Delicious in Dungeon Vol 1 (Yen Press)
Words & Pictures : Ryoko Kui
[eds note: Delicious in Dungeon is published as a Right to Left reading manga]
Laios Thorden is an adventurer and aspiring hero of the realm.
He assembles a group of heroes, brave and true, comprising of his sister Farlyn and their friends Marcille the Wizard and Chilchuck the Rogue. Together they set off to explore the ruins of the sunken Golden Castle.
Everything is going just fine until a encounter with a hungry Red Dragon leaves Laios and his party penniless, decimated and destitute with nothing to their names but the tools of the trades and the armour on their backs.
Luckily a chance encounter with a wandering dwarf gourmand inspires and invigorates Laios with an idea for a fresh start that just so crazy it might work.
Delicious in Dungeon is a smart and funny parody of the traditional tropes of Dungeons and Dragons / Heroic Fantasy Fiction and Japanese Cooking Manga.
It’s l”What if Game of Thrones was more like Iron Chef” or “Lord of the Rings meets Great British Bake off with a dash of Guy Fieri thrown in for good measure”
It pokes fun at the way fantasy fiction typically dismisses the more mundane details of everyday life with the wave of a gauntleted hand.
Important details like:
What are our Heroes going to eat today?
How would the economy of a town whose primary industry is supporting adventuring parties function?
Why you should starve a Green Slime for a fortnight before eating it?
What is the best balanced diet for an aspiring Adventurer?
Each of the 7 Chapters of this first of four volume is dedicated to a specific quest or should I say meal. Out intrepid heroes have dedicated themselves to sampling the finest dungeon delicacies on their mission to rescue Farlyn from the dragon’s clutches.
It turns out that Senshi, the Dwarven Warrior, is an old hand at dungeoneering who combines a love of questing with a knack for cooking and an encyclopedic knowledge of recipes for cooking everything from basilisk eggs to screaming mandrake.
Giant Scorpion Hot Pot, sounds delicious!
Basilisk and Mandrake Omelette, I’ll take two please!
Deep fried fillet of Giant Cave Bat, now that’s finger looking good!
Each quest comes complete with a recipe and nutrition guide for each of Senshi’s Signature Dishes along with the wisdom he’s acquired for years of exploring the crypts, castles and catacombs of this fantasy realm.
Delicious in Dungeon is rare treat, no pun intended. It’s a loving parody of a genre which is notorious for taking itself just a LITTLE too seriously.
The episodic nature of the format makes each chapter feel like the episode of a cartoon while creating ways to keep the story fresh within the dungeon delving formula. Each of the characters is a clever caricature of a classic adventuring stereotype which is fleshed out over this first of four volumes.
At the end of this first volume you’re left hungry for more (OK you can blame me for that one).
Who knows what trials, tribulation and delicious desserts are waiting in the dark depths of the Golden Castle.
Will Laios saves his sister?
Will Marcille ever eat a “normal” meal again or is dungeond food all day every day from here on out?
Will anyone take Chilchuck’s trap finding skills seriously?
Will Senshi finally find out what red dragon shabu shabu tastes like?