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Manga / Dungeon Friends Forever
aka: Dungeon No Osananajimi

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Ryuuka and Van

Dungeon!! It is a labyrinth full with horrifying monsters lurking inside. It can be called Fantasy...
Childhood Friends!! It is a friendship that spans from early childhood. A childhood friendship between a pair of boy-girl, in a sense, is a fantasy—

Dungeon Friends Forever (ダンジョンの幼なじみ, Dungeon no Osananajimi, "Dungeon's Childhood Friend") by Yasuhisa Kuma is a fantasy Slice of Life in which a pair of unusual childhood friends hang out regularly

In the infamous dungeon, Wyrm Hell, seventeen year-old swordsman Van Sirius fights his way down to its one hundredth floor, where resides its most dangerous boss, the Dragon King Obsidian. Once face to face, the Dragon King... transforms into a teenage dragon girl and the two of them spend the day hanging out.

Van and final boss Ryuuka Obsidian have actually been friends since they were seven, and Van makes monthly trips to the dungeon to visit and deliver goodies from his mother while Ryuuka's minions look on and enjoy watching their relationship develop.

The monthly visits are set to come to an end, however, as Van reveals that he's joined the adventurer's guild in the town near Wyrm Hell, meaning he'll now be able to come visit Ryuuka every day.

The manga is licensed by Seven Seas Entertainment, with the first volume released on October 2023.

Dungeon Friends Forever contains examples of:

