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FoodSpirits

Chin Chinchin explaining the nature of Food Spirits.

"Food Spirits" (食霊 (しょくれい) Shoku Rei) is the name given to the souls of deceased beings who continue to linger in the world of the living through ingredients. Food Spirits are souls filled with regret due not having been able to taste delicious ingredients during their life, and so instead linger within the delicious ingredients they could never enjoy during their time on Earth. These spirits are the source of the unique "Voice of Ingredients", which can only be heard by a few unique individuals, such as certain skilled chefs.
FoodSpiritsPAIR

Food Spirits enjoying the phantasmal soup PAIR.

Food Spirits use the "voice" to whisper and guide the living to an ingredient and then subconsciously share with them their new found spiritual understanding of food, such as the secrets of preparing and eating a special ingredient so that the living may enjoy the foods they could not in life. Chin Chinchin has displayed great knowledge about the nature of Food Spirits, showing that spiritual and philosophical experts and leaders are well-versed in their nature. However as the number of people capable of hearing the "voice of ingredients" is few, Food Spirits normally go unheard and seem to be mostly unknown to those outside of spiritual matters such as Yuda.[1]

Living beings are normally incapable of seeing or detecting Food Spirits at all (with the exception of those with the ability to hear the "Voice of Ingredients"), however if a human sees through or consumes the phantasmal soup PAIR, they are able to hear and see Food Spirits and any other departed spirit, as PAIR can allow living beings to be like spirits themselves.[2]

However, not all Food Spirits are essentially the spirits of dead people, as some are actually the manifested consciousness of still living people who are near-death or are in a deep coma.

AppearanceEdit

Food Spirit Ghosts

The evil ghosts of Blue Grill.

Most Food Spirits resemble their living selves, having the same outward appearance they had in life and even the same clothing should they wish. Other Food Spirits however are drastically different, with some baring no resemblance to a living being or any reasonable form for that matter, resembling something akin to monsters, demons or even nightmares while others resemble floating deformed heads; such Food Spirits are usually referred to as ghosts and are apparently malicious, seeking to possess the living in hopes of walking within the physical world once more. Pure and untainted souls, such as those of humans who have weak appetites appear simply as small orbs of light similar to a flame.[3][4]

Abilities Edit

Kaka punched by Zebra

A physical entity is unable to interact with a Food Spirit.

Despite being spirits, Food Spirits are still capable of assisting people on the physical realm through guidance. Because they are present in a completely different realm of existence, Food Spirits cannot physically interact with the physical world nor can the physical world interact with Food Spirits physically (as shown when Zebra's attack at Kaka simply goes through her), this includes ingredients.[5] Because of this, Food Spirits share their wisdom to those in the physical realm in order to assist them instead. The wisdom of certain Food Spirits are important due to their experiences from when they were still living as well as their experiences within the Back Channel; an example of such wisdom is Kaka's, who not only assisted the Heavenly Kings in their quest to capture PAIR but also informed them of Earth's anticipated destruction.

Possession Edit

Food Spirits are are known to have the ability to possess humans who are weak or sickly which they may take interest in. Powerful Food Spirits, like Appetite Demons, can possess a host even if they are not in a weak state. During Komatsu's stay in an urban area of Blue Grill, an evil Food Spirit attempted to possess Komatsu in order to replace its host, however the attempt failed due to Komatsu waking before it could possess him. When possessing a human, Food Spirits seem to force out the original soul of the person in order to attain control of their body as confirmed by Tack when Chin Chinchin believed he saw Warden Love in Blue Grill, but saw her wearing a mask as well as Love not recognizing Chin Chinchin. Despite being deemed a dangerous act and one that could be considered evil, Blue Grill practices in what is known as the Soul Trade (魂の取引き Tamashī no Torihiki) as a way to make weak and disabled productive members of Blue Grill's society.[6]

The spirit known as Joie was shown to have been able to posses the body of the legendary "Chef Goddess" Froese when her spirit refused to be revived, showing that a vacant comatose body can be taken by a Food Spirit even if the body itself is powerful and not weak or sickly.[7]

Weaknesses Edit

Despite being disembodied souls, Food Spirits can still be hurt or attacked by other spirits such as Appetite Demons, even if they're already spirits, and since they are already dead, they cannot die twice however they will still feel pain as though they were alive until their spirit body recovers. They are also warded off by certain odors, one example of an odor which can drive a Food Spirit away is the scent which is emitted by an Urchive.[8]

Another weakness for Food Spirits is their incapability to withstand light of any form. When one communicates with Food Spirits through the use of PAIR, they are actually speaking to them through a form of medium (in this case, the nutrients of PAIR), this means that while Food Spirits can indeed see the other side, they do not perceive the same surroundings as that of the person they are speaking to in the physical world. Tack states that in the Back Channel, there is no light nor concept of space and time hence Food Spirits become naturally incapable of taking in light. Even when possessing a human, Food Spirits are forced to wear masks in order to prevent themselves from harm of light. This makes the night time the only time for Food Spirits to become active.

Pure and untainted souls (those without Gourmet Cells) are unable to take a proper shape or form unless they have strong appetites. Because of this, they may forget who they are and will slowly begin to lose their memories until all knowledge of their past lives is forgotten, with the only thing they can remember being the foods they've eaten. However weak souls may be able to hold on to their memories and take shape if they have a strong enough resolve and appetite. Appetite Demons and Food Spirits who had Gourmet Cells are also susceptible to this, however it will take far longer for them to lose their memories, taking countless centuries for it to occur. Weak souls of humans who have Gourmet Cells (such as Komatsu) may also lose their memories at the same pace as weak souls if they're not careful.[4] Despite the loss of memories not relating to food, souls do not lose their knowledge and natural experience, especially in matters relating to cooking. Luckily this weakness can apparently be overcome with the aid of ANOTHER which is suspected to not only allow for a new sense of flavor but to also remember old flavors which may restore the memories of any soul.[9]

Food Spirits can also be imprisoned through the use of special objects, such as Life Orbs which can contain a spirit. Life Orbs are unique in that they can serve as revival items that will take any lethal damage that would normally kill their holders and regenerate their bodies completely, but the orb will break soon after use. It does so by using the spirits contained within as substitutes who will take the full painful brunt of an attack. This does no permanent harm to the used spirits, however they still require time to recover from the damage their forms received. 

Food Spirits can also be removed from one's body, weakening the host and the spirit to some degree. This was once done by Ichiryuu with his spirit, Don Slime, as claimed by Jiro. The technicalities of this are currently unknown.

Known Food SpiritsEdit

TriviaEdit

  • The souls of the people of Area 7 (many of whom are Food Spirits) have displayed the ability to taste and eat the phantasmal soup PAIR, although whether this is due to PAIR's unique nature or if Food Spirits can still freely taste food if they so wish remains uncertain.
  • Souls such as that of Bambina's mate may linger on in the world of the living not for ingredients but for the one they were closest to and the Back Channel is said to be the realm of spirits and many souls reside there. However whether such souls are still referred to as Food Spirits or are simply just souls is unknown.

Related ArticlesEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Gourmet 321
  2. Gourmet 320
  3. Gourmet 330
  4. 4.0 4.1 Gourmet 349
  5. Gourmet 320, pg 6
  6. Gourmet 331, Page 12
  7. Gourmet 338
  8. Gourmet 324
  9. Chapter 350


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