Delicious in Dungeon: Harpy/Chimera
April 26, 2024 1:41 AM - Season 1, Episode 17 - Subscribe

Laios and Shuro's discussion/fight is cut short by an attack by harpies - and a much greater threat, one that leaves the parties shaken. And in the aftermath, two allies let it all out for once...

Well, we had a relatively calm episode, so now it's time to punch the audience right in the gut. Several times.

We pick up right where we left off - with Shuro's katana at Laios' neck. Kabru manages to defuse the situation by needling Shuro of all things, commenting about whether or not it was worth resurrecting Falin if it took black magic to do it - and following up that he knows that Shuro would have made the same choice as Laios. Shuro concurs, noting that his anger is more to how Laios' attitude, and how he seems so blithe to everything that he and Team Touden have done. Shuro notes that he cannot comprehend Laios, and that he cannot help him - and it's at this point that Chilchuck runs in alarmed - the rest of the parties are currently fighting a horde of harpies, drawn in by the cooking fire. As Shuro leaves Chiclchuck finds out that Laios confessed, realizing that he chose the wrong blabbermouth to follow.

Kabru continues to try to get into Laios' good graces by pointing out that Shuro's been under a lot of stress, to which Laios points out that he has always admired the Eastern warrior for his skill, as well as his experiences and wisdom - which is why his rage has the tallman at a loss, as it means that they truly broke a grievous taboo. Though with that the two hear the hideous cackling of the harpies, and thus move to rejoin the larger group. Tade tries to club one and misses, which has Maizuru command the squad of shinobi to follow her to address the threat. Chilchuck informs Marcille of Laios' confession, which has her alarmed - though their discussion is interrupted by a harpy corpse landing at their feet, as Shuro's retainers are taking down the monsters. Chilchuck adds that currently four people outside of Team Touden know of how she resurrected Falin - Shuro, two of his retainers (Maizuru and Asabi/Izutsumi), and Kabru - which Marcille notes the latter is part of the party whose property they "took", though the "treasure" was treasure bugs and the barley was no longer able to be kept given its soaking - but Chilchuck notes (as it continues to rain harpies) that the real problem is them knowing about black magic, given all the restrictions. Chilchuck asks if there's any evidence left, to which Marcille points out the circles whould be erased by the cleaners, but Ambrosia and Falin would show traces if inspected - though she also points out that if it got to that point, they'd be screwed no matter what.

Then they're interrupted by a different corpse - that of Hien's broken body, as Mikbell screams in terror. Because on the roof, holding Benichidori, is the massive, monstrous form of the chimera Falin, surrounded by a flock of harpies - and this battle has just gotten a lot worse as they all look on in shock - though Laios' reaction to seeing his sister's warped form is to be impressed by it.

Marcille calls out to her best friend to try to get through to her as she tosses aside Benichidori's body, and Team Kabru prepares for battle while Laios and Shuro look on in shock. Finally, Shuro orders Tade to restrain Falin - to which she looks on in confusion as that's going to be quite the tall order. Maizuru calls out for Shuro to run, as Falin lifts her up...and leaps, landing on the ground in the courtyard with a sickening splat as she crushes the mage underfoot, highlighting how brutal this fight is going to be. In a coordinated attack, Kabu and Dia strike, landing blows that hurt the chimera as Tada rushes in, dropping her iron club as she rushes in - only to get tailwhipped into a wall for her trouble.

With the threat of the chimeric Falin clear, Kabru has Holm invoke his personal undine familiar as Falin grabs the dwarven warrior by her head to lift her up. Gripping her by the throat, Falin snaps Dia's neck as the undine rises, firing a hydrojet at Falin and striking her, causing her to drop the dwarf's corpse. Marcille calls for mercy - but an angered Kabru, having seen one of his party brutally murdered at Falin's hands is in no mood to listen to her as he sheds his armor for increased mobility, pointing out that this chimera isn't Falin - it's just a monster. His words catch Laios off guard, resonating in his mind as the undine gathers for a second shot - but Falin now shows that she possesses her gnomish magic as well, using a spell to pull the water spirit in and violently dispel it to Holm's horror. With that dealt with, the chimera now turns her attention to the kobold bit in hard on her wing. Kabu bites her hand as he snarls at Falin in instinctual rage, to which she stomps him flat before a distraught Mikbell, as Chilchuck pulls them both under Senshi's adamantite pot for safety.

