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Delicious in Dungeon First Thoughts

Delicious in Dungeon First Thoughts

Posted on 15 Feb 2024

Delicious in Dungeon is another "Netflix Anime", exclusively streaming on the platform with new episodes added each week. I'd only seen episode 1 (but had read a few volumes of the manga) before interviewing director Yoshihiro Miyajama on The UK Anime Network, so thought I'd recap my thoughts on this rather bizarre fantasy anime over here.

Answering the question "what happens when Record of Lodoss War becomes a cooking show", Delicious in Dungeon starts with a battle against a red dragon, during which party leader Laios loses his sister Falin to the stomach of the giant beast, but not before she can transport the party to safety. Sadly in doing so, they left only with what they were carrying, so they have no money or provisions with which to start over. Half the party quit (probably wise) while Laios, elf magician Marcille and halfling thief Chilchuck resolve to rescue Falin before the dragon can digest her.

Without money or items to sell, the team make the difficult decision to survive by eating the monsters of the dungeon, reasoning that if there's an eco-system, they can integrate with it. After one particularly nasty attempt using a walking mushroom and a scorpion, the team are approached by an impressed dwarf named Senshi, a cook with an eye for monstrous ingredients. Having showed the party how to cook a delicious meal using the captured ingredients, he joins up to explore the culinary delights to be found further inside the dungeon, no matter how much Marcille objects. 

Delicious in Dungeon
Senshi knows best - preparing some monster meat for the party

Delicious in Dungeon is an interesting show - it really goes into quite a lot of detail in how to prepare imaginary beasts for a meal, going so far as to suggest storage and preparation for individual ingredients as well as in-depth commentary on their health benefits. It's all presented in a fun and light-hearted way, the perfect compendium of nonsense recipes for those that love to dive into fantasy lore.

There's a lot of time spent on cooking in the first episode, so my hope is that we'll see some meaty plot progression added to the mix over the next few episodes. Falin's plight adds a ticking clock to proceedings, though I was quite surprised to see how casually the rest of the party took her impending digestion. Even if she won't be consumed for a few days, surely she can't breathe?

Studio Trigger do their usual deft job of creating bright visuals, stylish animation and bringing life to the characters, though honestly I don't think the designs are all that striking or memorable - Lodoss, .Hack and Granblue Fantasy arguably have more appealing characters, but again it'll be down to the story and where it takes us before we can start to attach ourselves to the cast.

I'll be reviewing the whole series for UKA, which I'm looking forward to, not least because the outtro had a lot more in the way of characters to show off, so an expanded cast suggests more conflict and drama. It's an interesting mix, but it won't be earning a Michelin star until it adds some more spice to proceedings.

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