How To Build A Dungeon: Book of the Demon King Volume One – 20 Question Manga Review

A 20 Question Manga Review for How To Build A Dungeon: Book of the Demon King, Volume 1.

Warning: This review may contain content and imagery that may offend.

What’s the manga? How To Build A Dungeon: Book of the Demon King, Volume One.

I’m guessing this isn’t an instructional manual on how to actually build a dungeon? Well, I mean it certainly goes into a lot of detail, but unless you actually possess magical powers, no it will not be of any practical use on how to build a dungeon.

Lots of helpful text!

Right. What it might help you with is show an example of how to write a character who is unambiguously a ‘bad guy’ but imbue him with enough positive traits that despite some of his actions—which range from questionable to downright dastardly—you still are able to root for him in a way that you might a ‘hero’ in another story.

So he’s an anti-hero, then? I’d say that’s fairly accurate, the only thing that’s difficult to qualify is whether an anti-hero can exist in this kind of story.

Don’t mess with him!

What do you mean? What kind of story is it? Well, it’s almost like one of those building simulation/management video games where you have to build something, whether it be a theme park or a hospital or even more specifically an actual dungeon like in ‘Dungeon Keeper’ or ‘War for the Overworld’ (neither of which I’ve personally played but have seen played).

Right, so how’s that work in manga format? Well the protagonist, Aur, wants a dungeon to call his own, fill it with powerful monsters and raiders, and deadly traps and spells. So he summons a Succubus to be his right hand woman, basically she’s his construction manager and he delegates tasks to her, who she in turn delegates to lower life forms to help build the dungeon.

He’s no ordinary human.

I’m still kind of confused what kind of manga this… I hasten to call it this, but I’m having trouble picking a better descriptor, it’s basically a slice of life, except rather than light-hearted and cute, it’s sinister, brutal and very erotic.

I beg your pardon? Oh did I fail to mention this is an erotic manga?

It’s hard to find sex scenes in this manga that don’t have nudity.

Um… yeah! You did manage to let that little tidbit of information slip! So this is porn, we’re reviewing porn now? No, no, no… well not exactly. It’s not like an erotic doujin, it’s… softcore? I suppose you’d call it, there’s no genitals on display, but having said that it’s pretty much only a couple a couple of additional lines from being full fledged hardcore material.

This isn’t going to devolve into another low-brow review is it? I promise not to talk about boobs for too long! Besides, there’s far more at play here than a litany of pointless titillation.

Mmhmm… Quit judging me!

Fine, who are the characters? Well as previously mentioned there’s the titular would-be demon king Aur, he’s cocky and kinda arrogant but he’s also intelligent and cunning. And maybe attractive? I don’t usually go in for his type but I could see why some people might be attracted to him. He’s also got a wealth of mana which is like magical currency, so that’s something that makes him alluring to certain people, such as Lilu—the succubus he summons. He’s only known her all of 15 minutes before they’re having sex so I mean at least this isn’t some long-winded ‘will they won’t they’ harem manga with a protagonist who’s sexually inert.

Holding hands is fun and all but…

I guess that’s good… if you’re into that kind of thing… Ain’t nothing wrong with a bit of sexy times!

And the others? Some time later an adventurer named Yunis comes wandering into the dungeon to defeat Aur, but she is outmatched by his abilities. Her induction into his burgeoning dungeon harem is decidedly ~problematic~ if only because her consent to his sexual advances only comes after Lilu has used her succubus wiles on her and there’s an element of coercion to the whole thing. But, not only does it fit with the whole anti-hero thing he’s got going on but she later saves her from her own village who goes full ‘angry mob’ on her. So she’s got at least some element of respect for him and isn’t completely without free-will.

Find a partner who can make you “Squelch” and “Slursh” too.

Uh-huh. What?

No, nothing. Do go on… Hmm, okay. And the final (for Volume 1) addition to his harem comes from an interesting side-plot. One of the neighbouring villages, who have pledged their fealty to Aur; in exchange for protection and a supply of mana to help the crops grow has to offer a female virgin to him. The only “acceptable” virgin they have however, is 5 year old Mary, now Aur might be a bad-guy but he’s not a lolicon. He insists on someone older and the only other one in the village who fits this description is a young woman with an unsightly disfigurement. See she disfigured herself with hot oil in order to protect herself from rapists who were invading the village some years ago.

