Ever since he was a child, fifteen-year-old Souma Yukihira has helped his father by working as the sous chef in the restaurant his father runs and owns. Throughout the years, Souma developed a passion for entertaining his customers with his creative, skilled, and daring culinary creations. His dream is to someday own his family's restaurant as its head chef.
Yet when his father suddenly decides to close the restaurant to test his cooking abilities in restaurants around the world, he sends Souma to Tootsuki Culinary Academy, an elite cooking school where only 10 percent of the students graduate. The institution is famous for its "Shokugeki" or "food wars," where students face off in intense, high-stakes cooking showdowns.
As Souma and his new schoolmates struggle to survive the extreme lifestyle of Tootsuki, more and greater challenges await him, putting his years of learning under his father to the test.
Some of the recipes used in the series are compiled in the manga volumes by the collaborator chef, Yuki Morisaki. A recipe book was released June 4, 2015 featuring both recipes from the manga as well as new ones exclusive to the book, written by Morisaki with illustrations done by Shun Saeki.
Shokugeki no Souma has been published in English as Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma by VIZ Media under the Shonen Jump Advanced imprint since August 5, 2014. It has also been published in Polish as Kulinarne Pojedynki by Waneko since November 2016.
Shokugeki no Soma is a textbook case of a manga that lost itself along the way.
Somewhere along the line, the story stopped being about a cooking school and over-the-top villains came into picture and the manga became a hot mess after that.
After a very, very long arc with the first over-the-top villain, another one came into line, and by God, it's the worst character. Yeah, the worst character. Not the worst character in the manga. Not the worst character in WSJ mangas. Not the worst character in any manga. It's the worst character in any given story I've read. It's one of the worst things
that happened to mankind since, I don't know, slavery?
This character ruined the power levels of the manga, helped Soma regress all his development as a chef, ruined Joichiro's character AND his status as the final boss, it's in the process of ruining Erina (as of chapter 289) and the whole story. There were people that hated the first over-the-top villain. I miss the first villain dearly.
It's such a pity. The art is top-notch, the cast is memorable and likeable (you know, when Tsukada bother to write about them), the story was really great for most of the part (even in the Central Saga, in my opinion).
When I read, Shokugeki no Soma weekly, it's like watching the Hidenburg being gulfed in fire. 'Oh, the Humanity", indeed.
One of my favorite mangas in the past, I don't recommend it to anyone by now. My grade isn't lower only because of the memory of greater times. I don't drop this clusterfuck because I've been reading it for so long... I'm too committed. At this point, I only care about the shipping aspects, and even then the fanfics are a better option than this once great manga. The only scenario I'd recommend someone to read Shokugeki no Soma is if they want to see the rise and fall of a title. If you want to read a good story, maybe consider reading until chapter 260 something, that should be enough. Or don't read it all.
There are those boring times that we experience in our lives. Leading us to try new things, may it be funny or serious or just plain something we want to do, and those experiences will give us a learning or two. I had two or more of those moments in my life, and what i did during one of those times was browse a random manga in a manga hosting site. And there i found a shimmering shining diamond. A manga titled Shokugeki no Souma.
The story is quite simple really, the protagonist, Souma Yukihira, has a father that has a world renowned culinary arts
skill, known by high people from throughout the world. But is just running a Specialty of the day restaurant. One day Souma's father decided to work abroad as requested by a friend, resulting to the closing of their restaurant. Souma is now sent to a very prestigious high school where the sons and daughters of japan's top restaurants are enrolled.
To keep the spoilers out of this review i recommend that you read the manga because i like to preserve the excitement on souma's conquests. BTW, this is an ecchi manga. Additional points.
The art was magnificent. The ingredients being used, they were somewhat detailed but not THAT detailed, otherwise I'll give a 10. The drawings are clean, and may i say "those meats." If you know what i mean.
Hey, i never had these feeling since yakitate japan and mister ajikko. The characters are well thought in my point of view. Unique skills, Unique Background stories, Unique Goals, and Unique Traits and any other Unique things that you can think of.
