Month after month, release after release, volume after volume, Food Wars! (Shokugeki No Soma) still finds ways to surprise and delight me, and it has quickly become of my more favoured alternative Shonen Jump productions of recent times. We’re now up to Volume Nine of the series’ run and, for the longest time, there has been an ongoing arc which, in my personal opinion, will go down in history as just another one of those outstanding Shonen Jump arcs that you will continue to remember long after you’ve finished reading. The Rescue Rukia arc from Bleach, the Chunnin Exams arc from Naruto, the Paramount War arc from One Piece, and now the Fall Classic arc from Food Wars!.
What makes these story arcs so riveting? What makes them so memorable? What makes them stand out above every other arc featured in their significant stories? This writer feels as though it has a lot to do with heart. The thing about the arcs I mentioned just before is that they don’t actually share many similarities. Yes, of course, when boiled down to it’s very core, every Shonen series follows the same path and features the same tropes, but it isn’t that I’m referring to. Heart is something that is pushed across the page not by the characters illustrated on it but by the writers behind it. It is the Mangaka’s dedication that makes these arcs so memorable, simply because, well…you can feel it.
The Fall Classic finals have begun, with the theme of the first round being bento boxes. It’s a battle of the egos as Soma clashes with Alice Nakiri. Her bento gets rave reviews from the strict judges, but Soma invents a boxed lunch unlike one anyone’s ever seen! Then, no sooner does the first round end than the second begins! – Madman Entertainment
Shun Saeki and Yuto Tsukuda have always given off the impression that it is their heart and soul that they are burning into the pages of this Manga, but there is no greater sense of burning passion than the sensation felt while reading through the Fall Classic arc. Food Wars! has clearly found it’s legs, and stands above many other series’ like it with honour and pride. This is a series that didn’t take to long to hit it’s stride, yet has only proven that it can and will only get better and better as the story goes on. Volume Nine focused on two characters who were clearly matched up due to the epic nature of their culinary battle thanks to the striking fact that they are polar opposites.
Food Wars! Volume Nine was able to show exactly how a battle between a soft-natured and hardcore chef would play out, and it was done well! Yuto Tsukuda has mastered his own personal writing style that allows him to tell the backstory of a character swiftly and succinctly without drawing too much attention away from the battle at hand, and without boring the readers. In this volume, the audience is given quite the show when yin and yang finally meet with a crash, boom, and many references to Hirohiko Araki’s JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. As usual, the volume features an ending that will have you wanting more and more despite just being delivered a one-two punch that’ll leave you with a smile on your face and a twinkle in your eye.
Though it goes without saying…I’ll say it anyway: Shun Saeki is a masterful illustrator that has taken his talents as a practitioner of sequential art and put them to good use in this Manga. No other Mangaka could replace him for Food Wars!. None. This will be my ninth review of a Food Wars! volume, and each time I talk in great detail about how much I truly love Shun Saeki’s illustrations. There’s only so many times, though, that I can explain his perfection to you readers, so take my word for it…the man is a living legend, and I hope that he, one day, illustrates a Shonen Manga that is driven directly by combat, because he will do the battle-heavy genre complete justice.
Volume Nine was hard-hitting, informative, fun, and heart-pounding: Everything that should be featured in a good Shonen Jump Manga, which doesn’t surprise me because, well…Food Wars! IS a good Shonen Jump Manga. A damn good one! It’s hard not to love a series that centres itself around cooking and the culinary world, yet is able to show action akin to series that came before it like the aforementioned Naruto and Bleach. Yuto Tsukuda, the author, is also very much well-informed when it comes to cooking, so what he puts into the story is as realistic as can be while at the same time being so extravagant as to have you doubt the real-life possibilities. Food Wars! is a brilliant Manga that I simply hope never stops. Once again, it has blown me away. Well done.
Don’t miss out on this amazing culinary experience! Pick up Food Wars! (Shokugeki No Soma) at Madman Entertainment’s official online store: Click Here