  • Always Someone Better:
    • Golde is regarded as the “strongest man” but he looses very easily to Van.
    • Zig-Zagged with Sora Prominence and Van. They are actually equals in terms of raw speed and strength but the fact that Prominence uses a magical blade while Van uses a regular one that can break gives the former a slight advantage that requires Van to work with Ryuuka to fight him. However, Van still feels that Prominence’s combat skills need improving. Also, since Prominence gains his power from the sword itself removing or breaking the sword (somehow) will depower him, unlike Van who’s naturally powerful.
  • Art Shift: The four members of the Dark Board look like genuinely terrifying monsters when discussing business, but look a lot nicer and softer when it's just them being Date Peepers.
  • Audience Surrogate: The four members of the Dark Board pretty much reflect different points of view of the audience enjoying the view of childhood friends. From just enjoying the sweet wholesomeness of their friendship (Wul-kun), shipping them hard (Mino-san), providing ways to enable progress (Orkkun), or wanting to see things get sexy (Harpy-san).
  • Bad Boss: Ryuuka can be this, but it's usually because the four Board members deserve it. When Van stated he needed to get some items from the dungeon to rank up in the Guild, he pulls out a paper that shows body parts of the four are worth a good amount of money. Ryuuka just points to them and says "have at them".
  • Bait-and-Switch: When the author has to take a break due to kidney stones, they make an apology drawing of Ryuuka looking cute, but Harpy demands more fanservice... so the author responds with a drawing of Mino, Orc, Uni, and Golde buff and shirtless. Harpy objects, but both Succy and Sylvia are very appreciative.
  • Benevolent Boss: Mino-san does not like Succy the Succubus due to a combination of a general dislike of succubi and because her actions inadvertently got between his shipping of Van and Ryuuka. However when Succy, oblivious to how Mino-san feels about her, confesses to feeling inadequate to the task being a monster of Wyrm Hell, he gives her sincere advice on how to turn her abilities, pros and cons alike, to her advantage. As Mino-san does this, there's a note next to him explaining that he doesn't allow his personal feelings to interfere with his work. The chapter ends with Succy seeing greater success, using her attempts to seduce incoming adventurers as a distraction to help other monsters rather than as an attack in and of itself.
  • Blood Knight: Golde has conquered numerous dungeons across the world and yet never takes any of the treasures within. It's because he loves the challenge of fighting strong opponents more than any riches he could earn doing so. When Van goes to the adventurer's guild to survey opinions on how to improve the dungeon, Golde sends back a request for a floor just to fight Van on.
  • Blunt "Yes": After Van reveals that he moved to the village nearby so he can see her everyday now, Ryuuka coyly asks if the reason he did that is because he gets lonely not seeing her. He just flat out says he does, much to her stunned surprise.
  • Boyfriend-Blocking Dad: Golde confronts Prominence after discovering that he is in a relationship with his daughter.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Ryuuka and Van both obviously like each other and Everyone Can See It, though they aren't entirely sure if the other does thanks to Ryuuka putting on a Tsundere denial about it, and neither wants to necessarily confess, though Ryuuka is the one that is actually has it in consideration versus Van not being sure if he wants to ever push things past the "childhood friends" part that could complicate their relationship. They're happy where they are on the surface, but Ryuuka is definitely perturbed by all the near-misses and Van is ambiguous in his considerations on the matter.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Not Ryuuka and Van, though the signs of it potentially developing are there, but rather Golde and Sylvia. Despite Sylvia's youthful appearance, she and Golde are the same age, have known each other since they were children, and are married with a teenage daughter of their own. This revelation immediately sets the Board of Directors to imagining Ryuuka and Van as a married couple with children.
    Narration: The four idiots found their utopia.
    Mino-san: I just can't get enough.
    Orkkun: So that's where paradise lies.
    Harpy-san: I hope they have at least 4 more.
    Wul-kun: I want to be part of their family.
  • Childhood Friends:
    • The premise of the series is that the Dungeon Friends of the title are an adventurer and the dungeon's final boss. Van regularly crashes through Ryuuka's dungeon for the sole purpose of hanging out with her. Chapter 2 shows that they met when they were seven years old. Van's family took care of Ryuuka after she got separated from her family, and Van helped her reunite with her parents.
    • Sora Prominence, the Great Hero, was Van's neighbor and knew both him and Ryuuka very well.
  • Cool Sword:
    • The sword of the great hero, Calendula, is considered the best of the best. Not only does it give anyone who wields it extreme power but the output of heat and mana melts through anything it touches, except for Black Dragon Queen scales.
    • Ryuuka and the board fashion a sword for Van using a mix of mithril, orichalcum, adamantite and Ryuuka’s own scales to compete with the sword of the hero.
  • Contrived Coincidence:
    • In Prominence's backstory, once he obtained the magical sword, he is made to register as an adventurer at the capital of the country. At the same time, some demon-worshiping cult in the capital is on the cusp of calling forth a demon. They succeed just after Prominence arrives and he vanquishes the demon in seconds. That is how Prominence became known as "The Great Hero."
    • Prominence didn’t know that the Demon King's Vessel, that he was sent to kill was Ryuuka until he saw Van at the dungeons entrance. But he still intends (begrudgingly) to follow through with his mission because it is what’s expected of him. He later decides against this and agrees to help Van and Ryuuka find another way.
  • Covert Pervert:
    • In chapter 31, it’s discussed that EVERYONE has a fetish of some sort. Even Wulf-Kun despite his wholesomeness (if you count hand holding as such).
    • The members of the board theorize that Ryuuka may have a collarbone fetish.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • Van can power his way through the 100 floors of Ryuuka's dungeon in no time at all. In fact, Mino-san notes it's very easy to know when it's Van coming because the announcer that alerts the dungeon to intruders informs everyone that a floor has been breached one after the other in rapid succession. The Board of Directors has basically given up trying to actually stop Van, only trying to because it's literally their job and setting goals like "hold him for 10 minutes."
    • In chapter 9, Van curb stomps the World's Strongest Man, Golde. He's able to do a Bare-Handed Blade Block with two fingers of the hand he's holding his sword with to effortlessly stop his opponent's own attack then floors him with one punch.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: In chapter 16 were introduced by Ryuuka’s mother, who disapproves of her daughter's friendship with Van. This is because Van is human and she expects the demon king to inevitably start war between humans and monsters. Though she begins to accept him after Van and Ryuuka prove their loyalty to each other. Ryuuka’s father on the other hand seems to adore Van. A flashback has him telling Van to call him papa.
  • Death Is Cheap: Ten years ago the demon king was killed by a great hero. However, according to Prominence his soul remained and has been gathering power since. There is a prophecy that ten years from his death (which is now) the demon king will be reborn through one of his “vessels”. This is why Prominence was sent to kill Ryuuka, since as a very powerful black dragon queen she is a possible candidate.
  • The Dreaded:
    • Prominence is this to dungeon monsters.
    • The Demon King is this to humanity. So much that Ryuuka’s become a target to prevent his prophesied resurrection.
  • Dungeon Bypass: Chapter 5 opens with a description of how Van makes his way through Ryuuka's dungeon on a daily basis: Brute Force. Van's clearly established to be strong enough to take on all the monsters en route, but this sequence also shows him charging straight through the obstacles and traps, such as puzzle doors, in exactly the same way.
  • Everyone Can See It: No one except Van is fooled by Ryuuka's insistence she has no romantic feelings for Van. The Board are calling her out on it as early as chapter 2, and regularly enjoy watching them interact. In chapter 10, Sylvia calls it obvious when Ryuuka acts with confusion to her promise to root for them.
  • Fictional Board Game: In Chapter 3, Van and Ryuka play a board game called "The Game of Another Life", which is both a reference to Game of Life and a riff on typical isekai tropes and mentions things like power trips, harems, and "vengeance points" for when things go wrong.
  • Foil: Van and Prominence. Van is an adventurer, the other is a famous hero. Van has dark hair, Prominence has light hair. Van got his incredible power through training and was already C-level when he was seven, Prominence only got his power from a magic sword and was very weak as a kid (often bullied). Van rarely shows facial expressions, Prominence’s face is stuck as a creepy smile. Prominence wears armor, Van doesn’t. Van is willing to fight to protect Ryuuka, Prominence has come to kill Ryuuka.
  • Good Thing You Can Heal: Ryuuka supplying mana to the dungeon, and the monsters tied to it, means that any of the monsters Van injures are granted a passive regeneration. The result is them constantly getting beat up as the requirement for even getting to see Ryuuka, and them generally shrugging off potentially horrible pain as something that'll go away in a bit.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Ryuuka becomes enraged when she sees Van Bridal Carry Sylvia. Sylvia realized Ryuuka's feelings for Van because she knows Golde reacts the same way when guys flirt with her.
  • Had to Be Sharp: Since Van doesn't get a free pass to the bottom of the dungeon, he had to fight his way through all 100 floors every month for ten years just to spend time with his childhood friend. This being a dungeon where the average Adventurer rarely makes it to Level 45 at best and only the most high ranking monsters in the dungeon are aware of his and Ryuuka's friendship. Because of that, he is incredibly strong that he can now speed run the dungeon in minutes.
  • Hand Signals: Ryuuka and Van have their own sign language they can use to talk to one another that's developed enough to have an entire conversation without either speaking a word out loud.
  • Hero Antagonist: There's a True Hero simply referred to as "Prominence", judging by his title in a card game, that is said to be one of the strongest if not the strongest entities in the world, equal to a Demon King. And the story very loosely sets him up to be a potential threat after he killed another Dungeon Overlord. A test by Ryuuka's mother of Van not only tests for whether he's worthy of meeting her, showing that Van is Hero level all on his own, but that his shared morals with Ryuuka for non-lethality may very well clash with Prominence's in the future. Though this appears to be a Bait-and-Switch when we finally see him and he turns out to be an old friend of Van and Ryuuka he soon reveals he came to her dungeon to kill her.
