Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma Volume 25
It’s been quite a while since I tried Food Wars — the last book in the series I read, I think, was volume 16 a year and a half ago. I checked out Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma volume 25 because the publisher was nice enough to send it to me, and at least I could tell what was going on. That’s thanks to the main content being two cook-offs, which are the best part of the series.
There are two food battles: an eel challenge between Isshiki (best known for being nude and wearing nothing but an apron, but still a skilled chef) and an Italian-influenced challenger, and our hero Soma faces off in a soma (noodle) fight where everyone’s trying to emphasize their “delicate buckwheat flavor”.
A bunch of the characters are in some kind of jail, and I think the battles are to win control of the school to get them out. I don’t really care; I just like seeing the outrageous dishes and the way they inspire me to think about the flavors involved. There are some comfortable items for readers who’ve seen any of the previous books, as when the competition commenter says, “It looks like Yukihira is doing something crazy and incomprehensible again. Like always.”
While it was fun to check back in with the crazy chefs and their ridiculous but delicious ideas, the thing that drove me away from the series is also still present. That’s the fan service images of people, mostly women, losing their clothes due to the intensity of what they’re tasting. This book has a particularly egregious example, with a giant image of the female judge in a bikini, squeezing the two male judges between her overflowing breasts.
I wish that image was more easily forgettable; I’d rather be left thinking about what fried noodles with duck and leek might taste like, or the risotto with garlic chips.