After several weeks of action and adventure first fighting the boss of this stratum and then the one below, this episode provides some much-needed downtime. Once again, Boxxo is drawn into the low-stakes troubles of the Restaurant Union—this time with an eating contest.
This whole portion of the episode is light-hearted comedy fluff with the guild figuring out that their newest scheme—an eating contest—is likely to put them in the red thanks to the participation of the Shui and the Band of Gluttons. Boxxo doesn’t do anything here besides provide cola to hopefully fill them up quicker and turn them into a jukebox for the heck of it. The whole scene is just a parade of: “Hey, remember these characters? They’re still around!”
The one thing that’s important from this bit, however, is its conclusion—i.e., Shui winning. The rest of the episode is spent fleshing out Shui’s character and expanding on what we know about the dungeon. Up until now, the floors we’ve seen might as well be their own worlds with a sun in the sky and wide open spaces. However, the first floor we see this time around is more of what one would expect from a dungeon. It’s just a sunless series of caverns—with a shanty town built from the few available resources.
The reason the town exists at all is because it is a place for all those who can’t complete the first floor—who would be unable to survive even if they made it to the lower, more habitable ones. On one hand, this means that everyone we’ve met in the show so far, from the cooks to the inn workers, is strong enough to beat this floor. However, that doesn’t mean everyone can—which brings us to Shui.
She grew up as one of many orphan children on the first floor of the dungeon—abandoned and unable to progress until she reached adolescence. So, of course, when she wins Boxxo for a day, she returns to the orphanage to share her joy with the children still there. Through this we get to see Boxxo at his best, charging nothing and going through more than a few transformations to make the kids happy. We see that the kids are poor but happy—and luckily have someone strong looking over them to keep them safe from the less-savory characters who prey on the weak trapped on the first floor.
All in all, this is largely a filler episode. However, the focus on Shui gives us a good idea of what her wish—her reason for joining the Menagerie of Fools—is likely related to. So, while this isn’t one of the series’ best episodes, it’s far from terrible either.
• I wonder what the surface is like.
• Ouch. Being pelted with dry ice had to hurt. I hope it didn’t leave any burns. (Then again, it’s likely they didn’t survive the morning after anyway.)
• Lamis is kind of a saint in this episode when you think about it. She didn’t agree to this whole “win Boxxo for a day” thing and still ends up having to be his legs for it as there’s no way Shui can carry him.
• I can’t help but feel the jukebox should have had way more impact than it did. I mean, even if he only has access to copyright-free music, he’s still probably this world’s greatest musical performer.
Reborn as a Vending Machine, I Now Wander the Dungeon is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
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