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Review: 'Food Wars!' ('Shokugeki no Soma')

Anime Review

By Riot DragonPublished 6 years ago 6 min read
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Anime: Food Wars! (Shokugeki no Soma) (Seasons 1-3)Genre: Adventure, Comedy

Age Rating: Teen+

Studio: J.C. StaffMusic: Tatsuya KatoAuthor: Yūto TsukudaDub/Sub: SubtitlesEcchi Level: Otaku (Almost, but no showing. Also a man running around in nothing but an apron)

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Like with Sakamoto, I found this anime through small clips placed on Facebook. I thought the clips were hilarious, so I hit up the big CR and watched the entire thing. At least, the first two seasons. The third season didn’t come out until recently, and as I watched it, I thought I’d throw a review out on it as well.

And Kami Dende Superstar, what the hell did I get myself into? The opening scene starts with a competition between our hero, Sōma Yukihira, competing against his dad to see whose fried rice dish was the best. Unfortunately for the young upstart, Daddy is still the king of the wok, and Yukihira is left to cope with the loss by practically poisoning a poor young taste tester. I gotta say, it’s always weird to start off a series by showing the main character failing at what they’re supposed to be good at right off the bat. That being said, the rest of the episode gives you a taste of what most of the series will be like.

After an encounter with a few land sharks at his restaurant, he finds out that his father is actually closing it down for a while to go travelling, and he’s sending Yukihira to one of the most prestigious culinary schools in the world. One so prestigious, in fact, that around 99 percent of the student body does not end up graduating. It’s a school so serious about cooking that all debates, arguments, and complaints are solved through Shokugeki. A Shokugeki is a duel between chefs, where each contender has a time limit to make a dish (typically with a certain theme), and offer it to an odd number of judges to decide who is the winner.

Before I go any further, here is your warning. This anime is straight up food porn, somehow literally and figuratively at the same time. Each time someone gets a taste of some of the amazing dishes they show in the anime, it gives us viewers a visualization of what’s happening in the person’s head while they are foodgasming, which typically involves clothes exploding off their body to start off with. Despite that, there is no actual nudity in the series. There is, however, an obsession with making you drool over ever single dish you see. Despite the anime characters looking no better or worse than most other mainstream anime these days, the food is drawn so meticulously well that it’ll make you stop for a snack every couple minutes. The word food porn was basically born for this series. This isn’t really a complaint, as it's amazing they managed to pull it off.

With that out of the way, everything else was on point. The comedy had me dying at some points while the tenseness of the Shokugeki duels practically had my nose to the screen. It amazes me how they managed to make something as typically mundane as cooking so attention grabbing and nail biting in anime form. Regardless, as I mentioned about the animation before, the typical dialogue and back and forth between students is rather average for anime standards. But when the soba noodles start flying is when the golden crust of the anime shows itself. The incredible attention to detail that they put into drawing each dish was jaw dropping and mouth watering at the same time, leading to a very wet floor. Also, the music was good as well. Credit to the musician, because the beats blended in perfectly with each situation.

So, the anime pretty much follows Yukihira’s life at Tōtsuki Culinary Academy. And considering that this academy is full of the most narcissistic, self-absorbed, silver-spoon-fed assholes in Japan, he has a lot to prove to everyone. But, his carefree demeanor and unreal talent for cooking get him both friends, and enemies. As is typical with anime, there’s a lot of mixing and matching with friends and enemies in here. That being said, all the characters are fucking awesome. Yukihira, Erina, Megumi, the Aldini brothers, and my personal favorite, Nikumi. And no, her being the only female to show cleavage has nothing to do with it. I’ll get into that in the usual section. There were very few characters that I didn’t find interesting, to be honest. And it’s really hard for an anime to pull that with me. So good on them for doing this right.

Season one and two are pretty much Yukihira going through regular school stuff... with cooking, of course. He sleeps in a dorm with a wild, apron-wearing, naked man running around with all of his friends. He goes to class and clashes with other students, as well as teachers. And he competes in cooking contests of both the school, and Shokugeki variety. It grills the action into you perfectly before flipping you over to lay on some light-hearted comedy. The balance between the intense cook offs and the chuckle fest is almost perfectly paced, making for an amazing mixture.

Season three, however, is where it goes a bit off the rails. I’m not going to spoil anything, of course. But to make an almost one-to-one analogy, I’d have to say it goes along nicely with Harry Potter. Remember reading (or watching) Harry Potter, and there was that one movie where at the end, you said to yourself, “Okay... shit just got serious.” That was basically season three for this anime. It is more character drama heavy, but that still didn’t take away from the overall fun I had watching the series. Sure, it got darker than it usually was, but that tends to happen the longer an anime runs. So it should be expected.

Back when I was a kid, and anime was fairly new to America, I used to make a joke. After finding out that there were sports anime coming to America, I found myself saying, “Haha, they can make an anime about literally anything.” Well, it turns out they’re right. And in this case, they did it fantastically. I can’t recommend this to enough people. If you love cooking, love anime, or just want to have a good time, then this is definitely an amazing way to do it.

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TLDR: This fucking anime made me unconsciously make food puns throughout my entire review. I just noticed that shit. If that doesn’t tell you how good it is, then I don’t know what will. It’s awesome, love the characters, love the scenarios, and it has a perfect balance of intensity and comedy. Music is good, animation is good, characters are good, food is good, everything is good. What the hell are you still doing reading this? Go watch the damn thing!

Ratings

Animation: 9/10Music: 8/10

Story: 10/10Comedy: 10/10Overall Rating: 10/10

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SPOILER TALK. IF YOU DO NOT WANT SPOILERS, DO NOT READ PAST THIS LINE! ENTER AT YOUR OWN WILL!

Best Girl: Ikumi "Nikumi" Mito. Sure, she was a bitch to start off with. But then so was Erina, so was Hisako, and basically Megumi too before Yukihira pulled her ass out of the fire in class. But, after her resounding defeat in her Shokugeki against Yukihira, you start to notice her blushing around him, especially when he calls her Nikumi. And it’s fucking adorable. OTP FTW, they belong together. To hell with anyone else who says otherwise.

Not really much to spoil here. I loved the cooking scenes. And the tense moments during the duels are practically my favorite part of the anime. Though, I’d be lying if I didn’t say the comical foodgasms weren’t a big draw to the series as well. Waiting in anticipation for each person to take a bite solely to see how they react held my attention almost as much as the actual duels did. I suppose that’s only natural considering they are what led me to watch the show in the first place. Now, I’m going to watch this series again. I’ll be back with a review of another one when I stop drooling over this one.

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About the Creator

Riot Dragon

I like anime, and since I'm binge watching a bunch of them anyway, I thought I'd review them. Enjoy.

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