Thursday, November 26, 2020

#IReadsYou Review: FOOD WARS Volume 33


STORY: Yuto Tsukuda
ART: Shun Saeki
TRANSLATION: Adrienne Beck
CONTRIBUTOR: Yuki Morisaki
LETTERS: James Gaubatz; Mara Coman
EDITOR: Jennifer LeBlanc
ISBN: 978-1-9747-0992-2; paperback (December 2019); Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”
192pp, 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. 33 (Chapters 282 to 290; entitled “The True Value of the Noir”) opens, Soma confronts his father, Joshiro, about his connection to the mystery man known as “Asahi Saiba.”  Saiba is connected to a group of underground chefs known as the “cuisiniers noir” that have invaded Japan.  Saiba has also been masquerading as Totsuki's newest teacher, “Mr. Suzuki.”

Joshiro not only tells Soma about Saiba, but he also hands his son an invitation to the “Blue,” a world-renowned cooking tournament for the best of the best young chefs from around the world.  But this year, for the first time, traditional chefs will clash with “underground noir” chefs.  Soma, eager for a rematch with Asahi, heads to a certain famous old castle in a famous city.  There, he will face the first of three gates of challenge.  Meanwhile, Saiba continues to romance the young woman he kidnapped, Erina Nakiri, and tells her his origin story.

[The volume includes recipes and miscellaneous illustrations.]

THE LOWDOWN:  The Food Wars! manga continues to delve into the mysteries of the “cuisiniers noir.”  As the series moves towards its conclusion, our heroes are in deeper peril.

Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma Graphic Novel Volume 33 is just the antidote that we need to find out if our heroes will escape that peril.  Writer Yuto Tsukuda and artist Shun Saeki give the “shokugeki” (cooking battles) of this new story arc unique twists at every turn.  Every dish is a challenge, and even Soma is dealt a surprise.  Vol. 33 is the best of the recent volumes, which have all been pretty darn good themselves.

Adrienne Beck's translation is the perfect plate upon which to serve readers these piping hot dishes of intrigue and gamesmanship.  Letterers James Gaubatz and Mara Coman letter the utensils which the readers will use to taste this shonen battle manga plate by plate and move by move.

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

10 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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