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Delicious in Dungeon eps 1-13
Delicious in Dungeon eps 1-13

Delicious in Dungeon eps 1-13

Written by Ross Locksley on 09 Apr 2024


Distributor Netflix • Certificate NA • Price NA


As Delicious in Dungeon lands on its halfway mark, the series reaches a natural break and as such, I figured it was time to dive in beyond my First Thoughts article on our sister site and dive into the first major story arc for what appears to have been a monster hit globally.

The setup is simple - a dungeon exploration party runs afoul of a red dragon, losing one member and seeing a number of others quit since all the treasure was lost in the escape. This leaves three friends prepared to go back into the dungeon - adventurer Laios, lockpick and trap expert Chilchuck and Elven magician Marcille. However, despite their noble intentions they have very few resources, forcing them to survive on what they can find and cook in the dungeon itself - but can they even eat monsters?

Delicious in Dungeon
Eating... monsters you say?

Fortunately the trio run into Senshi, a Dwarf who has spent years learning about the eco-system of the dungeon and experimenting with various ways of cooking the dangerous creatures that lie within. Good natured (if a little grubby) it's not long before he joins the party so that they can find and eat everything that's delicious - in dungeon.

To be fair, I found this a little bland at first - yes, the premise was entertaining enough, but just finding weird creatures and creating imaginative dishes didn't provide much in the way of a compelling narrative, but thankfully this kicks in after about four episodes, when the threats become more pronounced and a sense of urgency begin to take hold, 

What does come across, even in the early episodes, is that a lot of thought has gone into the dungeon. It's a man-made phenomena and as such it has masters and serves both political and societal functions. While the cooking is very interesting, it was the environment that really caught my imagination, with even the rules of existence being somewhat skewed, right down to death being a barrier that can be broken. Once a few more parties make appearances and some darker mysteries are alluded to, things become really rather tasty indeed. We have plenty of action, exciting creature encounters and some shadowy forces working against our gang, all of which gives Studio Trigger plenty of opportunity to create their signature set pieces. 

On a technical level this is fairly solid animation by today's standards, but it's really the monster designs that make the world come to life. I'd go so far as to say that the actual character designs are a little bland, but if the amount of posts and figures I've seen of Marcille are anything to go by, at least one character from the show has been a massive hit!  The music has a pleasing folksy vibe, and while I loved the opening to the first half of the series, the new opening from episode 14 is a pretty unmemorable pop song that I can't remember a bar of. A shame as I really loved Bump of Chicken's "Sleep Walking Orchestra", which ends with a joyous acoustic chorus that really lingers.

Delicious in Dungeon - Marcille
Marcille has been the series' breakout character

By the end of the first arc I felt fully satisfied with the menu; it has a bit of everything for fans of fantasy, adventure and mystery. The cast gel well together, each bringing something unique to the table and even the English dub is pretty good (though the original language will always be the first option).

There's another 13 episodes airing weekly on Netflix, so if you've missed Delicious in Dungeon so far, now is the perfect time to start bingeing.

9
Taking a little time to set out its stall, the series manages to serve up a tantalising tale that should go down easy with fantasy fans.

Ross Locksley
About Ross Locksley

Ross founded the UK Anime Network waaay back in 1995 and works in and around the anime world in his spare time.


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