  • Last-Second Word Swap: Ryuuka has one when she gives her excuse as to why she is constantly spying on Van.
    Ryuuka: What if he has gir... friend.
  • Made of Indestructium: Prominence’s sword which magically imbues him with his power is so durable that not even Ryuuka can break it despite being a very powerful black dragon queen. This is what gives him the edge over Van since the latter uses a regular sword (that can break).
  • The Millstone: In the contest between the Quirky Miniboss Squads of Wyrm Hell and Ogre Organs, Harpy manages to screw up at every turn. In the first round, a fanart showdown in which both teams draw Ryuuka, most of the Wyrm Hell team's drawings are bad, but Harpy only draws Ryuuka's chest because boobs are all she can draw; Mino's is good enough to win, but also so steamy that Harpy nosebleeds all over it and the blood loss keeps her from participating in round 2. The final round is a "Lady Dragon Queen Quiz" where teams have to answer trivia questions about Ryuuka, and the Ogre Organs' team maintains an advantage for much of it because they have an official Ryuuka fanbook... authored by Harpy. The Wyrm Hell team only takes the win because the questions start concerning Ryuuka's relationship with Van. In contrast, the one round where Wyrm Hell won decisively was largely due to Succy the Succubus, who Ogre Organs insisted replace Harpy because they thought she would be The Load.
    Harpy (re: the Fanbook): Me?! I would never write such a- Beat Oh wait, maybe I did?
    "You freakin' birdbrain!!"
    "You really screwed us over this time!"
  • Mistaken for Flirting: Chapter 5 introduces Succy the Succubus, who tries to seduce Van while he's making his regular charge through the dungeon to visit Ryuuka. However, among the dungeon's monsters only the Board of Directors know the nature of their relationship. This causes Mino-san, out of a combination of protecting Ryuuka's secret and being offended at Succy trying to get between Van and Ryuuka, to charge Van, lose, and use that as an excuse to let Van proceed to Ryuuka. Succy, unaware of what's going on, sees the whole thing as Mino-san leaping into the fray to protect her and comes the conclusion that he has a thing for her, oblivious that he's actually very annoyed at her.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Played for Laughs, in that Ryuuka is usually near-entirely modest and not really an example of this herself on the norm. But Harpy is so obsessed with seeing something erotic between her and Van that she constantly imagines Ryuuka in sexy situations, never mind the other members of the Board occasionally imagining their own moments or laser beaming steamy artwork into existence. The series even occasionally uses extra chapters and title art as an excuse to draw Ryuuka in various outfits and situations for the heck of it, but never directly reflects it in the main story itself.
  • No Hero Discount:
    • Despite Van being the Dungeon Master's childhood friend, he still has to challenge all 100 floors every day if he wants to see her like everyone else.
    • Subverted in chapter 26 where it’s revealed that when Van was younger, he would still make it to the lower levels (mainly by sneaking in) but then the main squad would take dives so he could pass after ruffing him up a bit. Van was aware of this and overtime developed the strength to beat them for real.
  • Oblivious to Love: Van sees Ryuuka as his childhood friend, and his intimacy could very well be subdued feelings on his side but he doesn't even remotely seem to express it in any such way beyond great personal care for her welfare. So when Ryuuka makes sure to proclaim that He Is Not My Boyfriend, he takes it at face value constantly and seems perfectly okay with it — much to the consternation of everyone else. There's signs that he's not so oblivious, or even potentially jealous of the implication that Ryuuka does like someone that totally isn't him, but he carefully avoids showing anything outward about it so as to not affect their relationship.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Gob-San pretends to be a mindless beast while driving away adventurers below a C-level.
  • One Head Taller: Electra Munze Golde and Sylvia’s daughter has her fathers height of 168cm, making her much taller than her mom, Van, Ryuuka, and Prominence.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Enforced by the Board. Dungeon bosses like Ryuuka have an infinite mana supply and serve as basically living batteries for the dungeon. Their presence keeps the dungeon running for construction and its denizens and allowing the monsters to heal from their injuries. Unfortunately, this also means that a dungeon boss isn’t allowed to leave unless they have a replacement (hence, Ryuuka has been literally stuck there since her father, the dungeon's original boss and builder, retired). The Board want to guard Ryuuka with their lives alongside the rest of the dungeon. Sure she's arguably quite terrifyingly powerful, but having her go out and fight against any old adventurer would be a risk for everyone there. This becomes a plot point when the True Hero kills the master of another dungeon, causing them to desperately rush to Ryuuka's to try to forcibly take her to theirs to give it some life again. Well, that and they're totally obsessed with her.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: The Board are actually very powerful monsters, with Golde even commenting they are stronger than even Boss Ranked monsters in other dungeons he has conquered. It's just that Van is so strong he beats them up in an instant and most of their onscreen time is focused on them being Date Peepers.
