Back when J.C.Staff launched Food Wars back in 2015, fans were ecstatic because they knew they were going to get some good food-related anime. Especially those who have already read the manga because the manga at that point was spectacular.
Best Food Wars Characters Of All Time
One aspect that Food Wars excels when others struggle is how it handles the characters. Not only the main characters, but also the supporting characters. Each of them have their own individual trait, and each interaction is unique because of it.
Today's topic is about the 18 best food wars characters of all time. As usual, I will explain what makes them great characters, whether their personality, backstory, skills whatever it is. Or at least, what MADE them such great characters.
Because as the story goes on, those who had great potentials, slowly became your standard side characters. Plain and bland, are the words that portray most of the Food Wars characters at the end of the series. (In my humble opinion) as the story gets bigger, instead of focusing on a certain topic, the author can explore many possibilities that can happen to other characters.
So in this article, not only I mention what makes the characters so good, but I will try to fix (again, these would be my arguments as an ex Food Wars fan) on what went wrong with these characters. So, starting from number 18:
18. Ibusaki Shun
I personally believe among all other Food Wars characters, Ibusaki has one of the greatest potentials. Being a silent character who has a burning passion inside him, he should have been given a chance to shine once in a while.
Especially when he almost made it from the preliminary round. Scoring 88 points and even got the moniker as “Prince of Smoke,” showing how capable he actually is when cooking with smoking technique. Eventually Mimasaka Subaru appeared and got higher points than him.
Since his cooking is related to smoke that has a unique aroma, he needs to have a match with another character who utilizes aroma: Hayama Akira. He does not need to win, since Hayama is definitely on another whole level. But having that match will prove that Ibusaki could be a future threat and he will be also acknowledged by his rivals.
17. Aldini Isami
(I know he is more familiar with Isami Aldini, but I am sticking by calling everyone's family name first) Aldini Isami is also that one character who has quite a potential. And the series also portrays him as the little brother who is overshadowed by his big brother.
Isami and Takumi's relationship is quite interesting to follow. Outside cooking, they act like normal siblings who like to tease others. But when it comes to cooking, they become rivals who try their best to overcome each other.
Since as the story goes on, Takumi's rivalry is more fixated on Yukihira Souma, and left Isami into the dust. They could explore more about these twins' relationship, especially about the rivalry because as it is right now it looks like Isami is doomed to stay in his brother's shadow (I know there is an explanation about Isami and Takumi is now equal, but it is too rushed and not explored enough).
16. Mimasaka Subaru
Being one of the “true” villains introduced into the series, Mimasaka was actually that threatening to the main characters. His skill set, being able to copy his opponent and adding some twist into it, is also much like your stereotypical villain in other series.
But like most villains, he was defeated by our hero Yukihira Souma. And now he is technically not a good guy or a bad guy, but more like a bystander who will help the good guy whenever he needs it.
In the Food Wars, Mimasaka only had 3 matches throughout the series. It could be added more to explore more of his talents. For example, could he handle other characters like Hayama Akira, or a revenge match from Aldini Takumi might also provide depth into his character.
15. Mito Ikumi
Another character that came out as a big threat but slowly disappeared as the show went on. Nikumi (her nickname. I will call her that from now on), is well-known as the meat master among her peers. The judges even called her “The Meat General” during the Autumn Election.
Apart from her cooking skills, she also developed a feeling towards Yukihira Souma. And it is funny to watch considering Yukihira is a bit dull when it comes to feeling and also Nikumi is a tsundere and often got embarrassed when she did something nice to him.
Even though she had quite a lot of screen time, most of the time it was only as your basic side characters. There are a lot of things that Nikumi lacks, such as cooking matches, her relationship with her friends, and of course with Yukihira.
14. Tsukasa Eishi
The first seat of Elite Ten is known for his calmness and serenity during cooking, and his anxious and cautious personality outside of cooking. Tsukasa never once doubted his cooking, thus making him one of the greatest chefs in the series.
Specializing in French cooking, Tsukasa has the ability to “connect” with his ingredients (yeah I do not really understand it myself). With that, he is able to maximize the output from his ingredients, and serve the best dish to the judges.
