Delicious in Dungeon: Sea Serpent
April 15, 2024 1:20 PM - Season 1, Episode 14 - Subscribe

With the intensity of the past few episodes, it's perhaps a good pallette cleanser to go back and see how the comic relief is doing, and...did Kabru just outright murk that guy...

Welcome to the second cour, where Shit Has Officially Gotten Real, Yo.

We kick off the episode with Team Touden (sans one traumatized into unconsciousness Marcille) bonding over their decision to return to the surface, before rewinding to cover Team Kabru, who is currently being revived by Team Floke as all the plot streams cross. Tansu notes that their injuries weren't too severe, and with a little goat blood he had them back up, pointing out that it was good they were pulled out of the drink before becoming fish food. Mikbell has Kuro smell his head, and the kobold confirms that the people who pulled them out were the same ones who stole their "treasure" (i.e. Team Touden.) Tansu asks for a revival fee to cover the blood, as Kabru recalls the attack that wiped them, before recognizing Namari - though he keeps this to himself. Rin gets a bit jealous of how Kabru looked at the dwarven weaponsmaster, before Mikbell notes that their food (in particular their barley) is gone. Holm notes that this mysterious party takes their food, but not their gold. But after their wipes and loss of food, Kabru notes that they can't continue on, so it's back to the surface.

With that, Team Kabru crosses the lake, as a fog rolls in - an unnatural fog, as fishmen appear from the mists. Confronting an axe-wielding fishman, Kabru fights them off, but notes that something is...familiar with their fighting style, and moves to subdue the fishman...or should I say fishwoman, as Kabru notes that his foe is actually an illusion-cloaked Dia. The problem, unfortunately, is that the party mage Rin is chanting to cast Fireball, which is addressed "to whom it may be concerned." Rushing over, Kabru manages to stop her cast in the only peaceful manner, which definitely gets Rin's attention given her crush on Kabru. Having already figured out which of the monsters are actually his allies, Kabru quickly determines which one is the mage, and his attack forces the caster to end the spell, revealing that their assailants are the corpse revivers they dealt with earlier.

With their ruse foiled, Kabru noted that they looked to try to revive his team on a lower floor after their first wipe, as floor level determines the fee - the deeper the floor, the greater the cost. However, Team Floke beat them to the punch, so they planned the illusionary assault to make money on Team Kabru's bodies (literally.) The thing is, such an act is against the law of the island, and as such the head of the revivers tries to make a deal with Kabru to save his skin by bringing his allies' bodies back for revival - after Kabru kills them with the trident to make it look like a fishman attack. Kabru seemingly agrees to the deal...

...only to promptly stab the trident through the neck of the revivers' leader, before expertly murdering the other two revivers on their feet. As the mage looks on in utter terror at Kabru, who notes that humanoids - tallman, dwarves, gnomes, halffoots, and elves - are quite easy to deal with, unlike monsters. Having Kuro go get Mikbell, Kabru turns his attention to the mage, who has entered into the "desperately pleading for his life" phase of the event. The problem for him is that Kabru has some very personal reasons for hating people who not only not seek to end the threat of the dungeon, but make it so others are discouraged from doing so - and a discretion cut, a terrified scream, and a scene of blood in the water makes it clear what his fate is.

Team Kabru then sinks the corpses into the lake, as Kabru himself apologizes for the strategic osculation earlier, getting Rin flustered - but then he looks frustrated, noting that he feels like they've made no progress on the dungeon. And with this, Kabru notes the true danger of dungeons - adventurers plumbing the depths alter the ecosystem, allowing more powerful monsters to reach higher floors; then as the dungeon's wealth is stripped out, those adventurers leave, and without them providing counterpressure, powerful monsters burst forth to ravage the outside - and the flashback we see makes it clear this is far from academic for the young tallman. Of course this is followed with the rumblings of revival-emptied bellies, but Mikbell notes the revivers had some solid supplies. Kabru tells the halffoot to take the food and sink the rest - an order that gets a protest, but Kabru points out that taking their gold would make them no better than the revivers.

And with that, we get a glamour shot of the rations, though this isn't nearly as foodporny as Senshi's cooking. As Team Kabru tucks into the food, they note how useless the Island Lord is, if revivers are making money by killing adventurers. Then the discussion switches to who could be the party they're tracking, as the adventurer community is small. Mikbell suggests Donnie and Fiona (the adventurers attacked by the basilisk back in episode 2),but Kabru dismisses that given how green they are. Rin inspects the ward which Kabru kept, noting that it was done by a elven magic school student (i.e. Marcille) - which means that Team Touden is at the top of Kabru's suspects. They make some deductions based on that, like one of the Toudens was lost (yup), which encouraged them to travel in an oddly small party out of reckless haste (yup) and there was a fight, given that they saw Namari with Team Floke, as well as observations he saw on the surface.

