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Delicious in Dungeon season one review – an entrée so good, I can't wait for dessert

When a Scrumptious in Dungeon anime was introduced means again in 2022, I instantly felt excited. I used to be an enormous fan of what I might learn of the manga on the time, and listening to the information that it was being dealt with by none apart from Studio Set off – the identical animation workforce that is overseen initiatives like Kill la Kill, Little Witch Academia, and Promare, all of which have an unbelievable power to them – did nothing to place me off. After all, that meant that there have been some massive expectations for Set off’s adaptation of Scrumptious in Dungeon to match – those that cherished the manga actually cherished it, so Set off actually could not afford to mess it up.

Fortunately, I do not assume it did! When it began airing means again in January, I’ll admit that I felt a bit of nervous about how the collection was going to play out. The primary couple of episodes have been good, however animated conservatively for essentially the most half, which felt unusual given Set off’s historical past of actually going on the market when it got here to sillier tales. It did not take lengthy for these nerves to be put to mattress, fortunately, as alongside got here the third episode, which might be one among my favorite episodes of the season. It was because of this episode, which supplied a novel tackle a traditional fantasy RPG enemy – residing armour – that I knew Scrumptious in Dungeon was in good palms.

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The entire episode had such a particular look to it, distinct from the earlier two episodes, and one that did not crop up once more all through the remainder of the season, which is partially why it nonetheless stands out a lot. This is not to say the remainder of the present felt disappointing, removed from it. Quite a few different episodes had pockets of animation used at precisely the appropriate time to intensify the ‘what the hell is happening’ feeling of all of it. That is essentially the most shocking factor about Scrumptious in Dungeon – the locations it goes.

You’d assume a present about dungeon crawling and consuming the monsters you beat alongside the best way would simply be a foolish, good, enjoyable time, which it nonetheless is in fact, however with out veering too closely into spoiler territory, it is sort of… f**ked up. Your complete quest the protagonists embark on is to avoid wasting best-boy Laois’ sister after she’s been eaten by a dragon, and the outcomes of stated escapade have unexpected penalties. Manga creator Ryoko Kui offers excellently with the steadiness of physique horror and comedy, however that may simply get misplaced in an animated translation. I believe exterior of the animation, what actually sells all of it are the vocal performances.

I watched the Japanese dub (please do not argue about this wherever, each sub and dub are good) and just about each character was solid completely. Sayaka Senbongi (Jojo’s Weird Journey: Golden Wind) captured Marcille’s moments of concern over having to eat monsters completely, Asuna Tomari (Armored Core 6) made Chilchuck really feel just like the grown grownup he truly is, and Hiroshi Naka (The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild) gave Senshi the vary of feelings he deserved. However, I’ve to confess the star of the present is definitely Kentaro Kumagai as Laois.

Kumagai hasn’t actually achieved all that a lot voice appearing, Laios being his first lead function. And but, he feels excellent for it – each aspect of Laios’ awkwardness, loveableness, even hateability (he is sort of oblivious to, properly, all points of socialising) are all displayed so brilliantly, I do not assume I’ve seen an animated character dropped at life so properly earlier than simply through an individual’s voice. It is a efficiency that can follow me for a very long time, and I am significantly excited to see what Kumagai will do in season two (which has been confirmed, for those who did not know).

I might be remiss if I did not point out the rating a minimum of a bit of bit, significantly as a result of it was composed by none apart from Yasunori Mitsuda. Sure, the identical Yasunori Mitsuda behind the soundtracks for video games like Chrono Set off, Xenogears, and far more. You could possibly simply plop Mitsuda’s Scrumptious in Dungeon tracks into an precise RPG, with themes conceivable enjoying as you discover completely different cities, or maybe even cook dinner up just a few meals. The horns that play every time Senshi finally ends up a meal specifically are as triumphant as they’re humorous.

In my expertise, it is fairly uncommon for an adaptation to return collectively like this, the place the sum of its components add as much as a really particular complete. One thing is sure to collapse someplace; perhaps there is a voice actor who simply is not giving it their all, the animation feels stilted, it simply cuts components out or adjusts issues in ways in which really feel so radically completely different that it is barely an adaptation in any respect. However Set off has managed to tug it off with Scrumptious in Dungeon, its first manga adaptation, permitting it to plant its toes firmly within the floor and say ‘yeah, we have nonetheless received it’.

Greater than something, at this level I am simply excited for the second season. I’ve learn the manga, so I do know what we’re in for, and pretty much as good as the primary a part of Scrumptious in Dungeon is, it is actually within the again half when the collection shines. Animation takes some time, I would not be stunned if season two did not arrive till 2026 if we’re unfortunate, however that is okay – it simply means I’ve received time to digest the primary course.

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