Sorry everyone, I honestly don't know why this show is so highly ranked as it is.
Shokugeki no Souma is a train wreck. And when I say this I don't say it lightly - what started out glowing with great potential came crashing and burning once the show got a little over half-way into the season.
The biggest and most saddening part of Shokugeki is the very poor (or lack of) character development. By throwing way too many characters into the mix, there is simply not enough screen time for most of the main characters. The only person who I would argue went under the most significant
change was Megumi, and even so, her development was incredibly forced - her development was not so much based on her own sheer free will but rather because she wanted to mimic other individuals.
The other disappointing factor about Shokugeki is the over-stretching (if this is even a word, lol) of the plot towards the latter half of the season. This is especially exemplified by the Autumn Elections. Most of the tournament events could have been condensed into two to four episodes, but since the judges kept talking and basically giving the same, predictable reviews and reactions ("oh this doesn't look good... but it's so yummy! *insert overly used ecchi animation*), this was easily dragged on and on when it didn't have to be.
What does Shokugeki get right? Arguably the humor. The humor is quick, witty, and light and never fails to disappoint. The artwork and sound is also decent, albeit the ecchi animations are way too overused.
- Interesting characters, although some were clearly drawn from stereotypical personalities
- Poor plot execution, especially towards the second half of the season
- Poor character development
- Overuse of ecchi scenes - as the saying goes, the same jokes get old fast...
Shokugeki no Souma (Food Wars) is an anime about battles of cooking as the title suggests. The anime adaption of the popular manga of the same name has received the same kind of reception as its manga version did in terms of popularity as well as critique. But is it any good or is it just another one of those popular but dull anime, that I will discuss in this review.
Story - 8/10
From the synopsis itself, you must have realized that the anime revolves around Soma Yukihira who wants to become a cook and surpass his father in cooking. Some stuff happens and Soma
ends up in Totsuki Academy, which is the best cooking school in Japan. After all this, you must have come to the conclusion that it isn't unique or special, but that doesn't make it bad. The story isn't anything even special to start off with but the other aspects of the show are so well done that it makes you feel that the story is better than it actually is. Not to say that the story's bad, by any means, it's pretty good but this is not a story-driven anime, it's character-driven.
Art and Animation - 9/10
The animation of the show, to be described in one word, is brilliant. While one can say that almost all anime that are released these days have really good animation quality, Shokugeki no Soma's animation is a level above most others. (while not being as good as something made by ufotable but its still very detailed and fluent). The best thing about Food Wars's art is the way they display food, it's just really awesome. The animation is consistent throughout the show and doesn't get bad at any moment. The openings and ending too are animated nicely.
The character designs, are, for the most part, unique as well, with most characters having different features. However, one can argue that Erina Nakiri(one of the female protagonists) looks pretty darn similar to Asuna Yuuki from SAO.
Sound - 9.5/10
The first opening is amazing; it a treat to the ears. It's simply beautiful. I am not too good at Japanese so I don't read the lyrics but just listening to the opening psyches you up for the episode. The ending is pretty good too but it still pales in comparison to the opening. (Says how excellent the opening song is). The second opening is good, but it's more of an opening for a fighting/action anime. The first opening was very charming and pleasant, which suits the theme of Shokugeki no Soma. However, the second OP's tone didn't quite suit it, in my opinion. It can be called pretty decent, nonetheless. The second ending is very good to hear too. (And they used the first OP at the end of the final episode 24 of the anime so that means it was the best of the series)
Now, on to the soundtrack, in my opinion, they lack a couple of battle soundtracks which they could use during shokugekis and stuff. There is only one track which played is over and over again, during food battles or while the characters are cooking something for their tests among other stuff. The track named Shokugeki no Soma Epic soundtrack(so much for a good title) on its own is thrilling to hear and you won't probably notice how repetitive it is unless you are watching like 8-9 episodes at once. But if you do watch a few episodes at once, there is a chance that you will come to complaint about the limited tracks. The limited amount of soundtrack is the only critic I could have in the sound department. The voice acting is funny when required, serious and tension-building during a shokugeki, which is also another plus to the anime. Simply put, the voice acting is almost flawless.
Characters - 9/10
The cast in this anime is pretty big, which you would expect from a shounen+school anime like this. There are rivals, friends, upperclassmen, etc but most of the relevant characters have gotten pretty good screentime to express their characters.
Our lovely protagonist, Soma Yukihira is just awesome. He can be OP sometimes with his dishes but he is awesome, nonetheless. He is and is not your typical shounen protagonist. When I say he is your typical shounen protag, I look into the fact that he has a goal of surpassing someone, he is pretty determined to do that, etc. When I say he isn't, the unique features of his characters come out : his confidence, his competence in stuff he does, his arrogance(at times). Now, here his arrogance does a great job because it's really fun to see the opponent's reactions after they are brought down by his words. However, most importantly, he entertains us. For an anime like Food Wars, he is the perfect protagonist.
The two main female characters of the show are damn good :
Megumi Tadokoro is your usual clumsy, scared girl from a small village who hopes of making it big here. While there is nothing much unique about her character, she has done her job well so far and is getting development and she does get braver as the anime progresses.
Erina Nakiri is the tsundere who is also known as "God Tongue" because of her ability to only acknowledge the best of foods. She is the daughter of the Director(or something big shot of Totsuki at least.) and her family is one of leads in culinary restaurants and other stuff in the world. She is prideful, arrogant and would destroy anything that could stand in her way of being no. 1 in Totsuki; anyone other than Soma. Erina hates Soma and you'll understand why she does after watching the first couple of episodes. The interactions between Soma and Erina are fun to watch, really fun to watch. Although, this season isn't focussed on Erina too much, I am sure she will be getting her time in this coming seasons.
The remaining characters, too, as I said, are entertaining to watch. Some of their interactions are hilarious while some will show you the intensity of the battles happening in Food Wars.
1. Extremely entertaining.
2. Amazing comedy and you'll jump out of your seat while watching some of them.
3. Great animation and soundtrack.
4. Immensely amusing character interactions.
Comedy can get out of hand sometimes with the ecchi. If you aren't a fan of ecchi, you might not like the characters' reactions after they eat the food. They get naked and act and act like they're having orgasms. A lot of people have enjoyed this but some might not. However, the good thing is that these get less and less as the anime progresses and by around episode 8, these foodgasms are reduced since the anime starts to get more serious and take off to the skies.
Enjoyment : 10/10
This anime is a hell of a ride and the entertainment value of the show is right up there. The first episode is nothing compared to what the next few episodes bring to you. The thing got better and better with each passing episode.
Overall - 9.5/10
In my opinion, Shokugeki no Soma is the best anime released in the year 2015. I guess, the stats it has on MAL speaks for itself.
I would definitely recommend this anime to you, even if you are not a fan of such anime, it's worth your time and I am almost certain that you won't regret watching it.
Shokugeki no Souma also goes by the name, Food Wars. However, I’d like to call it more as Food Gasm. The reason being is that the character reactions to food is not what you may expect. Or maybe you will once you see how ridiculously delicious the food actually is. What this show brings forth to the table is more than just a delicious meal though. Shokugeki no Souma is a satirical battle shounen that emphasizes more than just cooking.
Based on the popular manga written by Yuto Tsukuda, the series is adapted into a 2 cour (24 episodes) of the same name. What started
off as a one-shot has now transformed into this series that essentially makes food look like an exotic beauty. And it all starts with a young boy named Souma Yukihara. Like many young people, he has a dream and in this case, to become a professional chef. In fact, he actually hope to surpass his father and to do that, enlists at an elite culinary school. More precisely known as Totsuki Culinary Academy, it’s here where Souma finds his true challenge and misadventures.
I’ll be honest here. This show feels like a classic. And although it doesn’t involve any super powers like some other battle shounen series, Shokugeki no Souma does carry on with similar elements. The main course of the show consists of Souma’s progress at the academy and proving himself as a candidate to becoming a professional chef. Throughout the journey, we also witness him build meaningful relationships with others ranging from friendship and rivalries. The first few episodes clearly establishes that Souma has a strong degree of confidence in his own abilities. His skill is shown first hand when he cooks a meal to overly satisfy Yaeko Minegasaki, an urban life planner who initially threatened to demolish the restaurant he worked at. It’s here where the audience gets a taste of what the show tries appeal through the sexual metaphors and sensation of tasting food. It doesn’t take long for the show to take Soma to a place where he faces off against powerful adversaries including high level chef, Erina Nakiri.
Shokugeki no Souma accomplishes with entertainment not just by the storytelling but also through its characters. It has a colorful cast with a diverse range of personalities. From the prideful Erina Nakiri to shy Megumi Tadokoro, we see how their roles are played out through the series. What’s most important is how they interact with others especially in the case of Souma. Because this way, it brings out the best and worst of characters. For Erina, she brings sheer antagonism and rivalry that against Souma. From the first moment they meet, there’s a seemingly bitterness between them. Although Souma takes it more casually, it’s Erina that acts arrogant because of her status and ability. On the other hand, there’s Megumi who is more like the antithesis of Erina. Although she has decent skills of the culinary arts, there’s a lack of confidence in her abilities. Thankfully, Souma slowly brings out her confidence throughout the show. Her partnership with Souma not only bring up Megumi’s confidence but also shows that she does have a place to belong at Totsuki Culinary Academy. At the apex of the mid-season, we see exactly how much she improves herself through experience, confidence, and a willingness to succeed.
Of course, there are many other characters that Soma meets along the way while at the academy. The staff members in particular have shown a particular interest in him such as Kojiro Shinomiya, Fumio Daimido, Senzemon Nakiri, and among others. This establishes the fact that Souma begins to earn the respect that he seemingly deserves. Throughout the show, we also see other characters that challenges him to disapprove of his ego. And this is also sometimes a fault for Souma. While he isn’t overly arrogant, Soma displays a bit of overconfidence when he faces off against certain rivals. This occasionally doesn’t work out as Soma does feels a taste of bitter defeat. The primary example is perhaps with his father as he has a long losing streak against him. Still, a good amount of focus on Souma can also be emphasized on his willingness to help others such as Megumi. He wants others to succeed and seeing them do so motivates himself to make his dream into a reality. At the best of his character, Souma demonstrates superior sportsmanship that deserves utmost respect.
As a show about culinary arts, you’d all expect a lot of the food cooked in the show to be an eye candy. After all, food is like art that can be treated as beautiful. What the show emphasizes perhaps is a bit of over exaggeration on the reaction when the food is eaten. Just a warning but you’re not a fan of sexual metaphor and satire, then this may not be a show for you. It’s clearly shown that the characters’ reactions can sometimes go overboard. The sheer effort put into the imaginations of the characters upon digesting the food is highly sensational with eroticism. While it isn’t full on nudity, it does satires the food to a point where it becomes naughty. However, I would say that the reaction is appropriate in the case of this series for several reasons. First, it makes the craftsmanship of the various food products into a wonder. It tells (through the explanations of making the food), shows (with carefully crafted visuals), and then reacts with a way that you can expect the food to be. From the moment the first ingredient is set on the table to the last gulp of food down the throat, each episode carefully articulates the way the food is handled. And that is something to really think about. Plus, the show itself also does a neat job with the working mechanics. We get the making of various food dishes explained well through visuals, symbolism, and metaphors. There’s also well timed comedy to make the process less dull. I mean, no one wants to watch every food making process like an instruction manual right?
