I’m not a huge manga fan. Recently I’ve started reading it more but 6 months ago I read a few but not very much. One of these I was reading was Food Wars! because the preview for the anime seemed so amazing and I couldn’t wait. This is the first time I’d been completely caught up an actively been reading the manga before the anime released. Despite this I’m not going to be reviewing it as an adaptation as I feel that is boring so onto the review!
Our story follows a young high school freshman named Soma Yukihira who is the son of a famous chef and restaurant owner. His father convinces him to enroll in the high school he went to which is a hardcore cooking school with a 10% grad rate. From the very start we can see Soma’s skilled cooking styles In the first episode there is a group that wants to force a sale of the Yukihira. Soma says he’ll only close if he’s unable to fulfill an order. They sabotage the restaurant by ruining the meat then order. He makes a roast out of potatoes and bacon he just bought which ends up leading to the show’s signature orgasmic eating. At the school we learn the headmaster’s granddaughter Erina Nakiri has a god tongue and chefs from all over the world pay to have her taste their food. Soma’s entrance exam is to cook for her and he fails, not because he made a bad dish, but because Erina doesn’t like him. The headmaster tastes Soma’s dish and overrules the decision. The last of the main cast is Megumi Tadokoro who is a shy girl that Soma helps boost the confidence of. The rest of the cast is way too big to go into any detail with and I don’t want to talk about some but not others so we’ll stop here.
The show follows the typical shonen format of introducing the character, moving them to a situation they are comfortable in but not familiar with and each arc introducing some new character that can come back in later arcs as needed. We also have Erina as a classic tsundere despite lack of romance which is a bit weird. My main problem is nothing unexpected ever really happens and it’s also too typically shonen. Soma rarely fails and when he does it usually doesn’t matter or they come up with some terrible reason making the battle seem like it didn’t matter (looking at the second shokugeki Soma participates in). The anime also ends in the middle of an arc and attempts to wrap things up without resolving that arc.
The visual style is very nice to look at. The colour scheme is pretty good as well. I also really liked all the character designs. One thing you’ll notice right away is the amount fan service but it doesn’t bother me as much here. The big thing is after characters eat food they really like they usually end up naked and look like they are reaching sexual climax. You’ll notice I said “characters” as this happens to men and women, in fact I think it might actually happen more to men. There are some infamous scenes (squid anyone?) and the first episode does have quite a bit but it really dies down and in general just has character being naked but covered by light or smoke after a few episodes.
The soundtrack is really good too. The songs all do a really good job at fitting the mood. The original opening and ending songs are amazing and the replacements, while a step down, are pretty good too. Character voices are all pretty good and I will give credit where credit is due, Yoshitsugu Matsuoka actually sounds different from his usual role while he’s playing Soma. There was a really good scene in one episode which had Soma and Erina simultaneously singing the ending song and while Erina is singing really well Soma is pretty a ton of working into his humming which is great.