Her backstory is the most tragic thus far.

Yikes, that’s dark. Indeed. So Aur meets with her and sees enormous potential in her and so takes her and the 5 year old, and says the village doesn’t have to provide another human offering for 10 more years.

Okay, so what’s his angle? Well he sees a darkness in her that’s even intimidating to him and he wants to help cultivate this dark potential and so gives her the choice to remain a disfigured human with no future, or to becomes his unholy apprentice and grow powerful in order to smite all those who’ve wronged her since. She gladly accepts and comes to be known as Spina henceforth. Also, conveniently for everyone the ritual to make her his apprentice gets rid of all disfigurements and leaves her with a trendy piece of face jewellery instead.

Extreme Makeover: Dungeon Edition.

Right, so I haven’t really gotten a solid idea about Aur’s character and what makes him as you early said: “unambiguously a ‘bad guy’,” and also “able to root for him”. Good question, so obviously his actions are self-motivated, he is thoroughly aligned to a side of darkness in this fantasy universe, but he’s never needlessly cruel, he’s strict and unforgiving if pushed but he never punishes anyone undeserving and is willing to listen to reason. He’s got a kind side, he doesn’t disrespect women or mistreat children and while he is very sexual active with I think as many as ten different women throughout this one volume, he never leads them on or hurts them in any way.

The gentlemen demon lord, sure why not. So final score and recommendation? I loved this book, I liked that it was so different from a lot of other harem style manga out there and not just because of how sexually active the protagonist was. It’s also darkly comical and occasionally just plain goofy, which is a much needed change of pace from some of the more serious subject matter. For fans of erotic-oriented manga and protagonists of questionable moral alignment; 87 out of 100.

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The One-Liner Challenge – Untold Questions

An Untold Questions blog about The One Liner Challenge.

And what do we have here? A challenge post, specifically ‘The One-Liner Challenge’! 

Oh yeah? And what’s all that about? It’s about making snappy one-line summaries of books, and they don’t even have to be books you like, you can roast ‘em too.

Mmm, roast books *drool* N—No, not like that…

I know, I know! So, who nominated you? Ryuji Tatsuya’s Anime Corner! Thanks for picking me!

Cool, and what are the rules for this challenge?

  1. Accept and thank your challenger(s) by linking back to their post.
  2. Make a post of one-sentence summaries and or roasts of at least five books.
  3. No spoilers!
  4. Link back to The Awkward Book Blogger so she can see your post.
  5. Challenge as many or as little people as you want!
  6. Have fun!

Great, let’s get started then. Oh and I assume you’re reviewing just manga since you’re like obsessed with it right now… Don’t be so sure, I might surprise you…

Hmm, okay, first book then?

No Matter How I Look At It, It’s You Guys’ Fault I’m Not Popular (Watamote)
“How not to do high-school in a million easy steps.”

Still waiting to be surprised… Second book?

House of Leaves
“Easy to read, light-hearted romantic comedy hit of the Summer!” – No One Ever.

Hey! There we go an actual novel book, but of course it’s something out of the mainstream that most people probably haven’t heard of… Third book?

How To Build A Dungeon: Book Of The Demon King
“Is it wrong to try to pick up girls in a dungeon—and immediately have sex with them?”

There’s probably a reference in there I’m not getting… Fourth book?

A Song of Ice and Fire Series
“When you take out the sex and violence it’s really just a lot of long descriptions of what people are wearing.”

I actually know that book! Yay, something relevant to me, even if you did just roast it… Fifth and final book please?

Food Wars!
“Just what every recipe book is missing, a heaping serve of anime tiddies! (also great story, characters, etc)”

Are they still called ‘anime tiddies’ when they’re in a manga? What do I look like a tiddie expert?

Please stop saying ‘tiddie’. No you.

Anyway, that was interesting! Yeah what a fun idea for a post! I enjoyed that!

So now all that’s left is to nominate people! It’s so hard to keep track, and I don’t want to spam people with too many things to do, so if you want to do this challenge yourself leave a comment below and I’ll edit the post to put your name here:

Fair enough. Thanks for reading everybody and have a good day!

