5 out of 5
There is a small class of elite artists / writers out there who manage to consistently blow our minds; still, it doesn’t make it any less mind-blowing when they do it again…
Deep into the lore and story of Delicious in Dungeon, Ryoko Kui’s latest tankobon is All Things: hilarious, exciting, story rich, amazingly arted, fluid, and somehow… accessible. With long pauses inbetween collected books of manga, I sometimes get lost in the more complex stories, and that’s been true at points with DiD, but there are clever recap moments stuck in here, as well as a naturalistic flow to the dialogue that helps to connect scenes and the motivations behind them. So we’re all caught up: our main Laios-led crew are converging on several goals of finding the Winged Lion, confronting dungeon master Sissel, and rescuing Falin; while above, the various races war over the dungeon; and inbetween, Kabru and the “canaries” are trying to zero in on Laios. The majority of these chapters are centered on Laios, bouncing between outright ridiculous – but story justified! – moments like dancing rabbits, cooking goodness, fascinating flashbacks, and then insane battles, which lead into a killer cliffhanger. There’s even a bit of interesting commentary to consider, which Kui has wound into the series’ considerations regarding how the various races in the world interact; I’m curious how / if this stuff will play out, or if it will be left more as fringe details to soak up further on inevitable rereads.
The artistry on display is simply astounding: every reaction, every action beat, every spell, it’s all so clear and communicative of exactly the tone / emotion a scene needs. Every frontispiece is a work of art. And I don’t know if I’ve called out before, but translator Taylor Engel certainly needs a shout-out here for making all of the dialogue and narration read without hiccups for English-reading folks like m’self.
Next: a painful wait for the following volume.