Transfixed before the monster that bears his sister's form, Laios can only look at her as Rin calls for him to move, striking the chimera with lightning. As the chimera collapses, he remembers the warning he gave Senshi with Anne so long ago - "all monsters are dangerous" - and with that draws Kensuke to deal with Falin as the monster she is. But as he prepares to strike, Falin looks up at him - with her human golden eyes, not the draconic ones she had earlier - and asks him to help her, a reaction that gives her brother pause as he drops Kensuke. But as she rises up, the dragon assuming control again, Kabru strikes brutally, driving a dagger into her vitals (or at least where they should be if she was human), causing Falin to vomit a gout of blood. For his trouble, Falin tosses him to the floor, preparing to strike him down...and then Laios drives Kensuke into her foot, causing her to scream in pain as he pulls Kabru to safety, telling him that he's right - as the chimera, she's nothing more than another monstrous thrall of the Mad Mage. Unfortunately, Falin then responds by knocking Laios away from Kabru before stomping him down - apparently Falin has taken Matt Coville's advice to very brutal heart.

With that, Falin pulls Kabru's dagger free, before ripping her shirt open in a pained motion, before casting a spell that Marcille recognizes as a major threat - she puts down a shield and Holm summons his gnome familiar to create a shell of earth, but Failn claims one last kill with her field of spikes as Rin is caught by one. And with that, she retreats, bloodied - but it's clear the trio of parties is much the worse for wear after the fight.

Assessing matters after the fight, Laios figures that the wounded can be brought to safety, but as for the dead...Holm answers that question as he comes out of his shell, noting he can revive some of the others. First on his list is Kabru, as he notes that without a source of materials, revival is going to depend on being able to use all of their blood and so the corpses cannot be moved. Once alive, Kabru smartly points out that the next person should be Maizuru, as she is most likely also capable of revival magic, allowing them to more effectively treat the others. Marcille also offers to help, but given the battle and why it happened, Shuro is unwilling to let her do so. Marcille argues that the spell she used was not intended to turn Falin into a chimera - but with the red dragon having already been geased by the Mad Mage, the entwining of their souls made her vulnerable to his influence. With that, Shuro says he will take Marcille to the elves of the West, to stand trial for her use of black magic - and so that he can put Falin down, a notion that has Marcille terrified.

Laios tries to stop Shuro, but the enraged tallman pushes Laios back both literally and metaphorically, demanding he tell him what his plan is for dealing with the matter. And with that, Laios grabs Shuro's hand, and states his plan - defeat the Mad Mage, then free Falin from the geas he placed on her. And to do that, he needs Marcille, as she's the one who understands the magic needed to do that - and so he's not handing her over. Shuro demands that Laios "take things seriously" in response - and in response to that Laios slaps him across the face,'s go time as Shuro slugs Laios.

Laios knocks the Eastern warrior on his ass, pointing out that Team Touden has actually been taking care of themelves and thus they are capable of taking this seriously, and that means taking down the Mad Mage - and that he needs to get some food and rest. Muttering under his breath, Shuro lures Laios in, as he lands an uppercut, yelling about how he's officially 110% done with Laios' bullshit. It must be Delicious in Dungeon Festivus, as what results is the men having a violent airing of grievances, fighting it out as Shuro points out how annoying and smothering Laios could be - how he couldn't stand him, especially because none of what he did was with ill intent. Laios then pushes back as he points out that Shuro should have told him, to which Shuro says he did, in ways that most people would pick up, not realizing that Laios' socialization has been...spotty at best. Pulling his ponytail, Laios points out that he had made his first friend on the island with him, and how could he not be excited about that? Laios pointed out that he couldn't know if Shuro never said anything, pointing out that if he's not going to talk or eat, why does he even have a mouth?

As they look on, Maizuru sighs, wishing that her master would not be so childish. Given the casualties, she proposes that she and Holm divvy up the dead for revival, asking Senshi to gather ingredients - and while she refuses to let Marcille revive anyone, she does grugingly let her heal the injured and find the missing. With that, Marcille heals Tade, and they find the halffoots under the pan, while Maizuru and Holm revive the others, Senshi braves the harpies, and Laios and Shuro have a good, healthy conversation with their fists. Finally, Shuro falls on his back, his weakened state making him no match for Laios, a point that Laios drives home as Senshi offers him the meal he's been protecting. Taking one of the onigiri, Shuro finally eats, noting how tasty the food is as Laios sits by his side. Maizaru informs Shuro that all the dead are revived and asks to make preparations to depart - to which Shuro instead has her prepare a return spell, which shocks her as Asabi is still missing. His other retainers apologize for their performance, but Shuro tells them that he's aware they did their best, thanking them - and in the process breaking their brains.

Sitting with Laios, Shuro tells him that he plans to return to his homeland, and that he will be making a report to the Island Lord. Sadly, Shuro noted that he planned to return with Falin, to which Laios asked if she had accepted his proposal, to which Shuro noted that she had asked for some time to think on it. With that, Shuro talks about how she won his heart, though he wishes that he had told her all that, to which Laios tells him that he'll make sure to tell his sister for him. Sighing, Shuro points out that it's this side of the tallman - his desire to help others - that he envies.

Talking to Kabru, Laios thanks him for his help in the fight, to which Kabru dismisses it, noting that his attack was meaningless. But Laios corrects him, drawing a diagram on the dungeon floor - while his attack might not have done lethal damage, it did make clear that those points aren't enough to take her down. As he points out, this is a common attribute of chimeric monsters - that they often have redundant vitals due to their body structure, and so killing them requires landing blows to multiple points. As Kabru listens to Laios, he realizes this is why Team Touden has been able to survive at depths most other parties can't - his encyclopedic knowledge of monsters means that he's able to fight them much more effectively and efficiently. And it's that knowledge and motivation that means he may very well be the best candidate to take out the Mad Mage - but if he does, would that mean he would gain the Golden Kingdom, or that the dungeon would just have a new Lord? But lifting his head up from his pondering, Laios asks a simple question - "you hungry?"

Returning to the barrier, the two find the parties recuperating as Maizuru prepares the returning spell, and the two cooks are already hard at work preparing food for all. Having found a harpy egg, Senshi uses it to prepare a Japanese rolled omlette (tamagoyaki) and Laios offers some to Kabru - an offer that has the tallman reeling, memories of his tragic past flooding his mind as he stares down the food. But wanting to bond with Laios (and rejecting the idea of killing him), Kabru grudgingly takes one of the slices to the dismay of his teammates.

After they all have a good meal, Maizuru announces that the spell is complete, and they can return. Shuro snarks that he's sure that Laios is on a fools errand that will get him killed - but hands him a bell, and tells him that if he does succeed and he cannot return, to ring it, and that he will make preparations to evacuate Team Touden to the East. As Shuro steps through, he tells Laios to not die. With that, Kabru says his goodbyes to Laios as well, though he's left wondering if Laios will remember his name as the portal closes.

And with that and with the surface now off limits to them, Team Touden continues deeper into the dungeon - their new goal clear.
posted by NoxAeternum (9 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The battle with the chimera was more bloody than I expected. It is strange to reflect that everyone who dies is revived. Is the chaining of souls to the dungeon really a curse, if it enables resurrection? (A comment by one of the mages as the party is passing through the "return" portal suggests that resurrection doesn't work outside the dungeon.)

Taking a step back, what is the dungeon, exactly? Didn't Marcille at one point indicate that she wanted to study it? Maybe even create her own dungeon? Is it a zoo? Is it art? The deeper it goes, the weirder it gets.

The fight between Shuro and Laios was unexpectedly hilarious. The subject of their fight was serious, but they seemed more like a pair of kids in a shoving contest.
posted by SPrintF at 6:52 AM on April 26

The battle with the chimera was more bloody than I expected.

It's the sort of fight that the DM throws at the party to make the point clear that playtime is over, and the gloves are off. It is worth noting that none of Team Touden died in the fight - all the casualties were in the "NPC" parties, so to speak.

Is the chaining of souls to the dungeon really a curse, if it enables resurrection?

Yes, and it's been explained why - first, chained spirits who aren't revived fast enough go mad from the experience (this is why Kabru's actions a few episodes back with sinking the bodies is considered so brutal); and second, if the body is too damaged, the link can be severed (this is why Marcille had to revive Falin the way she did.)

Taking a step back, what is the dungeon, exactly? Didn't Marcille at one point indicate that she wanted to study it? Maybe even create her own dungeon? Is it a zoo? Is it art? The deeper it goes, the weirder it gets. a major plot point, as what the dungeon is and what empowers it is driving a lot of threads. And yeah, Marcille wants to try to "tame" dungeons, which while understandable is playing with fire.

The subject of their fight was serious, but they seemed more like a pair of kids in a shoving contest.

They honestly didn't want to hurt each other, but they needed to clear the air. It's telling that in the end, Shuro gives Laios the bell to let them escape.
posted by NoxAeternum at 7:35 AM on April 26

Poor Chuck should've followed Laios. He does technically save Team Kabru from another TPK.

Laios says he wishes he could've taken Falin's place.

