Manga/Anime TelevisionTalks

TelevisionTalks: Food Wars!

Since I’ve been working from home more as of late, I’ve had a chance to binge some anime again. One of them that I recently got to watch through the first two seasons of was Food Wars! This is a silly anime with a lot of interesting but good sounding food ideas in it.

Soma has worked with his dad at their little family diner his whole life. People love his dad’s food and his cooking as well and his dad is always pushing him to be better. Than one day Soma’s dad just leaves to go help a friend with his restaurant and tells Soma to transfer in and go study at Engestu Teahouse Culinary Academy, a top and fancy school in Japan. The problem for Soma is that he’s a transfer student and everyone else has come up through the ranks, so will his humble cooking background help him or get him into trouble?

Obviously, it’s going to get him into trouble, this is a completely absurd anime after all. He comes in with a brash and confident attitude not knowing what he doesn’t know. But that is kind of the charm of the show, it’s about Soma, who is an amazing cook but who will work harder than anyone else just to improve. He won’t let something stop him, he’ll instead spend the time and effort and be able to think on his feet better than everyone else. It’s an anime, so that’s not really a spoiler for it, it’s how most anime stories go. It’s how it makes its twists and turns work well and how they can have Soma struggle but also not just overcome everything instantly after he’s struggled.

Image Source: Netflix

The rest of the characters help make the show as well. You have a wide variety of students that are definitely stereotypes of what you’d expect to find in a very fancy school. It has a nice ensemble cast for it with Soma obviously being the lead, but there being a good number of other characters who fill in around him. Now, it does take on a slightly harem anime feel to it, but compared to a lot of anime that delve into that genre, this one doesn’t spend nearly as much time on that, and you have a much better diversity of male and female characters.

Now that I have mentioned that, I would be remiss to not mention that this anime has a lot of fan service. The whole idea of the food is that it’s so tasty and intriguing that it brings one to ecstasy which is shown in a lot of fan service. Now, again not just the female characters but the male characters as well. It does however, focus more on the female characters and there is more fan service from the female characters beyond that as well. I don’t appreciate the level that it is taken to at points, there is always a scene or two per episode, sometimes more, and they can just drag on a little bit, but I don’t feel like it ruins the anime, it eventually becomes something you gloss over while watching it.

Image Source: Web Series Reviews

Instead, I think this show stands more on the premise of it. The story is actually enjoyable, and it is interesting to see battles surrounding food which are almost edited like the style of Dragon Ball Z at times where a battle can take two episodes (or more), and in here you get that as well with intense cooking competitions. So it’s interesting to see the same trope that is fairly common for anime used in such a different way. And the arcs are good and interesting. You get to see character growth from a lot of characters, not just the main ones, and new characters are added in good ways to help drive the main story forward and the main character forward. Plus there is a lot of interesting and tasty looking food.

Overall, this anime isn’t going to be for everyone. I found it a ton of fun through two seasons, which is how much is up on Netflix right now. And the dub is very good for the anime. But there is a lot of fan service, and that will not be for everyone, and for good reason. I think that there’s a good enough show for me to get around it, but that is something that is on the edge for me. The food is fun and the whole show is very interesting. So if you’re an anime fan, it’s one to checkout, not a good jumping in point though.

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