Review: Shokugeki no Souma

There are barely enough food series out there, and I could count the ones I’ve seen with only one hand. I’m glad this one came out since there’s one thing I’m certain every time I watch an episode, I salivate. One can’t deny that the food presented in this series look so good you can’t help but dream of wanting to taste it yourself someday. I have to applaud Morisaki Yuki (co-creator of the manga) as the mastermind behind the recipes. I’m not sure how close they are to the actual ones, or if it’s modified or not for the exaggeration of the story, but by the explanation of each meal shown, it was obviously well-researched. It wasn’t some amateur presentation of cuisines around the world because that would be one boring show for sure. The main plot itself is quite typical though: an underestimated protagonist with cooking potential, who wants to be on top, but he needs to climb the food chain (no pun intended) in order to do so. Honestly, if it weren’t for the detailed recipes, it would be quite generic. So I think the combination works of Tsukuda Yuuto and Morisaki Yuki was great.

The characters would have to improve though. The cast seems very large—your eyes are immediately taken away from the newly introduced character to another new character; you don’t have much time to ponder whether you like that character or not. Very minimal character developments (only Megumi, it seems), and the supporting characters are there as obstacles. I suppose that is indeed their purpose, but it’d be great if they had a solid backstory or the like. My thinking goes like: if a character doesn’t make you feel anything—love or hate—just impassiveness, then that character is basically pointless. Our main protagonist, Souma is very likable, very shounen-esque male character, which will definitely fit the bill for mainstream shows. Personally, his personality is quite endearing because of his very “boyish” acts and almost apathetic attitude.

The art and animation was impressive most especially on the meals. Each plate and narration of it was detailed. Although I don’t appreciate excessive fanservice, it is almost understandable when the mangaka drew their food reactions as such. When you think about it, eating your most favorite food you can’t help but squirm in your seat and shout in ecstasy. (You can read however you want too, lol.) I also didn’t notice too many weird character animation in different angles or distances.The character designs were on-point with the manga, if not better. Seriously, JC Staff can be good when they want to. Great main VA cast too. I’m not particularly fond of the second half of the series’ opening theme song though. I almost laughed out loud when I saw their font choices—very outdated. Of all the font families, they had to pick one in serif. On the other hand, I found the ending theme songs more pleasant, especially the first one.

Overall, it was a pleasant show. My eyes were definitely full. This is like a combination of Yakitate!! Japan and Koufuku Grafitti, I suppose. Only I think this has managed to grasp my attention more since the script and direction was nicely done, and it truly was more entertaining.

Animation/Art: 4/5
Story: 4/5
Characters: 2.75/5
Sound/VA cast: 3.5/5
Enjoyment: 3.75/5
Overall: 3.6/5

Note: This post was written on October 6, 2015.

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