Grab a seat, sit back, and relax. Shokugek no Souma (Food Wars) is back and that means, fans are in for more treat and foodgasms. From the series that bought you excitement of cooking and extravagant culinary arts, the second season has a lot to offer as well and it’s no understatement.
First things first, the sequel is a direct continuation from the first and thus, the story connects from established characters and storytelling. Therefore, there’s no reason to watch the second plate without tasting the first. Do note that there’s also no recap so the second season really gets straight to the meat of the
story. That’s a good thing anyway. Who wants to listen to boring narrative of recapping? Rather, the second season dives into the main course as the tournament (Fall Elections) gets underway. If you remember, main male protagonist Souma is an inspiring cook chef who wants to follow his father’s footsteps into the culinary world. As a guy who is never afraid of challenges, it’s interesting to see how he fares against his competition. The first of those is Alice Nakiri (Erina’s cousin) and we see how both sides demonstrate their talent.
What’s often interesting about Shokugeki no Souma is often the clash of ideals because characters come from so many different backgrounds. For instance, Erina and Alice were both raised in a high class society so they lack understanding about people from below their class. This also adapts the way how Souma responds. If fans took notice, Souma often uses his own creative ideas to craft food rather than using fancy or stylish ingredients from the start. The point is that with so many ways characters can use to build on their talent, the second season capitalizes on them to make them memorable. Souma’s talents aren’t the only one being highlighted as characters returning from season one such as Megumi, Ryou, Akira, Hisako, and others get their own moments. Every one of these characters has their own cooking style so seeing them demonstrate what they’ve learned shows their strengths and weaknesses. The season does a decent job at that through colorful explanation of the food making process while injecting humorous moments and details. Don’t worry, if you’re starving for some fan service because of the foodgasm, there’s also that too.
As the titular character, Souma is still the face that gets the most highlight. In particular, his personal rivalry against one competitor named Subaru is something to remember. It’s not because of what’s at stake but because of Souma’s willingness to take on the challenge. As I mentioned before, Souma is a daredevil. He likes challenges and often takes them for reasons beyond personal interest. Also do note that Souma isn’t unbeatable and he does take a major loss. However, it’s important that Souma is the type of guy that also learns from his mistakes.
Speaking of mistakes, I guess a season condensed into a single just one cour will result in what people call “rushing”. Yes, the first season ran for 2-cour length of 24 episodes while the second season is only about half the length. What does that mean? It basically means material will be skipped to get straight to the main meat of the show. The first few episodes had me worried me a bit especially in the early stages. However, it doesn’t destroy the storytelling altogether if you look carefully. In essence, the condensing is probably done to get the story flowing more or capture the more important elements of the manga. In particular, the second half of the season really gets intense with high level competition. Of course, there are still lots of room for humor and breathers in between. Just know that season 2 is much more about competition. Some of the final few episodes affirms Souma’s motivation to improve himself and we get more background storytelling about his character.
Once again, J.C. Staff is responsible for the anime production. The visual quality remains more or less the same as fans may remember. There are occasionally awkward camera angles but in most parts works well. It’s noticeable that with the variety of themes offered during the tournament (bento, seafood, ramen, etc), the staff is able to capture the thrill of that. Fan service seems to be tamer compared to the first season especially in the early episodes but they are still there to make the fans droll. Meanwhile, the soundtrack remains somewhat less noticeable. While the theme songs are quite catchy, it just feels like the OST is overshadowed by other factors of the season. Voice mannerism still works quite well though in terms of delivery. One of the more noticeable character is a woman who speaks in broken Japanese which can be quite amusing to listen to.
The gimmick of Shokugeki no Souma has been a clever one. Taking the idea of making food and transforming it into something so colorful is what makes the show special. It’s essentially a satire with characters using their talent to make food better than appear. I’d say, it’s a clever joke and emphasizes more on how characters deliver their talent. The second season offers plenty of moments with these rivalries and moments you’ll have hard time forgetting. We might not appreciate every humorous joke or foodgasm they throw at us. However, it’s still enough to show that Food Wars remains a must-watch on the bucket list.
Shokugeki no Souma 2nd Plate left off where the first season did with the Autumn Election and it really ramps up the tension for Souma to be in the Elite Ten if winning the tournament.
