One of the good things about anime is that the medium allows for different types of stories to be told. There is no limit to what the creator can put on the screen. Food Wars is one such show, treating the students at an elite cooking school like masters of battle. This anime was one I was not familiar with, but quickly won me over with its humor and quirky characters.

That Chef Never Smiles

Soma Yukihira is a chief at his father’s restaurant. He has a talent for creating new dishes seeming from very ordinary ingredients. When his father closes the restaurant to travel, Soma is enrolled at Totsuki Culinary Academy to become a master chief. Once there, he runs a foul of Erina, who spends the rest of the series trying to to get him expelled. He also makes friends while discovering that this school is very hard and that only a small percentage of students will graduate. Every episode is a test that must be passed or preparation for a big exam.

Soma is a very likable protagonist. He starts of as being a little to full of himself, but he knows what the right thing to do is. One of the fun parts of the show is when he tries to make something new or has to deal with some sort of sabotage. Megumi is his sidekick, a shy girl who is in danger of being expelled prior to their meeting. There is something charming about Megumi, who tries her best even when her lack of social skills get in her way. The teachers are an interesting bunch, setting up challenges that make me think they subscribe to the Gordan Ramsey school of cooking.

The Eggs Before Dawn

I am not much of a chief, a fact my wife will agree to, so I was interested in how real the cooking in show was. I looked up some of the dishes made and was surprised that they were pretty close to how you would actually make them. It also sparked in interest in some of the dishes prepared and I am looking forward to going out to eat and ordering some of the food. One thing I will not be ordering is peanut butter octopus.

The cooking parts of the show are amazing. They are shown as being fights and skill based. When Soma is creating a beef stew, the action and cuts made me think of Goku battling Freezia. This is a very fun part of the show. After a few episodes, I was imitating the show as I helped my wife make spaghetti. This show might actually awaken your inner chief, at the lest it will make you hungry.

Challenging the Elite Ten

The Elite Ten are a group of super chiefs, and it looks like Soma will have to defeat or join them before he can graduate. This involves something called a Shokugek, which is a cooking duel where a bet is placed by the competitors. One of the most refreshing parts came when Soma challenges one of the members for entrance. The member simply replies no, stating that Soma has nothing to wager for membership. When was the last time you saw a hero challenge a villain and the villain says no because he has nothing to gain? It makes membership in the Elite Ten a series arc, and Soma will have to become good enough in order to wager.

There is another part of the show I must address. When ever a character gets a particular great, or terrible piece of food, they get…well… very excited about it. There is more suggested nudity then actually nudity, and it is actually played more for laughs. Even so, I would advise not watching this with young children. Unless of course you want to answer the question why that lady seems to be really enjoying that steak a little too much.

Food Wars is a fun anime that might surprise you on how much you enjoy it. The art style is beautiful and the food dishes look yummy. You can catch it on Crunchy Roll, either dubbed or not. Just make sure that you have a snack ready, as the food scenes will get you hungry. Now if you will excuse me, I have to find out what a Omurice is.