It’s difficult enough to try and justify a love of cartoons without having to deal with some of the most horrible stereotypes of Japanese Animation. How can we escape from the visions of tentacle monsters, exploited little girls, and screaming muscle men? Well, it’s when great story strands on it’s own apart from the trappings of the medium. This is one of the reasons I was so excited for Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma. The show is about Soma, the son of an excellent chief who has worked his entire life to try and beat his father. It has all the markings of a show that could break out into mainstream success. Food is a universal passion no matter which culture you come from, on top of the excellent way the show exploits the shonen formula to keep the viewer gripped while Soma goes on and on about the beautifully food that he has crafted. It’s almost a show that I would recommend to a lot of my non-anime fan friends who love food and cooking. Almost.
I decided to watch the first two episodes while on the treadmill in the gym. I thought it would be safe, an anime that I might not be embarrassed to watch in public. But the trend of shocking the audience to grip them with the first episode has entered an exaggerated stage with Food Wars. Only a few minutes into the episode Soma offers a disgusting dish he created, Peanut Butter octopus, to one of his friends. The visual representation the show uses to describe the feeling is the woman girl being raped by tentacles. Almost immediately a show that’s presence should help break into mainstream made itself completely inaccessible. It took minutes.