“This is just my opinion but…I feel that those who recognize one right way will never go beyond and reach truly amazing things. But more importantly… the journey is no fun if you know where you are going.”
– Sōma Yukihira
Have you ever felt sexually attracted to food? Has a dish ever filled you with such pleasure, you needed to take a moment? Ever had an omnomgasm? Have you tasted food that has made you cry from sensory satisfaction and tend to get some pretty weird looks when you say that food makes me emotional?
If this sounds like you, you’ve come to the right anime!
Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma follows Soma Yukihira, a teenage cook who aspires to surpass his father’s culinary skill while working at their family diner. Joichiro has Soma enroll in Totsuki Saryo Culinary Institute, an elite culinary school where students engage in food competitions called Shokugeki (anime: Food War). He secures himself a spot at the school, despite the objections of Erina Nakiri, the talented granddaughter of the school’s dean. Soma is assigned to Polaris Dormitory where he meets other aspiring chefs, including Megumi Tadokoro. The story follows his adventures as he interacts with his peers and challenges Totsuki’s students as well as others in shokugeki competitions. Learning that his father was not only a student of Totsuki, but also the second seat in the Council of Ten; Soma plans on becoming the best at the academy.
Review: / 5
I want to start off by saying, I love Food Wars as a series. When I began watching it almost two and a half years ago, I never thought I’d get invested into a food-hentai anime. But in all honesty, this show delivers on so many levels and thoroughly satisfies my need for laughter while still engaging me on a plot and person (character) level. It’s a truly perfect blend of serious and silliness, though I’d wager a fair amount on the silly. My rating here doesn’t reflect the series as a whole, which would rank at a 4.5, but of this particular season.
With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s get into the meat and potatoes (puns intended always)!
There’s a fair amount to love about this season: the increased emphasis on plot and extending viewer focus to a more global scale elevated the show’s serious side, whilst still maintaining a commitment to the funny, nonsensical tone the show wears almost like a brand.
The creator’s delivered on characterization as well, revealing more about Joichiro and Erina’s respective backstories. We discover Joichiro’s genius, and in turn his rejection of it during the 21st episode, “The Pioneer of the Wastelands”. This backstory was well-executed and answered several key questions the audience had concerning Joichiro. We learn Erina is the way she is–condescending, sometimes malicious–because of the extreme conditioning she experienced as a child from her father. To contrast, Joichiro’s “fun” food (playful, tantalizing and unexpected) fuels Erina’s goal to become a chef worthy of his approval.
Let’s talk about Erina’s character development though. We go from this:
She begins to genuinely respect Soma, and even trust him. To witness her so fragile, to timid and weak when faced with her father, then to see her gain strength from her friends and renounce her seat on the Elite Ten. To watch her gain a kinship and family in Polar Star and have a desire to protect and lead them as rebels against her father’s revolution– I was screaming YAAAASSS QUEEN! A+ for Erina.
This season’s focus is skewed towards the Elite Ten, which wasn’t bad or wrong, but I did find it a bit unsettling when it came to the second half of the season. The pacing seemed off, to say the least. The lack of time spent on cooking battles (or cooking at all for that matter) was disappointing and when we look at the season as a whole, it seems disjointed and imbalanced. In truth, we could have done without the Moon Festival, it really served only as a plot device to showcase the elite ten’s abilities, but this time could have been spent elsewhere. In truth, I liked the Moon Festival, I found it fun and very Food Wars. But when we consider the season as a whole.. the larger plot points became trunketed and rushed. Unlike previous seasons, we get little cooking explanation for certain decisions, and the explanations we do receive are cut a bit short. Ultimately, the season loses points from a 4/4.5 to a 3.5 because of this pacing issue. The broader, worldly plot focus is a double-edged sword, one which was not wielded with enough precision to feel satisfying.
I’m wondering also if the creator’s were rushed, as the first half of the season was released in the fall and latter came out in spring. That isn’t much time, to be honest…
What did you think? Agree? No? Let me know in the comments below!
Watch on, Annieme-niacs!