Food Wars is one of the most addicting comics on the face of the planet. So much so that upon reading the tenth volume I was lefty in a frenzy for the eleventh volume. Thankfully being a reviewer I had early access to it and was able to whet my appetite with both volumes back to back. I don’t know if you’ll have the same fortune, but if you do… then read both. Now I’ll admit that some of my knowledge of this series comes from the anime which was just as addictive as the manga. Like most things though, the print version is better and that holds true here.
It’s the fall classic and we’re getting down to the finals. This volume quickly wraps up Akira Hayama and Hisako Arato’s match. Which is good because I honestly could care less about either character. Personally I don’t think that Akira has been built up in strong enough way to be a threat. His background is weak and he’s unlikable so I don’t care if he wins or loses. Unlike Subaru Mimasaka who emerges as a wonderful villain in this volume.
Subaru’s match with Takumi Aldini is fantastic. Writer Yuto Tsukuda keeps Takumi in the spotlight which makes Subaru an even bigger menace. Subaru has what’s called “the perfect trace” in which he studies his opponent and copies their exact dish, but elevates it one step further. It screws over the opponent because they’re left with only one option… continue cooking their inferior dish.
That’s not the only thing that makes Subaru evil though. Aside from making all of his fall classic match ups Shokugeki, he asks for the challenger’s favorite kitchen knife as a prize. Takumi puts his moon blade on the line and so you can imagine the incredible stakes.
You can probably figure out the outcome, but it’s the journey, the twists of the story that make it worth reading. I will spoil something and tell you that the reason I wanted to read the next volume so bad was because of what Soma puts up for his Shokugeki with Subaru… his knives and his life as a chef in order to win back all 100 blades that Subaru has taken.
If you don’t instantly want to see how that turns out and how and if Soma can beat him, then I question why you would even read this review. The writing is fantastic as usual. I was a little confused at the beginning having not read the previous volume, but I was able to catch up rather quickly and become very invested in the story.
The art is also some of the best coming out of Japan today. Shun Saeki and contributor Yuki Morisaki are producing some incredible looking pages. By far the Shokugeki is the best part with Subaru’s appearance being changed and altered to show that he’s a villain. That’s why I don’t care for Akira, it’s almost as if we’re supposed to like him as well and be torn between him and Soma… but I’m not. I root for Soma every time. With Subaru you want to root against him. It’s entertaining to go against him because he’s a true villain. The other part of the art that stands out is Subaru and Soma talking at the end because it highlights just how confident Soma is.
Food Wars is addictive. It is the blueprint of the shonen genre and yet it breaks the mold at the same time. There is nothing else like it and while I don’t necessarily need it to run for ever, I’m glad to see how creative and different it can get. And if you like this volume… just wait until you read the next one.
Food Wars! Vol. 10 Writer: Yuto Tsukuda Artists: Shun Saeki with Yuki Morisaki Publisher: Viz/SJ Advanced Price: $9.99 Release Date: 2/2/16 Format: TPB; Print/Digital