Review Details

Review type: TV

Title: Delicious in Dungeon

Director: Yoshihiro Miyajima

Streaming Service: Netflix

Delicious in Dungeon

Reviewed by: Matthew Palmer

Other details: Based on the manga by Ryōko Kui. Written by Kimiko Ueno

Delicious in Dungeon by Yoshihiro Miyajima

Matthew Palmer

Deep in the depths of a deadly dungeon, a brave adventuring party faces off against a massive red dragon. Unprepared for the fight and exhausted by their travels, it is not going very well. One of the party’s spellcasters, Falin, teleports her friends to the surface, including her brother, the warrior Laios, her best friend, the Elf Spellcaster Marcille, and the Half-foot trap specialist Chilchuck. The last thing they see is the dragon swallowing Falin whole. Death is not necessarily the end in the dungeon, and the three of them decide to descend into the dungeon as quickly as possible to defeat the dragon and recover Falin’s body for resurrection. To overcome their lack of supplies -All left in the dungeon by their rapid escape- Laios has a plan: rather than buying rations for the journey, why not just survive off the monsters they kill along the way? While this doesn’t go well for them at first, they soon meet a strange Dwarf named Senshi, who decides to join their quest and teach them the fine art of dungeon cuisine…

One of the questions that plagues anime fans is how it is best to introduce people to Anime. As a medium, it can suffer from a high bar for entry. Finding the right show that minimalizes the problematic elements that so many anime trades on can be a real challenge. Allow me then to present one of the latest items on the menu, An entrée that has every potential to whet your appetite for more.

The recipe is simple. First, take a fantasy world with many of the aesthetics and tropes of dungeons and dragons. Add just enough originality to be surprising without losing the comfortingly familiar taste. Sprinkle with a group of Characters who are brave, resourceful, and sincere, but be sure they retain enough stupidity to be entertaining. Next, stir in a variety of monsters, ones that will test more than just the physical strength of the characters. Seep the mix in history to add depth and texture, rewarding those who consume the whole dish. When the setting has been seasoned, wrap it around a cooking show prepared with the same degree of care as the elements of fantasy. Marinate the whole thing in gentle comedy, and when cooked to perfection, Serve on Netflix in twenty-four portions. Be sure to offer a Dubbed version of equal quality for those with a subtitle intolerance.

 Ok, I’ve had my fun, but what can I say? Delicious in Dungeon makes me strap on a sword, slay a monster and then slow roast it over an open fire in an adamantine wok. Its many ingredients come together in such an appealing package. If you are a fan of deep worldbuilding, the ecology of the dungeon and the reason that it exists will be fascinating. Fans of action will enjoy the beautifully animated fight scenes and innovative solutions the adventurers use to overcome their foes. Fans of Cozy Fantasy will love the camaraderie of the characters as they slowly come to know each other better through the medium of food. If you happen to be all of those things, like me, Delicious in Dungeon should be a must-watch.

As I alluded to above, Anime has a well-deserved reputation for problematic use of female characters for the benefit of a male audience. Even in that regard, this show is marvellously restrained, especially for the producing studio, Trigger, who has a bit of a reputation in that regard. I think that there is a single scene that might qualify in those terms, but it is very brief and very mild, so if that sort of thing has put you off Anime in the past, this is a show I would recommend. The first season of Delicious in Dungeon is available on Netflix, and a second season is currently in production.

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