Monstrous Appetites: The Delights of Delicious in Dungeon

We find ourselves living during a renaissance of accessible anime here in North America. With major publications translating new series every day and anime releasing to most major streaming services, there’s never been a better time to give it a try. And where tantalizing new titles are concerned, there’s few that put the sizzle on the steak quite like Delicious in Dungeon.

A fantasy/action-adventure series originally penned by mangaka Ryoko Kui, Delicious in Dungeon (or the original Japanese title Dungeon Meshi, literally “dungeon food”) offers a little something for everyone. It is equal parts cooking anime, sprawling adventure story, and mind-bending horror, all served up in a pleasing art style that does justice to every element present. 

Delicious in Dungeon primarily follows a rag-tag adventuring party led by human swordsman Laios, whose sister is devoured by a red dragon during an ill-fated quest. With little time to save her, he gathers up a group of fellow dungeon delvers for a desperate rescue mission. The story’s unique premise sets in when the group discovers that they lack the funds to feed them on their journey, and (mostly) agree to compromise by cooking and eating the monsters they encounter along the way.  


Volume one sets us off on our adventure, where we meet our other party members: Marcille, a elven spellcaster less than enthused about eating the things that go bump in the dungeon, and Chillchuck, the half-foot (think hobbit, but a little different) lockpick. The dwarven adventurer Senshi rounds out their group as the only one potentially more excited than Laios about cooking monsters. The clock might be ticking on their rescue mission, but there’s more than enough time for culinary misadventure along the way.

The plot’s major beats are punctuated by recipes, and indeed the idea of cooking and nourishment as a bonding experience and unifying staple of humanity provides the story’s connective tissue. Placed on a slow simmer over underlying tensions between characters, it makes for a rich broth of ideas with subtle nuances that all manage to pack a punch. If you’ve ever wanted a fantasy series that tackles the full socioeconomical repercussions of dungeon-crawling, you’re in luck. 

Readers are advised that while the story starts off as rollicking good fun, Delicious in Dungeon does contain blood, violence, and some nudity, and viewer discretion is advised. With 12 volumes currently available for rest in our library catalogue, any time is a good time to dig into a new series.

Posted in Reviews and Recommendations, Staff Picks.

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