Friday, November 6, 2020

#IReadsYou Review: FOOD WARS!" Shokugeki No Soma Volume 32


STORY: Yuto Tsukuda
ART: Shun Saeki
TRANSLATION: Adrienne Beck
CONTRIBUTOR: Yuki Morisaki
LETTERS: James Gaubatz; Mara Coman
EDITOR: Jennifer LeBlanc
ISBN: 978-1-9747-0947-2; paperback (October 2019); Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”
208pp, B&W, $9.99 US, $12.99 CAN, £6.99 UK

Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma is a shonen manga series written by Yuto Tsukuda and illustrated by Shun SaekiYuki Morisaki also works as a contributor, providing the recipes for the series.  Food Wars! was serialized in the Japanese manga magazine, Weekly Shonen Jump, from November 2012 to June 2019.  VIZ Media published an English-language edition of the manga as a paperback graphic novel series from August 2014 to June 2020 under two imprints:  first, “Shonen Jump Advanced” and then, “Shonen Jump.”

Food Wars! focuses on teenager Soma Yukihira.  He grows up cooking in his father's Yukihira Family Restaurant.  The 15-year-old wants to be a better chef than his father, Joshiro Yukihira (Saiba), so he hones his skills day in and day out.  His father decides to enroll him in a classy culinary school, Totsuki Saryo Culinary Institute, a place that prides itself on a 10 percent graduation rate.  If Soma Yukihira really does not want to attend Totsuki, how can he succeed?

As Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma, Vol. 32 (Chapters 272 to 281; entitled “A Subversive Visitor”) opens, the mystery of the “underground shokugeki” continues.  It is apparently connected to a group of underground chefs known as the “cuisiniers noir” that have invaded Japan.  Behind the invasion is a mystery man known as “Asahi Saiba.”

Meanwhile, Totsuki has a new teacher, Mr. Suzuki, a cheeky young chef with his sights set on Erina Nakiri.  Soma finds himself foiled by Suzuki, but he can't worry about that now.  It is time for the first semester final examinations for the second-years, and, of course, failure means expulsion from Totsuki.

[The volume includes recipes and miscellaneous illustrations.]

THE LOWDOWN:  The Food Wars! manga jumps right into its next big story arc.  As usual, the fate of our heroes is on the line as the series moves towards its conclusion.

Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma Graphic Novel Volume 32 finds the creative team of writer Yuto Tsukuda and artist Shun Saeki introducing a new threat to our young heroes and heroines.  After establishing what I call the “NTO,” the new Totsuki order, the creators do not dwell on the characters' new exalted status.  They instead introduce a new adversary, one that is more than a match for the series' favorite characters.

Adrienne Beck's translation serves readers a piping hot dish of intrigue and gamesmanship.  Letterers James Gaubatz and Mara Coman set the tone for a volume that offers conflicts and challenges on several fronts.  Even as it moves towards the end, Food Wars! is as tasty a read as ever.

I READS YOU RECOMMENDS:  Readers hungry for good manga will want the “Shonen Jump” title, Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma.

9 out of 10

Reviewed by Leroy Douresseaux a.k.a. "I Reads You"

The text is copyright © 2020 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for syndication rights and fees.


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