Shokugeki no Soma, otherwise referred to as Food Wars! in the U.S. is a shonen manga that follows Soma Yukihira on his pursuit to become a better chef than his dad. While the main premise seems a little straightforward, the cooking techniques which are featured in this manga are anything but easy. Beginner cooks who need to learn the best way to cook via manga will need to search elsewhere. The manga does feature a few recipe pages for the intermediate cooks to tryout Soma’s style of cooking. Shokugeki no Soma is a cooking manga but cooking is frequently used as a theme for Soma’s transition to maturity. At its center, this manga is basically a shonen conflict manga using a kitchen themed battleground. While exceptional notions can enrich a narrative, Shokugeki no Soma prefers to use a tried and tested formula as a way to keep its readers entertain. By no mean does this make it boring to read, but one can’t help but believe that they’ve read a similar manga elsewhere.
The formulaic approach is a tried and tested system that several successful shonen manga have used before. It might be a boil down to two elements; a youthful and hot-blooded protagonists and his exalted goal of becoming the finest ___ (fill in the blank). While Soma never expressly says that he desires to become the best chef in the world, he does declare that he wants to eventually become a better chef than his father Joichiro Yukihira. He is also referred to as old man Yukihara, who happens to be a chef with the capacity of cooking in the Royal Manhattan resort. While it is not based on a actual resort, Manhattan is often referred to as home to some of the best chefs in the world. Essentially Soma desires to beat his old man is interchangeable with most shonen’s protagonist aim to become the best in the world. If you are looking to discover more about Shokugeki Soma, go to this website. Perhaps the formula works because most readers can identify a time in their childhood when they needed to be the best in their field of interest.
The characters are lively but hardly original. Soma’s implied opponent is an stuckup loud mouth girl named Erina,l who came from a noble foundation. Old man Yukihara is the embodiment of a trendy old man with plenty of experience in cooking. If the author decides to signify amorous interest between Soma and Erina, I am going to grill this manga and dunk it in peanut butter. In the beginning of volume one, Yuto Tsukuda says that he read the autobiographies of famous chefs in order to compose Shokugeki no Soma. He challenges how much “play is hiding behind [the] dishes they serve so effortlessly”. It would have been great if he described the drama which he found or interesting details about the lives of famed chefs. Perhaps that notion will soon be in future volumes, but as of now it appears that Shokugeki no Soma uses an idealize version of professional cooking.
What interested me the most about the first volume was the one-shot that was comprised in the manga. While the characters and premise remains the same, it appeared that the main character was somewhat altered when Shokugeki no Soma got serialized in Shonen Jump. Soma in the one-shot was less hot blooded and a bit more mature in his manners. One of the few lines that changed Soma’s character in the one shot was when he told Erina that he found her cooking dull. He seemed fairly displeased with Erina’s cooking whereas the brand new Soma would be excited to challenge Erina and tell her how his cooking is much better than her’s. Soma’s mature side is, in addition, revealed when he lectures Erina on why he finds her cooking boring because she never fails. Ironically the quote associates a great deal about how I feel about the manga itself, “the perfect recipe…leads [to] nowhere/ There are folks out there…who think there’s only ever one right response/ I can’t help but think those people…will never be able to discover something even better” It seems like the shonen jump editors had a lot of sway on the serialization of Shokugeki no Soma. Prime example being Soma’s first goal of tasting every last dish under the sun instead of beating his dad at cooking. Additional information about Shokugeki No Soma Season 2 can be located here. I can not help but feel that the perfect shonen recipe will hinder Shokugeki no Soma from its discovery towards something even better.