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?
AsFood Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma, Vol. 20 (Chapters 164 to 172; entitled Frozen Thoughts) opens, Soma takes on Eishi Tsukasa, one of Totsuki's “Council of Ten,” in an informal skokugeki (cooking battle). If he loses, Soma must submit to the will of Central (Totsuki's elite chefs). Plus, Erina reveals her past connection to Soma's father, and advanced exams begin.
[The volume includes the side story, “Food Wars! Second Stomach! 5.”]
THE LOWDOWN: I usually emphasize that the Food Wars! manga is at its best when it depicts cooking competitions. The current story line manages to sneak in a cooking battle or even a cooking demonstration or two.
Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma Graphic Novel Volume 20 is a special volume because the story goes deep into both Erina Nakiri's past and into her personality. Creators Yuto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki are solidifying a union between Soma and Erina, which we thought would happen. Adrienne Beck's sharp translation captures the spirit of battle, but Beck's best work is on the sections that bring out the richness of Erina's personality.
I READS YOU RECOMMENDS: Readers hungry for good manga will want the Shonen Jump Advanced title, Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma.