Ever since I saw the announcement about Netflix getting Food Wars, I wanted to watch it. I finally got around to doing just that, so here’s my review of the first season that’s available to watch.
Soma and his father own a bistro in a shopping street, and they enjoy cooking both delicious and gross food, just to see who is better at both. While the delicious food gets served in the bistro, the gross recipes get stuffed into the mouths of Soma’s friends, who get to be involuntary guinea pigs. All is good in Soma’s life, until his father tells him that he’s been signed up for a very prestigious culinary school, and he himself will be leaving for another country, which isn’t unusual for a renowned chef.
At first, Soma is very skeptical and cocky, thinking that the school will be full of old geezers who will only teach him traditional cooking, and he’s sure to pass any test they can throw at him. Of course this is not the case, which he realizes once he’s taking the test to even pass the entry exam for the school, which is being given and judged by the ‘God’s Tongue’, Erina Nakiri. Erina is everything but thrilled about Soma’s cocky attitude, and since she is an elitist snob herself, she decides to fail Soma even though his dish was delicious.
While this looks like the end for Soma’s journey, Erina’s grandfather, the principal of the school, looks through the pile of rejected students and recognizes Soma’s last name, deeming him worthy of entering the school after all. Soma is both baffled and thrilled, and at the opening ceremony for the new school year, he boasts about wanting to become the school’s top chef in front of all students, which isn’t exactly gaining him any popularity. While he is indeed a very good cook, he will soon find out that there’s much more to learn than he could ever imagine, and that becoming the best isn’t as easy as just saying it out loud.
Only the first season of Food Wars is currently available on Netflix, but I surely hope they get more. I did enjoy the show overall, although I was pretty annoyed by the constant camera panning in almost every shot of the series where nothing much was going on, and the fact that most of the jokes fell flat, and I barely managed to blow a little air out of my nose for most of them. From what I had heard and seen about the show, I expected to laugh out loud for every new episode, but I never did. That’s just my opinion though, and I can understand why some find the quirky characters and stories funny.
While being on the topic of characters. Almost every episode introduces one or more important characters, which I think is a nice flow and keeps the character interactions and development curve interesting. However, I found it really hard to remember all those characters’ names, and also very weird that they all have Japanese names, despite presented as being from countries all over the world. It’s like every character has roots in Japan, even if he’s from Italy, India, Iceland or wherever.
It’s not my first anime about food, but it surely is a great one. It’s impossible not to get hungry while watching the show, and I’ve caught myself eating in the middle of the night during some episodes, which I usually never do. All the food looks delicious, and watching Soma throw away more and more of his cocky attitude in order to learn was also a treat. Because to be honest; I didn’t like him during the first few episodes. At all.
So if you’re interested in a series that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but instead takes food so seriously that it makes you wander off into the kitchen, go give Food Wars a watch.