Delicious in Dungeon: Tentacles/Stew
April 5, 2024 1:03 AM - Season 1, Episode 9 - Subscribe

With Marcille weakened from the undine's assault, Team Touden is surprised when another adventuring party comes upon them - with a familiar face in tow. But the realities of how dungeoneering works forces Laios to trade his labor for healing. And the enraged undine is still out there - but Marcille has a plan to kill two birds with one stone, and use it to replenish her mana...

This episode picks up promptly where the last left off, with Team Touden being happened on by another party - Team Floke, consisting of gnome researchers Tansu and Yarn, their adopted tallman children Kiki and Kaka (yes, I can hear you all laughing), and their hired dwarven frontliner Namari - who just happens to be a former member of Team Touden (and who is played in the English dub by non-binary actor Marin Miller.) Marcille has a grudge with Namari for leaving the party after the...unpleasantness with the red dragon, to which she points out that she wasn't going to work for free - though when Marcille collapses from her wounds, Namari does tell her to not overexert herself, in a manner that suggests there's more going on with things than she's admitting. Laios asks for healing if the Flokes have a healer, but Tansu notes that the rule of the dungeon is that nothing comes for free - and so if Laios wants healing, he'll need to pay with either coin or in kind, and kelpie meat won't cut it.

Laios warns the Flokes about the undine ahead, to which Tansu brags that gnomes have a kinship with spirits, so they'll be fine. Problem is, said undine is still rather pissed about a) having boiling water poured on it and b) being repeatedly blown up, so it's in no mood to talk, promptly firing a hydrojet that holes Namari through her head as Tansu uses the dwarf as a meat shield. But as we quickly see after they retreat back, death in the dungeon is cheap, as once the injury is healed, Namari is restored to life...and promply shakes Tansu like a polaroid as she calls him out for using her as a meat shield (and from her language, it's clear this isn't the first time.) Senshi is chilled from the scene of the revival, mentioning that the dead easily coming back to life is unnatural - which Tansu agrees with, noting that the arcane magics of the dungeon have warped the place, chaining souls to their dead bodies in a twisted mockery of the natural order. With that, Tansu makes Laios a deal - assist him with his research, and he will heal Marcille's wounds - a deal that Laios takes.

Moving forward, Laios takes out Kensuke to cut the tendrils impeding their path, resulting in Namari chewing him out over it - being a dwarven weaponsmaster, she has Opinions about weapons and tells him to get a good dwarven sword, before chewing Senshi out over the (frankly appalling) state of his axe. She then apologizes for her candid opinion, but Laios notes that he respects her skill with weapons and thus her advise, before stopping as Kensuke something. Tansu questions Laios' reaction, but Namari notes that as a seasoned adventurer, Laios' senses are worth trusting. Tansu responds by having Kiki fire a quarrel down the stairwell, which results in the tallman getting seized by a mass of tentacles up on the ceiling, pulling her in. Laios borrows Senshi's helm to go in after her (telling Namari he's putting his faith in her and Senshi)...and her crossbow, which he frees to have Namari use it to kill the mass. Releasing both Kiki and Laios, the two are...mostly none the worse for wear, barring the swelling from the tentacle's venom.

Returning to the camp, Tansu holds up to his end of the bargain, while we see a swollen Laios...and Senshi has his hand swollen around a tentacle, which they prepare for a snack while waiting for Senshi's hand to release. After healing Kiki, Tansu heals Marcille, which has the elf back on her feet - and snarking at Namari, starting the fight from earlier back up. Furthermore, the undine is still a problem, and will likely continue to be for a week given an undine's life cycle. In addition, while Marcille is physically better, her mana is completely depleted - resulting in Laios asking the Flokes to bring Marcille to the surface to recover. Marcille responds by asking Namari to rejoin Team Touden, but Chilchuck points out that doing so would have significant negative repercussions on the dwarf's reputation as an adventurer. In response, Marcille declares that she's going to use the undine to restore her mana - which causes the undine to have a momentary quiver of fear.

