Get Jiro Review: If ‘No Reservations’ Was a Noir Anime Yakuza-Fest
Anthony Bourdain, chef, TV host, best-selling author…comic book writer? Yup, the “No Reservations” star has thrown his hat into the comic book arena with his debut comic ‘Get Jiro” with Joel Rose, art by Langdon Foss, published by Vertigo. Can this foul mouthed, chain smoking chef write a comic that’s worth stepping away from reruns of “No Reservations? “ Surprisingly, yes.
In a not so distant future Los Angeles where master chefs run the city like crime bosses and food is on everyone’s minds a small time sushi chef named Jiro murderes a man for breaching sushi etiquette (mixing wasabi in soy sauce, dipping sushi rice side down and asking for California rolls). That man was a lackey for one of two of the most powerful chefs in LA. Both find out Jiro’s great skills and passion for food and want him to join their ranks in what turns into an all out culinary war.
To anyone who’s not a chef or foodie, this story may sound silly and dismiss it as a hardcore version of Iron Chef. In reality, this is just about how the culinary world works, just not as violent. Anyone who knows anything about the restaurant business will sympathize with the cutthroat tactics each chef uses. Not to mention all the little culinary groups (vegans, local-only groups), and the practically realistic way Jiro reacts American’s lack of sushi etiquette (poking food with chopsticks, anyone?)
The only downside to the story is that some of the scenes do go by comic book logic. For example, there were many instances where Jiro could’ve been killed easily and the characters waste too much time and he lives. It makes no sense when other characters get killed off easily.
The art fits perfectly with the story’s graphic tone. The use of the colors for different scenes, the characters facial expressions and near-future LA are well illustrated here. What’s not well illustrated are some awkward posses, like in one scene where a guy kicks Jiro in the stomach and the guy is standing perfectly strait and so is his leg. This looks awkward and goes against how a normal person moves.
Anthony Bourdain’s first shot at comic writing is a stab at the culinary world and foodies alike and it’s one fun ride told by a chef not afraid to speak his mind. If you can get past some of the silliness in the story and some awkward artwork “Get Jiro” is an enjoyable read. Chainsmoking is optional.
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