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Delicious in Dungeon Episode 23 - A Senshi Episode

Delicious in Dungeon episode 23 asks an important question, what is the biggest food taboo? Fish and cheese? Ketchup on hot dogs? Pineapple on pizza? Well, to most people, it’s eating other people.

As Senshi continues telling the DunMeshi party about his background, we learn that upon finding a golden palace, most of them contract dragon sickness and eventually find themselves in a survival situation. With the ruins transforming into a dungeon and a Griffin hunting them, Senshi’s party was quickly whittled down. This leads to a situation where only three mining party members survive.

Later, as the two remaining grown-ups duke it out over Senshi’s meal, it’s inferred that one of them killed the other and gave Senshi his flesh as a meal. While necessary for his survival, this event was so traumatic that even when Senshi reached the surface he decided to retreat into the dungeon and live as a troglodyte.

Survival and Cannibalism

Upon hearing the story, Laios decides that the best way for Senshi to get over his trauma, or at least face it, is to eat the Griffin they felled. By his logic, if Senshi ate a Griffin and he remembered the taste, it would ease his mind. If he eats it and it isn’t what he ate, at least he will know for sure what happened.

To Senshi’s dismay, it wasn’t Griffin that he ate that day, but Laios persists that it wasn’t his comrade either. It was a Hippogriff turned into a Griffin by changelings (which in the Delicious in Dungeon world are fungi that transform things into something similar). And much to Senshi’s relief, Laios was right. He didn’t eat any of his crew, a realization that moves Senshi to tears.

Before the modern area, cannibalism was much less a prevalent taboo. Where now, the practice is only relegated to remote tribes and times of extreme duress and famine, but that wasn’t always the case. Ritualistic cannibalism such as in funeral rights or offerings to the gods was once considered a form of love and even high honor. In nature, several species eat themselves. So, where did the taboo come from?

Honestly, it comes down to a mix of a few factors, namely the spread of Christianity through Europe, scientific enlightenment that assumes we’re higher beings, and then the widespread colonization and westernization of non-European communities. Once it became a moral wrong, it became ingrained in society that it’s a no-go.

For those who have been forced to practice it, the psychological repercussions are usually life-lasting. Are there any tangible physical detriments to cannibalism? That depends on how you’re asking that question. Psychosomatic pain from trauma is a real ordeal but a more concrete effect of cannibalism is the spread of disease. Prion diseases are a death sentence and those are widespread in cannibal cultures. Luckily for Senshi, this was a taboo that he did not break. But right when everything seems like it’s going to be alright, the party walks into a changeling fairy circle, and everyone changes.

Changelings and Fairy Circles – Episode 23 Wrap-up

If you’re a high strangeness lover, you know both changelings and fairy circles are global paranormal fixtures. And our party didn’t so much step in a fairy circle, they wantonly walked into it. Doing so changed them into other races which seemed to bug most of the party. Originally, they try to find the fairy rings to return to their regular selves, but the dungeon forces them forward. Thanks to Laois’ living armor buddy, they are able to enter the deepest part of the dungeon, and with that Delicious in Dungeon episode 23 concludes.

Besides being a poignant dive into food and the psychology behind eating, Delicious in Dungeon has been a cryptid lover’s paradise. With the inclusion of two more real-world cryptids/phenomena, it’s easy to see that Ryoko Kui is a fan of high strangeness. With changelings being a common fixture in European mythology and fairy circles being found in different habitats around the world, Delicious in Dungeon has been A+ when it comes to strangeness.

And as we’re one episode away from the season finale, we can only hope that the show garners enough love for a second season so we can dive into more cuisine and paranormal oddities.

Screenshots via Netflix
© Ryoko Kui, KADOKAWA/Delicious in Dungeon PARTNERS

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