Sadly, despite having such incredible skills, its character is a bit bland. Even though he has some backstories, his past (for me) is not as deep as other characters. And (again, only my opinion), there should be times where he breaks characters during cooking. Something that might rile him up, or break him, so that we can see more about Tsukasa.
13. Kuga Terunori
The Chinese cuisine specialist started as a pseudo-antagonist, who turned out to be two peas in a pod with the main character Yukihira Souma. The difference is Kuga, at that point, was definitely more skilled in terms of cooking.
As the story went, Kuga became one of Yukihira's greatest allies, assisting him in many different occasions. His gung ho personality made him able to connect with other people, but some might just get tired of it.
In Food Wars, Kuga only showed his skill a couple of times during his restaurant match against Yukihira and in Regimental Shokugeki. That is unfortunate because if he gets more matches, we can see how he would tackle different cases with his skills.
12. Rindo Kobayashi
Rindo-senpai is arguably one of the fan favorites among all of the Elite Ten. Her mostly cheerful personality is what makes her so likeable. Not to mention that she wants to have fun, making her the least villainous Elite Ten.
On top of that, being that rare chef who specializes in exotic ingredients makes her shine even more, considering that even in real life, cooking with things like alligators or ants is not something you will find easily among the top chefs.
One thing that she lacks is how she gets involved into such an extreme cuisine type. Yes she likes to travel around the globe, but why is it? Adding such details and other past memories as needed could definitely boost her already skyrocketing likability.
11. Isshiki Satoshi
The most respected senpai from Polar Star Dormitory. In spite of his silly antics like wearing a naked apron, Isshiki's skills are definitely among the top and he has proven it several times.
He is supposedly mastering Japanese cuisine. But in reality, he could make whatever he wanted to cook, not afraid to mix and match with any other worldwide cuisine as much as he needed to.
But just like Kuga, he did not get as much screen time where he actually cooks and shows his skills. It would be brilliant to see him having matches with his fellow Polar Star Dormitory such as Tadokoro Megumi or a proper match with Yukihira Souma.
10. Kurokiba Ryo
The Dictator of The Kitchen had so many badass moments earlier in the series. His split personality is one of few things that fans love to see because sometimes it would be cool, and occasionally it would be funny to watch.
Kurokiba specializes in seafood cooking. Not only that, he cooks like he wants to kill you with his dish. Never once has he made a light dish that can be savored with mannerisms, instead he cooked brutally delicious foods that can be enjoyed without needing proper etiquette.
Kurokiba's development has sadly stopped after the Regimental Shokugeki. He did not get to showcase his skills as much as he did back then. It is a pity because just like Yukihira Souma, Kurokiba still has room to develop. He and Hayama Akira could stay as Yukihira's rivals to aim for the first seat of Elite Ten.
9. Saiba Joichiro
The legendary chef who wanders around the world to cook. Being gifted by skill to cook, Joichiro can literally serve any kind of dish without finding that many difficulties. The name “Ashura” is not only for decoration.
In spite of those skills, Joichiro is not that mighty of a cook. He once got destroyed by the pressure from everyone who has high expectations towards him. That made him stop cooking for a while until he met the love of her life.
Honestly, Joichiro is one of the few characters in Food Wars that are wonderfully crafted by the authors, Tsukuda Yuuto and Saeki Shun. Perhaps one way to make Joichiro even better is to add spin-off series like Shinomiya Kojiro had, so that the reader can learn better about him.
8. Aldini Takumi
The older brother of Isami who has a huge fan base in Totsuki Academy (and I am certain he also has a massive fan base in real life). He thinks that Yukihira Souma is his rival since they both came from a diner and are really proud of their restaurant.
As the series goes on, Takumi gets more appearances, usually alongside Yukihira and Tadokoro Megumi. This trio has been through many occasions, starting from the Hokkaido Examination Arc, Regimental Shokugeki, and even Blue.
But this (for me personally) caused some problems because his appearances overshadow other supporting characters. I am not saying that he should have less screen time, but the authors can explore more possibilities where Takumi actually has a deeper interactions with other characters, or even has a Shokugeki. That way, it is not always about Yukihira.
7. Nakiri Alice
Nakiri Erina's cousin who got the moniker “Global Innovator” from the judges back in Autumn Election. Scoring 95, her molecular gastronomy dish stunned the judges, and showing that she is a force to be reckoned with.
