Food Wars! Shokugeki No Soma Graphic Novel Volume 26 cover image
Rated “T+” for “Older Teen”
Soma Yukihira grows up cooking in his father's Yukihira Family Restaurant. The 15-year-old wants to be a better chef than his father, Joshiro Yukihira, so he hones his skills day in and day out. His father decides to enroll him in a classy culinary school, Totsuki Saryo Culinary Institute, a place that prides itself on a 10 percent graduation rate. If Soma Yukihira really does not want to attend Totsuki, how can he succeed?
As Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma, Vol. 26 (Chapters 218 to 226; entitled “Second Bout”) opens, the Régiment de Cuisine Shokugeki moves into the “second bout.” There are three cards in this bout, pitting three members of Soma and his allies' group, known as “the Resistance,” and Totsuki's “Council of Ten.” If the Resistance wins, they save their expelled classmates and gain seats on the council. If they lose, all students connected to the Resistance are expelled and Soma's father becomes a slave... or sorts.
The first card of the second bout pits the Resistance's Terunori Kuga against the Council's Eishi Tsukasa, with the theme ingredient being “green tea” (tea leaves). The second card features the Resistance's Tosuke Megishima versus the Council's Rindo Kobayahsi, with the theme ingredient being “red pepper.” Finally, the third card has the Resistance's Subaru Mimasaka in a “tracer” battle against the Council's Somei Saito, with the theme ingredient being “tuna.”
The Resistance will discover that they are facing their opponents when these Council members are lucky enough to be using ingredients that they have long ago mastered. Can the Resistance have anywhere near the success in the second bout that they had in the first bout?
[The volume includes a bonus story.]
THE LOWDOWN: The Food Wars! Manga is set in an idealized version of the world of Japanese cuisine, and this world is very competitive. The story is at its best when it depicts cooking competitions.
Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma Graphic Novel Volume 26 is cooking battle manga hot of the grill (or wok). Of course, series creators, writer Yuto Tsukada and artist Shun Saeki, delve into the processes and histories of the chefs, which only accentuates this delectable manga meal. But readers will have to come back for the next volume. Vol. 26 does not give us the results of the second bout!
I READS YOU RECOMMENDS: Readers hungry for good manga will want the “Shonen Jump Advanced” title, Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma.
9.5 out of 10