularly associate in sponsored dungeon runs.

As buzz accrued about Recettear, the shop drew the enmity of Alouette, a girl Recette’s age who was the only child of the owner of the Big Bash mega-stores mega-chain. Alouette (also assisted by a fairy) made big and semi-coherent declarations of rivalry, but these never amounted to much.

Alouette was even dumber than Recette, and actually ended up being one of Recettear’s most lucrative customers as she couldn’t resist buying shiny stuff and had nearly unlimited funds.

Sixteen tons, and what do you get ?

Over the following 5 weeks, Recette and Tear worked hard. They met and contracted new adventurers as they expanded the shop and dealt in increasingly expensive, profitable and powerful wares.

Recettear became *the* top-shelf equipment source and treasure buyer for adventurers, though with Recette’s weakness for “yummy things” it also continued to deal in sweets and food.

Recette also met every step of the schedule, repaying about .8 million pix in bad debt. This wiped the record clean, and saved her house.

As Tear regretfully left her only friend, she randomly discovered that Recette hadn’t kept any sort of accounting and clearly lacked the ability to do that on her own.

Furious, Tear decided to end her contract with Terme Finance and stayed at Recettear to make sure that the books were kept correctly.

Dungeon runners

The Recettear shop kept on trucking, with a renewed focus on hiring adventurers to explore dungeons now that the race against time to repay the debt was won.

Recette and Tear rescued the young Elf archer Tielle, who became an adventurer associate and a friend. They even recruited the vampire-like demon Griff, after being the first to officially enter a whole new, and particularly large, dungeon.

In time they even found papa Lemongrass, though he had gone loco from adventuring fever. Recette chose to leave him to his nonsensical play-acting at being a great adventurer, since he seemed happy and was strong enough to survive anything.

It is even possible that they eventually discovered some truths about how dungeons work, and the link between this and the strange girl who had come to shop at Recettear in recent weeks.


Recette is an anime girl of indeterminate age, speaking in a high-pitched kawaii voice. By far her most common dialogue is some variation over “uuhhh… what ?” as she struggles to understand situations and explanations.



Recette sleeps a lot, usually dreaming that she’s eating delicious sweets. Perhaps because her dreams are always about such wonderful experiences, she harbours boundless amounts of cheer, optimism and naïvete. Her main interest in life is making friends and eating things that are “yummy” (she always says “yummy”).

Recette never even wondered whether her papa was still alive, and though the whole item shop business was a major threat out of the blue she poured her heart into it and enthusiastically did her best to make that adventure a success. She seems to live in an eternal present.

She is easily overwhelmed by… pretty much everything, really. But once Recette gets moving there are no half-measures — for a little while. Left on her own she will soon wander off as he gets distracted by something yummy, and revert to type as the sort of anime girl only interested in sleeping, eating sweets, being nice and frolicking around.

The lass is very friendly, and treats everybody well. She’d like to be everybody’s friend, enjoys small talk, and is devoid of prejudice. While most people despise fairies, Recette doesn’t even seem aware of that and keeps being embarrassingly friendly toward Tear, treating her like family even though Tear is a loan shark who could ruin her life at any moment.

Likewise, after the thief Charme attempted to rob them at knife point, Recette’s second reaction (after panicking at the threat) was to worry about Charme having been wounded by their bodyguard Louie, comment about how cool the lady thief looked, and to encourage her to visit Recettear.

Yep, Recette is daft enough to give the address of her shop full of goodies to a professional thief. That worked out through Recette’s power of becoming everyone’s friend, though.

Recette is also kind and helpful, though at that point she cannot make too many rebates if she wants to keep her house.


Tear is a grumpy, very professional loan shark – though she doesn’t want to be called that, since fairies’ reputation is bad enough as is. Being a repo woman for Terme Finance is likely the least exploitative job she could find among humans, and she does it very seriously.

Though Recette seems remarkably dumb and naïve, Tear persists in teaching her and gradually realizes that her new partner isn’t that dumb. Recette being so friendly and non-judgemental makes Tear uneasy though, as she’s not used to be treated that way and is too wary and cynical.

