- Mangaka : Ogaki, Rokurou
- Publisher : Viz Media
- Genre : Action, Adventure, Comedy, Seinen
- Published : May 2022
Manga as a storytelling medium has been around for a really long time. During that period of time, thousands of stories, if not millions, have been published. That is why it’s hard to find a truly original story nowadays. After all, everything is a remix of what’s come before it.
With that being said, there are still tricks that an author can implement in order to create something that feels unique and fresh. One of the easiest ones is mashing two or more genres together, and that is pretty much what Ogaki-sensei does in this manga. So let’s see whether or not Crazy Food Truck is any good through this brief review.
In a dystopian future where the earth is covered with barren wastelands, Gordon is a middle-aged man who tries his best to keep his food truck business going. He will stop at any promising spot and sell his burgers and stir fries. Needless to say, there are more bugs visiting his shop than actual human beings.
One day when he is driving through the middle of nowhere, he comes across a naked girl asleep in a sleeping bag right in the middle of the road. The girl’s name is Arisa, and she can wolf down the contents of Gordon’s entire food storage in one sitting.
Although there are still lots of questions to be asked, Gordon lets Arisa travel with him for a while. That is, until several military personnel come knocking on his door and ask about Arisa with guns in their hands. So he decides to speed up and blow the pursuers away with a cannon mounted on top of his food truck. And that is the beginning of Gordon and Arisa’s crazy journey together.
1. Interesting Premise
As mentioned above, Crazy Food Truck aims to deliver an interesting story by mashing up several genres, or concepts, together. In this case, it combines the wholesome elements of cooking manga with the thrilling elements of action adventure manga.
Crazy Food Truck is not the first manga that uses this particular cocktail recipe. There’s also Toriko, Golden Kamuy, Delicious in Dungeon, and Drifting Dragons, just to name a few. And if you’re familiar with any of those titles, then you’d know that they are some of the most entertaining manga in recent years.
So can Crazy Food Truck live up to his predecessors? This first volume proved that yes, they can indeed. The idea of a middle-aged man teaming up with a devil-may-care girl to go against the world while still running a food truck business at the same time is exciting, interesting, and hilarious.
2. Fascinating World Building
Similar to some of its predecessors, Crazy Food Truck also takes place in a fictional world, one where most of the oceans on earth have turned into deserts. But rather than simply let it become the background information for the story, Ogaki-sensei uses this fact as the basis for some fascinating world building.
Because although the oceans have dried up, that doesn’t mean the life inside of them has simply ceased to exist. No, the fishes and other sea dwellers learned to live on the ground instead, with most of them hanging out in deserts that used to be vast oceans.
So whenever Gordon needs a cheap way to replenish his food stock, he will look for any of these deserts, which are usually marked by patches of sand corals, and begin fishing on the sand. With the help of Arisa, they even manage to catch a giant rockskin sand squid and turn it into sweet-and-salty sand-squid-liver stir fry and fried-squid burgers. We get to know more about the world while still delivering an entertaining story at the same time. That is the mark of good world building.
1. Lack of an End Goal
Crazy Food Truck manages to convey the motivations of the two main characters quite early in the story, which is a good thing. It is always preferable to set up the characters’ motivations and goals early in the story so that the readers know what to expect from a new series.
On the contrary, there are also manga that hide their intentions from the readers so that they can surprise them later on in the story, but this kind of technique is rarely used. Not only because this kind of story is quite hard to execute, but also because manga usually run in a weekly or monthly magazine, so hoping for the readers to have the patience to wait for the best part of the story to happen way down the line is a big thing to ask. The threat of cancellation is big for this kind of manga.
For Crazy Food Truck, there’s no clear goal set in this first volume. Sure, there are some tidbits of information as to why they do what they do, but other than that, the readers are left to wonder what the characters are actually trying to accomplish here. It’s highly likely that this question will be answered in the next volume, but it would’ve been super if we knew about it in this volume.
With its quirky characters and interesting premise, Crazy Food Truck manages to deliver a highly engaging story within the compact boundaries of this first volume. Not only that, but it even offers great world building as well.
Unfortunately, it decided to not share the goals of the characters here, which is a shame, but it doesn’t change the fact that it is still a very entertaining read. If you’re in the market for a unique manga that can help you kill some time, then you should read Crazy Food Truck. We’re looking forward to the next volume!
Have you read Crazy Food Truck? If you have, what do you think about it? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.