  • Parental Substitute: Chapter 26 shows that the Dark Board, knowing Van wanted to visit Ryuuka but unable to actually defeat them legitimately, started subtly training him to be able to actually accomplish it, and the Guild Master is someone Van takes care of in his spare time, meaning all of them are effective substitutes in a weird sort of way. Though in chapter one, it is mentioned that Van has a mother, who would frequently have him bring Ryuuka food whenever her son left to visit her.
  • The Peeping Tom: Chapter 4 features Ryuuka being given the chance to watch Van when he's not at her dungeon by way of a Magical Witchcraft Monitor, essentially a television set that gives Surveillance as the Plot Demands focused on Van. Despite a token protest, Ryuuka spends every moment Van's not physically with her watching the TV for days at a time, the narration going so far as to call her a complete stalker. The issue is ultimately resolved when Van, having noticed he's being watched but not sure how, starts glaring in the direction of the camera, and the sight of his angry face being directed towards her makes Ryuuka destroy the monitor.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: The monsters in the Dungeon attack adventures because it's their job.
  • Punny Name: Ryuuka Obsidian's name translates to Black Dragon.
  • Schmuck Bait: Ryuuka fell for a Mimic Trap because there was a note in front of it "These are the snacks".
  • Shipper on Deck:
    • Ryuuka's top enforcers, her Dark Board of Directors, spend the bulk of their screentime quietly watching Ryuuka and Van's interactions, finding their relationship precious. Harpy, especially, is all for them upgrading their relationship. They don't even mind that Van will be able to start visiting daily, even though it means he'll also be beating the crap out of them daily since it's their job to at least try to stop him.
    • Sylvia the mage joins in the on-deck shipping in chapter 10, when she's quick to notice the nature of Ryuuka's and Van's relationship and quietly tells Ryuuka she'll be rooting for them.
  • Sore Loser: Van is such a Determinator that losing tends to make him sour if he isn't intentionally throwing a fight or game, and the Board throwing their fights to Van as a child actually made him frustrated knowing he wasn't strong enough to win for real. When Ryuuka pulls The True Hero's card in a game that is an Instant-Win Condition, he straight up just throws the cards into the air in indignation and swears for the first time on-panel.
    Van: Shitty gaaaame. Shitty gaaaaame.
  • Succubus in Love: Due to mixed messages, Succy the Succubus has grown feelings towards Mino.
  • Slasher Smile: Prominence has one of these, ALL THE TIME. Turns out it’s because he was expected to smile all the time after becoming a hero it permanently tensed his facial muscles.
  • Strong, but Unskilled: Downplayed, Prominence and Van are on par with each other physically, but Van notes that he could improve his sword skills. Despite this he proves to be a match for both Van and Ryuuka since his magic sword is able to shatter Vans regular one.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: The Board are not fooled for an instant with how much Ryuuka claims that she only sees Van as a childhood friend and nothing more.
  • Take That!: Chapter 3 opens with the childhood friends playing "The Game of Another Life", a parody of Game of Life in which players aim for the strongest rebirth. The game takes potshots at various other fantasy and isekai genre stereotypes, with Van getting kicked out of the hero's party and gaining a powerful revenge buff.
    Mino-san: I duuno what the youngsters like but there's no reason to get uppity about it. I mean look, the Lady Dragon Queen has such a happy face on.
    Ryuuka: The heroine was NTR'd by an ill-mannered hero!! Mass-murder mode activated!!
    Mino-san: Yeah screw that this is a terrible game.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Ryuuka enforces a strict "no killing" rule on her minions. It is for this reason that Wyrm Hell maintains a record of zero fatalities on both the human and monster sides.
  • Tranquil Fury: Some of the plans the 4 subordinates do causes this for Ryuuka, usually ending with her gently smiling and hurting them in response.
  • Tsundere: Ryuuka is quick to vehemently deny any romantic feeling whatsoever for Van, but regularly is shown becoming jealous when he interacts with other girls or blushing at fond memories of their times together, only to vehemently deny doing any such thing. Harpy-san outright calls her a tsundere in chapter 9.
  • The Unchosen One: Prominence gained his power after accidentally stumbling upon a magic sword. After that he was coerced into the hero position.
  • Weredragon: Ryuuka can freely change from a dragon form to a humanoid form that looks like a dark skinned teenage girl with four horns on her head. This is a skill she learned over time as she could not do it when she first met Van.
  • World's Strongest Man:
    • Chapter 8 introduces Golde, "The Legendary Man". He gets his names from all the legends that have sprung up in his wake. He's conquered dungeons all over and he's arrived to take on Wyrm Hell as he lives to take on powerful opponents. However even he can't do a thing against Van, who fights him to protect Ryuuka and wins handily.
    • Chapter 27 lets us finally meet the world's strongest hero, Sora Prominence who can clear the dungeon just as fast as Van and is revealed to have been Van's next-door neighbor when they were kids.
  • Younger Than They Look: When Sylvia offers Golde comfort after fighting and losing to Van, the Board of Directors get up in arms about how Golde can get a young girl like Sylvia giving him such affection. They're shocked when Sylvia explains that not only are they married, they're both the same age.
    Board of Directors: That age gap is way too much!!
    Sylvia: What? No, we're the same age. The same age.
    Board: Huh?
    Sylvia: We're both 35 years old.
    Board: So young!!
    Golde/Sylvia: We get that a lot.

Alternative Title(s): Dungeon No Osananajimi