I hate doing these for only one title, but the other one that’s on Amazon already hasn’t quite been announced, so it will have to be content with a tweet or two. In the meantime, we have another Shonen Jump series, though this one is not going to be featured in the weekly online magazine.
Shokugeki no Soma, which is getting the prefix Food Wars added to it for North America, is a Weekly Shonen Jump series that’s about 4 or 5 volumes so far. It is another manga about food creation but, like another Jump series, Toriko, I suspect this is not so much for the foodie manga reader as it is for the typical Jump manga fan. A young man is challenged by his chef father to go to an elite chef high school where it’s all battles all the time. It has very few graduates. Oh, and the head of the school’s granddaughter hates him. Can he survive just by being the hero of a Shonen Jump manga?
This sort of series has been called Food Porn, and apparently this particular series takes that wording a bit literally. Like many manga artists before they hit it big, Saeki Shun got his start in hentai doujinshi, and it shows in the abundant amounts of fanservice that this title has. Indeed, I was rather surprised at the announcement, not because it’s a battle manga – indeed, that’s likely the lure. It’s because ecchi harem series had been on the decline in North American recently. Strawberry 100%, an earlier Viz Jump title, is on permanent hiatus. Nisekoi is a romantic comedy, but its main thrust is not so much “panties!” the way the classic shonen harem title is. Food Wars (and I haven’t read it, so please correct me if I’m wrong) is combining a cooking manga with harem fanservice in much the same way Toriko combines it with One Piece-esque shonen ludicrousness.
As for whether it succeeds, well, I admit I’m intrigued at what the future will bring if it does. We shall see.