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.
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.
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.
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.
Is this going to be like an anime version of Hell's Kitchen??................ Not even close. And while I do enjoy Hell's Kitchen from time to time, I think I would rather watch this. The downside, this won't last nearly as long.
Food Wars at first didn't sound like much. If it weren't for the reviews, I might have skipped this one, or at least waited till it was finished. This is only the second anime I purposely started before at least the first season was finished. Since it's not finished, I can only review the first 17 episodes. Some of this review contains some, what I would call, mature content. This anime itself has some mature content. Just a warning since this is a bit more than what I would normally put in a review.
The story is about a boy who grows up with a father who owns a small diner and is an amzing cook. Throughout his child hood he learns from and competes with his father in cooking. When it comes time for high school, his father sends him to this crazy super elite culinary school. That's where the adventures begin. Sure, there isn't any battle scenes with swords or guns, there is no real romance or actual sex (although if you randomly turned this on at the right spot, you might think there was), and for the most part it's competition after competition just like many other animes. The main character is funny and awkward but awkward in a confident way that often made me burst out laughing while also feeling awkward just watching him. Personally, I find the main character to be refreshing and, while he is very similar to other characters in similar stories, that confidence that is also awkward and his intelligence despite seeming clueless sometimes, sets him apart. The rest of the cast is wacky and fun too, and often naked.
Yes I said they were naked. No I am not joking, although most of them aren't actually naked except for in their minds or whatever it's supposed to be. Well, all except one character who pretty much walks around in a loin cloth, apron, or entirely butt naked. He is slightly disturbing, and somehow, rarely does anyone seem to have a problem with this.
This anime includes food porn. Yes the food does look good, and it certainly sounds good, especially since the characters describe it in so much detail, but that's not really what I mean by including food porn. I mean, whenever they eat really good or really bad food, it's like they are having sex or watching porn at the least. Suddenly they are floating naked with only their privates covered by some object and they moan and look like they are being pleasured or having sex or whatever. They have like freaking foodgasms. And if the food is disgusting, instead of being an enjoyable sexual like experience, it turns into an uncomfortable one like being rudely groped all over by a squid. Even so, the content doesn't come off as being quite as mature as it might sound. It's litterally over food. And the whole time they are like this, they are describing in extreme detail the texture, flavor, ingriedients, cooking style, etc. I am seriously jelous of those characters. I want some of that food damnit. Make me float naked on a cloud of pure happiness.
I can't believe I actually typed any of that.
Anyways, overall I give it a 9. That nine is subject to change when I update this review after the season finishes. I REALLY HOPE THERE IS A SECOND SEASON!!!! THERE BETTER BE A SECOND SEASON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
GO WATCH THIS SHOW
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: if you like characters with depth and a well written story that either has meaning or takes you on a journey to an interesting world with interesting things then do not watch this show. if you have very low standards and 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 upfairly easily since 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 (spoilers! jk not really) nothing ever really happens.
Shokugeki no Soma was one of the most anticipated series of Spring and it just recently ended 9/25/2015. I actually couldn't wait for the anime to start so I ended up reading ahead. So basically, all that I watched was with me knowing in advance how everything plays out. It was just me seeing how they were going to animate the series.
Yukihira Soma is a young chef home-trained in his father's (Joichirou) diner. Story starts in a regular Father-Son cook off leading to Soma's defeat which is actually one of 489 consecutive loses for Soma. One day, Jouichirou decides to close up shot and work around the world. However, his plan with Soma was to send him to one of the most brutal culinary schools in all of Japan were less than 10% of the students graduate. There, Soma must prove that he's actually worthy of being in such a prestigous academy and aim for the top.
This story's portrayal of its source material was amazing. They were for the most part completely honest. It was just as enticing filled with great serious scenes along with hilarious comedy which was diverse. It's basically about a miracle rookie full of creativity doing what he can to break status quo and shake up the place. However, my main problem is its ending. The problem was probably that their final arc was unfinished in the manga yet they still decided to go ahead. It pretty much ended right at the middle of a major arc and that really bothered me.
My favorite anime currently is JoJo's Bizarre Adventure. Why am I talking about that? Well JJBA's animation was overexaggeration which I somehow feel is an understatement. It was silly and goofy yet awesome. That's how I feel about Shokugeki's animation. It was a real feast for the eyes with all the vivid colors and seizure enducing action scenes. Yes. A cooking anime can have action if you want it to be.
I didn't really care for either opening nor ending. The music I did enjoy was the background music. It was extremely serious full of chorus singing and heavy tones. The reason why it's highly rated is the stellar voice acting. Everyone captured the spirit of the character very well up to the sexual moaning and crooning.
Like a typical tournament style shonen, there's a whole lot of characters. However they all have quirks that make them stand out. Such as Satoshi Isshiki who's a lovely senpai yet is somewhat of an exhibitionist. Some people don't like Yukihira's somewhat arrogant attitude because they don't feel like it fits anime stuff where he's not humble enough, yet he is because he's always lost to his father which makes him better. I also love the fact that we don't have to waste episodes for the main character to realize that they're actually good. In short, all these characters are all really likeable.
Definitely one of the best anime of the year. It's a step out of the norm which some touches to make you feel familiar. One of the most enjoyable to watch as well. Word of advice:
Watch late at night when everyone's asleep and have your headphones on. People will question what you're watching with all the load moaning and such. If you don't care then go on ahead and enjoy to the max!