Are you kidding? It's a shame that i could only give a 10/10 to describe this feeling I'm having right now. This would be one of the greatest anime if this would be adapted to be one(I have high hopes for that.). Talking about this manga having high potentials to be adapted as an anime, i had second thoughts if i would continue reading this or not. Mainly because i don't wanna spoil myself and decrease the enjoyment of watching an anime, knowing what will happen in each upcoming episode. So yeah, this is quite an exciting piece of work.
WHAAAAAAT?! 9/10 but reading you're reviews on each sector seemed that it was getting a 10/10?!
If a gave it a 10/10 then there would be no room for improvement. Overall I fell in love with this manga. To the point where i didn't want to spoil myself because i somehow feel that this will have an anime adaptation soon. A must read to all ages(Lol, jk 18+). This manga also gave me this weird thing called, "Inspiration". Much like Yakitate Japan and Mister Ajikko, the reactions of the judges gives a good laugh. I now leave this place deciding whether to continue reading this or not. This feeling, Tasukete XD. Anyways, This Manga is highly recommended to everyone. This will somehow boost your self confidence. Don't believe me? Read it for yourself >:)
"Look how they massacred my boy" - Vito Corleone, The Godfather & T-Hawk, Reading this series every week.
Shokugeki No Souma has been a staple of Weekly Shonen Jump for over 6 years now and at times it sat near the top of the mountain as one of the most unique ongoing shonen series out there that took your typical battle manga and flipped it on it's head. It seems however that the best days of this manga have long gone by and what we are left with is something that is a shell of it's former self, begging to just be put out of it's
The problem's arising here is not one isolated to this series but in fact often shared with many other series under the same publication and within the industry. Just like in the fall of Bleach or the consistent escalation of villains and power in Dragon Ball and just about 80% of battle manga. The problem with Shokugeki No Souma is that it keeps on going on and on. To be able to consistently write a consistently entertaining series for years all the while under the pressure of the weekly demands of Shonen Jump is extremely difficult to do and it's not surprising to see author Yuto Tsukuda fall into the pitfalls so many before him have done.
So just how has this once new titan of Weekly Shonen Jump fallen?
- STORY -
The story of Yukihira Souma was once quite simple. Our protagonist Yukihira Souma runs a diner with his father of which he has near daily has cooking battles with to determine who is the better chef. Souma has never once defeated his father in these cooking battles and due to his father is worried that Souma will never grow as a chef. So in order for our protagonist to grow to the level where he might some day defeat his father and be worthy of running his own diner, he is enlisted to become a student at the most elite culinary school in Japan where quite similar battles take place, titled "Shokugekis".
That was it and of course during the story our protagonist meets friend and foe alike. Now this may seem very generic and boring minus the cooking part but that's because Shokugeki No Souma seemingly purposefully followed the generic trends of your average battle manga and flipped them on it's head with it's battle system. The "Shokugeki" is a genius concept because cooking is not a life or death subject so that means that a lot (but not all) battles in this battle manga don't have physical connotations but instead emotional ones. Pride, hopes, dreams are what is often at stake here, there are times where there are things such as expulsion from the school on the line but those are far less interesting then simply having our protagonist and side characters revealing their motivations and ideals through non-lethal clashes, which means whether they win or fail, we still get to see how they are affected by the results of these clashes.
But here lies the problems with the manga in it's current state, more specifically the last few arcs. There was only so many times that Tsukuda could write the same characters in the same battles with the same motivations and same ideals. So in come the introduction of newer characters with abilities that surpass our protagonist simply because we need someone new for our protagonist to eventually beat. These new characters are very hit or miss but whether we love them or not is regardless but when they're beaten they often seem to disappear off the face or the earth or become just another side character. All the while our protagonist's ability seems to reach levels of a god despite not having even finished his first year in the academy yet. Side characters, once with their own dreams are reduced to commentary, villains turn good just because we have a new villain who is somehow worse and all of the sudden people go from actual cooking techniques to using "spice chainsaws" and that last one isn't a joke.
