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Cooking Manga Boom in 2016? Enjoy Imaginary Cuisine in “Dungeon Meshi”

Recently in 2016, Japan’s manga world has started to see many works that are based on “cooking”. They may be divided into two types by its content; one style of manga reports on going to actual restaurants and eating their food, and the other type of manga describes recipes and their impressions. Title: photo 

However, this time we are introducing “Dungeon Meshi (Dungeon Food)”, a gourmet manga that features imaginary cuisine prepared with fictitious ingredients. 

 

Synopsis

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One day a farmer is plowing the field and discovers a big hole.

In the depth of the hole, a skeleton man was hiding.

The man tells that the legendary “Golden Kingdom” has been buried deep in the ground by a wizard.

After telling the farmer that everything in “Golden Kingdom” will be his if he defeats the wizard living underground, the skeleton man turns into dust.

Since then many adventurers have started gathering in order to conquer the dungeon.

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The main character Laios and his group are defeated by the Red Dragon in the dungeon.

The Red Dragon has swallowed Laios’s little sister, Farin in one gulp.

Laios and others wish to rescue the sister Farin, but they have lost most of the money and equipment. They cannot even obtain food to eat.

Then they come up with a solution to save on food expense by eating monsters living in the dungeon.

Thus Laios has decided to go to the depth of the dungeon once again, looking for the Red Dragon that swallowed his sister.

 

Characters

1. Laios

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He is the main character of this story and the leader of the party.

He belongs to the human race, and his role in the party is a “warrior” to fight using a sword.

Though he is the leader, his aptitude is somewhat dubious; he sometimes makes statements without considering other viewpoints, or acts selfishly.

He has rich knowledge on dungeon monsters and their ecology, and he is aware that he is a maniac.

For some time he has been thinking about this idea of eating dungeon monsters and cutting food expense, which he has suggested this time.

2. Marcille

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She is an elf, and her role in the party is a magician and she uses “offensive magic” and “supportive magic”. She can use magic to rescue the dying or revive the dead.

She is an elite magician with both parents working as Royal Mages.

She is a best friend of Farin, Laios’ sister, and she apparently joined the party for this reason.

3. Chilchack

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He is a male of the tribe called “Half-foot (Halfling)”.

His role in the party is “neutralizing traps” and “unlocking treasure chests”.

Incidentally, the tribe name of “Half-foot” is another name for “Hobbit”, which appears in “The Lord of the Rings”.

They look like children, but they are cool and always analyze situations calmly.

4. Senshi

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He is a dwarf male with a long beard that reaches his feet.

His role in the party is “combat” and “cooking”.

Normally a dwarf is knowledgeable on “ore” and “weapons” as a “smith”, but Senshi’s abilities are not in those areas.

He has been living self-sufficiently in the dungeon until he met Laios and others.

5. Farin

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She is Laios’s little sister, and belongs to the human tribe.

She is a priestess with the role of “curing magic” and “removing curses” in the party.

At the beginning of the story she has been swallowed by the Red Dragon, and is now missing.

 

Analysis

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Dungeons are indispensable settings in fantasy games.

This story depicts using monsters living in such dungeons as ingredients, and eating them.

However, the story’s description of dungeons is superbly executed. If you have experience of TV games or RPG board games, many parts of this story will remind you of them.

The atmosphere and worldview of the dungeon is solidly in the lineage of “The Lord of the Rings” as a fantasy. This work is absolutely fascinating for those who love such orthodox fantasies.

And the most important point, the cooking. The recipes and the party’s impressions of food after eating it are described in detail. Though the food is the type readers cannot eat, the story succeeds in making it appetizing.

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“Dungeon Meshi” is a work that is currently ongoing. The food that adventurers eat in the fantasy world is usually limited to the likes of dried meat and wine.  But in this work, a tremendous variety of dishes appear. As you keep reading the story, you cannot help but feel a desire to try them. In addition, the dungeon itself is such that readers would want this story to be adopted into a TV game.

Related Articles:
“Osen”: a Manga That Conveys Japanese Food Philosophy and Tradition

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Berial the Demon

About the author

It has been over 40 years of reading manga in the deep world of manga. Japan’s manga has an endlessly wide variety of genres. I will be recommending special manga for you to read from such infinite amount of works.

View all articles by Berial the Demon
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