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Dungeon Meshi (Delicious in Dungeon) – 13

Unlike Sengoku Youko, Dungeon Meshi is continuing uninterrupted into the spring season.  But there are uncertainties here, to be sure.  It’s only confirmed for 24 episodes, and actually Sengoku is theoretically confirmed for 37.  That’s about enough to properly adapt it, whereas 24 isn’t remotely close with Delicious in Dungeon.  It probably needs twice that (though could maybe scrape by with three cours), and while it seems likeliest it will get two split two-cour seasons, no one has actually said that yet.  The closest we can get even to an inference is that the anime isn’t hurrying in the slightest so far  – it’s adapted 30 of 97 manga chapters.

I don’t think Kui-sensei was exactly hiding the fact that there were going to be consequences to what happened in reviving Falin last week.  But maybe the shit hit the fan faster than some might have expected.  Falin awakes in the middle of the night as if summoned, and returns to the scene of the crime. Waiting for her there is the elf we saw at the end of last week’s episode, and he should have looked familiar if you were paying attention round about late January.  He and Laios certainly know each other.

The Lunatic Magician as he’s universally known is pissed, though seemingly not about the resurrection spell Marcille cast but the death of the red dragon.  In fact he refers to Falin as if she’s the dragon herself, and slacking on her assignment for him.  When the others arrive on the scene the Lunatic Magician immediately starts launching attacks against them using ancient magic, forcing Marcille to give it everything she has just to stop the party getting obliterated.  Eventually he opens the floor beneath their feet and they tumble into a hidden room where the walls start converging, leaving Falin behind.

Fortunately the local spirits take an interest – especially in Marcille, who they drag out through a mysterious hole in the wall, and the others follow.  Marcille and Laios (who’s been pummelled by a supercharged Falin) are effectively unconscious, leaving only Chilchuck and Senshi to plan next steps.  They aren’t alone down there – a party of orcs is in the area, and this odd quarter is merely a curiosity to be disposed of.  That is until Senshi name-drops Zon (the top orc) to the leader of the group, Leed (Murase Michiyo) – his younger sister.

With that Leed is more or less compelled to assist – and when she finds out they killed the red dragon all the more so, as that was doing the orcs a favor, as they daren’t have attacked the red dragon for fear or alienating the Lunatic Magician (which makes Zon kind of a tool).  Orcish medication isn’t exactly refined but Laios and Marcille do get treatment, and Chilchuck asks to be taken to where their belongings were left behind.  Leed, offended by Chilchuck’s argument that he and Senshi should deceive Marcille and Laios in order to get them to return to the surface, is initially disinclined to help.  But Senshi vouches for Chil, and she agrees.

I don’t think there’s any question Chilchuck is the most misunderstood character in the main cast.  Misunderstood by the rest of the cast because of his appearance, and by a lot of the audience.  For me, there’s also no question that he’s the most interesting.  He’s not a powerful warrior or a magician like his comrades.  Extremely good at what he does, yes, and an essential skill it is.  But basically, Chilchuck’s superpower is his intelligence and his common sense.  To be blunt, the other three in the party are idiots.  Loveable idiots (though Laios has his moments) but idiots just the same, each in their own way.  And Chilchuck is the one left to be the adult in the room.

I totally, completely empathize with Chilchuck.  He’s not remotely a coward – his main weakness, if anything, is that he thinks too much.  He cares deeply about his friends (though he’s tsundere about it), only to watch them try and get themselves killed over and over again.  That’s why he stayed when Namari and Shuro bailed – he knew that without his clear-headedness and sense of caution, Laios and Marcille didn’t have a chance.  And that’s why he’s desperate to try and get them to go back to the surface now, in their battered state and with the Lunatic Magician himself apparently having it out for them.  Those dorks are damn lucky to have a friend like Chilchuck.

This is a series that has an awful lot going for it.  The whole food thing is the hook, but it’s a good and interesting one.  The world-building and attention to detail in the mythology is exceptional.  But it’s the character dynamics that really make this series special for me.  The way these oddballs interact is utterly fascinating, and they all come off very much as real people with fully-realized motivations and personalities.  There are a lot of false fronts put forth about what sort of story this is, but more and more the real Dungeon Meshi is starting to assert itself.

The post Dungeon Meshi (Delicious in Dungeon) – 13 appeared first on Lost in Anime.

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