Thinking it over, Kabru notes the original makeup of Team Touden (Laios, Falin, Shuro, Namari, Marcille, and Chilchuck), and from the evidence they no longer have one of the Toudens (not knowing it was Falin who was lost), Shuro, and Namari, but the new dwarf is a wild card. And with this, the party vents - Dia recounts how Namari's father ruined the good name of dwarves on the island, while Mikbell rails against Chilchuck's halffoot union (not understanding how they were getting exploited prior) Mikbell then comments that Shuro and Rin hail from the same region, and asks if she knows him, to which an annoyed Rin notes that the East is a large region. Kabru notes that Shuro seemed to be more than just an adventurer, having come with a retinue and using the dungeon to test himself. Kabru seems excited about all this, as things appear to be more complex than he thought - and besides, he has a grudge against the Toudens, as they worked for some shady goldstrippers who are now engaged in illegal trade on the island (not realizing that Laios is a horrible judge of human character, and was completely oblivious to this.) As such, Kabru feels that the Toudens would be the worst successors to take control of the dungeon.

With that, Team Kabru begins to head out to ascend, but on the lake are attacked by bladefish like Team Touden was - which means a larger threat is there - revealing itself as a sea serpent. With the mages out of commission, Kabru tries to use his training to attack - but the sea serpent is outside of his knowledge. And as he pauses, he finds himself the stand for a tallman kunoichi, who tosses a grenade in the serpent's mouth - setting it up to be batted by an oni warrior to their party leader for the coup de grace - one Nakamoto "Shuro" Toshiro, formerly of Team Touden. Shuro seems...driven, his face gaunt and exhausted, which leads Kabru to note that he might have information on the reason for Shuro's determination - Falin Touden - which definitely gets the man's attention.

As for Team Touden? Well, it seems the Mad Mage is turning the castle town into a maze, which has the party exhausted and on the brink of death.
posted by NoxAeternum (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The big thing to note here is that this episode sets up Kabru properly as Laios' foil - as we note, their strengths and weaknesses are almost diametrical in nature:

* Laios is clueless about humans, while Kabru is a master of interpersonal dynamics.

* Laios has an encyclopedic knowledge of monsters, while Kabru's knowledge is dangerously lacking (hence their wipe to the treasure insects.)

* Related, Laios is effective at monster hunting, while Kabru can take down humanoids with brutal efficency.

* Kabru is a trusted leader, while Laios, well...not even Falin gives him high leadership marks.

In addition, Kabru and his background is starting to set up things for later, most notably for when the elves on the boat in the first OP show up.

As with prior episodes, Swamp Jawn has a breakdown of the episode's animation for those interested.
posted by NoxAeternum at 1:44 PM on April 15 [3 favorites]

The new OP is... fine. It's fine.

The "fishmen" don't look like any of the ones we've seen. I guess the mage isn't that familiar with them either.

Only the mage warrants discretion in death, likely b/c he was unarmed.

Love Rin's tic of playing with her hair.

Kuro thinks Senshi's scent is intense, even after washing. Apparently his nose is better than orcs.

Mikabel bitches about the Union Rep, and pays his kobold peanuts. (Probably.)

Noteworthy that they treat Kuro like Mikabel's pet, and not a party member. (They don't know what he's being paid.) Kobolds can be revived, so at least by dungeon logic they're clearly human.

Tade! Girl does not skip leg day. Another great design (and not the only one, but we haven't been formally introduced. Kuro knows what I'm talking about.)

New ED is fine too, though it doesn't have as high a bar to clear.

[Kabru] has a grudge against the Toudens, as they worked for some shady goldstrippers who are now engaged in illegal trade on the island (not realizing that Laios is a horrible judge of human character, and was completely oblivious to this.)

Oh, he realizes. He thinks Laios is a bad candidate for 'winning' the dungeon because he's a horrible judge of (human) character.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:51 PM on April 15

Swamp Jawn (always great) reminded me of something I forgot to mention.

Kabru, confronting the sea creature, panics when he realizes he doesn't know where its carotid artery is. Shuro just takes its whole head off.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:09 PM on April 15

Oh, he realizes. He thinks Laios is a bad candidate for 'winning' the dungeon because he's a horrible judge of (human) character.

I didn't explain that well - Kabru thinks that Laios has fallen in knowingly with the goldstrippers, not realizing that he's in contention with Catarina Claes and Frieren for The Densest Object Known To Anime Fandom.
posted by NoxAeternum at 1:34 AM on April 16

The new OP is... fine. It's fine.

I really liked the original and I don't understand why they changed it. The new one's weird and the wrong tone, IMO.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:38 AM on April 16

The group doing the other "let's watch" I'm following is really unhappy with Kabru killing all of the revivers and sinking them in the lake. That pretty much condemns their spirits to haunt the dungeon as long as it exists, eventually going mad.
posted by Spike Glee at 7:04 AM on April 16

Yup, and Kabru has reasons why he'd be so brutal, which he's already hinted at in this episode. In his mind they're pushing the dungeon towards tragedy, and that's not something he's going to tolerate.
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:17 AM on April 16

The new [OP]'s weird and the wrong tone, IMO.

It's almost like they mixed the two up, except I think the first cour needed the somber tone and hint of things to come the first provided.

Plus, if you get a Bump of Chicken song you don't sit on it.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:12 PM on April 16

notes that humanoids - tallman, dwarves, gnomes, halffoots, and elves - are quite easy to deal with

More pondering on language:

Yappari ningen wa rakude ī na tōruman mo dowāfu mo nōmu mo

human, person, human being

Dub: “Humanoids are so easy to deal with. Every single dwarf, gnome and tall-man, they all tend to have identical weak points.”
Subs: “Humans really are easy to kill. Tall-man, dwarf, gnome, they all share the same weak points.”
posted by zamboni at 6:37 PM on May 24

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