Do you ever put something on your plan to watch list just for the sheer stupidity that’s in the premise? That was almost me with Delicious Gakuin, but it does have both Nishijima Takahiro and Shinjiro Atae, members of AAA as well as solo musicians, as main actors. That combination of plot and actors I’m invested in, I dove in for a cozy 6 and a half hour binge session.
The plot is somewhat simple, combine an early predecessor to ‘Food Wars’, with Super Sentai/Dragonball style power ups and special items, in a live action set at school and you’ve got it.
What? What do you mean you don’t get it? Let me break it down a bit further, explain more.
Rouma (Nishijima Takahiro), Rin (Aiba Hiroki), and Matthew (Miura Ryousuke) are three specially selected young men who are kidnapped from areas across Japan. They are then forced to create a ‘delicious’ meal in order to be freed, which doesn’t actually mean freedom. It means being enrolled into ‘Delicious Gakuin’ an academy set on preparing it’s students to be the best chef’s in the world, with a mysterious principal that no one’s ever seen at the reigns of it all. Together, they must face the class president Katsuragi Shuugo (Shinjiro Atae), and the four main teachers if they wish to graduate early and be allowed to leave the campus.
Yeah… I swear it’s not as creepy or battle royal-esque as I made it out to be. It really can’t be given it’s only 13 episodes clocking in at around 23 minutes per episode. It’s filled with the true troupe of ‘boys being boys’ aka doing stupid things, personal growth, friendship, and food. A lot of food.
Do not watch on an empty stomach.
Yes, I was baited to watch this thanks to Nissy (Nishijima Takahiro) and Shin (Shijiro Takahiro) which I regret absolutely nothing about. Both of them shone as actors, Nissy a bit more then Shin.
Like any time we get groups from the same company in a same production, having two group members in the same drama was fun. Especially one as the protagonist, and the other his rival, so for that aspect alone; I recommend AAA fans watch. It really shows a fun period in AAA’s history.
Nishijima Takahiro does steal the show with his acting. If he wasn’t given a voice from god, he should have been born again to act. This is his first role to act in, but even then it doesn’t feel like his first role at all! It doesn’t even feel like he’s acting aside from the more comedic scenes.
I could sense some underlying nerves in execution for Shinjiro, despite at the time having the upper hand on Nissy at the time. However, he makes a great rival and his voice is simply perfect for an upper-class heir to a traditional Japanese restaurant.
That being said, the supporting cast was superb as I often say. At times, no all the time actually, they come off as cheesy and a little too much but it’s fun. It’s not a serious drama by a long shot, so I’m glad you can feel the ‘fun’ vibe throughout the story.
Cinematography: Not much to speak of. Good use of close ups on characters ‘special moves’ but nothing special. The use of animation and super saiyan style power-ups is a fun touch though.
The only major flaw is the dated nature. From acting, clothing, set, and premise this series did not age well. You’ll cringe at Matthew’s hair the entire time, and Rin looks like he stepped out of a Visual Kei band with less make up, but that’s almost charming in a way. At least for me. So take all that with a grain of salt while watching. (It was 2007 people, those styles were cutting edge I tell you.)
Personally, it was a fun way to spend a lazy Saturday at home. I got to see some of my favorites in their earliest roles, laugh at lot and take it easy. Go in with no other expectations other then to laugh and shake your head at the sheer stupidity of it and you’ll be golden. Delicious Gakuin comes off dated and cheesy but that’s it’s charm for a watcher like me.