Despite the series being well done on most respects, it tries perhaps too much on its food war mechanics. Sometimes, it almost feels like the show is advertising itself like a sexualized commercial. There’s good amount of characterization in the series but some of the side characters may easily be forgotten once you finish the show. Plus, the characters you may remember may not be of your taste. These may include Erina whose attitude can almost feel intolerable to get accustomed to. Megumi’s shy behavior also isn’t a strong trait. Even Souma has faults too when he shows weakness. Also, don’t expect romance to develop much in this series. The show is not about Souma finding love but for him to find out if he is truly able to become a professional chef and surpass his father. Finally, the show does omit some parts of the manga. Overall though, it’s still faithful for the fans of the manga that long awaited for the adaptation.
Essentially, I wasn’t sure which studio would handle this series’ artwork. At first, Madhouse and Production I.G. came to mind with their quality. However, J.C. Staff became the engine to make this show’s artwork running. And to be quite frank, it’s fabulously well done. The character designs gives characters unique appearances that makes the most prominent ones stand out. This is especially true for the main leads. Erina is perhaps the girl that stands out the most because of her elegant ouju-sama like presence. Souma also attracts attention as well with his fiery hair that matches with his personality. The school and staff uniforms aren’t designed to look decorate but rather to show their status at the school, as it should be. However, what really stands out about the artwork and visual of the series is the food. They look extravagantly well crafted. Combining elements of delusional fantasy and sensational appeal, each episode highly emphasizes on their design. And of course, do expect fan service as result of the reactions. Outside of the foodgasm, there is also fan service with the characters – both male and female. These include the eyebrow rising camera angles, alluring clothes of some of the female characters, and in general, something to really service the fans.
In general, soundtrack is well done although not regarded as a prominent feature of the series. There are two OP/ED theme songs with a decent amount of focus on its coordination. It’s not a technical genius as there’s not much more to draw from the songs themselves besides some of the obvious fan service, symbolism, and foreshadowing. However, the OST delivers a good momentum that carries on each episode. This is especially highlighted during moments when food wars are initiated by certain characters. The thrilling moments of the soundtrack serves up to what the audience anticipates and ultimately makes the show connect itself. The voice mannerism can be a hit or miss although mostly adapts well for characters like Souma with his confidence or Megumi with her increasing confidence level. But you know what really catches the attention of the viewer? Probably the moans and reactions again from tasting the food. It’s not just “oh this is delicious!” but more like the moans you hear when someone is having a lot “fun”.
By the time you started or finish this show, you may look at food in a different way than before. As a show that adapts battle shounen with food dishes, Shokugeki no Souma offers a glorious feast to the eye and ear. This is a tasty tale about a guy who cooks not just to show off but to make others happy. And while he is at it, his dream of becoming a professional chef is a journey that’s hard to take eyes off of. I have to also mention that the character cast offers a little of almost everything to the audience. The food itself is irresistible when it comes to the way each episode handles itself. The series may be animated but the sensational feel is a majestic beauty. Sure, it does over exaggerates itself at times. However at the end of the day, it will reach a level of experience that you want to see over and over again.
Imagine that you have a typical tournament-based battle shounen. Now replace the fighting... with food porn. The result is basically Shokugeki no Souma.
The story takes place at an elite culinary school called Tōtsuki Academy; a place so competitive that only about 10% of its students are estimated to ever graduate from it. Enter Yukihira Souma: a confident 15-year-old boy who dreams of becoming a full-time chef at his father's restaurant. In order to do so, Souma enrolls in the prestigious school and has to go through all the ruthless challenges it has to offer as he seeks to slowly but surely climb his way to
The anime follows Souma and the other students as they have to accomplish various difficult cooking assignments and challenges under very strict teachers, as well as compete against one another. This is primarily done through a dueling system called the Shokugeki: an official cook-off judged by an unbiased jury which is used as a means to settle debates and disagreements. During a Shokugeki, each competing side must prematurely wager something which is deemed to be of equal value, and they're both obliged to honor their part of the bargain should they be the one to lose the match. In this way, the students can use their cooking skills alone to "fight" each other.
So what exactly is it that makes this anime so good then? Well simply put, Shokugeki no Souma is incredibly entertaining. It is addictive, somewhat original and it keeps making you giggle to yourself at the never-ending foodgasms. Now if you don't know what a foodgasm is, it's basically the orgasm-like reaction a character has when eating something so delicious that they're unable to contain their excitement, and this anime has plenty of that. So yes, there are a lot of ecchi moments, but it somehow fits the show *perfectly*. I don't even know why it's so much fun to watch, but it just is. These reactions are very creative, generally connected to the food in question in some way, and beautifully illustrated accordingly. I might also add that the series' illustrator is originally a hentai mangaka, so it's not really that strange that the eroticism is so on point.
As a protagonist, Souma is extremely cocky, but also very charismatic. He's the kind of character which you like to cheer for and want to win, which in a competitive story is a pretty big deal. Other characters include the clumsy but kindhearted Megumi, the condescending tsundere Erina who has unparalleled taste buds, the meat-obsessed Nikumi and countless more. As a whole, the character cast is very balanced and diverse, which also results in very different kinds of cooking.
Speaking of which, the culinary aspect is pretty interesting in and of itself. If you're interested in trying out some new recipes for yourself, then Shokugeki no Souma has plenty of inspiration for you. The sheer amount of creativity poured into the various exotic dishes in this anime is not to be underestimated. I haven't really tried cooking anything new that I've seen in this show myself as of yet, but there are certainly a handful of things I'd love to try someday.
But in the end, regardless of whether you're primarily watching Shokugeki no Souma for the foodgasms, the cooking or the intense competition, you're probably not going to be left disappointed because the anime does a great job on all three fronts. There's also the fact that this is an almost perfect adaptation of the manga, so even hardcore fans of the source material should most likely be satisfied with it.
On the other hand, given the huge tease of a cliffhanger ending, we're all going to have to be impatiently rolling our thumbs in eager anticipation for the fateful day when season 2 (hopefully) comes around.
One positive thing I can say about Shokugeki no Souma is that it's an anime that knows exactly what it is - a ridiculously over-the-top sports/battle shounen with cooking as the centerpiece.
In the beginning, the plot seems familiar, but inviting - our hero Souma is faced with his first opponent - an aggressive businesswoman looking to put his father's humble diner out of commission to make way for her development plans. We all know she's simply a stepping stone into the universe of this anime. Predictably, she agrees to step down if Souma can impress her with his cooking. And, of course, he defeats
her with relative ease.
It's an amusing start, and you know there's a much larger story and far more formidable opponents on the road ahead. Unfortunately from here on out, Shokugeki no Souma slowly stumbles into mediocrity as it attempts to constantly out-do itself.
The visual gags in SnS are the primary source of its "ecchi" tag, which mostly consist of its infamous food-induced orgasms, complete with clothes being torn asunder and physics-defying breasts superimposed on dreamy foodscapes. Funny the first time, but it gets old fast.
Though these scenes don't exist simply for humor, but also to beat you over the head with expository dialogue as to why the dish they're eating is just that good. Imagine your typical anime action battle scene - a combatant suddenly realizes their opponent's "secret technique", and inexplicably begins to blab out loud what is happening, as if they knew we were watching.
And that is SnS in a nutshell - every shounen trope you can imagine, but with food. This by itself isn't inherently bad, it's simply what it does with them that makes SnS very predictable, tiresome and - despite pulling out all the stops to be as epic as possible - ultimately boring.
STORY - 7/10
The story of SnS plays it relatively safe. We are all familiar with the archetype of the unexpected hero and his hometown roots. He's young, highly competitive and determined - albeit a bit naive and a sore loser. Trained under his mysterious and skilled father, he sends him off to a prestigious academy for aspiring chefs. Surrounded by peers of elite and privileged upbringing, he sticks out like a sore thumb - something that sometimes comes to his advantage. It is here Souma will face one greater challenge after another as he fights for the chance to be the very best that no one ever was.
It's a tried and true classic plotline. It can be inspiring, motivational and relatable in all kinds of ways. It's meant to resonate with the average viewer, and that's great! But there's little reason to be invested in - even if the stakes are high - if we don't care about the characters. Unfortunately, SnS fails in many ways to create compelling characters.
CHARACTERS - 2/10
One glaring issue with SnS is that the main character is almost too perfect. Souma is basically a "Marty Stu", or an idealized self-insert that just so happens to excel at everything he does. He seems incapable of doing wrong, making mistakes or showing weakness. Women fawn over him, think about him constantly and even spite eachother in order to win his affection, though he seems blissfully unaware or uninterested in any of it.
While Souma is capable of learning things and growing as a person, we don't ever really see it happen - we only see the results of it. And sometimes it happens literally overnight.
Souma's flaws are merely personality quirks, nothing really stops him from reaching the next plateau. His struggle is almost non-existent because of this, and it rarely adds any tension or excitement to his story.
Secondly, there are far too many supporting characters that overlap eachother. In 2 cours of SnS we are introduced to over two dozen supporting cast with some kind of backstory and motivation - mostly sharing at least two of the following attributes: 1. the desire to be the best in the academy 2. obsessively competitive and self-righteous 3. the desire to best Souma as a chef - and, as an added bonus, may possibly have some kind of unrequited affection towards him. Granted, not all supporting cast follow this example (for example, the far more compelling and likable Miyoko Houjou), but there are few and they get painfully little screen time.
On the whole, a lot of the supporting cast is generally flat and unlikable outside of Souma's dorm mates. True that many are merely rivals, but this doesn't mean that the character can't be complex and interesting. Sometimes the rivals and villains of a story can be even more compelling than the characters we're supposed to be cheering on.
The only character that comes from truly humble beginnings and experiences real growth is the female lead Megumi. Her flaws are human, her character is believable, and her struggle is familiar on many levels. Souma is so sickeningly idealized that it makes Megumi stand out even more, and it's hard not to cheer her on. However, with so many other characters competing for screen-time, she is sometimes absent.
ENJOYMENT - 3/10
SnS is constantly trying to reach new heights of epic showdowns with the same set-up in every arc. It goes something like this - a new character or characters are introduced, Souma encounters them, and they appear in the next "cooking battle". There's monologues, wide-eyed moments of revelation, montages and of course ecchi. They all generally end the same way, though - with Souma edging his way to the next challenge and stunning his seasoned rivals.
The problem lies in that literally every cooking battle ends in the same way - those judging the food are seen as jaded and impossible to impress. Yet that illusion is instantly shattered as Souma and his peers unexpectedly blow them away every time to the shock of onlookers. But when the audience is shown this over and over from the get-go, it's anything but shocking and the tension is artificial.
By the time you get to the 6-episode cooking battle finale, you already know exactly what's going to happen. Watching it unfold is hilariously predictable and the whole arc falls flat. There's not much of a resolution either as the manga is ongoing, so the ending feels more like a lull than anything.
One positive thing to say about the enjoyment factor is that the pacing of SnS is fairly well done. Many anime struggle with pacing, but SnS manages to pack in a lot without seeming rushed or taking too much time here or there. Unfortunately what's happening on screen is not awfully compelling.
ART & SOUND - 7/10
Not much to say here besides "good". This is by no means an animated masterpiece, but the animation is generally solid and consistent. The art style is also aesthetically pleasing. The only complaint regarding the animation are the sometimes poorly animated bouncing breasts - if you're going to do blatant fanservice, at least do it right. At times the breasts bounce as if they were being flopped around in an exaggerated video game physics engine with no rhyme or reason. Also, the art can sometimes go overboard on the blush with soft red gradients topped with white highlights all over the body. They look like awkwardly large pimples when they're not done subtly.
The paintings and animation of food are nothing short of stellar. You won't see food this detailed in many other anime. But at the end of the day it is just food and doesn't do much for what's happening in the story.
