I think there should be a Japanese fictional work equivalent of Rule 34. If it is something people do, there is probably a fictional Japanese take on it.
There would also be a corollary to the rule: the more people care about it, the more the number of works that deals with the topic.
This applies to food. I’ll have to dig deeper into this later, but just believe me when I say that the Japanese have probably created more works that deal with food than you could possibly read or watch in this lifetime.
To which you might say, why bother, all of those would pretty similar, wouldn’t they?
Well, no, they aren’t.
For one, we have the topic for today: Dungeon Meshi (Dungeon=Dungeon; Meshi (飯)=Food), which is about a bunch of treasure hunters descending into a dungeon on a quest, living off what is available in the dungeon. So, every chapter has the story advance a little, and usually includes them killing off a monster/ some fiendish plant and cooking it.
So, while most of the food based manga are grounded in reality, this is out and out SFF. It is in a DnD world. And if this reminds you of Toriko, well, it is not quite the same thing. Toriko was a Shounen manga in the Weekly Shounen Jump, and thus was very Transformers, this is more District 9.
A long time ago, in discussion on why we loved Stephen King’s The gunslinger, a friend said: It is a western, it is SFF, and it is a well told tale. What is there not to love?
That is pretty much why I love Dungeon Meshi: This is just a good SFF story told well about good food. Don’t just take my word for it, it was nominated for Manga Taishou in 2016.
I want to read more of this! Unfortunately, it is on Harta, which is not weekly. Thus, slightly longer chapters, but on the downside, only 30 odd chapters since starting in 2014.
BTW, good news for those of who refuse to read scanlations, this is going to come in English soon: Yen press has got the rights. I wish it all of the love and success.
Today’s post was precipitated by the artbook by Kui Ryoko, the mangaka. I hope that gets included in the English translations. (One of the images is included below.)