Soma Yukihira grows up cooking in Yukihira Family Restaurant, the restaurant his family owns in a less attractive side of town. The 15-year-old wants to be a better chef than his father, Joshiro Yukihira. So the teen hones his skills day in and day out. Then, his father suddenly decides to enroll Soma in a classy culinary school, Totsuki Saryo Culinary Institute. Soma does not believe he needs to go to school, so can he really succeed in a place that prides itself on a 10 percent graduation rate?
As Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma, Vol. 9 (Chapters 66 to 74; entitled Diamond Generation) opens, the quarterfinals of the Fall Classic continue. Soma takes on Alice Nakiri and her mastery of food science in the “bento box challenge.” Can Soma win after Nakiri's bento box sends the judges into spasms of ecstasy?
Then, shy Megumi Tadokoro takes on the aggressive Ryo Kurokiba in the ramen challenge. Can Megumi overcome Kurokiba's ramen that has already overcome and overwhelmed the judges? Then, Akira Hayama takes on Hisako Arato in the battle of the hamburger, and the burgers they deliver are shocking.
[This volume includes a bonus side story, “Erina's Summer Vacation.”]
THE LOWDOWN: I think that my mouth was watering the entire time I read the most recent volume of the Food Wars! Manga. Reading the foodie manga always makes me think of eating delicious food, including what is depicted in the story and other things that pop into my mind. Damn, I'm hungry, again.
Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma Volume 9 may be the best volume of this series to date. It has the kinetic energy of an action movie. Of course, cooking competitions make for riveting television watching, so masters of manga should be able to do nothing less than deliver a pulse pounding comic book cook-off. And series creators, Yuto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki, do deliver tasty reading.
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Hungry readers and foodies will want to sample a few courses of the Shonen Jump Advanced title, Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma.