4 out of 5
Just as charming as volume 1, while getting a bit deeper with the characters. Our adventurers – Laios, Chilchuk, Marcille, and Senshi – continue their way down to lower floors, chapters sticking to the general monster-per setup, but stretching out to some more unique variations on that, with kelpies, mimics, living paintings, and “treasure bugs” – little insects that look exactly like treasure. While keeping the comedy quotient incredibly high, creator Ryoku Kui starts to sneak in interesting background details on our party members, also using their growing comfort with one another to stretch out their characterizations appreciably, moving us beyond the stereotypes that hindered the first volume a bit.
We also see how this series can develop: digging into the social structure of orcs; touching on the possible past of the underground castle itself. However, this is a dual-edged sword, as it’s hard to tell how deeply we should be reading into some of this – i.e. if some details are just fantasy fodder set dressing, not to be used again, or if they’ll play a larger role. Given the intelligence with pacing and dialogue and concept that’s woven into Delicious in Dungeon, I sincerely suspect the latter, which I feel like means these early volumes will only grow in greatness when I inevitably circle back around on them.