20 Question Weekly Review Week Ending 11th March 2018

A 20 Question Weekly Review for the Week Ending 11th of March 2018.

Another week under the proverbial belt, huh? Indeed.

So a little birdy told me you spent a lot of money on anime merch and mangas last week? Who told you?

As I said a little birdy, a blue one by the name of twitter, you tweeted about it remember? Oh yeah, and yes. I sold some junk on eBay again + some inheritance allowed me to spend about it on merch and manga, one lust hurrah as it were before the scrimping and saving of being unemployed sets back in.

So care to share? Can’t, none of it arrived yet! It’s all due next week so expect a separate post about my various orders from Amazon Japan and Mandarake.

But you got a couple of manga this week? Yes from older orders.

And they were? Um… ‘Bloom Into You’ Volume 2, ‘How To Build A Dungeon: Book of the Demon King’ Volume 1, ‘Shomin Sample’ Volume 1 and ‘There’s A Demon Lord on the Floor’ Volumes 2, 3 and 4.

I’ve got to do something about better lighting when taking these shots.

Decent haul, and which manga did you read? I read ‘Shomin Sample’ which was a fun, but kind of nonsensical harem, like I get the story but there’s so many plot holes. But I’ll keep reading because the girls are super cute. I also read ‘No Game No Life Please’ Volume 1, which I thought was a comical a spin-off manga of the brilliant series ‘No Game No Life’ and it is, but it’s also insanely detailed, and has so much world building and development that I’d dare say its essential reading for fans of the series, which brings me to…

Something that’s not a good spin off? You got it! I read Volume 1 of ‘Monster Musume: I Heart Monster Girls’ and… well, talk about mixed bag. I guess that’s the problem when you have over a dozen authors contributing stories short 4-panel style comics to the Monster Musume universe. Some of these authors just plain suck! Sure it was fun to see some different art styles to these beloved characters, but at least half of the stories were just boring at best and at worst completely out of character.

You’re sounding a bit like a monster girl hipster, wow, there’s a sentence I never thought I’d say… Maybe I am, but reading the really good coolkyoushinja and Shake-O’s chapters it was clear there was a great divide in talent between some of the contributors.

And the other one you read? Hehehe…

Oh dear, I’m in for something perverted now aren’t I? How dare you! I’ll have you know ‘How To Build A Dungeon: Book of the Demon King’ is a totally wholesome… BAHAHA, oh god I couldn’t keep up that ruse any longer!

Right, so go on and tell me what it’s about… It’s hard to explain, right so if you ever played Dungeon Building games like the 90’s game ‘Dungeon Keeper’, or its 2015 spiritual successor War for the Overworld, you’re kinda close to what this manga is about, except add in a WHOLE BUNCH OF SEX. Like literally every chapter has an explicit sex scene that’s about a pencil’s width from being literal porn… it’s great!

Uh-huh… so let’s quickly change the subject and talk about anime! Ok, sure, a good week of anime, nothing especially remarkable from previous weeks, though I’ve put Darling in the FranXX on a personal hiatus, I’ll go back to it every 6 episodes to make a quarterly post but I can’t deal with watching it week to week.

Fair enough, what was the best airing show of the week? Probably citrus (episode 10 review here), which is a sentence I didn’t expect to be saying, though that said Slow Start and Dagashi Kashi were very good too. Everything else was consistent with how it’s been throughout the season.

Any other anime? Oh yeah! I started watching Killing Bites, it’s silly but it’s a lot of fun.

Anything else to report from the week? Yes! I started writing a light novel, and with the exception of this blog it’s probably the most fun I’ve ever had writing something! I look forward to sharing it with you all!

Great, but I already knew that, I read your twitter posts, remember? Way to spoil my fun!

And on the site? New stuff! I made my first manga review on Nurse Hitomi’s Monster Infirmary, which should become a weekly occurrence (different manga each week FYI), and also a Top 10 List of the Best OP’s of the 2018 Winter Anime season under the ‘Listing Compulsive’ banner, hopefully people enjoy these new types of posts because they’re not going away any time soon!

And that’s it then? I think so, yeah.

Great so how would you rate the week ending 11th of March 2018. A great week for starting new things, I’m really enthusiastic about all my new projects both on the site and in my creative writing! Thank you all for reading and continuing to support my blog!