LA's views on the Shokugeki no Souma of the previous season was nothing but awe as to how cool and awesome the anime franchise which is essentially Iron Chef: The Anime with food porn and gasms which makes it weirdly unique to it and 2nd Plate may still have the same flavor (huhu) as the original season, but it both makes it great and falls under the same problems of
the shounen genre and the original season did.
For what a food shounen anime comes in, this season still brings out some form of meaning this tournament and Shokugeki's this Election as well as the Stagaire has as well as make some of the more main cast members with the little screentime they had and ramps them up to be both badass and develop them further. Easy examples are Megumi Todokoro, the shy chef and Akira Hayama, the spice master and surprisingly enough Souma's development as a chef.
Before moving onto what's wrong with this season...the technical features.
For the animation, the animation is overall decent to the vibrantly flashy character designs as well as the tournament aesthetics, where the animation shines once again goes to the food, making you just drool at looking the gorgeously delicious food (by the way...HAVE FOOD WHILE WATCHING SHOKUGEKI...you'll be hungry if you don't) and is where most of the detail of the animation comes from. The animation overall is decent on par with the original season.
The voice acting at best can get overly hammy typical from the first season what with the more heated battles and wacky crazy contestants going against one another and really the voice cast were utterly great and added to the atmosphere be it a heated battle or the characters explaining about the food or how good it tasted due to how it was made, LA just can't put a favourite voice actor as the ENTIRE cast was great!.
Now what's really wrong with this season?...well just by looking at the episode count in comparison to the original really says it all, 24 to 12...some of the Shokugeki battles gets rather rushed...to be precise, the tournament battles that are not important to the characters are like this, examples as Takumi Aldini vs. Subaru Mimasaka or Souma vs. Alice Nakiri, sure the "meaning or theme" is still shown, but the rushed portion comes in when these battles' food prep and "how to make" are skimmed over just to finish the battle before the episode ends. Now this comes off as both good and bad as with the season's episode count, they kinda DO want to hurry it along, but bad as feels rushed. Nonetheless, 2nd Plate even with it's rushed zigzag pacing isn't enough for LA to hate this season. The last problem and LA's own personal opinion is that LA knows that Souma gets the most screentime in this season, but LA wanted more of ERINA NAKIRI!!!, small flaw but LA knows why the focus is on Souma.
Even the character development's zigzagged pacing gets a pass as even with this huge of a cast and the rushed Shokugeki battles, the combatants are still presented and developed even to the point even Souma's win record turns his character development even better as even he evolves as a character and not your typical "always win main protagonist" type. In terms of character development like Souma's screentime compared to the rest, Souma has the majority of the focus especially when it comes to Souma's battles in the Autumn Election, but he really has the majority of the focus come Stagaire. But for Souma's opponents as well as other contestants going against on another during the Election, they to during their battles brought up their development as a chef or personal developments again easy examples are Megumi.
The ending which brought to a finish the Stagaire mini arc, and really LA MUST point out that the Stagaire arc was one of thee best arc in Shokugeki no Souma, as it went more into the realistic look at restaurant and trying to be the better chef using new methods they learned. Ni no Sara by all means with it's strengths and flaws, it was on form, not all the way through but it still had the flavour and intensity of the original season and LA LOVED Ni no Sara for that...what else is there to say but...
LA wanted more...LA wants a 3rd Plate for all LA cares...
Shokugeki no Souma returns after an extremely successful 1st season... and it is just as entertaining as the previous edition.
Shokugeki no Souma has been one of my favorite series for some time. Why? It's because it so damn entertaining. Where it might lack in the story, it makes it up for its consistent entertainment found in every single episode. That's not to say the story is bad however, as I find it quite fun and solid. Don't like ecchi? Well, as much as others like to say it, the show isn't ALL about those ridiculous 'foodgasms'. It also involves a good amount of emotions,
fun 'battle'(cooking) scenes, and decent amount of development. In fact, I'd honestly like it just as much without the foodgasm scenes. The amount of effort and detail they put into the food and cooking is enough to make even the viewers craving for the food. And all things considered, this is how you do a proper cooking anime, making viewers hungry for more and more.
