Food Wars has quickly jumped from serialized Shonen Jump manga to anime fan favorite for its ecchi comedy, action, and of course the wonderful food. Written by Yuto Tsukuda, with art from Shun Saeki, and contributions from Yuki Morisaki, Food Wars Volume 35 encompasses chapters 300 to 308 and is in the middle of the Blue cooking competition arc, leading up to the series end in chapter 315. Published by Viz Media and translated to English by Adrienne Beck, my path to reading Food Wars Volume 35 has been a long one.
I have to admit, for this review, I read all 300 chapters of the manga to catch up. Let me be clear, this was the best decision I could have made with my self-quarantine time. Over the course of the series, Food Wars has not only made me laugh but also brought emotional familial arcs and character growth that has made it stand out beyond the food it makes me hungry for.
In the last volume, We saw every Totsuki chef pass through gate two of the Blue cooking competition and watched former first seat Eishi Tsukasa fall to Asahi Saiba. While Soma hasn’t failed yet and even watched him succeed working back to back with Takumi Aldini, he and the other students have been made a name for themselves in their battles, showcasing their “freakish talents” against tough Noir opponents. Now, in Food Wars Volume 35 the competition heats up as we get to the Divine Tongue herself step up to the plate and witness the beginning of Soma’s rematch with Saiba.
Food Wars Volume 35 is stuffed with food action, bitter rivalries, and humor that the series is known for. As the penultimate volume, it carries the storytelling weight effortlessly by allowing us to see just how much Soma has grown, not only as a chef but as a person. Equally, in this volume, we get to see Erina’s true strength as a chef beyond just her tasting abilities, something I didn’t realize until this issue was almost nonexistent outside of the Team Shokugeki arc. In the opening chapter, the Book Master is shown to have a nefarious plan to remove Erina from the competition, and by extension, rig the matches to suit their personal wishes as to who should advance.
While we got an inkling of this in the opening chapters of the arc that saw many of the traditional chefs fall immediately, by adjusting her block in the bracket he sets Erina up against Noir opponent after Noir opponent with no rest between them, the picture is clear. As for Erina, she bests them all. Erina has been a hard character to like for the bulk of the series. While the last section of the series with her father brought her down to Earth and gave her the tragic backstory fitting of a shonen character, I haven’t been drawn to her. That said, in Food Wars Volume 35, I’m in love with the character. While she seems to have reverted to her cold and hard demeanor we saw at the beginning of the series, she’s more emotional and written to come from a place of both power and pain in the situation.
Beyond that, Food Wars Volume 35 offers up failures for some of our fan-favorite characters and in those failures, we also see the growth of their talent. But while the bulk of this volume revolves around Erina, her situation with the Book Master, and Saiba’s continued advances, the action heats up in the last two chapters as Soma takes on his brother. There is a build-up in the last chapters that heighten your curiosity as a reader and makes you extremely eager for reading how the series will conclude in Volume 36.
Overall, as the penultimate volume Food Wars Volume 35 is divine. With only seven chapters left in Food Wars, there is no better lead up that this tankōbon. The characters of the series have come into their own, have pushed themselves beyond what they thought possible, and with a cliffhanger ending, I’m certain that many without a Shonen Jump subscription will be running to sign up so that they can see how the series ends before the next volume publishes.
Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma Volume 35 hits bookshelves and online April 7, 2020.
Food Wars Volume 35
Food Wars Volume 35 is stuffed with food action, bitter rivalries, and humor that the series is known for. As the penultimate volume, it carries the storytelling weight effortlessly by allowing us to see just how much Soma has grown, not only as a chef but as a person.