But like a lot of characters, Alice's seriousness only applies when she cooks. When she does not cook, she is a goofball who loves playing around, especially around Erina and Kurokiba Ryo. She also likes to tease other characters.
Since we got enough past memories about Alice (most of the time because she is connected with Erina), it is now about what should have come in the future. A dream match between her and Erina will definitely be a brilliant story if it is done correctly. So in short, just like other characters, she got wasted.
6. Hayama Akira
Another genius who was predicted to be Nakiri Erina's main rival. As it is right now, Yukihira Souma considers him as his rival, having 3 amazing matches so far.
Hayama is the master of spices. He knows everything about it, starting on how to grow and maintain spices, to applying them in his cuisine. Combined with his amazing sense of smell, he truly understands how seductive food aroma can be.
HOWEVER, just like a lot of supporting characters in Food Wars, he did not get that much attention especially when the series is about to end. Which is unfortunate because as the one who beat Yukihira in a fair match, we should have him more having matches like against Yukihira to settle everything once and for all, or maybe against Erina who has spectacular sense of taste.
5. Shinomiya Kojiro
The Legumes Magician who was despised because of what he did to Tadokoro Megumi. But after we learned about his past, fans started to love him, and the authors knew when to make his appearance.
Back in his youth, he was the first seat of the Elite Ten. He mastered the art of French cuisine, and even evolved as a chef, starting back into his roots from Japan.
Shinomiya even has his own spin-off, explaining everything about him. At this point it is pretty well-known that Shinomiya has quite a huge fan base. He is without a doubt the true protagonist before Yukihira Souma. Putting him at number 5 is a statement on how well his character was made and developed.
4. Arato Hisako
You might not believe it but Arato Hisako ranked 5th in the second popularity poll, beating names like Nakiri Alice, Hayama Akira, and Isshiki Satoshi. And at the 3rd poll, she ranked 2nd just below Nakiri Erina. Why do people love her so much?
At the top 4 of the list, all of the characters are considered to have one of the best character developments in the series. Arato fits the criteria. This medicinal cuisine master started to despise Yukihira, but ended up to value him as her friend and the one who can save Erina.
Arato might not have that much time to showcase her ability as a chef. And that is one point that might need to be fixed. But apart from that, Arato showed how lovable a character can be after they developed.
3. Tadokoro Megumi
Our beloved (or my personal favorite character) dark horse in the Food Wars. Starting from a girl who had a stage fright, she turned into one of the most formidable chefs in her own right, and her friends know exactly her value.
It is all thanks to Yukihira Souma who gave her courage to muster. She has never been a bad chef, but she is easily anxious. That is why she could never unlock her true potential, that is to cook with hospitality and full consideration. Just like your mom did to you.
Tadokoro's only drawback is that she rarely won a cooking match. For some people it might not matter at all, since she is always proving how great her cooking actually is. Like a dark horse, she left her opponent irritated because they thought they could beat Tadokoro easily.
2. Nakiri Erina
There is not much to say about the God of Tongue. She was, and still is, Yukihira Souma's source of motivation to cook better. Even fans theorize that Erina always said “disgusting” to Yukihira so that she can taste his dishes more.
Erina herself excels in many types of cuisine. Considering her past, who was trained by Nakamura Azami so that she could develop an exceptional sense of taste, she can literally pinpoint what went wrong on a dish.
In terms of cooking matches, for me it could be added more to flex her real cooking skills. But not too much since she is kind of like the final boss. But apart from that, she does not really have much to improve because she already is a wonderful character.
1. Yukihira Souma
In Food Wars' case, the best character is the main character. And it is not that difficult to guess why Yukihira is number one in the list. As a protagonist himself, everything about him is just about right. Nothing too overpowering.
His cooking skill is amazing but some are able to keep up with him. His personality is your standard stereotype main protagonist, confident, to the point, fearless, you should get it already, and his backstory is pretty good. We got a glimpse on why he is doing what he currently does.
If there is one thing to fix about Yukihira, it is that his supporting characters should have better screen time (I am not complaining to Yukihira because it is impossible. I am complaining to the authors). Because, great supporting characters only mean that they can support their main character rather well. If only his rivals get the same treatment just like him, Food Wars might have gone into one of the best shonen anime ever existed.