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The all-boy answer to Food Fantasy, the Chinese answer to Touken Ranbu.
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Shíwùyǔ (食物语 "food story") is a Chinese turn-based mobile battle game developed by Tencent, released on September 3, 2019. It is set in a China where its dishes manifest good-looking male Anthropomorphic Personifications known as "food spirits" (食魂). Long ago, the "food deity" Yī Zhì (伊挚) built a place called Kòngsāng (空桑) to house and protect food spirits, whom he formed pacts with. However, Kòngsāng is then destroyed by villains and the spirits' pacts broken, erasing their memories of life their and sending them back to their origins. The player, taking up the role of the food deity's child, a.k.a. the young master of Kòngsāng (空桑少主) and next in line as food deity, is on a quest to rebuild the place and defeat evil.

A Singapore/Malaysia localization opened on May 27, 2020. A Japanese localization, complete with dubbing, opened on Nov 3, 2020.

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Tropes

  • Anachronism Stew: Kòngsāng houses food spirits from all eras across Chinese history, and humans from any era can visit and eat there.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • There are mechanics that guarantee an SSR after a certain number of summons.
    • After an event finishes a rerun and thus is gone for good, the food spirit introduced in that event will be added to permanent summoning pool in a later update.
  • But Not Too Foreign: As the game is about Chinese cuisine, localization-exclusive dishes would have Chinese origins.
  • Cast of Personifications: Most recurring characters are personifications of Chinese dishes.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: All food spirits are male, scattered everywhere on the male attractiveness spectrum. The young master themself counts as one of them if they're male.
  • Death Is Cheap: It is hard to kill a food spirit – slain spirits can always be resurrected if their dishes still survive in culinary tradition, albeit with loss of memory and some alterations in personality. The only way for them to be Killed Off for Real is for the dish to be forgotten by humanity and no longer prepared.
    • Averted with the young master's death; a whole arc is dedicated to bringing their soul back from hell.
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  • Downer Beginning: The game starts off with the bad guys winning: they wreck Kòngsāng and break the pacts of all food spirits living there.
  • Family of Choice: Food spirits are literally never biologically related to anyone, so any family relations among them or between them and humans and other beings are assumed.
  • Foreign Language Title: The game's title is actually in Japanese; the term 物語 is borrowed from Japanese and only used to describe stories in Japanese contexts.
  • Gold and White Are Divine: Kòngsāng staff, including the young master, wears white uniforms with gold and brown motifs to reflect their divinity.
  • God Needs Prayers Badly: Food spirits need humanity to remember and keep their dishes alive in order to keep existing. Forgotten dishes are Killed Off for Real.
  • Hello, [Insert Name Here]: The young master's name is input by the player, and voiced dialogues avoid saying their name.
  • Historical Domain Character: Many are featured as secondary and background characters.
  • Hyperactive Sprite: The game uses Live2D, meaning sprites are always smoothly and constantly animated.
  • Little Bit Beastly: Food spirits with animal ears, wings, horns or tails are not uncommon
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: The list of collectible characters is incredibly long and growing.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Many and varied, often on spirits of dishes originating before the Republican Era.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: Merfolk in this universe resembles humans with fish parts and doesn't seem to have trouble breathing in air.
  • Mythical Motifs:
  • No Swastikas: Earliest versions of Lord Fú featured a swastika pendant and a line of dialogue that alludes to Nazis. This design was removed and the dialogue rewritten in later updates, and the Japanese build never has this at all.
  • One-Gender Race: All food spirits are male.
  • Purely Aesthetic Gender: The young master's gender has no bearings on the plot; it only leads to minor changes in story dialogue and stills, and in the Japanese build, their first-person pronoun.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: The whole plot: Kòngsāng gets destroyed by the bad guys and food spirits already living there lose their memories and get sent back to their era and place of origin. The player character's goal is to get everyone back, plus taking in new spirits along the way.
  • Random Number God: The game has a card collecting mechanic, which means gacha is in play. Collectible food spirits are assigned rarity, as are equipment, and getting those things at higher rarity is difficult.
  • Shown Their Work: The game boasts an in-depth display of Chinese cuisine and culture.
  • Space Whale Aesop:
    • Food waste is bad, because throwing away food turns it into monsters.
    • Keep culinary traditions alive, lest their pretty boy personifications fade away and die.
  • Super-Deformed: Characters are represented as chibi in battle, farming, kitchen and home. The first one can lead to much dissonance with the serious battle mechanics and graphics.
  • Temporary Online Content: Any new food spirit has a limited release period, after which they're out of the summoning pool until their event reruns. After the rerun, the spirit is added to permanent summoning pool.
  • Version-Exclusive Content:
    • Bone Tea and Black Pepper Crab, who were introduced in the SG-MY version first.
    • Fucha Ryōri and Chili Shrimp, JP first.
    • The Cells at Work! crossover is also JP-exclusive.
  • Video-Game Lives: Normally, the team is given 4 lives each level. Every time a food spirit's HP reaches 0, a life can be sacrificed to revive them. Getting food spirits knocked out after lives run out will get them removed from the battle.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Food spirits have a wide range of hair colors, from black, red, blond, to pink, blue, orange.
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