Ever since he was little, Souma Yukihira's main goals have been to beat his father in a cooking contest and take over the family diner. That's why, when his dad suddenly announces that he's shutting the restaurant down and sending Souma to cooking school, Souma is shocked. However, Tohtsuki Academy is no ordinary cooking school. This elite institution is filled with culinary giants like Erina "God Tongue" Nakiri, who does her best to keep a lowly short-order like Souma from even making it inside the door. However, if the snobs can dish it out, Souma can serve it up, and when he learns that only a handful of the students manage to graduate every year, he swears that the only way he'll leave is as number one!
Source: Sentai Filmworks
An Endless Wasteland
That Chef Never Smiles
The Madonna of the Polar Star
The Ice Queen and the Spring Storm
The Meat Invader
The Quiet Don the Eloquent Don
The Concerto of Inspiration and Imagination
The Breading to Adorn the Mountains
The Heavenly Recette
The Magician from the East
The Memory of a Dish
You had me at tentacle rape. Food Wars! is everything both good and bad about Japan at the same time, and it is glorious. Shameless fan service, a silly shounen plot inside a competition anime, various mumbo jumbo about cooking which is sometimes kinda true and at times just wrong but feels right... this show is the Donald Trump of anime. It has everything you should absolutely loathe about Japanese animation, yet is just so funny and you can't be sure if the charisma is intentional or not. This is a show that everyone who attempts to view as an adult should hate, but everyone loves. Because perhaps the greatest thing in Food Wars! is that it brings out a feeling of childish fun. The humor is juvenile, but it's fun. The plot is a thin at best, but it's fun. The drama is so artificial that it goes beyond ridiculous. But. It's. Fun. Everything is over the top in the series. There is only one character that acts remotely normal, and he walks around naked. The fan service is blatant and hilarious. Anyone who knows cooking will laugh his ass off at the reactions (and at least some of the recipes; I'm sorry to break it to you believers, but a burger without meat will always suck compared to a burger with meat). But I cannot deny the effortless charm in the execution. What can I say? There is a combination of earnestness and a wink to the audience that just makes Food Wars! irresistable. It is to school life shounen what Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is to mecha shounen. A genre I hate, made with charisma and over the top antics, aimed at both the people who love the genre and at people who like mocking it. This is a labor of love, and it shows. Oh yeah, there's tentacle rape in the first episode. It's hilarious. Writing (story and characters): Raise your hands if you heard this before: a teen from a modest/poor background is somehow in a school with rich/talented/famous kids, and he must prove himself the best among them through hard work and determination. He makes a lot more enemies than friends at the start, but his passion and drive soon have him surrounded by a good bunch as he takes on seemingly impossible challenges, each time surpassing his limits. Of course, there are high stakes competitions, but he will work hard to be the best! But, as a foil to our protagonist, there are his supporting cast. The Tsundere, the shy girl, his friendly rivals, his not friendly rivals looking to crush the commoner under their superiority, and of course, an ulikely group of friends with different styles. They're a practically a super-duper-generation-of-miracles! So the plot and characters are a cliche. Food Wars! has the most stomped on cliches ever. What makes all this matter very little is that combined, they actualy work. Usually this stuff makes me scoff and deride a show, but here they combine into endless setups for gags, fan service, fan service gags, and just over the top ridiculousness. This is definition of "so bad it's good". And you know what? I'm one hundred percent that the author aimed directly at that, and scored masterfully. It ticks all the boxes shounen, harem, ecchi, and parody. It also manages to do this in a way that's graceful and unforced. Art (animation and sound): Usually, I say that the art has the unenviable task of bringing the writing to life and kicking it up a notch. But really, when the writing is so over the top, all that's needed is to actually keep up. That isn't an easy task in any way, but the artwork manages to give a good showing and definitely does the job. The animation is good. Well, not so much the animation, which is rather static at times, falls upon the "scroll through some still picture over a psychedelic background" cliche a lot, and doesn't involve very intense choreography of motion. But the still pictures are great, the character designs charming (if a bit towards ecchi cliches), and most of all it just matches up so well with the tone of the series. I'd have liked to have hated the sound because of the veritable standard range of voice acting, standard soundtrack, and cliche opening and ending themes. But it actually fits so well. It matches the extremities of the writing, glues it to the visuals, and does everything it should. Food Wars! has executes well on the audio, there's no doubt about that. But all this being said, the flaws are still there. It cannot be said that the animation and sound are top-tier. They fit magnificently, but you can see and hear where the budget constraints made this show less than it could be. But given all that, the artwork of Food Wars! is great at doing what needs to be done for the writing to really come to life. Overall: Really, I should hate this show. I don't. It's ridiculous and awesome, and it does it with a completely natural feel to it. Food Wars! is touted as great, and it kinda is. If you don't mind some blatant fan service, aren't expecting anything cerebral, but are just looking for something fun... this hits the spot. Oh yeah, tentacle rape within the first five minutes. Prepare to laugh your ass off.
