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Yukihira Soma is a teen with a great enthusiasm for cooking. He dreams of surpassing his father, a great chef and restaurant owner, and so attends Totsuki Culinary Academy, a legendary and formidable cooking school for the greatest teenage chefs in Japan.
I'm trying to figure out why Food Wars work so well. And truthfully, Food Wars works the same reason why all Shounen anime works. And no, it's not because of the transparent fan service.
It's because shounen anime are about pursuing to be the best version of yourself, to be passionate in what you're doing, to expand your horizon, to believe in yourself and something that is bigger than you, to win.
Food Wars ticks all the right elements, with a simple but thoroughly engaging story of Soma, a talented teenage chef, sent to a prestigious culinary school. What follows is the usual coming of age journey, but instead of superheroic, apocalyptic, world destroying battles, what Food Wars serve is a modest cook off a la Masterchef.
The arcs of the show is laid out plain and well with season 1 being the Training Camp arc and season 2 the Autumn Election (tournament arc). The story is well paced and the characters are mostly interesting. Soma is a great protagonist, he's a positive character, strong willed, passionate, creative, bold, capable and smart.
The show also does a good job in presenting various interesting and creative dishes, as well as exploring the different elements of what makes a good dish, the techniques and skills required to make a dish, and the stressful environment that chefs have to endure.
I like it.
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