Escape Velocity

A curated Collection of Fantasy and Science Fiction Media

When an adventure deep within the dungeon results in the death of his sister, Laios convinces his adventuring party to rely on unorthodox sources of food to try and save her before time runs out. After all, who’s to say monster parts can’t be just as tasty and nutritious as normal food?

(This review relates to the first season only.)

Quite soon after its release, I saw much praise for the first episodes of Delicious in Dungeon (fan of the alliteration, by the way). The bits and pieces that I glimpsed, left me with a taste of ‘cozy fantasy in a D&D-esque setting’. This, along with the fact that it had been some time since I last enjoyed a Japanese anime, convinced me to give it a try myself.

Like many others, I was immediately charmed by the cozy vibes of one of Delicious in Dungeon’s **core premises: the unique ecosystems of fantasy dungeons and their unexplored culinary opportunities. I was fascinated by this clever perspective and was curious to see how it would play out in later episodes (unfortunately I quickly had to wait for the weekly releases). Though admittedly the show hasn’t (yet?) gone very deep with its worldbuilding in this regard, they give enough to make an often unexplored fantasy setting staple fresh (pun intended). How would multiple creatures live next to each other in a crazy biome such as a dungeon? How would magic play into this? And what is the role of adventurers in this circle of life? Of course, I think the various meals created from monster parts are a nice touch in this.

The main characters of Delicious in Dungeon are charming enough to make the leisurely pace of this series work. As I have a fondness for dwarves, Senshi with his overadvanced cooking utensils was predestined to become one of my favourites. Izutsumi was a great surprise, and also Marcille quickly endeared herself to me. All the characters have some loveable quirks, dark secrets and unique dynamics with the other characters to make their wandering through the dungeon enjoyable.

There’s also plot in Delicious in Dungeon though it’s easy to forget after a few episodes. The characters are on a time-sensitive quest with high personal stakes, and at times there are hints of something bigger happening in the background. When you’ve just gotten used to the cozy cooking shenanigans, Delicious in Dungeon reminds you of some darker aspects of its world and story. I thought it was clever how the series juggles these paradoxical tones.

All in all, I would say Delicious in Dungeon is a comfortable watch that also provides overarching tension through some (heavier) subjects and questions. If you enjoy anime and fantasy, I recommend you watch it.

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