The music is well done and the sound effects will make you hungry (if the food on screen isn't already).
OVERALL - 5/10
At the end of the day, despite its many flaws, there are much worse anime than SnS. In this case, it's the cast of SnS that drag down a story and premise that had potential, and the result is something decidedly mediocre. While SnS never loses its focus, it shows all the cards in its hand too quickly, leaving the audience with no surprises left to look forward to.
Shokugeki no Souma actually surprised me, i was really with the foot back if i would watch it or not but it ended up being very good.
The story was different, started not really well because it seemed standard at the beginning but soon the story evolved to really better, until the point you just want watch episode after episode.
The art was very well made, the main character seemed to have evolved by the show which made the character more interesting and the other characters also had an evolution on their personalities.
I really want to watch second season now, excited to watch it.
(This has been adapted from my blog/reddit thread. Spoilers ahead!)
When I was a kid, I was one of the pickiest eaters known to man. My diet consisted of essentially three edibles: cheese sandwiches, yogurt, and liquids. A cheese sandwich is exactly that: two pieces of cheese resting between two slices of white bread (it had to be white bread). The yogurt was devoid of seeds and covered in sprinkles (it had to have sprinkles). As for the liquids, I stuck mostly to Coca-Cola because it was sugary, sweet, and caffeinated which, considering everything else, was probably providing me the most nutrition.
I did not eat hamburgers
or turkey. I loathed fruits and vegetables. I rarely tried new foods, and even when I did, my first reaction was always to spit them out. Birthday parties forced my mother to create sack lunches for me so that I would have something to eat in case all that was served at the barbeque was hotdogs.
This continued for many years of my life, my daily cheese, sprinkles, and carbonated drinks the only foods my body knew. Until, one day, we pulled through a McDonald’s. I was distraught since literally nothing on the menu was “for me.” My mother suggested the chicken nuggets. I was mortified. No way, I thought. If I eat those, I know it will taste like pavement. I have never tasted the side of the road before, but my brain locked in on that being the only outcome. Still, my mother ordered the meal and I, rather reluctantly, took a bite.
At that exact moment, my mind unlocked. It was good. Really good. And from then on, I actually started to eat things. Cheeseburgers and roasted turkey were just the beginning. Tacos, spaghetti, pepperoni pizza were now available, and to this day I have no idea how I did not die from malnutrition.
So while watching Shokugeki no Souma, I thanked the stars that I had a deep-fried piece of chicken meat those many years ago because otherwise I would not have been able to fully engross myself in the delectable food presented by this equally delectable anime.
Shokugeki no Souma’s narrative is a refrigerator that works only half the time. When the fridge is on, the contents within are just as they should be: hyped, diverse, and silly, making leftovers fun to munch on. When the fridge is not on, the contents begin to rot, its weak themes and dramatic scenes stinking up the place. The anime never tries to fix its refrigerator, so the outcome is a mixture that is not always easily swallowed.
What is the figurative meat of Shokugeki no Souma? The narrative consists of essentially four courses: breakfast, lunch, a light snack, and dinner. More specifically, the opening festivities, the training camp arc, the “karaage” arc, and the so-called Autumn Elections. The purpose of segmenting the plot in this way is the first sign of the anime’s main mantra: hype it up. At all moments and at all points, the show is looking to build on its previous outing, one-upping what it did to entice the audience like a freshly baked loaf of bread. It starts normal, introducing the audience to the main cast of characters and how the “Shokugeki” battles proceed. Here, simple tactics such as Souma declaring his superiority and a nighttime taste test against one of the ten leaders plant the seeds of hype from the get-go. Then the plot improves on itself, where the training camp technically expels Megumi and Souma has an omelet disaster during a buffet challenge. Interestingly it tones down slightly, the chicken arc seguing the main plotline to give the viewer a bit of breathing room before the Autumn Elections. When they arrive, the oven’s temperature skyrockets, the intensity almost unbearable from the rapid-fire foodstuffs. Tiny details like the judges failing everyone but the main cast and huge details like having the competitors compete in contrasting carnage – Nao versus Hisako, Aldini versus Aldini, Souma versus Hayama, and so on – make it so that the tension and therefore the hype never falters. The show never stops trying to outdo itself, giving it that feel of ramping excitement that comes from stuffing one’s face on an empty stomach.
As it is with microwaves, Shokugeki no Souma also heats up on the micro scale. This is an anime about food. Food is a mundane subject, a natural and indeed necessary part of life. Meaning that the topic is inherently not exciting. Food can certainly be this way, but the majority of people stick to regular meals of sandwiches and salads. Food is also not normally erotic, calories and fat more nutritional than sexual. Again, foods like that exist: chocolate, whip cream, and strawberries immediately come to the forefront of anyone’s mind.
The anime focuses on this whole spectrum of food but with a twist. A giant monk fish here, a crunchy coating there, and peanut-butter-covered squid tentacles just for good measure. The anime takes both the common and the outlandish dishes and turns them into a sensual experience that affects not just the taste buds, but the body, mind, and soul. The show is never content with simply showing the food. No, the anime goes into ingredient-level details, spouting accurate yet useless information about the foods being presented. Useless in the sense that the facts are dry and unimportant to the audience. However, it takes these facts, puts them in a kettle to warm, simmer, and eventually boil over. By the end of each longwinded dissection, the food is not just a rainbow terrine or a cooked lobster but rather an adventure through fairytales and outer space that make the viewer feel as if the world is their oyster.
At times, the anime can get sentimental with specific scenarios – like the Aldini brothers’ disparity or Megumi’s struggles – but when these events are preceded or followed with magical girl caricatures or lewd happenings, it defeats the sincerity of these events. Worse still, these moments distract from the aforementioned hype, comedy, and sex, detracting from what the anime does so well to make room for what the anime does not-so-well. To be fair, the show is trying to provide a well-rounded tale. But since it is at the expense of its best material, it only hampers where it should help.
Shokugeki no Souma therefore sticks mostly to the same recipe: a new challenge is given, food is made, and ridiculous reactions are had. Such repetition is not automatically an issue since the show incorporates variety as much as possible to spice up its innards. Food selections, character combinations, and ever-expanding events keep the show surprisingly fresh since the scrambling and ballooning of its innards cause the anime to venture into new yet familiar territory. The occasional “ecchi” and harem antics further prevent the anime from blending itself into blandness. Parts from before also spill into others. For example, Nikumi’s don bowl downgrade expands her repertoire whereas Souma’s previous failings are reimagined in their reiterations. The show’s relevant themes also shake up the narrative: learning from mistakes, relying on others while also making sure to rely on yourself, the importance of pouring one’s all into every task, and so on.
“Relevant” because cooking requires these ideas. Cooking is more than following a few lines and measurements. Cooking is a process that might involve others, incorrect cups of flour, and most of all determination. It is a skill that teaches other skills in the process. Knowing how to use a mezzaluna or knowing the multitude of spices found throughout the world is not absolutely vital to live. But such skill, knowledge, and more is gained through cooking. It is something that people take part in not because they have to but because they want to. That is what Shokugeki no Souma tries to get at: the notion that cooking is what one makes of it. Plain or avant-garde, easy or hard, cold or hot; each character from Souma to Erina tackles cooking in their own way, subsequently demonstrating cooking’s influential properties. Sadly, the anime does not explore this theme outright. Shokugeki no Souma showcases cooking and talks about cooking indefinitely, but the show does not break down this theme to prove why cooking is as important as it makes it seem. Consequently, and perhaps ironically, the cooking does not have substance in the anime. The show is not wholly concerned with cooking’s “bigger picture.” Instead, the anime’s hype, comedy, and sexual content is all that matters, making its figurative carry-out less appetizing than it could have been.
Otherwise, Shokugeki no Souma’s narrative is tasty when it wants. The hype, variety, and cooking elements make it worth taking a bite out of even if not every bite is completely satisfactory.
Shoukugeki no Souma continues treating its audience when it serves its art.
Most notable are the character designs. Each character is without a doubt attractive; the women are given beautiful faces, frames, and figures, and the men are sculpted into pristine statues. But they, like food, have more than superficial appeal. Each character has traits that match their personality and personal characterizations. Some are easy to spot: Megumi’s braided twin-tails give her that country bumpkin look and Marui’s glasses give him the aura of a bookworm. Others are deeper: Nikumi’s skimpy outfits and the emphasis on her breasts match her meat motif and Nao’s stringy black hair and hunching coincide with her warlock-like concoctions. Others still are esoteric: Erina’s purple eyes symbolize the royalty she has secured in the culinary world and Ibusaki, the master of smoke, has hair that acts as a smokescreen for his face. Souma’s fiery and spiky hair representing his passion and adaptiveness, Houjo’s Chinese attire following her similarly originated cuisine, and Alice’s red eyes with contrasting white hair equivalent to her contrasting style of “cooking” are more instances of the intricacies involved with the character designs, demonstrating just how savory they truly are.
Just as savory is the food. Each dish is jam-packed with details, from bubbling cheese to individual rice grains. The food is enticing to see, glistening, soaking, and resting in a state that is nothing short of mouth-watering. Knowing this, Shokugeki no Souma preps itself, taking shots of the food before it is devoured as well as shots of the inside to showcase what treasures are hidden within. For good measure, the aftermath is shown, just to solidify how scrumptious the food would be if it actually existed.
Existence is an interesting topic when it comes to the anime’s art because roughly half of the locations visited are not real. The show obviously takes place in regular locales: a huge kitchen filled with utensils, a fancy hotel lined with red carpeting, a local food market, and so on. It is when the food is consumed that all bets are off. Some characters go to cloud nine, the taste of the food floating the eaters through the sky. Others swim with the fishes, the food so tasty it sends them to a mermaid-filled heaven. Others still feel as if they are frolicking through a forest. In other words, the anime takes advantage of the overreactions to include backgrounds that would not normally be possible given the setting, thereby improving the diversity of the art and thus its execution.
Execution dips slightly when it comes to the show’s actual animation. To reiterate, the anime is always looking to maximize hype. To accomplish this, Shokugeki no Souma relies heavily on still shots of heroic poses and the different foods, meaning there is not much movement. Often times when there is, it is illusory, with camera shaking and “speed lines” to give the appearance that actions are occurring without actually showing them in full. Of course it can pick up when it wants to – especially during the “ecchi” moments and the big reveals – but for the most part the show’s animation remains at a passable level.
Shokugeki no Souma is one of those anime that has an enormous cast – somewhere in the garden of 78 separately named characters. Even eliminating the minor members and some of the side ones from the menu, the cast still numbers roughly 20 people or so. The result is that it is highly unlikely, and indeed highly unfair, to expect each and every person to have huge depth and development (given the episode and time constraints).
That being said, Shokugeki no Souma hits three areas: characterizations, growth, and widespread development. Many of the characters in the show follow the first idea. For instance, Hayama is an exotic man, known for his commanding use of spices and infallible nose. He also has feelings for Jun, his mentor. Houjou is known as a strong, independent woman, fighting the stereotype placed on women in the workforce. Nikumi is the meat master. Marui is the guy who nearly died from exhaustion. Hisako is the herbalist, and so on. Almost everyone has something unique or special about them that makes them standout from their competitors. That is a common but important directional decision: having characters who are unique, who can be differentiated, allows the audience to understand who everyone is and where they are coming from.
