Soma Yukihara grows up cooking in Yukihira Family Restaurant, which is owned by his family and is located in a less attractive side of town. The 15-year-old Soma 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, a place that prides itself on a 10 percent graduation rate. Soma does not really want to attend Totsuki, so can he succeed?
There is a new administration running Totsuki – the Azami administration, headed by Azami Nakiri, the father of Soma's rival, Erina Nakiri. Azami plans to banish all research societies and seminars from Totsuki.
As Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma, Vol. 18 (Chapters 146 to 154; entitled Begin the Counterattack!) opens, Soma battles Etsuya Eizan in a shokugeki (food battle) to save Polaris Dormitory from being closed. Later, Soma discovers that Azami is connected to Soma in two ways, one of them being particularly shocking.
THE LOWDOWN: The Food Wars! manga is at its best when it depicts cooking competitions, although there are particularly good volumes that don't focus on culinary battles. I love that this manga makes me hungry.
Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma Volume 18 is battle ready. As good as the competition between Soma and Eizan is however, creators Yuto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki uses the chapters that comprise Vol. 18 to delve into series mythology. Don't let that put you off, dear reader; you can join the culinary fun at any point. Here, the battle is often newly rejoined, and the skillet is just getting hot again.
I READS YOU RECOMMENDS: Readers hungry for good manga will want the Shonen Jump Advanced title, Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma.