Dungeon Meshi (subtitled "Delicious in Dungeon" in Engrish) is a Japanese mango about a group of murderhobos in a typical fantasy setting. It features an atypical but innovative premise: if your party is stuck underground and is starving to death, why not eat all those monsters you've been fighting? The story explores one such party learning dungeon crawler cuisine and bumbling their way through their quests.
Dungeon Meshi is most known on /tg/ for being a humorous manga with a nice set of characters, each with a variety of humorous reaction pictures. All in all, it's pretty good, and you should read it.
Also: Elves are a proud and noble race, and they are not lewd.
After getting his sister devoured by a dragon and losing all their supplies in a failed dungeon raid, Laius and his party are determined to save his sister before she gets fully digested. Completely broke and having to resort to eating monsters as food, they meet a dwarf who will introduce them to the world of delicious cuisines made from ingredients such as the flesh of giant bats, walking mushroom, or even screaming mandrakes.
Reading on an empty stomach is not advised.
A small group of lovable idiots, trying to get through the dungeon, rescue Farlyn, and eat a menagerie of monstrous creatures while they're at it. Despite their friendliness, Laius and Farlyn have suspicious reputations, meaning that other parties (such as Kabru's) are somewhat untrustworthy of them.
- Laius Thorden - The human Fighter of the group. He's always had a secret fascination with monstrous biology, and is the first to suggest that they try cooking monsters when they run out of money to buy food. His early curiosity slowly transforms over time into a somewhat distressing obsession. He is Farlyn's older brother.
- Marcille - The elven Wizard specializing in black magic. She's the most reluctant to try eating monsters, even after several of the dishes they try turn out quite well. Laius and Senshi's obsessions disturb her. Has fat ears, isn't lewd.
- Senshi - A mysterious dwarf who joins the group after discovering their interest in monster cuisine. He's been cooking monsters for 10 years and knows all the best preparations and nutritional value of most monsters they come across. Unlike your typical dwarf stereotype, he is not good with smithing nor does he take good care of his weapon and armor: he turned his mithril family heirloom weapons into a pair of woks and carries most of the cooking equipment.
- Chilchack - The group's halfling Thief. He's mostly there to pick locks and make money. Something of an only sane man. He hates mimics; as the one to open treasure chests, he's the one who usually gets killed by them. Also gets annoyed when people treat him like a child, as he’s got a family back home.
- Farlyn - Laius' younger sister. As a child she showed a natural affinity for communicating with and banishing restless spirits. Eventually, she went to magic school, specializing in healing and purification magic and meeting Marcille. The first arc of the series chronicles their quest to rescue her from the belly of a red dragon. Turns out she still got dissolved by the dragon's stomach acid and had to be resurrected by Marcille's dark magic (which no one had expected). It ended badly with the dungeon master controlling the newly resurrected Farlyn and turned her into harpy like monster.
Ex-Thorden Party Members
Otherwise known as goddamn quitters.
- Shuro - A Samurai-styled male human fighter. After the Red Dragon ate Farlyn, he quit the team and left Laius behind. Until he came back with his own party.
- Namari - Female dwarf, and quite infamous amongst most dwarves; her family used to serve the local governor, but her dad stole money from him and ran off, getting them kicked out and causing the governor to blame all dwarves. Like Shuro, she abandoned Laius' party after the Red Dragon ate Farlyn and nearly killed them all.
An adventurer party that is currently rising in the ranks and descending deeper into the dungeon. Initially rescued by Laius' party, a misunderstanding meant that they went deeper into the dungeon and continually fail challenges above their CR. Also known as the Scrub Party because they're not as experienced as Laius' party.
- Kabru - A dark-skinned human Fighter. He fights for the weak and the innocent, and seeks to conquer the dungeon so he can purge it before it corrupts the people and the land around it. He also thinks Laius' party is secretly Neutral Evil, and is determined to expose them. Being a paladin, he aggresively condemns the Murderhobo mentality, to the point of executing any murderhobos he meets. Apparently fear monsters due to a traumatic childhood experience where his town was attacked by beastmen, which instantly making him inferior to the monster-obessessed hero Laius.
- Lynnsha - Oriental wizard and Kabru's sort-off girlfriend. Often accuses Kabru of hitting on women of all races, and so comes off as mildly xenophobic because every knife-ear is another woman that could steal her man. Apparently learned her magic from some other magical school than the Academy that Farlyn and Marcille went to.
- Daya - Female Dwarf. Has a bad impression of Laius' party because Namari was a part of it, and Namari's family has a bad reputation among dwarfs.
- Holme - A gnome spellcaster who can apparently "summon" something. That something turn out to be an udine, a type of water elemental. Also, know resurrection spells (although not really good at it).
- Mickbell - Halfling Rogue and Kuro's master. Unlike other adventurers, she advocates for right-to-work laws and refuses to join the adventurer's guild despite Chilchak trying to get all the halflings to join it and pay guild fees.
- Kuro - Dog-type Kobold Ranger who provides tracking services for the Kabru party. Kobolds are often discriminated against by civilized people because of their low intelligence, which makes Kuro's presence in the party all the more unusual. Is paid in head pats, belly rubs, and food, and arguing whether or not that's a fair days wages will, without exception, ignite a flame war. He is also a good boy.
Originally part of the Thorden party, Shuro (real name Toshiro Nakamoto (半本 俊朗, Nakamoto Toshirō)) is a samurai nobleman from "the East". Although Laius initially considered Shuro a close friend, it is revealed that Shuro could not stand Laius' inability to grasp subtlety and straightforward nature. It is also revealed that while a part of Laius' original party, he developed intense romantic feelings for Farlyn, who he had planned to propose to before the incident with the Red Dragon. After the party's dissolution following the massacre, he returned home to form a rescue party of his own, made up of servants from his household. He has openly stated his distrust of Laius and his lack of support for Laius' party's current rescue attempts; however he has agreed to keep quiet about their endeavours for Farlyn's sake until he is able to rescue her himself.
His personal party consists of:
- Hien and Benichidori - A pair of ninja who are potentially sisters; they are able to move swiftly on battlefield using throwing weapons like bombs.
- Maizuru - Her appearance is very similar to a Noh performer or Miko with winglike robes. She was tasked by the master of the household to look after Shuro when he was young. Her shrine maiden outfit suggests that she is a magic user, and she has been revealed to be able to summon various yokai-like entities to do her bidding, as well as using talisman-style sealing spells. She also serves as the party's cook, specializing in Japanese-style dishes.
- Tade - An oni armed with a Japanese style iron club. She is incredibly strong and resistant to physical damage, but is also shown to be very sweet and childlike in temperament.
- Izutsumi (Asebi) - Ostensibly a ninja assassin, Izutsumi is a beastkin — a chimera created by the combination of human and nonhuman souls inhabiting a single vessel. She abandons Shuro's party in order to join up with the Thorden party in the hopes that Marcille will be able to separate her soul from the animal soul that gives her a catlike appearance. She has a childish and passionate attitude, is a picky eater, and has been observed to have terrible table manners. She is the first person who refuses to eat part of Senshi's cooking.
Shuro and the other members of his party have temporarily left the dungeon with Kabru's party, though Shuro intends to return.
Fantastic Beasts and how to eat them
- Scorpion: A typical scorp. It's got claws and a tail, regular scorp stuff. When preparing, remove the legs, guts and tail, as they taste bad. Cutting into scores helps the heat travel better.
- Trotting Mushroom: Primary prey consists of overconfident eight year olds. To eat, cut off the butt and outer layers. The legs are fine to eat, though. Cutting vertically is the best way to slice them, it seems
- Slime: A Drops onto people right after they exhale, drowning them. Difficult to remove without tools. Tastes good dried.
- Man eating plants: Some strangle you, some digest you, some lay seeds in your skin. Nasty. Tends to grow well in walls with space in them, that is, areas with traps. This makes the traps even more dangerous since you'll be dealing with unreliable, broken mechanism along with paralyzing plants. Can be eaten with vinegar.
- Basilisk: A chicken with a snake tail (or a snake with a cicken tail? Forbidden knowledge~) Can be spooked by things that look bigger than it. And don't run away with your back turned, it'll kick the shit out've ya. Also have lethal venom in their bite.
- Mandrakes: Well known for making elves scream at ear shattering volumes. Their regular scream is also deadly, but it can be safely plucked by a) murdering dogs, b) having long ropes, or c) stabbing it quick enough. Replacing the dog option with a big bat is unrecommended.
- Animated armour: Are actually mollusks (forbidden knowledge) that exist between the metal armour and a thin internal shell. They try to protect their eggs like all living creatures. Cannot be trusted inside swords. Boiling or steaming the armor makes them easier to remove and eat.
- Golems: are little magic totems inside mounds of clay or other substances. Can be used to grow their own crops.
- Orcs: are sentient demi-humans so please don't eat them. They are rather violent, and are rather grumpy too.
- Treasure insects: A sign that the DM very clearly hates all of you. Bugs that take the form of valuble items, can be boiled and skewered.
- Ghosts: Spooky
- Mimics: According to Chilchack, the worst thing in the entire world. Giant crabs that choose the sneakiest places to hide, so that they may jump out and ruin the day of whoever comes near to their hiding place. You can cook it just like any other sort of crab.
- Kelpies: Horses with mermaid tails. Might act charming, but have nothing but evil in their hearts after even years of friendly encounters.
- Giant Squids: Fairly self-explanatory.
- Mermaids: Come in "tempting siren" mammalian variety and "Oh god, kill it" piscene variety. Both are dangerous.
- Squid parasites: Also have parasites in them. Which also have parasites...
- Undine: Highly dangerous water spirits that blast people with high-pressure water. Basically concentrated mana so if you manage to catch one, can be boiled alive and made into soup for convenient mana refill.
- Giant Frogs: Giant frogs with giant tongues for snatching weapons off your hands. Their skin is resistant to paralyzing effects of plants in dungeon, so chances are you'll meet these together.
- Dragons: They are dragons, what do you expect? Really hard to kill even for full, experienced parties. Eats everything that's meat, from adventurers to wolves.
- Cockatrices: Similar to basilisks but bigger, meaner and nastier. Their venom petrifies you, from which you can recover naturally... as long as none of your petrified body parts snap off.
- Dryads: Gendered plants, females look like human women, with males being basically pumpkins with human faces. Only females put up a fight and cutting one results in outburst of pollen which's ingestion causes heavy allergic reactions. Grow from fruits which are edible.
- Shapeshifters: Generally refers to all monsters that change shape, but the ones that seem to take shape of party members are actually illusions caused by mind-reading beast that creates images based on thoughts of other members of the party.
- Nightmares: Small monsters that give you nightmares and feed on your emotions if you sleep close to them, usually this happens when they hide in your pillow. Despite looking like clams, they're apparently dragons(?). After being discovered they can't really do much, so feel free to steam them alive.
- Ice Golems: These appear if a magic totem used for creation of golems ends up in water that freezes, and then gets activated with magic circle. Basically, all of this coming together would require one hell of a coincidence so you really don't have to worry about ever seeing one.
- Barometz: Sheep that grow from plants, harmless by themself but regularly preyed on by wolves and other carnivores, so it's best not to stick to places where they grow for too long. Tastes like crab.
- Griffins: You should know what griffin are.
- Hippogriffs: As seen in Harry Potter! They do resemble griffins, but have lower body that resembles a horse. They are also herbivorous, and have distinct taste.
- Changelings: Contrary to popular belief, changelings are not creatures in and of themselves, but the result of a creature stepping into a ring of magic mushrooms. Useful if you wanted to turn your griffon meat into hippogriff meat for whatever reason, or if you're feeling bored with the dumplings you have, you can just change your pot-stickers into ravioli, or your baozi into perogies. Just avoid direct contact.