Simultaneously, many of the characters see small personal growth. Hayama started out in the slums with no friends and no family, until Jun saved him, thereby creating the emotions he has towards her today. Houjou looked down on “weak” women, becoming the kind of person she despised, until Megumi allowed her to realize that strength comes in all shapes and sizes. Nikumi started off as arrogant, but her time with Souma and the don bowl club allowed the tenderness of her person to finally break free. Marui, despite his initial perception, is beyond knowledgeable, leveraging the numerous books he has studied to become a sort of fake cook. Hisako is not just the secretary to Erina but instead her healer, protecting her from sickness and tribulation, making her position less managing and more cleansing. A long list, but it emphasize that the growth of the characters, while relatively small, is collectively a nice amount that is distributed to practically all of the known players.
Arguably, though, some of the characters do not receive enough attention. The biggest victim of this is Erina. She is bossy, arrogant, and mean, although she is shown to have a sensitive and embarrassed side. A connection between her and Souma’s father is alluded to, but it is never outright explored. Beyond these details, there is not much else given about her. This lack of information about a pretty important character can be viewed in two ways. One, that it is a mistake. Not delving into more of Erina’s past or having her around more of the cast so she can have more interactions and therefore more opportunities to grow is a glaring flaw that leads to the static character she became. Two, that it was inevitable. Given her position among the students and her impressive abilities as a chef, she never had the chance in the first place to undergo development. Either way, like someone watching a turkey cooking in the oven on Thanksgiving Day, Erina’s character remains mostly on the outside looking in.
Alice, Erina’s counterpart, is coincidentally in the same pot. Like Erin, she has a servant. She is not as bossy, but she is still rather arrogant. Her cooking style is off-kilter, giving her an edge over the others. But most interesting of all, she is a cousin of Erina’s, meaning their relationship goes beyond mere friendship and rivalry. Despite her mirrored yet connected characterization, Alice is not expounded on. Understandably, Shokugeki no Souma is not a complete tale, meaning that it is very probable that the timer for her development has yet to go off. Therefore, and being somewhat generous, she at least establishes herself as a tough antagonist, both to Souma and to Erina.
A character that has to be investigated is Souma. For all intents and purposes, he is a self-insert character. Souma is super nice, he easily makes friends, he is funny, he is an amazing cook, and he is surrounded by beautiful women. But he is not perfect. Souma makes mistakes, the biggest being his near failure during the buffet. Souma does not always win, evidence being his over 400 losses against his dad and his second place finish in the Autumn Elections. Still, Souma does not change much throughout the season. He is challenged and he expands his culinary abilities, but as a person and consequently as a character, he remains more or less the same from start to finish. The main problem is the anime having to divvy up its resources between 20 or more characters, giving him less kitchen space to work with. Even from the very beginning, his presence and cooking was more to explain and characterize those around him. Erina trying his first dish, Fumio’s empty-pantry challenge, Aldini’s mini-duel, Megumi’s unofficial “Shokugeki,” his childhood friend aiding his hometown, and the entirety of the Autumn Elections are individual instances that feature Souma but are not designed with him in mind. Instead, he is a sous chef, not the head chef, acting as the mediator for the character or characters that really matter during those events. The only time where he actually takes the spotlight for himself is the buffet disaster, which makes sense because this is the only time the audience sees Souma in a weakened state. To put it differently, despite being the main character he is never actually the main character, lessening the impact he has on the series overall.
It is abundantly clear that the strongest character of the anime is Megumi. Before heading to Totsuki Academy, she was the best cook from her hometown, although she quickly discovered that that did not mean much among the cutthroat competition. Away from home and the other students noticing her poor performances, she became lonely, losing any sense of self-esteem. Just when she was about to throw in the apron, Souma appears to reinvigorate her passion for cooking. He becomes her first true friend, his overconfidence and carefree attitude rubbing off on her. For a time this worked. Her first encounter with Shinomiya, however, crushed her spirit. But she fought through this trial, finding her own strength – homely, feel-good meals – while simultaneously saving Shinomiya in the process. At this point, she realized that she had gone to the completely opposite end: where she once was doing everything herself and failing, now she was relying too much on everyone around her. Her past is eventually revealed, where she had always been a determined girl but she knew that she could not do what she wanted on her own. Thus, when the Autumn Elections roll around, she uses her newfound strength, consequently letting her find that sweet spot between all and nothing. Megumi goes from bottom of the barrel to cream of the crop, her developmental arc as palpable as possible. In other words, if the rest of the cast is the batter, then Megumi is the icing on the cake.
Megumi, alongside the rest of the characters, has a major theme: everyone can become better than themselves. People have weaknesses: mathematics, driving, and writing are categories where guys and girls alike will willingly declare their ineptitude. Contextually, Erina is bad at getting along with others, Alice is too prideful, and Megumi is easily flustered. But those same guys and girls also have that thing, whatever it may be, that they are good at. It might be organizational skills, hand-eye coordination, or endurance. The same can be said for the characters of Shokugeki no Souma. While each cast member’s specialty deals with cooking in some fashion, they still have one: Erina has her “God Tongue,” Alice has her gastronomy, Megumi has her home-style cooking, Ryouko has her sake, Yuuki has her hunting, and so on. Everyone has some kind of strength, something that separates them from (nearly) everyone else. So it is about using that strength to become a better person, to realize one’s full potential, and to reach those new heights that previously seemed unattainable. Doing so is never easy – practicing, training, and failing are unavoidable – but such hardship is what is required to become someone better than before. And the point is that everyone can do this.
Everyone can become a better person. It simply takes a little bit of elbow grease.
The first opening theme nails that hype feeling. The strumming guitar and rising vocalist resonate with the listener, pumping up the audience as much as possible. The track is actually rather simple, with drums being the only other prominent part of the piece, but the simplicity precisely elevates it into a catchy and therefore memorable arrangement. The second OP somehow heightens the hype even more so than the first. While once again sticking to guitar, drums, and a single vocalist to power the piece, the guitar is harder, the flurry of drums is more energizing, and the vocalist is more emotional. The result: another stellar and exciting piece that stays with the audience long after an episode and the series concludes.
The ending theme is not like its OP counterparts in more ways than one. Putting it lightly, the first ED is arguably one of the best ever conceived in the medium. The track encapsulates all that food is: food is light, fluffy, and spicy; yummy, flavorful, and warm; simple, complex, and fun. The rising and falling guitar, the onomatopoeia, and the heartfelt vocalist, alongside the mellow beat and catchy lyrics, make these “feelings” known, ultimately creating a five-star piece.
As for the second ED, it takes time to warm up to, especially considering the juggernaut it had to replace. The vocalist seems incapable of carrying the piece and the instruments are all over the place. In short, it appears to be a disaster. However, when context is considered, the piece is quite clever: this is a track from and about Nao, the stalker, the socially awkward girl, the strangest woman at the academy. Knowing this, the track comes together, meaning its disjointed and disruptive arrangement not only makes sense but makes the piece ironically funny.
The remainder of the soundtrack is an orchestral feast for the ears, utilizing pieces of every part of the musical pie. Slice-of-life ensembles to keep the low-key moments light on the stomach and therefore lighthearted. Intense violin tracks accompanied by acoustic guitars to amplify the emotions. And suspenseful pieces coated in hard piano notes and ambient choirs to make those current, on-screen deliberations that much more tantalizing. Also, “Welcome to the World of Gourmet Foods,” with its churchlike sounds and opera-esque lyrics, is the only piece that could fit those majestic moments. The OST offers a wide selection, from the culturally influenced to the personality driven to everything in-between, making it worthy of seconds, thirds, and more.
Voice acting performances in Shokugeki no Souma are far above average, with each voice actor and actress providing well-done work across the board. Risa Taneda as Erina gives a pompous voice that captures Erina’s equally pompous attitude. Minami Takahashi as Megumi stars in her first big major role, switching accents and sounding cute to match Megumi’s similar disposition. And Mamiko Noto as Hinako for her mature yet childish voice aligns with Hinako’s own personality.
Erina is one of my favorite characters from this show. Some might not like the 90-to-10 “tsun”-to-“dere” ratio she has going on, but when that outer shell does breakdown (however infrequent it might be), it was always hilarious and adorable to witness. Alice is another fun character because she is just so confident with herself all of the time that when people do not “get” her and her cooking, she likewise gets cute and it simply makes me smile. And of course, Megumi’s constant apologizing, clumsiness, and general affability never failed to make me laugh.
Surprisingly, each character is more or less likable. The women and the men are meant to be attractive, but each has their shtick much like Erina, Alice, and Megumi. Souma’s smug chuckle is super contagious. Hisako’s “yuri” feelings towards Erina are awesome. Takumi always getting cut off when he tries to act super-cool towards Souma never got old. Hinako fawning over Megumi is something that I wanted to see happen nonstop. Nikumi’s blushing whenever anything Souma-related was brought up was way too cute to handle. The list goes on and on. From the comedy to the “ecchi” to the food, the show always wanted, if nothing else, fun.
That is the anime’s strong suit: providing an impossibly fun time. The characters, the battles, the music; everything comes together in this neat little package that, when opened, bursts forth as this undeniably exhilarating anime. Hearing Souma and Erina hum the first ED interchangeably, watching the judges go overboard with their reactions, and seeing Yuuki acting beyond silly are designed to make the audience feel good about themselves and therefore feel good about the show. The anime is ridiculous – food is not that over-the-top – but that is exactly why it strikes a chord with nearly everyone who views it. The show is absurd. It is entertaining. And that is what makes it so gosh darn fun.
Shokugeki no Souma is a hearty meal that fills the stomach and warms the soul. The juicy, seared narrative is charred but tender. Corn-on-the-cob, slathered in characterizations and developments, sits nearby. Home-cooked art that is slightly sweet. An ice cool set of soundtracks to wash it all down. The meal is clearly not perfect but because it is filled with love these imperfections do not outright ruin what this plate offers. That is to say, not even a dude who only eats cheese sandwiches, yogurt-with-sprinkles, and Coca-Cola would pass this one up.
Story: Fine, hype to the max, constant variety avoids gross repetition, but its lack of a purposeful theme and detracting sentimental material sours what should be sweet
Animation: Good, awesome character designs, mouth-watering food, interesting backgrounds, and about average actual animation
Characters: Good, majority of the cast is characterized and developed proportionally well, Souma is individually subpar but purposeful for others, Megumi is great, and the theme on betterment through personal strength is a welcome bonus
Sound: Great, great first OP, great second OP, fantastic first ED, good second ED, great OST, above average VA performances
Enjoyment: Great, the entire cast, and indeed the entire season, is never-ending fun
Anime and manga are known to have the potential to make a subject that for most audiences is uninteresting to a compelling, enjoyable experience: such is the case of cooking. This theme has been explored before with less succesful titles such as "Koufuku Graffiti" or "Bonjour Koiaji Patiesere", but with Shokugeki no Soma it seems to have a huge success among the audiences, but why?
The story of Shokugeki no Soma is quite straightforward: Yukihira Soma pursues to become a full-time chef in the restaurant of his father, the reason why he has to surpass his father's culinary skill. In order to achieve his goals,
Soma's father sends him to an elite culinary school, Toutsuki High School, where only 10% of the students graduate. What is more, Soma makes himself the enemy of the high school on his very first day.
In this high school there is one exceptional rule: any grudges/disputes are held with so-called "Shokugeki" (hence the title of the anime) or cooking battles between the students to prove their culinary skill before judges. How the story proceeds is curious, as instead of actual class lessons about cooking itself, the spectator is shown constant tests and shokugeki's between the students,in particular those of Soma. This displays the harsh conditions of the school, while at the same time keeping the story exciting. However, this leads to a problem: there is no realistic character development that takes place (cooking wise) and most of the ingredients and cooking techniques used are explained briefly. This can be an issue for the spectators looking for more detailed cooking.
The nature of the plot makes the story very predictable and formulaic, however it is interesting to observe through the difficulties and mysteries that surge throughout the anime how everything is executed and developed. Some spectators may ask themselves how the quality of the cooking is displayed; this done through "foodgasms", including breaking of clothes, for both male and female. While the idea is interesting, it was at times too exaggerated.
There is a big cast of characters displayed in Shokugeki no Soma, all being introduced as the story progresses. There is the main character Yukihira Soma, who is skilled in cooking itself,has no romantic interest, is arrogant and ignorant, which bothers on stupidity. This is nevertheless a good quality for the protagonists as it leads to amusing situations as well as enhancing the pacing of the story. Then you have female protagonists, such as Nakiri Erina, the one who rejects Soma in any possible manner due to their opposite philosophies on cooking; Tadokoro Megumi, the shy and unhandy village girl... The rest of the cast includes rivals, friends, parents, you name it, all with their own charm and personality.
An interesting aspect of the characters is that each has attributed a certain speciality in the culinary scene, with their corresponding nickname: specialists in the smoking of food, spices specialist, herbal medicine, italian food, stinking food, you name it.
The character development so far is nothing impressive. However, the spectator can observe through little background stories how personalities develop and the reason why certain characters have that particular personality.
~Animation and Sound~
The animation quality of Shokugeki no Soma is well done, what is to be expected of a show airing in 2015. The animation of the characters are fluid and are well designed and very varied, making it easier for the audience to distinguish the different characters. The backgrounds are often well animated and have at times good detail. One thing that stands out is how the food is displayed, which is done through good use of the different colours available.
To find a fitting soundtrack for a cooking anime is difficult, and in this case some of the soundtracks used didn't quite fit the atmosphere for the anime, in particular the ones used in the shokugeki's. It nevertheless fulfills its purpose. It was nice that the staff decided to use "Tropical Gateway" from Duke Starwalker.
Shokugeki no Soma was overall a very enjoyable experience, even with the predictable and formulaic approach on the story, which was compensated with the different plot twists and development of the different cooking contests, and the characters; the ecchi scenes may be a drawback for some. I can recommend this anime to anyone who likes shonens and those who are interested in cooking, though you won't learn anything groundbreaking. Note that this anime is unfinished, and thus has an open ending.
Shokugeki no Souma. . . Where do I begin with this show? Well, let's start with the common description that's been drifting around the internet since its airing-- "Food Porn". It's an understandable title, really. Every episode features numerous mouth watering dishes that we the audience can't help but lust after. With most (if not all) episodes also featuring a foodgasm it's an apt moniker. That may cause some misconceptions however. By that description alone you may assume this to just be another throw away ecchi show. I won't lie, I had similar thoughts after the first episode that featured a truly terrifying scene involving
tentacles and a naked woman. Luckily I'm not one to dismiss a show after a single episode and I'm thankful I didn't. (And these tentacles do rear their slimy tips on occasion, but they thankfully recede quickly... *shudder* I know you niche guys with the fetish aren't pleased by that info, but the rest of us are!)
Young high-school aged guy, bad-ass father that leaves the country, elite institution for the best of the best where our young hero will face overwhelming odds on a daily basis to prove his worth! This is a Shounen battle anime in every sense of the term. That being said it's a battle of culinary skill rather than a brawl with fists. I can't really get into a lot of battle Shounen, I have a difficult time feeling engaged when no matter how much fighting occurs everyone is allowed to walk away. That's why this series works though! These aren't life or death contests but rather a contest of one's future and pride.
One aspect of this story that I love is the way our main character Souma isn't an underdog. Sure, a lot of people look down on him, but that's due to their asinine judgment rather than his actual skill. He is a damn good cook! He knows what he's doing in the kitchen and will put others to shame. Rather than starting from the bottom to work his way to the top, he is already close to the top and has to battle those who made it there with him.
The story sounds relatively cliché, but most are in this day and age. However, it is well executed. There are constant challenges for our characters to overcome, and none of them feel contrived. The nature of the school they attend calls for consistent challenges, but there is time in between these events.
The animation is great. I never dreamed food could look so superb animated. I find myself thinking "Does fried rice look that good in real life? I don't care, I need fried rice!!" Only to promptly be disappointed when the fried rice I prepared doesn't look quite as amazing as the one portrayed in the anime. (Still tasted good though, in case you were wondering). J.C Staff is awarded full points in my book for making the food feel so enticing. It's an ecchi show but my eyes are drawn towards the hot dish on the plate rather than the hot female who just prepared it. (Pardon the quip, I'm making a point here.)
The colors are vibrant and make the entire show exceedingly easy on the eyes. The character designs are very nice. I give genuine applause to the artist of the manga for incorporating so many different styles into the characters. No two look alike and all have some sort of flare to make them memorable.
The first opening is nice and pleasant to look at with sequences of animation that have become fairly standard for openings in this day and age. The ending is a slightly different story; featuring nude, chibi versions of all the characters riding some sort of food. It's remarkably odd to say the least. And I don't know who in the past few years came up with the idea to take a floor polisher to the shoulders, knees, elbows and boobs of characters, but it really isn't necessary. Not necessarily bad, but I don't see a point. I mention it because my eyes were almost glued to those raw areas that look like they'd be extremely painful... But the pinnacle of this ending is the Last Supper imagery. I think the anime is hinting at Souma being the Messiah of cooking. He was sent there by his father, he shows up and shatters all the existing laws and standards, he makes bold declarations people don't like, yadda yadda yadda. Damn... That actually really works... O.o
The second opening though, damn is it good. Translated to English this show is titled as "Food Wars!" and this opening makes you remember that. Gigantic ladle vs. the world's 4th largest fork. Imagery of the demon chef challenging the revered goddess. Planet Earth sitting in a soup-bowl. I think I saw a light-saber somewhere, still not sure on that one. But damn, when combined with the music I got hyped for every single episode!
Oh, and just in the off-chance that you're curious, the 2nd ending... I don't really like to talk about that... Why you ask? Well, its actually kinda creepy. I'd rather not recall that girl...
The OST did it's job. The music is appropriate for the scene, but there aren't any tracks that had that "wow" factor. Not to say it didn't do it's job. The intense moments have epic or triumphant music, the more lighthearted scenes have matching melodies.
The first opening song "Kibou no Uta" is actually really good. I wasn't sold the first time listening to it, but the almost hoarse sound of the vocalist really grew on me. The first ending "Spice" is far catchier than it should be, I can't even begin to count how many times that song has gotten stuck in my head. The second opening "Rising Rainbow" is awesome. Every time that song played I felt myself getting hyped and excited for the episode to come. I mean, I was already hyped every time I clicked "play", but this song just sends the thrusters into overdrive!
The acting is actually really, really well done. The casting was spot on and the actors/actresses nailed the duality of the characters. There isn't that one moment where you're blown away by their performances, but there's a consistent level of quality that just makes itself apparent.
Just as you might expect from a Shounen there's a fairly large cast:
Souma Yukihira- The main character of the show and an excellent addition to Shounen protagonists. I mentioned earlier how Souma was actually skilled, but what makes him standout is that he's also rather arrogant. He knows he's a good cook and isn't afraid to prove it. He got this way because he has an unrivaled determination; he worked his ass off to get his skills and takes pride in them. To accompany this arrogance is a semi-permanent state of uncaring ignorance. A famous chef? He doesn't know nor care. Prestigious institution? He's never heard of it. A rival who doesn't like him? He'll speak to them in a pleasant manner and taunt their dramatics. His ignorance borders on stupidity but creates glorious situations because he's so laid-back. Souma is also a really nice guy who isn't foolish enough to downplay the skill of others. He recognizes talent and respects it.
Erina Nakiri- The high-class bitch with a god complex. At least, that's the initial impression we see from her. Though still early in her character, we can tell that deep down she's a tsundere with an extra dose of tsun. So, a tsun-tsundere? Bad joke? Yeah, but I think it's accurate. She's demeaning, ruthless, and sadistic. She really is a complete and total bitch. But you know, I really like Erina. Maybe my perspective is a bit skewed because I can see the future (well, I read the manga... same thing, really), but Erina really grew on me with time.
Megumi Tadokoro- The shy, nervous, apprehensive hometown girl. Megumi is sweet, likable, and extremely prone to panicking. She doesn't show the best cooking skills, but no matter what you're going to want to pull for her. Megumi's the girl that you just can't help but love. She's like a newborn puppy or kitten. You look at them, tilt your head, say "awwww" and just smile as they go around tripping on themselves as they learn to walk. If you dislike Megumi, admit yourself because you're insane. The question of her as the main heroine is more debatable, but you're going to love this girl.
The rest of the characters include a wide array of friends, rivals, friend-rivals, teachers, and Souma's dad (who's pretty much all of the aforementioned roles). Despite being minor characters they're all memorable and relatively unique. And though I'm not delving into detail about them, they really do form a great cast. I previously mentioned "duality" in regards to the voice acting, there's a very simple reason for that- a character may be drastically different when they're cooking as opposed to when they're not. Or depending on who they're around they may undergo a bit of a 180.
A small shout-out to Isshiki-senpai, the guy that pulls off the naked apron with an unrivaled amount of vigor. His fan-girls are not without their reasons. Oh, and a second shout-out to Alice von Einzbern. Wait, my bad, the white hair, pale skin, and red eyes threw me through a loop. Alice Nakiri, I remember now. I'm not quite sure how to describe her, but maybe I'll use the phrase "chibi pouting and/or chibi amazement". An adorable character to say the least.
This show was an absolute pleasure to watch. It's fun and crazy with a decent splash of ecchi to keep your eyes riveted to the screen. But it also has a pretty damn good growth story about a guy chasing his dreams. The food contests are intense, the foodgasms are riveting in a horrible yet spectacular fashion, and the show has been just one huge gigantic ball of fun and excitement. This show was definitely one of the most enjoyable shows of 2015.
Shokugeki no Souma is nothing short of fantastic. I was captivated by the story to such a degree that I couldn't contain my curiosity and I set out to read the manga. After binge reading for two days straight I caught up to the manga and I can say with certainty that since we've been graced with another season, this show has only just touched the tip of the ice-berg. More Shokugekis, more rivals, foodgasms galore, and character development are all aspects one can expect for this show and whatever else may follow. Oh, and a just as a side-note, this was a faithful adaptation to the manga. Nothing was cut out except for one epic Ping Pong match -sadface-, and nothing was rushed.
Shokugeki no Souma was the surprise hit of the season for me. No, not even the season, all of 2015. I never would have anticipated this level of excitement from a show revolving around a culinary institute for teenagers. It's comedic, it's intense, and somehow it's all about cooking!
This anime is a disappointment.I'm a big fan of the manga and was thoroughly saddened by this poor adaption.
It starts out well enough but slowly deteriorates into a pile of anime cliches, poor comedy, and agonizing slowness.
While the anime stuck to the basic plot, it changed many important scenes from the manga.Serious scenes were made into cheap comedy, comedy scenes were cut out, and they added a few tiny details which completely neutralized the effect of important character development scenes.Then, the pace was reduced to that of a snail and every scene was elongated more than necessary.
The character development that was supposed to happen
wasn't covered properly, and the few changes that happened were cancelled out immediately by inserting useless comedy.
The Art is the only thing good about the anime.Fantastic.
Overall, While it did have a good start, it progressed down into boredom.The general storyline is pretty good though, and it's funny despite the useless extra scenes.It had potential, but ended up wasting away.
Culinary prowess has taken a decently large foothold in the world that we know today. With many a aspiring chef coming to showcase their culinary chops, we follow the story today of an anime character named Souma, and his road to culinary greatness in, Shokugeki no Souma, Food Wars! Let's dig in!
Story: Yukihira Souma is the son of the man Yukihiro Junichiro, a man who owns only but a lowly diner. Being an aspiring chef, Souma wishes nothing more than to best his father and proudly take over the diner as its head chef and owner. After being confronted by some
pushy buyers for the land that the diner is on, Souma valiantly protects the diner that he treasures, and successfully pushes the buyers away, he is then told by his father that for his years in high school, he will be going to the a cooking academy to learn how to cook. BUT THIS ISN'T YOUR AVERAGE COOKING ACADEMY! It is Tootsuki Academy, one of the most prestigious cooking school with a graduation rate of apparently, only a literal 10 people successfully passing through the third year of school.
Shokugeki no Souma acts a lot like your average tournament anime/manga, only this time, there's cooking involved in the battles rather than sword fights, magic fights, or what have you. With each group of episodes, one or more characters participate in some kind of battle since the setting, Tootsuki Academy, encourages fights between the students in order to hone their skills called Shokugeki. (Basically, food war. Hey, that's the title of the series!) With this concept in mind, each character as a result acts as a different opponent to our main protagonist Souma, each of whom bring their own "weapon" with them like a general tournament anime with the "weapon" being each character's own cooking style and specialty in the culinary world.
The downfall of this story, especially in part due to the time constraint of a general length of an anime, is the fact that that's really all the story has to offer. Every episode or small group of episodes is devoted entirely to a specific battle within the series, with the possibility of prompting some character development in some select people. (Usually, it's the generic rival declaration or enemy turned friend sort of deal.) Plus, due to the show's entire devotion to food, there is a lot of tasting that goes on in this series to the point that they devote entire episodes solely on just tasting one dish or two dishes purely because there are characters that have so much to say about it.
As for the show's comedy (since this show does actually have a bit of a comedy factor to it), Shokugeki no Souma mostly draws this from Souma's extremely nonchalant and sometimes innocent attitude towards things. If someone is challenging him, he'll just brush it off as a joke and wish them luck in the next confrontation. If someone is saying he'll fail, he'll just sit their silently, cook, then prove them wrong with a straight face. Several characters also do this style of nonchalantness, thus adding to it, but no one comes as near frequency as what Souma does in this series.
In the end, Shokugeki no Souma is your typical tournament anime, just with food as its battle of choice rather than a bloodbath in an arena, or what have you. The issue I have with the ending in particular is the fact that they don't end it at the end of an arc, rather, just stopping in the middle of one. This as a result puts a sour taste in my mouth because this is essentially a "read the manga" ending. (Damnit J.C. Staff. Not again!) They don't resolve it in as comfortable place as I would like it to be, and as such, is a bit of a disappointment in that regard. But, you get to learn a lot about food as you're watching this show, so that's a plus.
+ Food-based anime (Because there honestly aren't a lot of these.)
+ Casual comedy
+ Food learning
- Generic tournament based anime
- Open ending (Ending in the middle of an arc is a fatal error for an anime IMO.)
Characters: Shokugeki no Souma's characters as well follow your same traditional style of tournament anime characters. Each character acts as either an ally or an enemy for our main protagonist, with each of them equipped with a different cooking style to separate each of them from one another.
Up first is our main protagonist, Yukihira Souma. As mentioned before, Souma is a very nonchalant character, completely confident in his abilities as a chef and never backs away from a challenge. This in turn, creates a bit of a arrogant feeling to his character as he in the series, continuously showcases his cooking prowess and his style of "Yukihira" cooking, which is basically adaptive cooking, to put it in simple terms. In the show, Souma doesn't particularly change all that much. You get a sense of him as a character as he goes through the various battles in the series, but there isn't any real growth to him as a character. He's very nonchalant as he goes through whatever situation he's in and as a result of his sort of "beginner's luck", doesn't really change because the outcome is always favorable to him.
Then we have Tadokoro Megumi, the sort of sidekick to our main character. With "home-style" cooking as her main weapon of choice, Megumi is the shy girl in the corner who always tries to hang in there by a thread. As a result, Megumi serves a lot of the time as the cute, shy girl who always tries her best in cooking better and becoming more independent. As the series goes on, you get to see Megumi progress through the various challenges that she goes through, which ends up creating some rather nice character development. As a result of this, she is actually more of a developed character than Souma is in the show, regardless of the fact that she appears less often than that of the main protagonist.
And finally, we have Nakiri Erina, the "high and mighty bitch-like" character in the series. With regal or elegant cooking as her forte, Erina reflects that by being one of the currently best talents that the Academy has to offer in its 92nd generation. Acting like more of a side character for the series, Erina acts like that one character that you just love to hate. She doesn't do much in the series aside from stand in the background and criticize what, especially Souma, is doing, and as a result isn't a phenomenal character at all. She lacks in simple involvement in the series so there's that as a flaw for her even though she was one of the few characters showcased in the series.
The rest of the cast as I have mentioned before are various "warriors" in this tournament style anime, that serve as both allies and enemies of Souma. We have Yuki, a master at game cooking, Ryoko, who specializes in fermentation, Shun, who loves a good smoking, and so on and so forth. Most of these characters act as either fillers for character roles, or obstacles for Souma. The is in part because of the tournament style of storytelling because the ones who are considered as "allies" don't show off as often, and inversely, the "enemies" or "rivals" on the other hand, do, since they pose a threat to our main protagonist.
+ Some character development for select characters
- Main protagonist stays very static throughout the whole series
- Side characters mostly act as plot devices to progress the story
Art: Produced by J.C. staff, Shokugeki no Souma uses a very bright style of animation where the colors just pop out at you with relatively good detail. The characters themselves are nicely detailed, and the overall animation doesn't particularly change all that much for the series, except for three different areas that I suppose, make Shokugeki unique.
The least exciting of the three is the comedic areas, where the characters are simply just drawn in a simpler aspect with less details and occasional slight chibification. As such, there's not a particularly large amount to say about it since it's mostly just all exaggerated expressions and a couple background changes.
Then we have food. Out of every area of art in the series, Shokugeki's food is some of the most fantastic animation I have seen out of it. Because the series puts so much emphasis to the dishes that the characters make, J.C. Staff has done good by devoting a crapload of time and energy into making the dishes look like literal pieces of art. They look very good to the point that you just sort of want to reach in and take a bite.
And of course, we have the animation that this show is famous for, the food porn. Yes, you heard me right, food porn. (I waited all the way till now to talk about this.) The concept of a foodgasm is very common in this anime in particular. Because the show involves a lot of tasting of dishes, in order to encapsulate what the characters eating the food are feeling, Shokugeki no Souma always puts in some kind of imagery in order to create something in order to explain the feeling of bliss or what have you when eating the food. As such, the food is so good that in their foodgasm fantasies, clothes rip off, people sometimes get violated by tentacles, and there are quite a few lewd-like screams. And with the way most of the girls in this series are drawn, oh boy, they took advantage of the opportunity. This...creates a very interesting dynamic for the series and one of the main draws of the show. Because apparently, getting violated by yogurt and squid after eating a horrible concoction of those two ingredients equates to you getting violated by said tentacles in your mind. There's also manservice too for all you ladies out there, so it's equal, probably.
+ Good animation
+ Great looking food
+/- Foodgasm ecchi scenes (This of course, varies on how you view ecchi.)
Sound: The soundtrack of Shokugeki no Souma consists of two sets of OP's and ED's. Outright, the ED's really aren't all that memorable. Sure, they're fun little tracks that bring the joy of just eating, but there really isn't much substance to either one of them, which is a shame because the openings are pretty good.
Inversely, the two OP's of the show follow two completely different tones. A casual and joyful tone for its first OP in order to illustrate the beginning of the journey and the beginning to the road to greatness, and the second OP which follows the more "serious" side of the anime involving Shokugekis and other food wars to settle differences between characters.
+ Good OP's the reflect the show
- Average ED's in comparison
Personal Enjoyment: So, all in all, did I enjoy food wars? As someone who doesn't actively search tournament style anime, Shokugeki no Souma was a rather interesting experience. It followed the anime portion that it covered to the letter, and put everyone in their right places in terms of where they come in, how they come in, and how they interact with each other.
Did I enjoy this anime?
I in fact, did. There was always that sweet satisfaction of Souma confidently presenting an odd dish before earning high praises because of how casual he is to just about everything. There were also a lot of characters that I particularly liked regardless of their lack of any proper roundness of a character, and I just simply liked how hungry the series made me. (I think I made myself something eat after each episode after at least every other week.)
What didn't I enjoy about this anime?
My biggest complaint about the series from my standpoint, is the fact that it ends in the middle of an arc. I always find that to be a dangerous call because the creators end it in someplace that doesn't tell the whole story of what's going on, leading to some unanswered questions, questions that shouldn't be left over since it doesn't give the show a proper explanation for them. (And it doesn't look like there's going to be a season 2 any time soon.) Some of the scenes also made me a bit uncomfortable to watch. Since the original mangaka used to be a hentai artist, well...you can see where I'm going with this.
Would I recommend this anime?
If you're a fan of both ecchi and tournament anime, man do I have the anime for you. Shokugeki no Souma is a series entirely devoted on cooking various dishes and comparing them to each other via Iron Chef style in order to prove which one is better; that's literally the entire series. As a result, if you're not a fan of linear plotlines like that, then you may reconsider watching this. But if you don't mind that, or the ecchi and sheer talking that this series is somewhat plagued with, then give it a shot, you might just like it when you try it.
I honestly went blind into this anime and had no idea what to expect well except for food. But, my reason for continuing to watch this show was because of I can’t believe I am saying this – the parts where people become stark naked and have orgasms from the food they eat. Not to mention, that the tentacle porn like scenes also made me question how this show would go down. No kidding!
But, even though that’s one aspect of this anime that grabbed my attention- but yet it still wasn’t obviously enough for me to consider food wars even as a decent anime at
that point. I thought at most this was going to end up being a guilty pleasure for me- because at first this was show was basically people getting pleasured by food.
However, what made me truly love this show was the competition aspect of it. I mean, I find it really interesting at how all the students are pressured to the point of basically wanting to commit suicide over cooking five star meals. Like I mentioned earlier, in this school only 10% of the students make it out alive and they are pushed basically beyond their limits. In this school, it’s basically go big or go home situation for all the characters and it heavily reminded me of competition shows like Hell’s Kitchen or Masterchef- where everyone judging your food is ten times harsher than Gordon Ramsey and Joe Bastianich combined.
And just when you think, that the characters have gone through it all- turns out that the hell you thought they were facing was just a prep for the actual hell they are going to face. Any normal person, in their situations would have simply cracked under pressure and would have required major therapy to go on with life. I swear, the challenges are tough and kind of similar to the ones in HunterXHunter just with food. But, we thank god we have a great cast of characters that manage to shine brightly in whatever challenge they face whether they win or lose.
First in line, we have got our main male character Yukihira Sohma the underdog in Totsuki due to the fact unlike others he just worked in a local restaurant. Sohma despite being your average shonen protagonist was very likeable. I loved how confident he was and that he’d face every challenge without breaking a sweat. He also never looked down on his opponents despite being like this and even helped others out too. One issue I had with his character in particular- that it seems that his victory is always guaranteed. Because he is the main character – not to mention all he seems to is win . But, what saved his character from being a disappointment that he was technically not the best and that he would work hard in improving his craft. He wants to outshine his dad- and he always fails in defeating him- reason why he becomes determined to be the best.
