Food Wars! Volume 10 focuses on the Fall Classic competition at the prestigious Totsuki Culinary Academy. For this volume, main character Soma Yukihira is more of an observer than an active participant.
Volume 10 begins by showing the final result for the Fall Classic match between Hisako and Hayama. It turns out there wasn’t much left to tell for that particular match, but it appears that the character who lost may have learned something important from their loss.
Most of Food Wars! Volume 10 focuses on the match between Takumi Aldini and Subaru Mimasaka. But it turns out that this isn’t anything close to a normal Fall Classic match. Both boys have agreed to turn their match into a shokugeki, an intense cooking showdown with high stakes. For this competition, Takumi wagers his beloved knife. It turns out that Subaru is a stalker who follows his opponent to learn how they think and behave, as well as to discover what recipe they’ll be preparing for their shokugeki. And from there, he tries to think up ways ahead of time to improve his challenger’s recipe in order to make it better and win. It’s made clear that Subaru is more concerned about winning than he is in the actual art of the cooking itself.
As a reader, I found myself feeling disgusted over Subaru and the tricks he was pulling on Takumi. Unfortunately, what Subaru does isn’t against the rules for a shokugeki, so he’s able to get away with it. I was rooting for Takumi to somehow find a way to best Subaru and pull out a win. While I don’t want to give away who the winner is, I’ll say that the outcome of this shokugeki brings Soma back into the story as an active participant, since Soma’s competitor for the next Fall Classic match is the winner of this shokugeki.
As with the other volumes of Food Wars! that feature cooking competitions, Volume 10 also includes detailed exposition for the dishes the characters make and explanations for the choices that they made in preparing their dishes. Fortunately, this volume wasn’t bogged down nearly as much by this as Volume 7 was.
When it comes to the art, Food Wars! Volume 10 includes several impressive close-up panels, either of characters or of the dishes that are presented during the cooking matches. In fact, the close-up of Hayama’s dish on the very first page almost makes it look like the reader could eat it. When it comes to the characters, there’s a close-up of Takumi on page 25 that really jumps out at the reader. There’s another good panel of Takumi on page 88 that perfectly captures his determination to beat Subaru and win the shokugeki.
Food Wars! Volume 10 will be best appreciated by readers who are already reading and enjoying this series. However, Food Wars! also has the potential to appeal to foodies.
The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media