Food Wars! is a great anime with one major downside: it’s impossible to watch without getting hungry. In this clip from the new Crunchyroll documentary about the making of the show, Dayna Akahara, who handles Food Wars!’s food design at the J.C. Staff studio, takes viewers through the detailed and careful process of drawing anime’s best looking food.
The series centers on junior chefs as they train to become the new cooking-world elite, and the young chefs constantly challenge each other to one on one competitions. Since the show is about cooks at the top of the culinary game the dishes they make have to be outstanding. Of course, since the series is based on a manga, the animators have a point of reference to go on, but static, black-and-white drawings of food, aren’t the same as J.C. Staff’s animation.
As it turns out the process of animating each food item starts with a mountain of research. In the clip, Akahara toils over an alligator ramen dish that appears in the series’ third season. She takes everything from the texture of each individually hand-drawn noodles to the colors of real-world broth into account when working on the dish. As for the alligator meat itself, she used the manga as well as real alligator to make sure it looked right.
Akahara explains that she views the food itself sort of like a guest star on each Food Wars! episode. Every time a new dish comes in it’s important that every piece is right so we can understand how the character interact with it. And most important, it’s critical that every new dish looks delicious. With all this intricate detail put into each dish, it’s no wonder they make viewers hungry. In fact, according to Akahara, that’s always her goal.
The Food Wars! documentary is live now on Crunchyroll’s YouTube channel, and will be on Crunchyroll, and VRV on Dec. 13.