I'm not going to go into a ton of detail because this show is not worth the time. i just wanted to offer a counter too all the undeserved praise this show is getting. i will however, talk about some general points so that people who are thinking about watching this show should most likely stay away from it. Score Disclaimer: 1=the worst of the worst 5= average 10= perfection. Story: the store starts off with a decent base with a young aspiring chef leaving home and what he thought was going to be a fairly secure life to challenge himself among the best of the best in his field. the plot is doomed before it even begins with the beyond ridiculous and nonsensical(in a bad way) food tasting scenes which let you know right off the bat that cooking is nothing but a hollow shell of a plot device. the main story is even further cluttered and pulled down by the introduction of the love interest and all of the insanely overused shonen tropes. Animation: nothing to complain about. good quality. moving on. Sound: completely average Characters: oh dear where to start... the main character is typical shonen bland which isn't that bad if your into that, but all the other characters range from bad to "omg how can you make characters that are this horrible". love interest is the worst kind of tsundere, who is a pretty much a princess that was born better than everyone, but only the main character doesn't treat her like a princess THEREFORE she loves him... the rest of the characters have some INCREDIBLE "super power" or skill set that they use to cook and yes... it's as lame as it sounds. Megumi is honestly the only decent character in the whole show(other than kinda saoma)because while she is very cliche she also has some depth and actual struggles that she has to overcome. Conclusion: This show is very overrated and with all the lazy shonen tropes you've seen before but with a new skin. If you just want a show to turn your brain off and watch goofy poorly written nonsense and have some laughs(it is funny at some points) then given it a try. be warned however, if you decide to give it a try it can eat your time fairly quickly. Deceptively little actually happens throughout the show and you can find yourself clinking on the next episode simply because you want something to happen and nothing ever really happens.
Note: This review is slightly outdated, since it had been written after watching only episode 1. The updated score, and my reasing for it, can be found at the bottom. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- After reading the mangaseries, I wanted to give the anime a try... but while the manga is a series about cooking, with some "foodgasms" thrown in as gimmick or comedic highlight, the first episode of the anime was like a series about "foodporn" where the actual cooking was delegated to the background since everyone knows what really sells... I don't actually mind the socalled "foodgasms", but the animators obviously spent so much time on these scenes, trying to make them look "good", that they overshadow the rest of the episode. The protagonist cooks delicious (and sometime some weird) stuff and the preparation of the meals is interesting and entertaining. But nothing of that left any remaining impression on me after they showed us a stark naked woman and a bunch of grown men (the nasty bits are all covered, don't worry) who moan deliriously because of the protagonist's food, including fully animated breast jiggling and suggestive poses... My temporary score is a 7/10, because of the "intensity" of the foodgasms, which I consider secondary to the actuall story. The manga usually devoted a single scene with a few panels leading up to them for a single foodgasm, so they didn't leave an overly strong impression that overshadowed everything else that happened in the chapter (they were still funny and all). The anime uses way more than that, and throws extensive breast-jiggling in ultra-HD resolution on top of it. If you can ignore next-gen breast-physics, feel free to add another point to my overall score. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- EDIT: Now that I read my old review, I notice that it never mentioned that I watched only the first episode, since that was the only episode available at the time this review had been written. In the comments, Pinja also pointed out that I should watch the remaining episode before writing something like I did above... My point about the first episode still stands, but (luckily) the other episodes tone the things mentioned above way down, getting a lot closer to the original material. They still have varying levels of fanservice, but they no longer distract from the actual events that happen in the story. If you liked the manga, feel free to watch the series since you probably won't regret it! For my updated review, I would give Shokugeki no Souma 8/10 points, meaning I would watch it again in the future.
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