After thinking it through, Marcille notes that they could use Senshi's pan to cook the undine - something that Namari confirms as she notes that it's made of adamantine, and can easily withstand the undine's attacks. The problem is that Laios, being a tallman, does not have the might a dwarf does. As a result, the undine strike knocks Laios on his back, and almost leads to his being killed - until Namari rushes in to save him. Shouldering one half of the pan each, Namari and Senshi successfully contain the undine and get it over the fire, holding the lid down until the undine goes silent. With that, Marcille takes a drink of the heated undine - and then Senshi suggests that using it to cook would improve mana absorption even better.

The result is that it's Marcille's turn to be the cook, making undine and kelpie stew using the dungeon vegetables and the tentacles. After some time to cook, the elf tastes the stew, and a happy little tongue sticking out as she tastes it confirms that it's ready. The rest of the two parties return, having found that there are more tentacles in the other tower impeding descent to the castle town. Marcille then offers a shared meal, and after eating some of the stew, it's clear the plan worked as her staff shows signs of life. Namari thinks that the choice to have to eat monsters is a desperate strategy, until she tastes the stew and realizes that it's actually quite good. With that, Namari has a heartfelt discussion with Tansu, telling him that she wants to be a part of Team Floke - and with that convinces them to share a meal with Team Touden. Finally, the two parties bit each other farewell, with Team Touden now prepared to work to descend to the castle town - where the red dragon awaits.
posted by NoxAeternum (4 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
So, after the more laid back pacing of the previous episode of the prior episode, we get a more dense episode that actually does a decent amount of exposition about the nature of the dungeon, as well as getting to learn more about Namari (who we only saw briefly in episode 1 prior to this.) The point about the souls being chained helps us understand more about how revival magic works (which is going to become important in a few episodes), and the interactions with the Flokes does a lot to help flesh out how the world works and the social dynamics between adventurers, along with Chilchuck's comments about how the adventurer community works.

We also get more insight into Laios as well, and that he does respect the skills that party members bring to the table and trusts in his party, which again shows his leadership skills, and why he's the head of Team Touden. The undine cooking plan is a highlight of the episode, as it results in solving both the "there's a spirit with murder on its mind" problem as well as the "Marcille's out of mana" problem. Marcille being the cook also reflects how she's become adjusted with dungeon food - and her adorable "yum!" tongue pose never fails to make me smile.

As with prior episodes, Swamp Jawn has a breakdown of the episode and how it was animated and how it adapts the manga that's worth a watch to learn about these elements of animation design.
posted by NoxAeternum at 1:20 AM on April 5 [2 favorites]

The bit where the main cast are eating the tentacle is interesting. They all have different reactions (Laois thinks it's delicious, Senshi thinks it could be prepared better, Marcille thinks it's sour, and Chilchuck only tastes the vinegar.) I'm not sure what the takeaway is supposed to be, though. Individual, cultural, or racial differences?

Mr. Tansu thinks Senshi has a tough job being the leader.

Magic in this world is basically midichorians.

The dub uses "adamantine" but in Japanese it's just "adamant", the word is exotic as is.

Senshi and Namura burn their hands on the pot. And Senshi is someone who checks cooking oil with his thumb.

Namura's bowl of hotpot before she tastes it looks desaturated, and after she tastes it it's bright and vibrant.

Mrs. Tansu's unexplained necklace of rodent(?) skulls.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 10:08 AM on April 5

I took an instant dislike to Tansu. He was far too casual about putting Namari in harm's way, revival or not. I wouldn't feel too bad if he got eaten by a mimic.
posted by SPrintF at 10:23 AM on April 5

Yeah, Tansu's definitely an arrogant ass. But, he does genuinely love his adopted kids (as we see with his panic over Kiki's seizure by the tentacles), and other support materials note that when Namari gets killed in his service, she does receive hazard pay for it.

...have I noted how good Ryoko Kui is at world and character design? I'm sure I have, but some more gushing won't hurt.
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:55 AM on April 5 [1 favorite]

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