Somo helps at his family restaurant. When his dad decides to go cook overseas, he sends Somo to the elite Totsuki Culinary Institute. Somo goes for the transfer exam where he meets Erina, the heiress to the Institute and the owner of the Divine Palette. While the rest of the transfer students high-tailed out of the exam at the intimidating sight of her, Somo rose to the challenge and cooked a dish featuring eggs. Erina secretly loved it but failed Somo out of pride. So, imagine her surprise when he showed up at the entrance ceremony later, having secured a passing grade after all.
The storyline is really interesting, with "action" like sequences for when Somo is cooking, and some really interesting characters and an already-present rivalry with Erina. The inclusion of actual recipes for what Somo is cooking is a really nice touch, and provides a way for fans to connect on another level to the reading. The artwork is also really beautiful and detailed; the illustrated food looks delicious.
The thing that turns people off about this series is how much people enjoy their food. Tasting experiences are orgasmic, and characters are drawn sans clothing (with cleverly placed things in front of their bits, or scant clothing) and transported somewhere else, like a cloud surrounded by tiny cherubs. The characters are usually embarrassed to be enjoying the food this much.
VIZ rates this title as Teen Plus, which they describe as "May be suitable for older teens and adults. For example, may contain intense and/or gory violence, sexual content, frequent strong language, alcohol, tobacco and/or other substance use" (VIZ.com). There's obviously not intense gory violence, so the rating for this is almost entirely on the food-gasm scenes. In the first volume, there is no strong language, or any drug usage - not to say this won't happen in later volumes, but if there's going to be cussing, it's usually present in the first volume. The selection of this title would be entirely on how your community would support a story about food with illustrated food-gasms.
Sara's Rating: 8/10
Suitability Level: Grades 11-12
Tags: Rating: 8/10, Suitability: High School, Manga, Realistic Fiction, Culinary
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