- ART -
This is where Shokugeki no Souma has shined and continued to do so in spite of the decreasing quality of everything else within the series. Shun Saeki has done excellent with the series and has brought exceptional amounts of life into nigh every panel. One should prepare for a watering mouth at the sight of a singular panel of the food in Shokugeki no Souma, as it's often more appealing than the real thing.
Character designs are so entrancing and unique that despite the character's often short shelf life of appearances within the manga they are always immediately recognizable upon any reappearance and has lead to a cast that is extremely lovable based on the individuality of their design alone and the motions of their often ridiculous actions whilst taking part in shokugeki are illustrated to perfection and usual hilarity.
It can however be said that Shokugeki No Souma perhaps on occasion a little too far into the ecchi portion of the series and illustrations leave little to the imagination. However on the flip side of that, it is not just the girls of Shokugeki No Souma that receive such treatment so the paradoxical nature of the series towards your average Shonen manga is still left intact.
- CHARACTER -
This will be kept brief as it's very similar to the story section of this review but Shokugeki No Souma suffers once more from the same problems most shonen manga does if it runs for any extended period of time. We are introduced to characters that are fleshed out with their own ambitions, backstory, etc. Then they are shoved to the backline in favor of our protagonist and his love interests. People that once were intrigued the reader to wanting more appearances now offer little more than running commentary as they haven't been awarded the same astronomical power boosts that our protagonist has.
Another thing to note about the characters of the series are the villains. Understandable and interesting when they were fellow students who resorted to cheap tactics to advance their culinary skills and therefore contradicting the ideals of Yukihira Souma, however by advancing Souma to a point beyond the academy so quickly, we are left with Tsukuda introducing villains simply for them to be beaten because Souma has already surpassed anyone remotely interesting. Villain comes in, has no motivation other than going against our protag, uses some ridiculous new cooking technique that Souma has never seen before, Souma wins and will use their technique in the future, repeat. Congrats villain, either disappear or join the commentary booth.
- ENJOYMENT -
As you can probably tell with the tone of this review, their was love for this series in my heart at one point and a genuine excitement for every chapter. That love has been lost to say the least and any interest to be found in the series, it's story or characters have waned. The initial arcs are worth reading and for the most part fun, engaging and interesting. However it would be unwise to invest yourself in a new series if when you catch up with it you are only left with disappointment and a bitter taste in your mouth.
Shokugeki No Souma was great. Shokugeki No Souma was enjoyable. Shokugeki No Souma IS average. Shokugeki No Souma IS tedious.
- CONCLUSION -
Looking at Shokugeki No Souma and all I can see is an author who is struggling under the break neck format of Weekly Shonen Jump, desperate to just get this story over with as quickly as possible. It has been a long time since a chapter that could be deemed undoubtedly satisfying and if it wasn't for the efforts of artist Shun Sakei, their would be little to no merit at continuing with this series. This series is a sick dog, reflected in it's sales and decline in the ranks of Shonen Jump.
I'm just waiting for the day where Weekly Shonen Jump tells us all that this sick dog can't be saved.
- SCORE -
Story - 3/10
Art - 9/10
Character - 3/10
Enjoyment - 3/10
Overall - 5/10
My food is going to embrace you so hard, you will reach the climax of sensation, naked!
Where the cooking battles called Shokugeki dominate and control the entire position of the cooking society, welcome to Shokugeki no Souma! Alongside with simply the most attractive art, be prepared to be taken on a ride full of cliffhangers and tight moments. Furthermore, be sure to bring something to eat while you read through the pages, as you just might feel hungry when you see the beauty in the food shining in front of you.
Looking at these series as a whole, they are not really complex. Far from that.
