Learn How to Cook Classic Dungeon Monsters in New Manga
posted on by Eric Stimson
If you've ever wondered what the heroes of RPGs subsist on during their long, perilous journeys, or speculated on how some of the strange beasts they encounter would taste like, a new manga is here with some answers. Ryōko Kui's Dungeon Meshi ("Dungeon Food"; English title: Delicious in Dungeon) follows a party of travelers as they negotiate treacherous dungeons and live off of the monsters they encounter within.
The knight Laios sets out with a skilled party to claim the treasure of a lost kingdom buried deep beneath the graveyard of a small village. Unfortunately, they were bested by a Flame Dragon, who ate Laios's little sister, Farin. Although the party managed to teleport out of the dungeon, they left their equipment behind and were penniless. Demoralized, the party broke up. Now Laios must tackle the dungeon again, and with only one month to save Farin before she is digested.
Laios assures Marcille the scorpion is safe to eat. Could he have been mistaken?
Given that hunger was the primary reason for the party's lackluster performance in its battle with the dragon, Laios decides to live off of the creatures within the dungeon as much as he can. He finds two new companions, a "half-foot" locksmith named Chilchack and an elf magician named Marcille, but they're dismayed at the prospect of eating slimes, scorpions and roots. Luckily, they're joined by a well-prepared if not very personable dwarf, Senshi, who's been cooking dungeon monsters for a decade and is eager to teach Laios's party.
Marcille draws a line at eating roots, given that they're beneath a graveyard.
While the premise may be similar to Toriko, many of the monsters the party encounters are not particularly tasty (some are even poisonous), and the manga focuses on the preparation and cooking methods that would be needed to make these imaginary creatures palatable. Dungeon Meshi includes enemies familiar to generations of RPG enthusiasts, like slimes, basilisks, carnivorous plants, and walking armor — though instead of vanishing only to leave a sack of gold, these enemies are butchered and roasted over a fire. Topics other fantasy manga ignore, like the anatomy of a slime and the true identity of walking suits of armor, are elaborated on, often in great detail.
Slimes are delicious, but only when washed and sun-dried for weeks. Senshi has devised a portable slime-drying net to carry on his back while dungeon-crawling.
Dungeon Meshi has been published in Harta (A Bride's Story, Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto) since February 2014, but the first volume went on sale on January 15, 2015. It rapidly sold out both in online and physical retailers, and is still out of stock on Amazon.co.jp as of press time. If you'd like to read seven more sample pages, see Comic Natalie (Japanese only).
In this omake ("Odds and Ends about Monsters"), the ecology of monsters is expanded upon even beyond what's in the main manga.