Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Anthony Bourdain, Joel Rose, Langdon Foss
Genre: Action, Graphic Novel
Description: In the not-too-distant future, Los Angeles is run by gangs of mafia-like master chefs and people kill for a seat at the best restaurants in town—literally. In this setting a bloody culinary war is brewing between two groups. First, is the “Internationalists”. They blend foods from all over the world into new delicacies. The second group is the “Vertical Farm” members—chefs who prepare nothing but organic vegan meals. Into this scene arrives a new chef in town, Jiro, a rogue sushi chef known for decapitating patrons who commit culinary misdeeds in his establishment. Both the Internationalists and the Vertical Farm want to claim Jiro as their own. However, he has his own ideas and refuses to be a pawn in this game.
Opinion: Warning—any graphic novel written by Anthony Bourdain is going to be aimed at mature readers! Yes, there is language, yes, there is violence, but that is to be expected from him! That said, this is a fun graphic novel that is definitively in a class of its own. Give this to teens who love the cooking shows. Give it to teens who like Japanese culture. Give it to teens who love gory stories (there are some “nice” decapitation scenes in here!). And give it to teens who just want to read a ridiculously funny story. There are a bunch of elements in this story that will draw in all kinds of readers. I gave it to one of my teens who is a pretty “innocent” girl and she thought it was hilarious. While clearly a one-shot story, I would more than welcome some more stories featuring Jiro in the future.