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First Thoughts: “Food Wars! (Shokugeki No Soma)” – First We Cook, Then We Do Everything Else!

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It’s no secret that I, Frank Anthony Inglese, am a huge fan of the culinary world. While I don’t know nearly enough about food or about the art of cooking, I’m always looking to throw myself into whatever I can in the hopes that I come out with some sort of new-found knowledge. When my fellow writer and friend Luke Halliday introduced me to the “Food Wars! (Shingeki No Soma)” Manga series, I have to say, I was instantly hooked. Why? Well, it has everything to do with food, and also…it’s incredibly over the top and full of fan service which is so damn funny to me. It’s for the same reason that I liked “JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure” that I enjoyed the “Food Wars!” Manga. The Spring season of Anime has only just started and one of the first new series’ to kick it off is, funnily enough, “Food Wars!”. As you’d imagine…it was the first thing I did when I woke up of the morning of it’s release.

“Food Wars!” follows a pretty simple story that’s pretty standard of a Shonen series. Long story short; Soma is a young chef who works at his father’s restaurant and one day dreams to best him in the culinary arts. One fateful day a woman looking to knock the restaurant down to build a luxury apartment complex vandalises the shop so that no ingredients could be salvaged to make any dishes. She then calls him out on a statement he made in a previous encounter, betting that if he can’t make her a satisfying meat dish, he has to succumb to her overtaking of the land and the crumbling of his father’s business. With a strong air of overconfidence, Soma agrees to the conditions and begins preparing a dish the likes of which this woman has never tasted before.

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Now I’ll stop there because, even though it’s obvious what’s to happen next, I think it’s just better if you experience it for yourself. After certain events transpire, Soma is sent to attend a high profile culinary school where only the best succeed and the rest, well…they get kicked to the curb. That’s where episode one ends and, as someone who’s read the Manga, I think it was a natural ending point. Some contemporary Anime series’ don’t seem to end quite where they should but “Food Wars!” I think ended wonderfully. It gave audiences just enough to know exactly what it is watching and it also showed them a little of what they’ll be expecting in the near future.

As a whole, “Food Wars!” is looking to be a pretty good series. The story is basic but the characters are so over the top it’s laughable. Not laughable in the way that you’d stop watching half way through never to pick up again but laughable in the way that it almost forces you not to take it as seriously as the characters in the story are. The one thing I couldn’t get over was that of the fanservice which, oddly enough, I didn’t find as bad in the Manga. It’s obvious that they’ve elevated the “visuals” to a certain degree which I think isn’t necessary seeing as the Manga had more than enough to keep even the biggest pervert satisfied. The sensual moans and groans of a happy eater rang through my house as I watched the first episode, forcing me to turn down the volume so none of the others at home thought I was doing anything suspicious. It’s series like this that always make me a little nervous simply because of that.

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All in all, I can’t say it’s a terrible series. If anything, it was a perfect first episode for the series to come…I’m just not sure I’ll stick with it. Fact is…I just don’t quite know why. I enjoyed the Manga so much and I plan to continue reading it so why wouldn’t I be as into the Anime? Unfortunately that seems to be beyond me. As a favour to myself I’m going to continue watching what’s to come of “Food Wars!” just incase I wasn’t in the right mood to watch the first episode and that diminished my enjoyment of it. Hopefully once Soma hits the school and begins meeting his fellow students, the high-octane action of the cutthroat world of cooking will truly bubble to the surface and shine like the juicy outer side of a well-cooked steak…or something “cheffy” like that.

You can watch “Food Wars! (Shokugeki No Soma)” on Crunchyroll: Click Here

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