They are actually really simple, but manage to emphasize and execute the matter they bring so excellently that makes you want to read more and more, as well as gets you happy to follow further releases. The primary keyword wouldn't be "food", but "battles". "Food" comes the soonest on the second place, if not later. That would be because these series present their enjoyment focus through some sort of action, so to speak. They focus mainly on our characters facing off in cooking matches, which are judged and winners usually declared by some high-level people in the culinary world.
Sounds pretty simple, right? Some cooks showing off and aiming for the best. Well, I cannot say that's all there is to it, since there is one more factor that contributes a lot towards the overall liking of the series. That focus would be the setting. Our proud main character (highlight "proud") is a long-term cook and helper in his family, special-of-the-day restaurant. His overly manly and hot dad is a mysterious chef who is proven to be one of the best in the world. He sends his son, who clearly wants to surpass him, into the highest-class cooking school, where only rare pass. Here, things run around various cooking battles called Shokugeki. On short, win them and you'll be the main boss. Lose them, and you're out. It's like a gamble that's rather focused on cooking skills over luck. What does that bring us to? A huge, badass tournament, which is entertaining to the fullest.
Basically, if we compare these series to some sort of a supernatural shounen, they present us to the main, official battle to the top, alongside with many smaller, unofficial battles to fill in the gaps here and there, as well as present us to some new characters. The only two differences are that instead of physical fighting, the characters take each other on mentally and through their cooking. Food is their weapon, they are their casters. The second difference lies in quality. These series are those of a higher quality, regardless of their unserious focus through the story. They include a well-planned storyline and present it extremely well, regardless of the slow pacing many worry about.
Through their everyday struggle, our main characters get closer and closer to each other, hinting on a possible romance focus later in the series. What's more, they meet many new characters who get their own screentime. Now, this is where things get a little bit tricky. With so many new characters coming in in packs, many of the already-known characters are left out. They are left out even if they have the role of a main character. For example, at first, Erina has been considered as the deuteragonist of the series. Later on, she gets much less screentime and is set as the tritagonist. As of right now, when more and more characters keep on coming in, she didn't even appear in a few chapters in a row. She is only an example, though. It constantly happens with other characters as well. Now, whether this is good or not is really debatable, but I'd say it's for the better. These series focus on a tournament, and for them to stay fresh and full of enjoyment, our main protagonist has to face various new foes who he'll fight head-to-head. After all, just pulverizing the same peeps over and over again might tend to turn out boring, right? Still, a girl or two that would get at least a page on every second chapter would be good, to keep the main boy & girl setting up. As of late, we aren't getting that.
So, we've got the story full of excitement covered. We also have our gang of characters who build through the series at full speed. What we need now is to have all of this presented to us. This is where one of the biggest, if not the biggest strength-point of the series comes in — their marvellous art. Shun Saeki, the artists who has also drawn the one-shot "Our Love Counseling", does the most splendid job at keeping the characters, the food, as well as pretty much everything in the story as attractive at it gets. In many scenes, there are quite some minorities that get way too over-emphasized and over-dramatized by the art, but as a person reads through some characters, he/she gets used to it and only sees it as something funny, exciting and tight.
In the end, Shokugeki no Souma are some light series, filled with cliffhangers that tease you and make you wait for the next chapter to come out, but you don't get to dislike them for that. Focusing on various food showdowns and over-dramatized actions as well as resolves, they bring that peak of unserious enjoyment, and they do it right. With the whole pack of excitement the characters experience being presented through some excellent art, they certainly are a product worth of reading if you're a type that likes some light read including various tournament showdowns, but are bored of the overused physical violence. Sit down, grab some cookies or whatever, read Shokugeki no Souma, and get the warm feeling of experiencing something light, but most splendid.
There’s just something about anime food that makes us drool with desire, and food has been the main theme of various anime series. If you’re looking to satisfy your food and anime cravings all in one go, get a taste of these fun and interesting cooking anime series.
Amongst the many other fanservice anime out there, Shokugeki no Souma stands out in more ways than one - but not for the reasons you're probably thinking. There's more to this cooking show than clothing-divested women and this article will show you why it's worth your time!