Marcille is alarmed when Falin starts ripping her shirt off. Fortunately, she has censor feathers.

Senshi has been holding the platter for Shuro since the beginning of the episode.

Where is Asebi?

Shuro loves "the way [Falin] thinks," but can't stand Laios.

Laios' drawing of chimera-Falin is hilarious. The animal parts are extremely detailed, the human part is a stick figure.

Senshi is a master chef if he can make tamagoyaki in a round pan. Incidentally, the dub uses the Japanese word while the sub just calls it an omelette.

Alone of Kabru's party, Kuro looked like he wanted some Harpy egg.

Taking a step back, what is the dungeon, exactly?

So far we know that this isn't the only dungeon, that there are 'natural' dungeons (Falin took Marcille to one back in school,) and that magic students create small artificial model dungeons.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 8:19 AM on April 26 [1 favorite]

Marcille is alarmed when Falin starts ripping her shirt off. Fortunately, she has censor feathers.

Unfortunately, the harpies don't, and we get a few shots of harpy jubblies throughout the episode. Poor Swamp Jawn's going to have to censor this episode's recap thoroughly.

Shuro loves "the way [Falin] thinks," but can't stand Laios.

This is more due to his being smothering and socially clueless (case in point: Laios inviting himself on Shuro's date with Falin.) That said, it's also clear that there's a lot he likes about Laios as well - hence his giving him the bell.
posted by NoxAeternum at 8:27 AM on April 26

SPrintF: Without spoiling anything: We've seen that the dungeon is basically an ancient kingdom, buried underground. As for why it was set up, we've met the Lunatic Magician (I prefer it to 'Mad Mage' as a title) in episode 6. Where he was willing to murder Laois on the basis of a suspicion he was after the throne. In episode 12, Falin sees the spirit of a former resident of the home. Presumably this is the ghost of a resident of the kingdom. When the Lunatic Magician confronts Laios in front of the dragon's corpse, he accuses him of stealing from the King. After dropping Laois and party down a crush trap the Lunatic Magician talks to a group of ghosts promising to celebrate when King Delegal comes back, so he's clearly acting as if the ghosts are subjects of the King. When Falin is merged with the Dragon, her task is to find King Delegal. So the Lunatic Magician sees himself as trying to protect Delegal and his kingdom, and the Dungeon somehow fits into that overriding desire.

That said, if the ghosts are former residents of the kingdom, they don't seem to be on board with what the Lunatic Magician is doing. We see ghosts aiding Laios' group by getting them out of the crush trap the Lunatic Magician put them in. And adventurers going into the Dungeon was caused by the King coming up to the surface and basically promising the kingdom to anyone who could kill the Lunatic Magician. And when Laios is tripping balls after learning magic he hears something asking him to "please help us die". Those voices might not be a hallucination, we've seen Falin, who has more magic than Laios, communicate with spirits, so using magic may help you see across the veil as it were. So it seems like while the Lunatic Magician thinks he's doing all this to protect the kingdom, something has gone horribly wrong along the way, and those he's protecting desperately want it to stop. Going any further on what went wrong or why would be into major spoiler territory.

But the above is why I loved the manga and why I hope the full series gets adapted. EVERYTHING is foreshadowed, everything is set up, and damn near everything is significant. It can be pretty breathtaking to look back from a huge, dramatic moment and see how deftly it was all put into place.
posted by Grimgrin at 6:32 PM on April 26 [1 favorite]

Swamp Jawn spent a lot of time on this one.

Well, that and his new kitten.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:00 PM on April 30

Do any other shows exist where the writers are trying to figure out how a dungeon could exist and how it might get made? I like this idea!
posted by Acari at 3:54 PM on May 1

Acari: Off the top of my head, Helck has a similar "figuring out what's going on" fantasy world thing. The anime only covers the first half of the story, though, and so far no word on whether it'll get another season. (The manga is pretty great in its own right.)

Come to think, it even has a much more comedic opening arc/volume before you are clued into the need to figure out the rules.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:16 PM on May 1 [1 favorite]

I love this series SO MUCH. As a D&D-playing kid I was so disappointed by the insipid cartoon TSR licensed. It was D&D for babies, all jokes and bloodless play-fighting. THIS show really reflects what a great D&D campaign feels like. Lots of humor, of course, and constant sidetracks (though not generally about recipes, lol), but also epic adventures, huge surprises, and real emotions. The stakes couldn't be higher, at least for some characters (poor Chuck seems in waaay over his head, considering he's got no dog in this fight greater than friendship).
posted by rikschell at 7:56 PM on May 31

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