OP2 Sequence

OP2: 「運命」 Unmei (Destiny) by (Sumika)

「シーサーペント」 (Shīsaapento)
“Sea Serpent”

Dungeon Meshi is back with no interruption in service (though a new OP and ED). We still don’t know what the ultimate plan with this series is, as it’s only been confirmed for two cours and the manga needs three at an absolute minimum for a proper adaptation. Given that Trigger show no signs of hurrying through the material I can only assume there will be at least one more season, split off from this one or not. And to their credit they’ve shown every indication of respecting the material so far, only rarely swamping the essence of it under their signature studio affectations.

It’s an interesting choice to start a new cour with an episode focused entirely (almost) on the “B” party, but that’s the order of the manga and they’ve followed it religiously so far. The Kabru party is in a tough situation narratively, as they don’t get much time to establish themselves as characters. Cumulatively it does add up, but one tends to lose their feel for them in the interim. And this is only their second or third appearance anyway – with a 100% track record of being dead at the start of it.

Once again the hapless Team Kabru have to be revived, which means relying on someone who expects to be paid. In this case it’s Tansu, who’s at least relatively generous about it – he only extracts what he says were his costs for the goat’s blood he used to revive the leader. And once again they rage at the Laios party for having supposedly ripped them off. But like the Laios group, they have to face the fact that at the moment they’re in no condition to go deeper into the dungeon to achieve their goal (hunting down Laios). So Kabru reluctantly decides to take Tansu-san’s advice and head topside.

It would be easy to dismiss this group as butt-monkeys given that they’ve died every time we’ve seen them. But there’s more to them than that, especially Kabru. He is, frankly, a pretty weird guy. We get a look at a couple sides of him that weren’t obvious before, first of all his ruthlessness. The way he deals with the corpse retrievers is certainly evidence of that. They’re bad men, no question. But boy, he sure doesn’t take any prisoners here. And this reflects another aspect of his personality, self-righteousness. If you don’t conform to Kabru’s vision of how the world should be, anything that happens to you is your own fault.

We get a hint of something else here, too – Kabru is very clever. As witness the way he figures out what happened to the Touden (I can’t remember, but this may be the first time we’ve heard that name) party from a couple of very rudimentary clues (like Rin’s assertion that the one who cast the ghost-warding spell – that was a really nice thing to do, by the way, you ungrateful bastard – was an elven magic school graduate). He’s spotted Nemari in Tansu’s party too, who he recognized as formerly being a part of Laios’ group.

Kabru’s reasoning for hating Laios as much as he does is pretty sketchy. Even as he himself describes it, the “scam” involving the ex-adventurers who received the spoils of Laios and Falin’s prospecting runs wasn’t their fault. No, it comes down to the fact that Kabru has iron-clad views of how things should be – not least the eventual dissolution of the dungeon, and what should happen afterwards. And anyone who doesn’t conform to his vision is an enemy, plain and simple.

In the end, Kabru’s group is saved from yet another untimely demise (at the hands of a sea serpent) by another ex-member of the Touden party – Shuro (Kawada Shinji). An Eastern tall-man like Rin, he’s assembled a new team around him. But his goal is the same as Laios’ was – find Falin. And that’s something Kabru can use to his advantage, which is enough to convince him that his party doesn’t have to return to the surface after all.


ED2 Sequence

ED2: 「キラキラの灰,」 Kirakira no Hai (Glittering Ashes) by (Regal Lily)


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