OP: 「希望の唄」 (Kibou no Uta) by ウルトラタワー (Ultra Tower)
「果てなき荒野」 (Hatenaki Kouya)
“An Endless Wasteland”
I’ve been waiting for Shokugeki no Souma to air ever since readers in the comments of my Koufuku Graffiti posts hyped this show up. Not only is it supposed to be the show for all foodies, but there’s a fair bit of entertainment and action involved to keep everyone on their toes. After all, the show is translated to be called Food Wars in English. Our protagonist named Yukihira Souma (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu) works for his father at their family-owned restaurant and he takes a lot of pride in what they do. Minegasaki Yaeko (Chiba Izumi) is a representative from an urban planning company and wants to buy out Souma’s family restaurant in order to build luxury apartment buildings in the area. In an attempt to sabotage Souma, Yaeko’s men trash Souma’s restaurant while he’s at school and then demands him to make her a “juicy meat dish” as a patron. He accepts her challenge and serves her a “fake” pork roast made up of bacon and potatoes. He manages to impress Yaeko and strikes a deal to ensure that she never enters the restaurant again. At the end of the episode, we finally hit the meat of this story (no pun intended) which involves Souma standing outside the doors to the best culinary school in Japan. Souma’s father, Yukihira Jouichirou (Koyama Rikiya) tells Souma that he’ll be working with a friend for the next two to three years and sends his son to this culinary school knowing that he wishes to study cooking. This is where the real story of Shokugeki no Souma begins and I’m excited to see what he has to offer compared to all the other elite students.
After hearing all the precautions about this show, I think I came in expecting exactly what I got and that’s some great foodporn, lots of foodgasms, all following a decent story. If nobody has warned you yet, then let me be the first to say that this isn’t your average anime about cooking. There’s a lot of overaggerations, beautifully animated scenes with food flying everywhere and of course, a main character that’s overly passionate about creating good dishes. It’s not a slice-of-life like Koufuku Graffiti, but the exact opposite because the manga is serialized in Weekly Shounen Jump. Basically it’s similar any other shounen series you enjoy, except it’s about food and cooking rather than adventures in fantasyland. Perfect for me! I don’t want to judge the rest of the series prematurely, but I think this is the ideal setup for some great battles between students, cooking competitions and challenging dishes to create. As someone who considers herself a “foodie” and works in the foodservice industry, I think I can relate to a lot of folks that dream of working in the best restaurants one day. This series not only makes my mouth water, but inspires me to make something of my own and that helps Shokugeki no Souma top my must-watch list this season.
As for all the other stuff, well I think it’s self-explanatory. With the amazing cooking scenes and exaggerated scenarios, comes nudity. And not just mild fanservice, but full-out suggestive images with tentacles and dripping oil. It doesn’t turn me away from all the action that’s really going on, but I guess it’s a good illustration of what a feat it is to eat Souma’s food. Personally it’s not the reason that I’m watching the show, but if that’s your cup of tea, then this anime isn’t short of it. It has to have a little bit of everything for everyone you know?
Watching Shokugeki no Souma reminds a lot of Yakaitate!! Japan. If you haven’t seen it, it’s an anime that aired in the early 2000’s (Divine and Omni both watched it, way back when) and talks about a boy who has the perfect hand temperatures to knead dough. This anime aired for more than a year and talks about the main character’s journey to create a bread Japan can be renowned for. It’s an older anime but the atmosphere and competition style reminds me a lot of Shokugeki no Souma – ex. all the nudity and more comedy. If you’re looking for something similar and don’t mind going back a decade, it’s honestly a fun watch. They both feature young protagonists that have a special skill for cooking and they think they’re good, until they meet other chefs that not only do what they do, but do it better. Then the story is more about triumphs and dreams of being better.
That’s pretty much all I have to say about the premiere for Shokugeki no Souma. As a highly anticipated show, it’s definitely met all my expectations and I only hope it works to exceed them. I’m very pleased with the production value J.C. Staff has given us even for a high budget show. Although I didn’t mind SHAFT’s Koufuku Graffiti, I much prefer crisp solid lines without the Gaussian blur over all my food and that’s what J.C. Staff has given us. The opening sequence was alright, but the ending sequence caught me by surprise. The chibi versions of the characters were cute coupled with a song that fit well with rest of the series. I’m thoroughly impressed and I only have good things to say about this premiere. I’m not a manga-reader so please keep all spoilers in tags and be courteous of those also following along – and I really hope you all decide to follow along.
Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: First episode was everything I expected from #shokugeki_anime! Taking food and cooking to a whole new level. I love it! #ShokugekiNoSouma
ED: 「スパイス」 (Spice) by 東京カランコロン (Tokyo Karan Koron)