Anime Review: Food Wars! (Lights, Camera, Action!)

By Drew Hurley 15.08.2017

Image for Anime Review: Food Wars! (Lights, Camera, Action!)

Food Wars! (UK Rating: 15)

Good old Shonen Jump has put out some fantastic stories, from the simplest and most unexpected premises. A couple of kids trying to become mangaka, every possible high school sport possible, even recently about a kid with Asperger Syndrome playing golf. One based on cooking, then, was not a surprise. What was a surprise, though, was the team behind this culinary creation. The art was being supplied by a mangaka that was well known for its hentai works and this series was set to include plenty of ecchi content! Admittedly, other series like To Love Ru have included such scenes but they have rarely lasted in SJ. Food Wars! excelled, though; its blend of comedy, ecchi-ness and beautiful art when it came to the food, delivered something wholly original. Now the inevitable anime adaptation is here courtesy of Manga Entertainment and is out on 28th August.

Image for Anime Review: Food Wars! (Lights, Camera, Action!)

Food Wars! follows a boy named Yoma who already knows what he wants from the rest of his life. For the past twelve years he has helped his father in their little local restaurant, Yukihara, and although he's never defeated his father in a cook-off, he plans to one day surpass him and take ownership of the shop. His father has bigger and better things in mind for him, though; he wants him to experience the world, to go out and meet new people and, of course, to meet a girl. To do this, Yoma's father closes the shop for a few years and sends him off to experience a culinary school. It's not a typical school, though. This is Tohtsuki Fine Dining Academy, the place where the best of the best are the only ones who can overcome this challenge. With a graduation rate of 10 percent, can Soma keep up with the best Japan has to offer?

This cast of students is filled with plenty of eccentric and unique individuals. The first Soma meets is the Erina Nakina. Erina is the granddaughter of the director of the academy. Erina is renowned as having the "God's Tongue," the greatest palette in the world. It's said at three months old she spat out her mother's breast to complain that the milk lacked flavour. Snooty and arrogant, she is disgusted by the basic and common cooking of Soma, and immediately sets out to have him expelled. She is one of many rivals Soma takes on over the course of the series. The problem is that Soma is equally arrogant thanks to his experience in actually serving customers, and his attitude enrages the rest of the students, resulting in some culinary showdowns. There's a reason this series was re-entitled Food Wars! The academy runs on pitting the students against each other in cook-offs regularly and there is even an agreed system where disputes between students can be settled using a cook-off before three judges.

Throughout the season, Soma enrols in the school and faces off against various food specialists, twin brothers who are experts in Italian Cuisine, a boy from India who has become a master of curry and spices, and a busty lady who is an expert in every type of meat - friends and rivals aplenty that develop into a huge extended cast of likeable characters in the classic Shonen style.

Being a cooking show, the series is filled with some superb recipes that will inspire anyone in the audience to give them a go and they look so delicious it's impossible to not get hungry while watching. The recipes are also used as a device for the numerous fan-service elements. It's nothing seedy and instead totally embraces the comedy aspects of the show. The characters experience the joy of their food in metaphorical depictions - such as the disgusting peanut butter covered tentacles Soma creates in the first episode, depicting those eating them as being groped by a giant squid. Later in the show characters' experiences include being turned into magical lettuce girls, and a mermaid making love to a man with a rice cracker as his head. This is also used to show off the naked bodies of every character - male and female, young and old. There are some twisted elements here and there, but the comedy shines through.

This release comes with a brand new English dub, but it's rather hit and miss, sadly. The main characters and some of the extended cast are great, but the general "additional voices" of background characters and some of the smaller parts are absolutely terrible, sounding like amateurs practising comedy accents. There are only the usual bonus features of clean opening/closing and some trailers, too. This is somewhat made up for by the large amount of episodes, though; it's such a nice surprise to see a full 24 episode series getting a release instead of being split in half.

Image for Anime Review: Food Wars! (Lights, Camera, Action!)

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10
A series that knows just how silly it is but revels in the absurdity, like Gintama before it, Food Wars! manages to deliver a truly funny series that is stuffed to bursting with big belly laughs. This first season annoyingly ends on a cliffhanger, stepping into the finals of a huge cooking tournament. The second season that wrapped this arc up finished in Japan last year and the third season will be out this winter. Hopefully, this season does well enough to get the others released in quick succession.

Comment on this article

You can comment as a guest or join the Cubed3 community below: Sign Up for Free Account Login

Preview PostPreview Post Your Name:
Validate your comment
  Enter the letters in the image to validate your comment.
Submit Post


There are no replies to this article yet. Why not be the first?

Subscribe to this topic Subscribe to this topic

If you are a registered member and logged in, you can also subscribe to topics by email.
K-Pop Korner - The Best of Korean Music
Sign up today for blogs, games collections, reader reviews and much more
Site Feed
Who's Online?
Adam Riley

There are 1 members online at the moment.