Anime Expo 17 was held in the Los Angeles Convention Center from July 1st-4th. Here, fans of all ages had the opportunity to attend various panels led by some of their favorite anime companies. One of the biggest panels was the “Shokugeki no Souma (Food Wars!)” panel presented by VIZ Media. Fans in attendance were able to meet one of the co-creators of “Food Wars!”, Yuto Tsukuda. During this time, Tsukuda-sensei answered various questions concerning “Food Wars!”, ate some interesting American junk food, and made some announcements regarding “Food Wars!”
Question #1: How did the Food Wars! Manga get started?
Answer: It started with Saeki-sensei. (Co-creator of Food Wars!) Saeki-sensei was out one day having drinks when he thought of the idea of a girl tasting food but with ecstasy. However, he needed someone to write the story for him and he thought of Tsukuda-sensei.
Question #2: Where did the term ‘Shokugeki’ come from?
Answer: Tsukuda-sensei saw the two kanji in ‘kengeki’ which translates to sword battle. And then he switched the sword kanji for the one that meant food, which led to “Food Battle.”
Question #3: What is it like writing Food Wars!? What is a normal week for you like?
Answer: First it takes about 3 days to have meetings and discuss the plot. In these meetings, there is Morisaki-san who is the food consultant. 3 days plot, 3 days story, and ideally, one day off. But sometimes Tsukuda-sensei runs out of time and has to apologize to Saeki-sensei.
Question #4: Was the “foodgasm” concept something you included from the start or did you add it because Saeki-sensei is such a great artist when drawing nearly naked characters?
Answer: I guess everyone likes having a little bit of sexiness in there. Like I mentioned before, it was Saeki-sensei’s idea to have food and ecstasy. So then I started thinking; okay, food, ecstasy… they take off their clothes. So then in chapter 1 when I was working on it, I realized that the men could also take off their clothes. So Saeki-sensei is pretty good with drawing girls, and women but not as much on the male side. But as the series has progressed, Saeki-sensei skills at drawing muscular men has been really good. Saeki-sensei and I have really grown as artist through Food Wars!
Question #5: Which of the chef characters would you want to cook for you?
Answer: Megumi because I want to relax. Or Rindou because I want something exciting and risky.
Question #6: Have you ever tried cooking any of the recipes yourself?
Answer: At the beginning, yes. We were actually making all the recipes in the beginning. So at the beginning, I would go to Saeki-sensei’s house and then myself, Saeki-sensei, and also his wife, we would all make a basic recipe, try it out and see if it works for the manga. These days are too busy to make any recipes.
Question #7: How does the food consultant, Morisaki-san, contribute to the story?
Answer: All the food ideas come from Morisaki-san. So I email her and ask her “Hey, I have this idea of so and so battling out, what kind of food ideas do you have in mind?” So usually we’ll go back and forth and find the details. But also these days, Morisaki-san, because she knows and understands the characters so well, at this point she’ll actually throw suggestions at me.
Question #8: We never see or hear about Souma’s mom. Will that be addressed in the story?
Answer: She will appear. So there is a little bit of a hint, I don’t exactly remember which chapter or volume it was, but Souma’s father says, “Souma has a talent I don’t even have.” So Souma’s father is saying there is something that's special that has has and it must come from his mother. Yes, a little bit down the line, Souma’s mom will make an appearance. Maybe red hair.
Question #9: What American foods do you want to try while you are here?
Answer: A bunch of burgers. Only burgers. So I’m gonna absorb everything about the burgers I eat and I’m going to put it in my manga.
American Junk Food Wars!
During a portion of the panel, the panel host introduced what he called ‘American Junk Food Wars!’ Here, Tsukuda-sensei would try various American junk foods and give the audience his opinion on them.
EPIC Bacon Bison Cranberry Meat Bar
Reaction: Ahhhhhhhh… I am done with this after 3 bites.
Hot Cheetos with Lemon
Reaction: It smells good. (Proceeds to eat two of them and lick his fingers)
Reaction: (Groan) Too sweet.
Orange Crush flavored Poptart
Reaction: What is this? (As he holds poptart) My mouth is getting dry now.
Reaction: Good smell. It’s good, now I have a different view of American junk food.
To conclude the panel, Tsukuda-sensei took the time to announce a very important announcement. Shokugeki no Souma (Food Wars!) is having a season 3. When fans heard this news, people were ecstatic and anxious for the new season. Unfortunately, Tsukuda-sensei had to be at another panel, and left the stage to the sounds of claps and cheers. However, the panel was not over. Fans who stayed for the remaining time of the panel were shown two Food Wars! Episodes. One of them was an OVA, that was only released in Japan, where Souma and the gang go to the hot springs. The other episode was the first Food Wars! episode but made in old Japanese animation style. Lastly, fans who were able to attend Anime Expo 17, were given the opportunity to watch the Food Wars! Dub premiere.