I was in the manga section in the back corner of my mall’s bookstore, sifting through what they had, and one manga that caught my eye was Food Wars! (Shokugeki no Soma). I later found out the ongoing manga was insanely popular in Japan, and that an anime adaption was in the works. I added it to MyAnimeList.
The first season just ended this Friday, and it is one of the funniest, strangest, yet most entertaining shows I have recently watched.
Here’s why I think you should watch it! (Spoiler free)
Yes, there’s an actual story – complete with character development, rivalries, backstory, mystery, conflict, etc. It’s way more than just cooking.
Okay let’s admit it – you’re here for the food. Be warned that you do not want to watch this show on an empty stomach. Food always looks pretty and sparkly in anime, but throw in dialogue of why the dish dazzles and your stomach will be growling.
Like your typical shounen anime, this one has its moments of humor and moments of seriousness. Think of Blue Exorcist (Ao no Exorcist) – in some moments Rin’s being a goofball and pissing off Yukio, and later there’s blood everywhere while he’s being sacrificed trying to summon Satan. Food Wars! is certainly not as dark: it’s got a good balance going.
The protagonist, Soma-kun, is a likable lead that can sometimes be a goofball and over-confident, but he’s really badass. That’s what’s great about Soma – people think he’s just overconfident, but then he does his thing and proves everyone wrong. It’s like rooting for the underdog that you secretly know is going to kick butt and win. It’s really satisfying to watch.
The Supporting Characters
As I continued watching the anime, I started getting a little concerned that too many characters were getting added in with each episode and the overall plot was getting too complicated. I was wrong. Shokugeki does a nice job taking things one step at a time, and the intermix of character interactions works quite well.
The Fan-Service (?)
This show has something for almost everyone. In the beginning, it is a bit overdone (if it’s not your thing just ride it out, trust me). The first episode has some pretty WTF moments. Oh, and plot twist: Most of the fan-service actually pertains to the female characters.
A Growing Fandom
You can be a total hipster and say you knew about this anime before it became mainstream on Tumblr and became the biggest thing since Attack in Titan. Well, I don’t think this show will become that big, but it’s starting to become very well-known, at least here in the U.S.
Think you’ll give Shokugeki a go? If you do, tweet me your thoughts: @mikeydunndesu
Mikey Dunn is a up-and-coming online personality who writes blog posts and publishes YouTube vlogs weekly.
On my blog you’ll find posts about anime, pop culture, and tech published here weekly. To see me in person, subscribe to my YouTube channel TheMikeyVlog! Also check out the About Me page and find me on social: @TheMikeyDunn.