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  1. #1
    ロロノア・ゾロ Caliburn's Avatar
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    Shokugeki no Soma


    General Info:

    Series Name: Shokugeki no Soma (Soma's Cooking) - 食戟のソーマ

    Year of Serialization: 2012

    Author(s): Tsukuda Yuuto

    Artist(s): Saeki Shun

    Genre(s): Comedy, Ecchi, School Life, Shounen, Slice Of Life, Romance

    Current Status: Ongoing

    Moment of Reviewing: 54th chapter

    Other Formats: /

    Series Summary:

    The first time the main protagonist, Yukihira Souma, wielded a kitchen knife, he was only 3 years old. Ever since he was a kid he helped his father in their small-scaled family restaurant and it has been his lifelong dream to one day work in their shop as a full-fletched chef and, more precise, to finally beat his father in a cooking contest, surpass him and make him acknowledge his cooking skills. At the start of the series the balance is slightly tipping in favor of his father with 489 wins against 0 losses. Now that Souma finally has finished middle school, he reckons his time has come to achieve this goal...and then his father decides to close the shop for 3 years because he is going to temporary work in hotels and restaurants all over the world on the request of a friend. In the meantime however Souma is supposed to go to a cooking school on advice of his father. At first Souma didn't believe that this ordinary cooking school could make him measure his abilities, like his father claimed, I mean hadn't he been working in the kitchen his entire life? This soon changed though when he came to the realization that this cooking school is the most prestigious culinary facility in Japan where 99% of the hundreds of students in the first year are nothing more than whetstones to polish the 1% gems that remain at the end of the 3rd year. To make things even more interesting all of these students come from the most important high-class families, restaurants and companies in the culinary world and were already student here in middle school. Transfer students like Souma are extremely rare, in fact he is the only one and because of that he was allowed to say something at the openings ceremony. That Souma, someone from a regular run-of-the-mill-thirteen-in-a-dozen shop, proclaims without any shame nor hesitation to 1000 1st year high-class students that he will use them as stepping stones, makes him in one go the most infamous person on campus. What follows is a struggle to survive in the culinary jungle called Tootsuki Academy.

    Critical Review:

    The irony is strong in this one. These days cooking is a booming business. Cooking books sell like mad and I lost count of how many cooking programs are airing and have been aired the past few years on television and this is not something just limited to my country and honestly said it annoys me. On top of that my personal cooking skills are practically non-existent and my eating habits are far from refined. So it makes absolutely no sense I've gotten hooked to a series that's centered completely around cooking and still that's the case.

    So how is this possible? Well for starters I already mentioned in an earlier review I have a strong affinity for a high school based format, especially when it's mixed with fantasy or supernatural elements (like Beelzebub, Rosario Vampire, Mx0 etc.). The latter one does not apply to Shokugeki no Soma though as it's a slice of life series, nonetheless you can call it far from normal as the way how this academy deals with their students and the resources and facilities it has at its disposal, are quite unrealistic. I mean a single student could own six huge buildings for personal cooking, even having the right to demolish it and build something else on it and they can just utilize a 5-star hotel for cooking exams.

    Putting that aside this series has two strong points that made it worthwhile for me to keep reading it. First and probably the most important one is that the artwork is extremely detailed and beautiful. This is not really surprising as because everything is centered around cooking, there are a lot of panels that focus solely on the appearance of food. If it doesn't look realistic, then his concept of a cooking-manga would simply not work and regularly you really get hungry from just seeing these panels. A manga is still a 'visual' medium. Even if the plot of a series isn't particularly special, if it's visually pleasing, it can still become a success. It's not just limited to the food, the characters too are exquisitely drawn most of the time, especially the girls look incredibly cute and at important moments the artist can truly bring the emotions of a character to life via his eyes. This counts double for when a color page is added. The usage of colors, shade and details definitely surpasses the level of an average manga. I added a color panel at the bottom from a few chapters ago.

