Saturday, November 24, 2018

REVIEW: Delicious in Dungeon (manga, vols. 3-4) by Ryoko Kui, translated by Taylor Engel

Delicious in Dungeon is a food manga featuring fantasy foods so delicious-looking, you'll wish you could eat them.

I was iffy about this series when I read it during my last vacation. I decided to continue on, and I'm glad I did. Kui didn't drag things out as much as I expected, and I enjoyed the combination of weirdness, humor, and occasional serious moments. I'd like to continue this series during my next vacation.

Delicious in Dungeon (manga, vol. 3) by Ryoko Kui, translated by Taylor Engel - This one took me a bit to get my bearings on since I hadn't realized that these guys would appear again and therefore hadn't really mentioned them in my past posts. I believe this volume starts with the same party that the series regulars came across back when they found the treasure insects. They're revived and continue on, only to be killed yet again by fish-men. The series regulars see them, are attacked by a kraken, and make a meal out of kraken parasite meat - kraken, as it turns out, isn't tasty like real squid. They also make a porridge using grain and waterweed collected from fish-men. Then Marcille uses up all her mana battling an angry Undine. The party comes across an old party member, a female dwarf named Namari. With her help, they eventually defeat and eat the Undine, which restores Marcille's mana. After that, the party wears Giant Frog skins to survive a tentacle choked area.

This is still a creative and fascinating series, even if Laios' and Senshi's insistence on figuring out how to eat literally everything they come across in the dungeon is a bit ick. The kraken parasite meal made my skin crawl. (And Laios deserved what he got for eating one of those things raw.)

In this volume, readers learn that Marcille and Falin met in school - Falin was skipping class to read in a real dungeon, which she'd observed enough to learn a lot about (back to the whole "dungeon ecosystem" thing). Marcille, meanwhile, wanted to learn how to create a safe dungeon, a place with all the benefits of a real dungeon (access to goods that can only be grown or found in a dungeon) but without the danger.

As usual, the story got a bit ridiculous, but in ways that made sense. I laughed at the "okay then, I'll just drink the Undine to fix my problems" part (only these characters would propose drinking or eating the thing that nearly killed them in order to continue on). And the frog suit was silly and gross, but otherwise a believable solution to their paralytic tentacle problem.

Delicious in Dungeon (manga, vol. 4) by Ryoko Kui, translated by Taylor Engel - This starts with Namari and the Tansus' party, along with an ominous reminder that resurrection spells don't always work. Also, there's a bit of fantasy politics: the elves say the dungeon belongs to them and they want it back. Mr. Tansu tells the local lord to stall. Meanwhile, Laios' party has finally caught up to the red dragon. Although they're woefully outmatched, desperate and risky moves help them win. Unfortunately, Falin has been reduced to mere bones. Marcille uses dark magic to revive her, which may have pissed off an elf (the one from the painting back in volume 2?).

This was a fun volume, with lots of action (and, of course, more cooking). I really liked Kui's artwork - not only is this a delicious-looking food manga, the action scenes are clear and easy to follow.

I was really surprised that Laios and the others came across the red dragon so soon. I figured that particular storyline was going to be dragged out for at least another few volumes. It'll be interesting to see where the series goes from here. It bugged me a bit that not a single person from the party asked Marcille why the spell she performed is considered dark magic and what its drawbacks are. I have a feeling that's going to be extremely important in the next volume or two.

I loved the revelation that Senshi has cookware that doubles as high-quality shields and weaponry.

I'm looking forward to continuing this series. I want to see where the elf storyline goes, and I'm sure that the dragon's presence on the fifth floor, an area where it isn't usually found, is important in some way. And hey, the entire party still has to make it out of the dungeon somehow.

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