Then we have Erina Nakiri, the first main female protagonist of the show and also a potential love interest for Yukihira. And let me just say, that’s it been a while since I have come across an annoying spoiled and bitchy tsundere. For the time being, I hate her guts and I am hoping that would change by the end. What I dislike the most about her character is the fact- she is full of herself and basically considers herself better than others. Everybody in her eyes are meagre peasants while she is the queen. Not to mention, her unfair treatment of Sohma in the second episode pissed the living hell out of me. She is literally the worst girl in the show and possibly one of the worst characters to come out in 2015.
We now Sohma’s other potential love interest Megumi Tadokoro who is basically the opposite of Sohma and is a breath of fresh air compared to this bitch. She is timid, shy and scared shitless went dealing with a challenge unlike Sohma. Megumi is hands down the most relatable character in the show and I always rooted for her since her introduction in EP3. People think Sohma’s the underdog when truth be told it’s actually Megumi who manages to knock it out of the park with her cooking. But, she does screw up a lot and ends up getting poor grades because of nervous she gets. But, she gets probably the most character development and does her best to conquer her fears and prove to everyone that she does indeed belong here.
I especially loved the bond she had with Sohma and they suit each other perfectly because of how their personalities contrast with one another. Sohma basically gives her the push she needs and helps her realize that she should cook while being calm and having fun in the process. I also love how much Sohma cares for Megumi and almost gets expelled in the middle of the show for her sake. Megumi thanks to Sohma, ends up improving a tonne and starts believing in herself more. That’s why I ship these two like crazy and I swear if the mangaka makes Erina end up with Sohma then I will kill a bitch. Cause sweet and caring Megumi honestly deserves it more than this childish princess. Also, we don’t want Food Wars to have a tragic ending by making Sohma end up dealing with the atrocity that is Erina Nakiri.
I also loved yes Sohma’s third potential love interest Mito Ikumi, Erina’s cousin Alice (who is awesome unlike her), the Aldini brothers, Akira, Erina’s assistant Hisako and they were all surprisingly given a fair amount of character development. It was a really clever idea to showcase the characters backstory when they present their food while nervously awaiting the judgment. It hence makes us worry for them even more. I honestly love all the characters in the show due to their over the top and unique personalities, with the exception of Erina Nakiri of course- which is obvious given how much I ranted about her earlier on.
Food Wars however did not only give importance to the characters but also to the food which was obviously necessary. But, instead of just exploring Japanese cuisine they also dived into others like Italian, Indian, and Chinese etc. which I truly appreciate. They also didn’t spew out anything complicated for us to understand but by the end we were thoroughly impressed at their knowledge of food- which is the key in cooking.
The animation for Food Wars was done by JC Staff- who I am a fan of. And even though JC staff have put out better looking shows in the past they still did a great a job with this one. They especially exceuted the food tasting scenes where the characters do that thing exceptionally well not to mention they made the food look good enough to make your mouth water. Hence, making Food Wars a terrible anime to watch during Ramadan for Muslims or basically anytime you are hungry. That’s why I recommend you eat while you watch this show.
I love both the first OP and especially the ED for Food Wars and I consider them better than the second ones - and I wish they didn’t get replaced in the second half.
As for flaws of this show I would say that it takes about five episodes to get really good. Its when all the characters are properly introduced is when the show starts getting better. Also, after something as epic as a the arc dealing with the students at that camp- the karage arc felt very underwhelming to me. Thank god it only last two episodes because I got scared thinking that Food Wars would go downhill beyond that point. But thank god, it didn’t it just got better and better!
In a nutshell, what makes Shokugeki No Soma great are the characters, the challenges they face and the facts of food that are presented to us. The orgasming to food part is just a bonus and I hate how people are simply basing their opinion on the show simply based on that aspect. I know I also judged the show due that same reason at first- but it was easy to look past it given all the other stuff it offered me. The main reason, I guess I made this review is to fully inform those who think Foods Wars is basically unique form of fanservice that it’s a show definitely worth not looking down upon. If you still didn’t like Food Wars then I guess that’s your problem!
As much as I would love to award Food Wars with an 10 for being addictive and interesting as hell- I have to give it a 9 because about seven episodes were underwhelming and not on the same level of brilliance as the rest. But, none the less Food Wars is a MUST WATCH show but avoid it at all costs if you are a Muslim fasting during Ramadan!
-shallow story development
-characters are not well described
I would say Shokugeki no Souma is a cooking show in an anime world,rather than other genre.
Well,story is lacking of excitement due to the repetitive cooking challenges,feels bored for me.And for the protagonist Soma is a talented cook,the story development is pretty shallow due to repetitive cooking.Also,the reaction that characters had after eating soma's dishes feels annoyed to me and feel wasting time.
Pretty shallow.All I know is that soma is a talented cook and had few problems when dealing some of the cooking challenges.
For other characters,frankly the
anime did a poor job on describing other characters' speciality and individual due to most of the time is mainly describing soma's dishes,which is kind of disappointing.
Pretty decent.when soma is cooking dishes,the animation is kind of stunning.
The sound effects is pretty great during the cooking challenges scenes,feel realistic.
Overall,the show is pretty boring for people who don't enjoy cooking genre much.More efforts is needed for introducing each of the characters and adding some more plot twists into it.
Overall,I would recommend this anime to people who likes cooking a lot,but if you expect some thrilling storyline,I recommend you stay away from this anime.
I had watched the first episode of Shokugeki when it aired, but dropped it when I realised it would be nothing but Cooking with Gary Stu. When I learnt this anime would have a sequel, I finally decided to see if it was worth it. Perhaps it improves after the first episode and I was being too harsh, I thought with all my heart. After all, it is sitting at a solid 8.6. And so I watched it. Turns out my original hypothesis was correct: It's a load of shit. Well, now instead of wondering about it, I can at least objectively state Shokugeki no
Soma is pathetic.
I will say the premise behind Shokugeki is not bad. It's about cooking and battling, comparing skills with chefs of higher skill (mainly those of the Elite Ten) to become a better chef. Unfortunately, the execution needs a bit of work.
Firstly, the first half of the show is boring. From the beginning our protagonist Soma is presented as nearly perfect. I'll go into more detail about him at the characters sections, but as far as the story goes, because Soma is so proficient at what he does, the plot instantly becomes predictable. Over 80% of this show is Soma facing off against someone who is meant to be higher in skill than him, whether they be part of the Elite Ten or not, but episode after episode he continues to dish out food so good it makes women (on rare occasion men) uncontrollably cream themselves. When the equation for every episode, especially in the beginning, follows as Soma + Ingredients + Cooking skills that surpass Gordon Ramsay = Food that can manipulate anyone to do anything, I already know what will happen in episodes five, six, so on... In the words of Edgeworth from 'Boot to the Head': "How predictably boring..."
Secondly, the ecchi. To put it bluntly, it was overused. I don't have an issue with it if it pops up to 'spice things up a bit.' A good example here is Code Geass. Every once in a while there was a boob/panty-shot to lighten the atmosphere of a rather serious anime. Good. This is how it should be used. But when those shots BECOME the plot, it ruins an anime. Since we're talking about cooking, imagine ecchi like a fine spice. Sprinkled in, it adds a bit of flavour to an already good dish. Poured on haphazardly like the cap fell off a saltshaker makes a meal absolutely disgusting and inedible. Probably the best formula I've found for this is: If you take out the ecchi of a story and you no longer have a plausible plot, you might as well call it hentai. At least Shokugeki admits what it is, but even so, I'm not watching this to masturbate, so the show becomes even more boring and predictable.
Thirdly, and I will admit this is a bit of a nitpicky one, but the story jumped around a bit too much. Usually a story has a stated goal which it follows. The story can branch off and create other short-term goals, but it doesn't usually sway from the long-term goal when that goal is the main focus. In this case, I thought the long-term goal would be Soma working toward and winning a seat in the Elite Ten, but this goal of Soma's seemed to die out the more time he spent at camp. This isn't necessarily bad as this added a bit of plot-specific filler content to the story, but Soma was so set on winning a place in the Elite Ten it was a let down to see that goal completely forgotten, as if it was mentioned mainly for introducing an interesting plot to keep watchers hooked. Of course, as I mentioned above, it would have been rather predictable given Soma's skill, but at least it was a goal the character had rather than just 24 episodes of cooking, beating someone supposedly more skilled, and moving onto the next person.
Finally, the pacing is a bit off. In the beginning it was done all right as characters head to an academy to hone their cooking skills, but the last half of the show involving the Autumn Elections are incredibly drawn out for no reason other than filler.
Not much to say here. The art of the food was done very well. However, it was so detailed compared to the characters and everything else it was nearly overdone.
I'll make this fairly to-the-point. Let's begin with Soma.
Soma: As stated above, from the beginning he's shown as perfect. He's not presented with really any flaw nor backstory, and when he is, it's so much later on it doesn't matter. The purpose of the first few episodes should be exposition which is used in a story to sprinkle in bits and pieces of not only the premise and setting, but also who the characters are and a bit about where they wish to be in life. While Soma is presented a few times with the goal of becoming a better cook, it becomes a rather unnecessary goal when he's already surpassed other apparently brilliant chefs. Also, any flaws or backstory that do appear exist for mere moments. He's a lot like a cooking Naruto; hotheaded and determined. But at least Naruto's hotheadedness got the better of him from time to time and was something he could learn from. With Soma, it's a personality trait that all the tsunderes can't help but adore. So, really, he's more like a cooking Kirito. No flaws, really nothing to learn from besides one rival, his father, not much backstory, and all the ladies love him. Boring.
Erina: Not much to say here. She's the bitch with the boobs. Like Soma, she has a bit of backstory, but that's put on the back burner (see what I did there?) in order to show off how truly rich and elegant she is and how much she can't stand Soma. At least she has him as a rival of some sort, but again, there is much development from this rivalry.
Megumi: She probably had the most development out of anyone. She has a bit of backstory that helps her grow as a cook, but unfortunately she relies too heavily on Soma to make her truly develop rather than deciding for herself how and when to grow.
Last, Takumi: Arguably the best character in my opinion. He has a sibling, he has a personality, and he has a flaw, no passion to cook, but even so, he worked toward a goal of learning how to cook. They should have made him the protagonist...or at least kept him in the show. By about episode 10 he's no longer around. He does make a reappearance in the Autumn Elections, but only briefly, so one of the most interesting characters is used for a few moments of rivalry with Soma only to be forgotten.
Shokugeki is not the worst thing I've watched, but certainly not the best. Certainly not worthy of that 8.6 rank. It skips exposition, introducing characters early on only to introduce their backstories and flaws and goals twenty episodes later. It completely cuts out characters with potential. The beginning is well-paced, but boring while the ending is drawn out and also boring. Its protagonist is too perfect while everyone else with potential and personality are used as side characters or boner-producers. Once it does become interesting, it's only for a moment before reverting back to the same formula: Perfect character is unbeatable, who would have guessed. In conclusion, this anime had potential, but didn't expand on it as unfortunately boobs are more important than plot and interesting characters.
Shokugeki No Souma or FOOD WARS is the number 1 ecchi/comedy/shounen of all time, period.
To see a spoof on it plz check out my HONEST ANIME TRAILER on Shokugeki no Soma on YouTube, but only if u watched the series, because there will be spoilers.
it follows a very cliche OP protagonist in the art of cooking, with the goal to be the very best. The best there ever was. To cook it was his real test. To serve it was his cause.
The story bases itself on many hilarious characters each with great personality (except for maybe Megumi) and the clash of personalities was so great
it makes you keep wanting more
Another thing that the show makes you is super hungry and super horny, so, not the greatest show to watch while trying to diet, but still worth it.
out of any anime i've ever watched this is the only one that i don't know how it could be good. It's an ecchi with a cliche, piss off, harem master protagonist about F&%KING COOKING and yet it was amongst the most enjoyable anime i've ever been privy to place my gaze upon.