    Its most unique quality however is that regularly some kind of allegorical visual representation is made of how people feel when they ate something. This is similar how in the manga Air Gear people have 'shadows' and when that shadow changes, it means the character is changing (for example a character was always associated with a shark, which always got drawn on the background, another character with a fighting jet etc.). Whether food tastes good or bad, that's in Shokugeki no Soma then visually shown and often it leads to panels that are both amazing and hilarious. Example a girl ate an apple-risotto and it was then shown as her walking hand in hand with a prince...that had an apple as a head. Another time a character found a dish so bad it felt like bathing with a gorilla, which then was actually drawn and these drawings can be quite suggestive, hence this also an ecchi manga (though not in the nature of FT or HSDK). In the previous chapter a character was so good at making meat dishes, they called her the meat-general and then you see a female judge who ate the food riding the barrel of a tank >.>

    On the other side you can't really call this the most unexpected and unpredictable manga around the block. Even though you can't really foresee what's going to happen exactly during those three years, it's already pretty certain how the series eventually will end almost from the start. Somewhere at the end of the first chapter Souma's dad is thinking that you can only be at your best and enjoy cooking the most when you do it for a person you love and then on the next panel a hot new girl named Erina is introduced and not very soon after she comes to hate practically everything about Souma. You don't need to be a genius to know how that's going to end up. Because of this, to a certain degree, this manga could also be considered harem-like as so far 2 girls showed romantic interest in Souma, 3 if you count Erina in the future, but I decided not to add that tag as it's not really that prominent.

    Lastly while much attention is given to the main characters, regular characters really feel like that they are just there to full up the space. Often normal background characters are used to explain how a certain dish is made or something, how special or ordinary something is, but in many cases it really feels forced, that the author wants to create a certain atmosphere, but makes it too obvious. Nonetheless overall seen it's a really enjoyable manga that can give you some good laughs and for people who love cooking, it's definitely a must read as it provides a lot of information about culinary traditions from all over the world.


    - Reviewed by Caliburn
     
         
    Last edited by Caliburn; 06-23-2015 at 07:03 AM.

  2. #2
    Too young to be a senior TheLastSamurai's Avatar
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    Re: Shokugeki no Soma

    This does actually look like a pretty decent concept, something fresh heh. Thanks for the review Cali, I think I'll have a go at it

    Ik had het de laatste tijd erg moeilijk om een goede serie te vinden hehe. Als je nog meer suggesties hebt, post ze gerust op mijn profiel
     
         

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    Re: Shokugeki no Soma

    I randomly picked this up the other day, dropped it within like 20 pages or something. A girl eats octopus, and is then suddenly being groped by an octopus? Really? O_o The Mangaka uses the taste of food to create perverted and ecchi reactions, like wtf? O_o
     
         

  4. #4
    ロロノア・ゾロ Caliburn's Avatar
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    Re: Shokugeki no Soma

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLastSamurai View Post
    This does actually look like a pretty decent concept, something fresh heh. Thanks for the review Cali, I think I'll have a go at it

    Ik had het de laatste tijd erg moeilijk om een goede serie te vinden hehe. Als je nog meer suggesties hebt, post ze gerust op mijn profiel
    It's my 4th review in this section, you can find links to the 3 others in the Review Archive. I reviewed Übel Blatt, Medaka Box and Nanatsu no Tazai.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scaze View Post
    I randomly picked this up the other day, dropped it within like 20 pages or something. A girl eats octopus, and is then suddenly being groped by an octopus? Really? O_o The Mangaka uses the taste of food to create perverted and ecchi reactions, like wtf? O_o
    That's what I referred to as a 'allegorical, visual representation of how people feel when they ate something'. Personally I find this one of the series strong points. As these series based around cooking, the way how people react on food is important and he used that for something unique to his story. You just used an example of when someone ate something very bad and yes these things are often quite ecchi, but yeah that's the reason why that's also one of the tags and in most cases these these scenes are hilarious:







    And things like this just look delicious:

     
         

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    Re: Shokugeki no Soma

    Uhhhhhhhhhhhhh damn, i wanted to write a review for this one............ good job anyway
     
         

  6. #6
    Nalu is Love. Nalu is Life Naluraymerion's Avatar
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    Re: Shokugeki no Soma

    Your reviews about Manga are excellent ^_^.An excellent review you have posted on this one.I will give it a try.Cooking

    I am not sure whether reviving threads works here or not.Delete this comment if it was reviving old thread
     
         
    Last edited by Naluraymerion; 09-11-2014 at 07:19 PM.

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    Re: Shokugeki no Soma

    food orgasms, food orgasms everywhere...
     
