SUPER SHOKU KING
極食キング (Goku Shoku King)
Seinen – Sports
1 Volume of 5 Volumes (complete)
Media Do (Nihonbungeisha)
Have a struggling restaurant? Well, one man may set you on the path to success — but only after you complete his training! It’s the return of the famous restaurant revival consultant!
Bizarrely, the fourth volume of SUPER SHOKU KING is also available through Kindle Unlimited, but I’m only going to look at the first. Also, while most sites listed the first series as SHOKU-KING, most sites list this as SUPER SHOKU KING.
SUPER SHOKU KING is a sequel that seems to take place right after or shortly after the original series. There is a bit of re-introducing Toshizo, but it doesn’t summarize whatever happened in the original outside that Toshizo has helped turn around many restaurants.
The original, at least in its early volumes, was very episodic. Toshizo gets a request or finds someone in need of help, they undergo some weird training, and then the chef turns their business around. SUPER SHOKU KING doesn’t seem to be messing with that core formula, but this series may involve an overreaching arc, perhaps taking up the entire series. It still will involve helping various food shops, but Toshizo may be doing so in order to stop a chain.
Or perhaps who I’m thinking is the antagonist is defeated in the second volume. I doubt it though. The manga ends with a strong indication that a new shop is facing challenges from that antagonist’s restaurant, and we already know the chain is shrouded in mystery. Perhaps the first manga also switched to this formula. Again, I don’t know.
There does appear to at least someone in the manga that readers are supposed to know. The person’s name is shown on Toshizo’s phone, and the way they’re chatting makes it clear they’re old friends. Still, I’m betting that it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, as SUPER SHOKU KING is about the restaurants, not Toshizo. Starting with the first is probably best though, as in most cases involving a sequel. This probably could be considered Volumes 28 to 32. You could start with SUPER SHOKU KING, but you could have started with almost any volume in SHOKU-KING as well. The only real advantage is that while in the first series most volumes finished up an arc started in the previous, you know that SUPER SHOKU KING‘s Volume 1 is going to start a whole new one, and the final volume is going to end with some type of conclusion. You probably won’t get that from five volumes in a row in the original.
At the same time, other Tsuchiyama manga are about this length, so why not go with one that has a clearer introduction and more clearly defined protagonist…?
Oh, and the art looks the same as before. A couple of friends do look alike, so you might want to pay attention to who’s who, especially if you are starting with SUPER SHOKU KING and haven’t read much of Tsuchiyama’s other works.
Honorifics are used. Footnotes are used. There’s two footnote stars on a page but only one footnote. Still bad spacing.
SUPER SHOKU KING seems like a must-buy if you enjoyed the original SHOKU-KING, but it may also work if you want a SHOKU-KING experience shrunk down into a more affordable package.
Many of Tsuchiyama’s manga are available through Media Do including the prequel SHOKU-KING.
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