Anime List: Best Shows about Food
At our sushi bar in Liverpool and Manchester we’re dedicated to providing the best eating experiences, and what could ignite your passion for food more than watching others eat and make some tasty Japanese cuisine?
In this anime list, we’ll be looking at anime on the subject of cooking. However, in order to have made it onto this list, these shows have to bring more to the table than tastily drawn food. We’re judging them based on their storylines, characters, soundtrack and art styles.
The People’s Choice: Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma
If you watch anime fairly frequently, you’ll have been expecting this one to make the list. It’s been a sensation from the beginning and has everything you’d want from this kind of show: tense drama, sensuous food and just a dash of romance to spice things up a little.
If you’re new to anime or have somehow missed the advertising for this one, here’s a brief summary: Yukihira Soma is an aspiring chef who has been learning from his father since he was a child. Season one sees Yukihira heading to an elite cooking school to hone his skills and maybe come out on top. His knowledge of food will be tested by the rest of the cast, each of whom has their own unique skill.
This show has many great aspects to it, but the high points are probably the sumptuous portrayal of the characters’ dishes, as well as the show’s fantastic ability to create tension during competition episodes. Tension in this show is largely crafted by the top tier sountrack that accompanies the majority of scenes, but it wouldn’t be nearly so effective if not for the masterful pacing of the animation alongside it. This one is truly skilful in bringing out emotions in its desired audience.
Fans of the sports genre in anime might recognise some similar techniques being used in the storyboarding of these episodes, but if it works why change it? Shokugeki no Soma is an inspiring anime about the joy that can be found in food, whilst also providing valuable insight into the stress of cooking competitions.
One of the cool things about this show is that the manga (Japanese comic) on which this show was based would include recipes for some of the dishes made in that volume so that readers could try to make them, too.
Sure to Please: Amaama to Inazuma
Amaama to Inazuma translates to Sweetness and Lightning which is a very fitting name for this show. It’s a cute series with only twelve episodes, but each one is certainly special. This show is very popular with almost everyone who has seen it but hasn’t been watched by nearly as many as Food Wars.
Sweetness and Lightning follows the story of a recently widowed father and his infant daughter. The two get along fairly well, but the daughter, Tsumugi, wishes that her father’s cooking were better. Inazuka is a supply teacher at a local high school, and ends up taking Tsumugi to a restaurant owned by the family of one of his students. The story that follows looks at family loss, missing parents and the worries of bringing up a child.
It has many moments of bitter-sweet tenderness and grief, but overall this show is a heart-warming demonstration of how a small community can work together to improve their skills and relationships with others.
The best part of Sweetness and Lightning would have to be the star of the show: Tsumugi. Bucking the trend of many anime, Tsumugi is actually voiced by a child. Tsumugi’s voice actor, Rina Endō is a very talented actress and portrays Tsumugi’s passionate feelings about food, freedom and life very well. Without Rina’s stellar performance, Sweetness and Lightning would lose something very special.
The Underdog: Yakitate!! Japan
Yakitate!! Japan might not be well known, but it’s not a show to be missed. Like Food Wars, Yakitate makes fine use of the cooking competition theme, but it also employs a fantastic sense of humour throughout.
Yakitate!! Japan is a show about a kid who yearns to make bread with all his heart. He’s a boy with a dream who sees a gap in the world’s bread market: there’s English bread, German bread, and who could forget the French baguette? But Japan has no speciality bread to call it’s own.
Kazuma aims to create the ‘Ja-pan’. The word for bread in Japanese is a loan word from the French word for bread, ‘pain’, pronounced ‘pan’. Can he create a truly Japanese bread in a country where rice is the staple? You’ll have to watch to find out!
Yakitate!! Japan’s winning feature that saw it make its way into this exclusive list is based on its humour which more than makes up for the retro art style. This is a show that’s sure to bring a smile to your face, even on the worst of days.
Who could have known that such humour could be found in a mere croissant, or that sixty-nine whole episodes could be extracted from the theme of bread? Or that food could be the medium through which a daughter and father connect over the loss of a mother? If you’re suddenly feeling hungry for some real Japanese cuisine after reading this blog, then visit us at Sapporo, a sushi bar in Manchester and Liverpool.