Friday, 25 September 2015

Food Wars!, Volume 2: Shokugeki no Soma Review (Yuto Tsukuda, Shun Saeki)

Food Wars is a manga about Soma, a teenage cooking prodigy whose food is so incredible, you’ll imagine yourself sans clothes, writhing in ecstasy as you taste it! Soma has been admitted into the mega-elite Totsuki Culinary Academy and instantly made enemies with the head of the school’s daughter, Erina Nakiri, who’s also a brilliant chef with an impeccable palate - except (for story purposes) she’s evil! 

In this second volume, Soma goes to the Polaris Dorm and makes friends with the fellow students before meeting his latest rival and entering his first shokugeki (cooking duel) challenge! 

Yuto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki’s second book is a bit underwhelming as it only slightly builds upon the first volume. Not a lot happens for the majority of it. Soma meets new characters but they’re basically students who do student-y things like sit in their dorms and get wasted. We learn a bit more about the mysterious Totsuki Council of Ten Masters but all of this feels like table-setting more than anything - not gripping reading. 

The cooking duel was the fun part of the book, if predictable. It’s a lot like what happened in the first book - Soma is amazing, etc.! Two volumes in and it’s already starting to feel formulaic. I still like drooling over the dishes though, staring at the pages to will them to appear in front of me! The seer fish rice ball chazuke looked heavenly and I’m pretty sure I ate part of the page showing the chaliapin steak bowl…

Maybe in a bid to appear equally exploitative, a new (buff) male character is introduced who gets naked - a LOT. So even though there are the usual naked big-boobed girls squealing with joy over rice balls (restrained to only a few pages), there’s also a pretty boy showing his bum. There’s also a new character called Ikumi Mito who looks and dresses like a porn star so you can’t help but feel like a perv reading this one! 

I didn’t like this volume as much as the first one because it’s like a less interesting version of that book with fewer things happening. However it had its moments and where the volume ends makes me curious to see what’ll happen next (and what new dishes will be created!) so I’m still on board. Those whacky Japanese and their sexy food comics!

Food Wars!, Volume 2: Shokugeki no Soma

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