Anime Spotlight: Food Wars – Shokugeki no Souma

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Okay, I have to address something first before I start this Anime Spotlight…

DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW HARD IT WAS FOR ME TO NOT USE THE PEANUT BUTTER TENTACLE PORN SCENE AS THE COVER IMAGE FOR THIS ARTICLE?!!! GAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

Ahem, so anyways…I think I have to educate those who have never heard of this anime before in why what I’m about to talk about isn’t hentai, as much as the anime doesn’t exactly try to deny this.

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Y’know, it makes perfect sense to have this anime getting the Spotlight treatment, after all Season 2 is about to start, in fact it’s just over a week away (July 2nd) from starting. So for those new to Food Wars, you have eight days after this article goes up to watch the first season in preparation for the zaniness that the second season is sure to bring to all the good boys and girls who love anime that feature a bunch of chefs making food so goddamn good they literally blow your fucking clothes off!

Yeah, I’m not making that up, the food is that good that it makes people lose their clothes. Those new to this series are probably thinking “Who the fuck would come up with an idea like this?! A hentai artist?!”…funny you mention that…

The illustrator of the series, Shun Saeki…is you guessed it, a hentai mangaka (artist). So naturally, the show takes on a persona of not only being the most intense cooking anime out there, it’s also chalk full of super sexy moments, though as the series progresses it does calm down a bit. In the early going however, it pulls zero punches, like the show is trying to weed out the weak ones who can’t handle boobs and butts…and we’re not just talking girl butts.

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The concept of Food Wars is pretty simple. You take the main character in Soma Yukihira, the son of who turns out to be a really famous chef, yet the restaurant the two of them run in pretty much akin to a diner. After getting introduced to just how good both men are at cooking, Dad leaves on a trip for several months and decides to close the restaurant until he returns, much to the shock of Soma, who intended to take over the restaurant for his father one day. However, Dad’s already gotten him into what can only be described as the Harvard or Oxford of cooking institutions. And thus begins Soma’s journey to become essentially the greatest chef in the world.

The show acts a lot like your average shonen manga/anime, except Soma is almost already at a very high level rather than working his way up from the bottom. Regardless, there’s the usual storylines, there’s an elite group that he has to hope to get past to become the #1, there’s many unique, odd friends he makes who are also trying to achieve the same goal, but it’s obvious they can’t light a candle to his skill, all the usual tropes and cliches are there. What really sets the anime apart though (aside from the tons of nudity and sexual innuendo) is the simple fact that the anime features food drawn so well, I want to just reach out and grab the food through the screen!

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Every single plate of food that is shown to us over the course of the anime looks more delicious than anything we could ever hope to eat. Even food that in real life I know full well I do not like, by watching it prepared, cooked and served in Food Wars, I want to eat it right there and now. A plate full of random vegetables I’ve never heard before? Bring it on! Really spicy curry? I’m game for burning my mouth into submission! Nothing but fish (and I really…REALLY hate fish!)? Fuck it, I’ll give it a shot! That’s just how damn good the food looks in the anime. For your financial well-being, watch this after eating so you don’t suddenly get the urge to either go out and eat pricey food or get take out, or maybe even go to the grocery store and buy stuff to try and replicate what you just watched.

Pretty much everything is visually solid in this anime. The backgrounds look fantastic, the food is top-notch in terms of its art and the character designs and expressions are fantastic. Obviously if you don’t have any issue in looking at and being attracted to anime men and women, the fact a hentai artist is drawing the characters automatically means that each character will be drawn with the best curves and frames, especially when their clothes come off. But the show also has a super cheesy side as well and the facial expressions and movements are so well done as well, a great mixture of beauty and downright absurd at times, it’s fantastic.

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This is only further enhanced by the vast range of unique and interesting characters in the anime and there are a ton of them. Ranging from crazy to elegant, comical to dead serious, prim and proper to Satoshi who pretty much spends the majority of the anime either naked or just wearing a fundoshi and/or an apron. Just to give a few more examples, there’s Ikumi, a tomboyish tanned girl with massive breasts and usually only wears a bikini, who of course is solely intend on cooking meat dishes. Get it? Girl, big boobs, love meat…you get it now? There’s Alice who looks like a vampire with her pale skin, silver hair and red eyes and she makes dishes that are not only delicious as hell, but they are usually very strange looking, like abstract art almost. The last example, my personal favourite is Nao, a girl obsessed with Soma’s rival, Erina, to the point she has a restraining order (due to losing a match to Hisako) to stay at least 50 metres away from Erina. She’s well known for making dishes that smell and look absolutely horrifying, yet taste fantastic.

Lastly, the actual cooking battles (aka Shokugeki) in the show really define what makes the show as cool as it is. To watch what should be simple cooking contests look more like Dragon Ball Z fights is an incredible thing to watch and when the result is complete, we get once again that amazingly drawn delicious food. Every cooking session is engaging and means something, though I will argue that a few episodes being spent to reactions to like twenty characters’ curry dishes started to get boring really fast, hopefully that’s avoided in Season 2.

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Food Wars is a show I would recommend to anyone, assuming that they can deal with sexual content. The show is fantastic in every way, it’s well drawn, the characters are all unique and well voice acted, the story progression is interesting, the jokes and humour in the show are hilarious and like I said, this show makes you want to try food you’ve never wanted to eat before.

Seriously, if you haven’t watched this show, you have to. Just as a warning, the first episode really tests out your resolve with sexual content, but once you get past that, it starts to slow down and becomes a fantastic show, one of my personal favourites from last year.

Speaking of Episode 1, you didn’t think I was going to go the entire article without showing it, did you?

CUE THE PEANUT BUTTER TENTACLE PORN!!!

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