Review- Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma manga Volume 02 ( some suggestive ecchi nudity)

Anime Reporter dishes out a second serving, (if “serving” means review, and, I checked, it doesn’t), of Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma manga. Volume 02 (chapters 06-14) picks up right where the first volume (reviewed here) left off so you’d best be up to date before checking out this volume.

Food Wars Shokugeki no Soma manga Volume 02 (14)

Look no further for fear of spoilers…

Soma has made quite an impression at his new school. He’s called out the student body with a challenge against their skills, he’s pissed off the people in his classes by showing them up and he’s managed to personally infuriate the principal’s granddaughter, who also happens to be the number one student at the school and might as well be royalty as far as everyone else is concerned. When Volume 02 kicks off though, Soma is only really concerned with one thing; finding a place to live on the gigantic campus of Totsuki Academy. Food Wars Shokugeki no Soma manga Volume 02 (4) This brings Soma to Polaris Dormitory, which isn’t quite a rag-tag team of ne’erdowells down on their luck, but it is certainly a house whose glory days are long behind them so it qualifies as the team of choice for a budding shonen protagonist. He’ll have to pass a cooking test to prove his worth before he’s allowed to join the residency, but you haven’t been paying much attention if you think that’s a problem for Soma. Soma’s shown the ropes with a welcome party and also given the lowdown on the hierarchy of the school. He learns about the Elite 10, whose title should pretty much sum up their role in the school and he learns about the food wars (or Shokugeki) which give the series its name. Shokugeki allow students to challenge each other for supremacy with the title and authority of the loser going to the victor. The main catch is that if Soma wants to challenge one of the big dogs, he has to have something of his own to offer as collateral, something worth a lot more than anything Soma currently possesses. Food Wars Shokugeki no Soma manga Volume 02 (3) Soma’s also introduced to the idea of Research Societies, effective clubs, dedicated to certain styles of cooking or types of food. It’s the function of a Research Society to push the limits of their chosen culinary motif and contribute to the world of cooking. Naturally, this is something that Soma takes a lot of interest in and he soon finds himself checking out the lowly Don Research Society. The Don RS focuses on Donburi dishes, or rice bowls. Because of the seemingly humble nature of these dishes, the Don RS is far popular and it’s been targeted for destruction in an upcoming Shokugeki against one of Erina’s subordinates, Ikumi Mito. Ikumi is a confident (and, given this manga’s ecchi roots, noticeably busty) student who specialises in the cooking of meat. She’s pretty confident that she can destroy the pitiful Don RS, so naturally Soma steps in to show her what’s what. Food Wars Shokugeki no Soma manga Volume 02 (10) Once again, Food Wars! takes every opportunity to show the inexplicably climactic effects of Soma’s cooking on those who eat it with some fairly over the top physical reactions and naked symbolism.

Food Wars Shokugeki no Soma manga Volume 02 (5)

I mean, seriously… I love a good

Food Wars Shokugeki no Soma manga Volume 02 (15)

meal as much as anyone, but this… my be excessive

While this just about fits in with the premise of the series that flavour and taste are represented to the reader through emotive and sensory images, there’s little justification that the series can make for the fact that Ikumi prefers to cook her meals in a bikini. I’m sure most chefs would agree that when you’re cooking, the less of your skin that’s vulnerable to burns, the absolute better. Then again, there’s the slightest chance that the manga’s creators don’t expect their chief demographic to question any opportunity to ogle some cleavage, so my point may be moot.

In fact, I'm fairly sure...

In fact, I’m fairly sure…

...that's exactly what they're doing.

…that’s exactly what they’re doing.

Following on from the story of Soma’s attempt to defend the Don RS through a meat-themed cook-off, we’re given just the very beginning of a new story arc. It’s camping time, something which sends a flicker of fear through the bones of most students at Totsuki. A hellish survival-style event is about to begin, one which in previous years has managed to eliminate 50% of first years. Most of the students are terrified at the prospect. Soma’s just looking forward to it. So am I. Food Wars! Volume 02 continues its blend of humour and ecchi imagery which together may make some readers forget that they’re reading a series about a cooking school. The redeeming qualities of the series’ protagonist save Food Wars! from being written off as just another excuse to see some manga boobs. Just about. For now. Food Wars Shokugeki no Soma manga Volume 02 (1) Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma manga Volume 02 is currently available from VIZ Media. Volumes 03 and 04 will be available in the very, very near future so keep an eye on this site for the review. For more information, take a look at the VIZ Facebook and twitter. Don’t forget to follow Anime Reporter on Twitter and Facebook too! Plot:                             7 Entertainment:             8 Art:                              8 Characters:                  7.5 Humour:                      7.5 Food Wars Shokugeki no Soma manga Volume 02 (6) 76% – Sizzling – Shokugeki no Soma Volume 02 takes the entertaining world of diehard cooking forward, introduces us to some colourful new characters and gives the series the beginnings of its conflict. Its entertaining, its funny and, so far, even the antagonists seem pretty likeable. It has yet to be seen if this series is going to start taking itself seriously or continue as harmless reading; in either case, it will no doubt do a good job, itll just mean that it ultimately appeals to one of two diverse groups. For now, it remains a standard shonen formula, still very much finding its feet but looking good doing it.

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