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Dungeon Meshi (Delicious in Dungeon) – 17

We’ve had some Dungeon Meshi episodes on either extreme of its stylistic spectrum recently. This one was an all-rounder, and a great one too. Action-packed and full of darkness and uncomfortable self-reflection about its cast (especially the protagonist). I think one of the greatest among this series’ many strengths is how wide that sweet spot is – it can go in so many directions and do so successfully. Everyone in it is flawed, some in very dangerous ways, and while it’s easy to forget that when it turns on the easy charm, it always reminds you sooner or later. Sometimes in pretty bracing form.

One of the fundamental truths about Dungeon Meshi for me is that Laios is a freak. And a really annoying one sometimes, too. Seriously, this guy is just not normal. I mean whose first reaction, upon seeing his little sister appear in the form she did this week for the first time, would be “that’s so cool”? Never mind the fact that she was in the process of laying waste to Shuro and Kabro’s parties at the time. The frustration we see those around him express is eminently understandable as far as I’m concerned. He has formidable skills to be sure, but I’d think very hard before hitching my wagon to that horse.

I’m fine with this, because the series makes no excuses for him. We get Laios warts and all, but it’s rare to see his flaws pointed out as overtly as they were this week.  And Marcille too. If I were in the Kabro or Shuro parties I too would be absolutely furious at their seeming indifference to the devastation Falin was causing, their concern only that she not be hurt in the act of stopping her. And it’s not like stopping her would be easy even if one intended to kill her. Attacks magical and martial seem to have only a momentary impact, and she quickly returns to killing adventurers.

Eventually the cumulative impact of the attacks – especially by Shuro’s mage Maizuru – seems to weigh on Falin, and she launches one last devastating spell and flees the scene. Behind her she leaves seven dead (including Kabro) and many wounded (although not Senshi, who never put down the tray with Shuro’s meal during the the entire battle). Holm can resurrect, and he starts with his leader, Kabro. Kabro then orders him to revive Maizuru on the grounds that she too can perform resurrection magic. Marcille can too of course – but no one in the other parties is going to let her go anywhere near that after the truth about her black magic use got out.

I don’t think there’s any two ways about it – using black magic was an act of arrogance on the part of Marcille and Laios both. And quite in character in that way. Shuro’s dismay over this is understandable. Not only did he love Falin (he’d proposed to her in fact, and was awaiting her answer when she fell), but he loves the law and decency. What those two did was against everything he believes in and what’s worse, it seems to have led to Falin becoming a hideous chimera. Yet he knows he might have done the same himself, and this unsettles him even more.

Shuro says he’s going to the elves and telling them everything, with the intent of having them put Falin out of her misery and stopping her from doing any more harm. Laios counters with his own plan – defeat the Lunatic Magician. Kabro observes the pair of them and muses on what he should do next. Eventually Laios and Shuro come to blows and it’s clear this has been a long time coming between the pair of them, Falin or no Falin (though that hugely exacerbated the issue). These three very different young men offer a fascinating contrast in outlook and approach, and it’s hard not to feel a little sorry for Shuro – he’s almost shockingly straightforward and transparent compared to these two weirdos.

Over harpy omelet (Kabro’s course of action here is very revealing about just what a freak he is) and Shuro’s long-overdue lunch plate a truce is more or less agreed, and Shuro elects to head back to the surface with the pronouncement that he’s never returning. He does give Laios a bell to use as a sort of last resort emergency beacon. Kabro ponders on the fact that Laios might just be crazy enough to succeed at the impossible task he’s set out for himself, and wonders if that would be a good thing in the big picture. And the main foursome head off, once more on their own, to face an enemy no one in their right mind would want anything to do with.

The post Dungeon Meshi (Delicious in Dungeon) – 17 appeared first on Lost in Anime.

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