Tear is greedy, defensive, rational, curmudgeonly, judgemental and likes using complicated words. She quickly comes to care about Recette, but this is clearly against her better judgement.

She’s also very nervous when somebody speaks about the true, devious nature of most fairies. Presumably she finds it hard to control her trickster instincts, though she seems to reliably succeed thanks to a lifetime of training.

One gets the impression that there was some sort of secret plan (why just not evict Recette and sell the house ?) that Tear failed to implement as she grew too attached to Recette. Other people in Pensée, particularly Charme, came to suspect as much – though that may be an effect of prejudice against fairies making everyone second-guess their motives.



“Capitalism, ho !”

“やった !”

(After her first sale ever) “I… sold stuff ! I – me, Recette. I sold stuff. Like, to people. I’m so… I’m so happy ! I did it ! Yayness ! Cheerification !”

“Bwuh ?”

(Panicking as she discovers how much money she owes) “Am I gonna get sold off in parts to distant, foreign lands to repay papa’s debts..? I wonder if I can survive with only 2 internal organs..?” (panicking further) “Maybe if I eat a lot of spinach, that can replace my blood and… ooohhh, but I don’t wanna be a saaaillloooorrr !”

(With a pronounced, adorable young Japanese female accent) “Levelup !”

(Still, as always, in a kawaii voice) “Ikimashō !” (“let’s go !”)


(To Recette) “Your logic, as always, is breathtaking in its faultiness.”

(Facepalming as things go bad) “Et merde…

(To Recette) “Please tell me you have not reached the point where your face is frozen in a vapid smile for all eternity.”

(Before the other person has begun to talk) “Sorry. We automatically refuse to place horse heads in anybody’s bed .”

Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG

Tell me more about the game stats


Dex: 02 Str: 01 Bod: 02 Motivation: Uphold Good
Int: 01 Wil: 02 Min: 02 Occupation: Shopkeeper
Inf: 04 Aur: 07 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 007 HP: 005

Charisma (Haggling): 03, Gadgetry: 03, Medicine (First aid): 02, Occultist (Build Artefacts): 06

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Gadgetry is limited to low-tech arts and crafts.
  • Occultist requires specific components and items, and is limited to specific combinations she has a Familiarity with.

Headquarters (her shop), Luck, Omni-Knowledge (Limited to Familiarities).

The fairy Tear (Low), the merchant’s guild (Low), several adventurers in Pensée.

Age (Young), Debt 2 (to Terme Financial), Innocent, Misc.: body mass is 1 AP.

Odds and ends such as some needles and wire, and perhaps a magical healing ointment.


Dex: 02 Str: -3 Bod: 01 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 03 Wil: 03 Min: 03 Occupation: Repossessor
Inf: 02 Aur: 03 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: 003
Init: 007 HP: 010

Air-walking: 00, Gliding: 01, Shrinking: 05, Spirit Travel: 03

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Shrinking is Always On, Form Function and Already Factored In (movement speed is 2 APs).
  • Air-Walking and Gliding are both Winged.
  • Spirit Travel takes a full minute to activate, and needs a Dice Action every Phase to be maintained. Once it is ended, Tear needs a full night of good sleep before she can use it again.
  • Spirit Travel can be expanded to multiple persons within 0 APs of Tear, but the total weight is limited by the APs of Power. Since Tear’s weight is negligible and Recette weights but one AP, that leaves enough room for a single person as long as they’re not too heavy and aren’t too encumbered.

Charisma (Haggling): 03, Occultist (Occult knowledge): 03

Familiarity (Marketing, Commerce, Retail, Business Accounting), Omni-Knowledge (Limited to Familiarities).

Recette (High), her fairy placement agency (Low).

Misc.: Humans are generally distrustful of and prejudiced against fairies, Misc.: if Tear cannot use her wings for some reason, her movement speed drops to minus 3.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Recettear: an item shop’s tale video game. Recette voiced by Kei Minatsuki ; Tear voiced by Kaeru Hotarubi.

Writeup completed on the 21st of March, 2016.