Let's hope for a season 2!
(and if u saw it already plz check out my HONEST ANIME TRAILER - SHOKUGEKI NO SOMA / FOOD WARS on YouTube I'm Nux Taku there as well)
Okay, so if you asked me a couple of days ago if I'd watch a cooking anime, I'd probably say, "The closest thing to cooking I'd watch is Asuna's cooking skill in SAO."
But then I watched Shokugeki no Souma.
This isn't just a cooking anime. This is a work of art! The characters' personalities all work off each other, with each one having a backstory (that isn't too in-depth, I hate long and boring backstories) that helps develop the character. Oh yeah, and there is:
-Learning how to cook!
-Cutting with different types of knives!
-And cooking speeches so awesome that Kamina would say them if he were a
Sometimes, the staleness is so cliche that it is funny, too!
I love waiting to see how the next person will react to Yukihira's food. He is like the Kirito of the cooking world!
I love the story, full of cookingness
Artwork includes detailed artwork of food! And, well, aprons.
The sound includes reactions to food!
The main character isn't a soft and gentle person who's main objective is to protect his friends. The main character is a guy who's like, "I'ma kick yo butts! With cooking!"
And the enjoyment is to die for, just like Yukihira's "creations" are, literally!
So yeah, I might be too hype for someone who's only watched 9 episodes. But hey, I don't care!
Before watching Shokugeki, I did not know how to cook. After watching Shokugeki, I don’t know shit about food at all.
Food so real, you’re going to cry - Shokugeki no Souma review
The story begins with a cooking face off between Yukihira Souma and his father, Yukihira Joichiro. Ever since Souma began cooking, he has always wanted to surpass his father and take the mantle of the head chef of their family restaurant. Souma is 15 and his father has enrolled him into Totsuki academy, the top culinary school in Japan, in order to expand his cooking skills and experience a whole new world of cooking.
Now that is what a shounen is. Once he enters Totsuki, during the opening ceremony he makes his dominance palpable to everyone, asserting his confidence that he will not lose to anyone until he defeats his father.
Along with such an already fantastic start, we’re given great direction and writing to feel what shounen is again, or rather a damn near perfect show. Right at the first few episodes, we’re already introduced to the big shots of the culinary world, each with their own unique tastes and personality. It accomplishes a foreboding atmosphere expressing the skills and craft of those who fight for hegemony of the culinary world. Now that is bad ass. Immediately Souma is engaged in an early battle against one of them, and I think anyone can assume what will happen.
Since the early days his cooking career began, Souma had always lost to his father, fermenting his skills and experience through loss, especially against one who was once one of the top at Totsuki. From here we learn that our main character isn’t just some cocky and overrated dude. He has legitimate scores to boot what he barks when in face of his peers. Tadokoro Megumi is a shy and feint hearted girl who had yet to break her through her prisoning shell. But through the help of Souma’s advisory and charisma, she is able to bring out her true self and show to the world she isn’t just some useless girl who got lucky in enrolling Totsuki. Nakiri Erina being just about as cocky as Souma isn’t developed as much as our other characters, but slowly with each episode opens to an insight of who Yukihira really is, even though it is situational irony that us the audience already know. However it doesn’t hinder the story one bit. Everyone of the other cast members are given enough time to develop in their own small ways and improve however more enhanced by the dialogue given by spectators, as well as being charismatic in their own right.
Dialogue and direction of the show is done excellently. For a show that is about cooking, we actually are given enough details to know what ingredients are used in the food and how it is cooked. Each episode we’re introduced to fantastic new dishes from a variety of different cultures from around the world. Not one moment is there overlapping food choices as we are shown food types and ways of cooking normal people outside of the culinary world would never have thought of before. It’s inspiring and does its job of making us hungry, if you know what I mean ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°). Being seriously, it does make you want to eat prior to watching the show.The narrative Shokugeki tells is compelling in the contained story that is it. It is kept small but so varied that not one moment felt dull.
Shokugeki proves a worthy contender in all categories of art, animation, and sound. The food looks better than anything I’ve seen in real life, I could almost eat it from my screen. Animation is beautifully done. Blended with the art it aspires itself to go beyond each new episode every week, furthering what else it can accomplish. The voice acting and bgms enhance the experience to a whole new level. At first the foodgasms may be a turnoff for the fear of it being overused and pushed into your face just to put out sexual content, it surprisingly handles it maturely at times when it is needed. And it offers comedy in many of those moments as well, like as if the food was so great that Souma literally punched a judge in the face. Openings were alright to me, with the first ending being my favorite of the songs. With all three elements combined, it offers a surrounding greatness to it.
With all said and done, I think it’s time I gave Shokugeki no Souma a high score of 9/10 with a fucking fantastic seal of approval. There are many terrible shows that came out in 2015, but Shokugeki proves that there are still shows out there with great writing and stand the test of time. And it is a show that I can recommend with no doubt. It is for sure that this show is one I will use to measure in those of its genre. Now then, I’m off to write my next review.
Gastronomy, a way for us to bombard our brains with sensations while stuffing our guts to survive. It started when lightning stroke a tree and the primordial humans sought it out of curiosity. Some have elevated cooking to art, yet others would consider it cruel to do so by regarding the famine that is grasping many others.
How do you measure or weigh the life of a teenager? The answer is simple, you use their dreams and aspirations as a scale unit. Such is the tale of Yukihira Souma and his ilk. They are all brought together by the same dream and climb up the ladder
to achieve it through sweat, belief and guts. They face a lot of obstacles to finish their journey some which even make them stronger.
The series has a wide variety of characters most of them maintaining a carefree attitude which comes off only in moments of great pressure. The artwork around them has the usual edges while adding some round curves for some pleasant models. Also some backgrounds emphasize their cooking skills which may be enjoyable or annoying depending on perspective.
It does not seem very enjoyable at first glance yet , the cocktail of comedy and food cultural references actually made it very popular at least to my opinion and I recommend it wholeheartedly to everyone.
If you want to be entertained, this is one of the right show to watch. No need to be a culinary expert, as long as you're fond of eating and anime. You might end up hungry after watching every episodes. Souma (MC) isn't the main source of comedy here, he's not even a wacky character like luffy. He's a smooth operator, i like that his character was already built as a good cook from the start, though still lacking of experience. Unlike other anime with MC having good potential but fundamentally zero background/basics about their stuff. Most of
the Enjoyment here came from the situations like whenever they ridiculously react after they tasted the dish, some are awkward because of the ecchi scenes. Even some of the casual conversations are funny enough. You will eventually know why its really called FOOD WARS on its later episodes, don't wanna spoil but just think of the tv show "iron chef."
Just take the story as it is, enjoy and don't expect something dark or depth on it. Its about Yukihira souma trained to cook by his father since childhood. They own a diner but souma's old-man closed it to work abroad and to fund his education in totsuki academy, where the culinary adventure starts.
Art and sound are great! watch it on HD and you will appreciate it more. Food appearances may not be detailed or realistic all the time which is not really an issue unless you are keen about details or seeing the ingredients on its realistic art. Of course this show will also teach you cooking but don't expect to learn some advance techniques, even though they explained how the dishes were made. Its hilarious from ep. 1 to 24 but on a serious note, characters here are all aiming to improve their crafts, and achieve their personal goals.
i might not attempt to read the manga, so it will not spoil the 2nd season when i watch it. cheers!
Shokugeki no Soma, is a cooking oriented anime that focuses on the growth of our main protagonist Soma as an aspiring chef who goes from working in his family dinner to enrolling in an upper tier cooking school. Now you might be thinking to yourself: "great another boring high school slice of life show with a hint of cooking in it". Now that is where you would be terribly wrong. When this show was first announced (being an avid reader of the manga series) I was with one of my friend and I almost slapped him for not being excited over its adaptation's release. Luckily
this show almost completely avoids the slice of life genre and instead adopts the much hated ecchi shounen wombo combo. However instead of being a train wreck like most of those shows end up being, it instead leans more towards comedic scenes that have some hints of ecchi thrown into it, but the amazing thing is that none of it takes away from the cooking aspect of the show, which is what 90% of the show is based around, awesome and epic cooking. Whether it be traditional cooking techniques, the integration of gastronomical sciences in modern cooking styles, or theoretical cooking sciences, this show has it all; and for people such as myself who very much so enjoy cooking as a hobby, this show is a breath of fresh air for the many lack luster cooking anime out there. Now let's get on with the review!
!WARNING! (stop reading if you don't want to be spoiled about anything at all)
Character Development: 9
To start off, a quick look, at the large cast of characters is my favorite place to start. This show, like my previously reviewed show Nanatsu no Taizai (check it out if you don't recognize the name) has a large cast of colorful and fun characters. Some of them will make you laugh: Isshiki Satoshi, some serve as the tsundere archetype: Ikumi Nito, you've got your goofy and possibly stupid rival: Takumi Aldini, and plenty of other characters who are all tons of fun and interesting. In fact while Soma, the main character, is a pretty good example of character development. I personally find that he shines more as a catalyst to other characters development and change. It's thanks to him that Tadokoro Megumi grows so much as a character, going from being down on herself and believing herself to be a terrible chef, to becoming one of the more likely characters to maybe even outshine Soma himself. Similarly with Erina Nakiri, while she might not seemingly change all that much, the truth is that her character is supposed to be stubborn and set in her ways, so in changing even slightly we see in fact a huge development in character. Soma practically breaks her confidence bubble which she is able to maintain around anyone else, and forces on her the desire to seek further achievements than what she thought possible in the past. Soma is more than just a main character, he is the fuel that feeds the flames burning in many of the characters, he gives them more life and makes them more vibrant.
As for the plot there isn’t much that I can really say without spoiling too much, or without sounding like a broken record. I mean as much as I like cooking there is only so much you can use from the field while still managing to hold the viewers’ attention. The show is about cooking so you can’t really expect anything huge in terms of plot twists, it’s not like there is going to be any huge political commentary on how cooking is bad or wrong as that would not fit the atmosphere of the show. Which means that I am happy with where the story is at, and am not going to ask it to do anything more as it probably couldn’t. Pacing has the same regard. Not sure how it could be improved if at all possible, however it wasn’t executed perfectly either, almost though. Normally I would have an example however it’s more of a feeling I got from the show rather than something I observed if that makes sense. Maybe it’s just something that this type of show just can’t fulfill do to its style.
Art Style/ Art Direction: 9
Music/ Sound: 7
I find that the art choice fit well with this type of show, while it was nothing life changing it was very well executed and definitely made me want to eat whatever was served as I got to see the juices bubble, the steam rise off of freshly cooked meals, and the see the crunch of fresh vegetables and the fatty marbling of high grade meats. It was very visually appealing and definitely deserves props for its execution if anything else. The music sadly was the most disappointing part of this whole show in my opinion, most of the soundtrack was pretty standard and didn’t really offer me anything to add to my current list of favorite songs, the only exception to that was the very first ED (if you haven’t heard it yet definitely check it out). That was the song that I listened to fully every time after all of the episodes, and was even saddened when it was no longer used in the second half (obviously knew it would change though).
Final Score: 86/100
Unfortunately the scoring system doesn’t allow for decimal points so the score I’ll give this show is a little lower than I’d like to give it. However this show in my opinion does not deserve a 9 in the slightest no matter how good it is. Which is why I rounded down instead of up.
Thank you very much for reading my review, if you have any questions, comments, or just want to say hi just shoot me a message I’ll gladly respond. I hope you have a nice day.