         

  8. #8
    ロロノア・ゾロ Caliburn's Avatar
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    Re: Shokugeki no Soma

    Quote Originally Posted by nefraiko View Post
    food orgasms, food orgasms everywhere...
    The term "foodgasm" has been widely adopted by the readers of the series by now :p
     
         

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    Re: Shokugeki no Soma

    Great review of this amazing Manga. Nice to see some fans of it on here.
    I hope more people start to read it and we could get a nice number to discuss the chapters. (so i won't have to switch to other forums for that)

    No one should ever miss the foodgasm.
     
         

  10. #10
    ロロノア・ゾロ Caliburn's Avatar
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    Re: Shokugeki no Soma

    Quote Originally Posted by Hiєi View Post
    Great review of this amazing Manga. Nice to see some fans of it on here.
    I hope more people start to read it and we could get a nice number to discuss the chapters. (so i won't have to switch to other forums for that)

    No one should ever miss the foodgasm.
    Well it starts to slowly become more popular, among others because it also has an anime now.
     
         

  11. #11
    Senior Member Corazon's Avatar
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    Re: Shokugeki no Soma

    The series is great. I did put the anime on hold after episode 3, I'll get back to it soon.
     
         

  12. #12
    The White Demon Totsuka No Tsurugi's Avatar
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    Re: Shokugeki no Soma

    Upon seeing this manga... i expect something more like you know.. cooking master boy, I've been wanting to see some decent manga/anime show focusing about cooking for decades, but with ecchi ? that's a letdown, truth be told i haven't seen any episode or read any manga chapter from this series, but that "foodgasm" in the PV is just disturbing, i know something like that also happen in Cooking master boy and Yakitate Japan but this anime kinda overdid that reaction and quite frankly discourage my intention to get into the series.
     
         

  13. #13
    ロロノア・ゾロ Caliburn's Avatar
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    Re: Shokugeki no Soma

    Quote Originally Posted by Totsuka No Tsurugi View Post
    Upon seeing this manga... i expect something more like you know.. cooking master boy, I've been wanting to see some decent manga/anime show focusing about cooking for decades, but with ecchi ? that's a letdown, truth be told i haven't seen any episode or read any manga chapter from this series, but that "foodgasm" in the PV is just disturbing, i know something like that also happen in Cooking master boy and Yakitate Japan but this anime kinda overdid that reaction and quite frankly discourage my intention to get into the series.
    The foodgasms is this series most defining trait, if you scratch that it would become extremely hard to describe the scenes where people eat food, particularly in competitions which happen a lot, without sounding repetitive and boring. These foodgasms are a visual representation of how people feel when they eat, mainly using allegories to give different ingredients an identity, how these ingredients interact with each other, with the person who ate it and with other dishes. As a result the way how these foodgasms are portrayed vary a lot. Yes this can be ecchi, but also a lot of other things including violence. For example they once visualized two dishes as two people that fought with each other, one using his fists and another using a spear. Most of these foodgasms are in the end just comical, sometimes even absurd.

    This is really the most innocent form of 'ecchi'. This series elaborates a lot on different types of cuisine, so if you have been waiting that long for a good cooking series, it would be really a waste of you wouldn't give it a try because of that reason, especially because I don't think there are that many cooking manga.
     
         

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    The White Demon Totsuka No Tsurugi's Avatar
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    Re: Shokugeki no Soma

    Am well aware about this "reaction"/"interaction" when people is eating their food is necessary, you don't have to break it down for me, I don't want them to scratch the foodgasm.. i want them to tone it down.. especially with the ecchi part,

    But then again you're right, there is not much cooking manga's out there... so yeah maybe i'll check it once they aired all episode.
     
         

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    Re: Shokugeki no Soma

    I just watched the first anime episode and while not being a series with amazing plot the anime quality makes up for it and is able to keep you interested. Based on episode one alone it seems like an average anime nothing too good or bad but good enough to keep your attention. It also looks like hentai or anime porn in some cases lol.
     
         

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    The Man With The Proof DrProof's Avatar
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    Re: Shokugeki no Soma

    Honestly, I didn't think I would like this, but I'm hooked asf now. Who knew a cooking anime could be this good?

    Going to check out the manga for sure now.
     
         
    Last edited by DrProof; 07-12-2015 at 01:45 PM.

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    Re: Shokugeki no Soma

    from the start i have always been a great fan of action and supernatural animes like DBZ,onepiece,naruto,bleach,fairytail and i never tried to get in to other genre.But i found this anime by an accident and i loved it.This was the first anime i watched based on the cooking.So thanks for the review.......
     
         

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