Delicious in Dungeon Episodes 1-6 Review

Following in the footsteps of Frieren, another show that explores the emotional aspects of tabletop RPG-style adventuring, comes Delicious in Dungeon, a series that focuses on the practical side of these adventures. Based on Ryoko Kui’s manga, which was in turn inspired by tabletop games, Delicious in Dungeon follows a group of adventurers who decide to save money on dungeon crawling by foraging for food in the underground expanse. While the stakes are high and the dangers are real, Delicious in Dungeon feels like a comforting weekly show, with its soothing and humorous obsession with the details of cooking.

Directed by Yoshihiro Miyajima and produced by Studio Trigger, Delicious in Dungeon feels like a high-fantasy food travelogue hosted by a duo of obsessive monster gourmands: Laios and his culinary guide, the dwarven veteran adventurer Senshi. Their traveling companions, the elven mage Marcille and the halfling thief Chilchuck, add humor and depth to their culinary quest. The voice actors truly shine, and the quality of the show’s English dub is notable as well – with SungWon Cho delivering a standout performance as Senshi, a character with gruffness and quirky obsession that is ceaselessly entertaining.

The show’s robust world-building allows for more humor, particularly in references to the history of fantasy and tabletop RPGs, of which Kui is an avid fan. The anime brings Kui’s work to life with its own sense of timing and rhythm, and a playful approach to the visual humor and informational recipes present in the source material. As the series continues, it becomes clear that Delicious in Dungeon is about much more than just meals; it’s about the relationships formed in the pursuit of those meals, the importance of where, with whom, and how the meals are enjoyed, and the results are both beautiful and mouth-watering.

Each episode is named for a dish of the week, but the process of making it is woven into the larger story and it provokes something in the characters and their perception of the underground world they’re exploring. This attention to detail and the characters’ development is what makes the show’s episodic adventures so enjoyable. The main quartet all have strong personalities, which only makes it funnier that they’re constantly risking their lives in the pursuit of a better meal.

Visually, the animation of Delicious in Dungeon is visually sumptuous, making good use of the fun creature designs and taking advantage of every inch of onscreen space for visual gags and heart-stopping encounters. The confined spaces of the dungeon lead to a lot of wide-angle shots and make the most of its forced perspectives. The show’s score, matching its playful sensibilities, is whimsical and upbeat, adding to the overall enjoyment.

Delicious in Dungeon may be just at the beginning of its journey, but it has already found a sweet spot of poking fun at its characters’ flaws and vices without cruelty, and has a clear direction for character growth and memorable moments to come. For now, the show is a welcome respite, a lighthearted and visually delightful adventure that offers a fresh take on the fantasy genre.