The animation in the 2nd season is just as amazing as the first. Although having a slightly rushed first episode, it manages to pick back up the original pace without too much dragging and rushing. he fast-paced cooking scenes are animated so fluidly and the whole show is just an eye-catcher in terms of the characters and the food.
Unfortunately, it does get rushed a bit in the later episodes again, but not too much. This kind of problem could have been fixed if the anime was 2 cour but unfortunately it isn't.
Like the first season, the music is one of my favorite aspect of the anime adaptation. Along with the animation, it just adds so much more to the scenes, especially the cooking scenes. Also really liked the fact that they still kept a couple of great osts from the first season as well. OP/ED are worth checking out as well, although I still prefer the 1st season ones.
The voice acting is great, but nothing too amazing i'd say. Each VA's fit their roles well, and big props to the VA's who had to do the foodgasms, because they sell it hilariously well.
Moving on, the characters look like your typical shounen stereotypes. However, the thing that makes me actually like these characters are that every single character are just entertaining to watch, as in no annoying characters whatsoever imo. The character interactions are great, and it does have a good amount of developments throughout the story. They have a bit of depth in them, and all of them are just really likable. For me, the best part of the series is the protagonist, Yukihira Souma. He is such a smooth MC: not annoying, boring or anything of that matter. He's the one that brings all the comedy, entertainment and the intensity of the show together. At times he's just straight up ridiculous and silly, but he also has this serious/badass side, and that's when you know shit is about to go down. Overall, the characters might seem like shounen cliches, but the cast makes it up for being very entertaining.
Both seasons of Shokugeki no Souma are a great, entertaining watch for anyone. Unfortunately, since it's only 13 episodes, some contents from the manga are indeed skipped, and the pacing is a bit inconsistent at times. But even without the skipped parts, the story is still tied well together. Some of you might not like it if you aren't that into the concept of foodgasms but it's still worth the watch purely for the entertainment it effortlessly brings on the table.
Shokugeki no Souma was a big surprise for many for 2015. What initially seemed like a weird mix of shounen, cooking and ecchi turned out to be one of the most interesting and suspenseful anime of the year. It ended up being one of the most popular anime of the year. With the first season ending incomplete, the second season’s role was to finish up what was started. Although the second season never reaches the heights of the first season due to its really fast pacing and lack of buildup, but even with a flawed adaptation, Shokugeki no Souma is some of the best fun
you’ll have this year.
The story continues off right from where the first season ended. After the Autumn Election preliminaries in the first season, the series starts off with the quarterfinals, focusing on the characters that managed to get to this point. So basically, this season starts off straight into the action. The thing is that the writing in general is fairly unpredictable, unlike the first season of the anime. Maybe the one who you’ve expected to win may not. The previous series focused more on Souma and his journey in learning more about cooking. This season focuses more on all of the finalist and what cooking and victory means too them. But the series still doesn’t forget about Souma as he’s on a journey to find his own style of cooking. The season is comprised of two different arcs. The first nine episodes are the rest of the Autumn Elections arc that was left incomplete in the first season. The last four episodes is the entirety of the Stagiaire arc. Now, the series would have been a lot better if they had time to build situations up, but the rushed adaptation prevents to do so.
Those who are familiar with the first season will feel home with the second season. Back to some more shounen-style cooking with over-the-top reactions and, of course, foodgasms. The style remains the same as the previous season, but unfortunately the same can’t be said about the pacing of this season. When the episode count of 13 episodes was announced and the PVs teased the Stagiaire arc, red flags were being raised. I knew that the adaptation won’t be as good as I was hoping it to be, but I wished that I would be proven wrong. Sadly, that wasn’t the case here. What should’ve been done in 19 or so episodes ends up being done in 13. The rest of the Autumn Elections arc should’ve been done in 15 episodes, but it was pushed into 9. That means that roughly each episode adapted 4-5 chapters, which is not ideal for a manga series that has a fair amount of dialogue. A manga adaptation of JoJo can get away with that, but not Shokugeki no Souma. Due to the fast pacing, many moments that should’ve felt tense don’t end up feeling so, and the lack of buildup makes you feel less interested in the matches. The most ideal adaptation would’ve been the rest of the Autumn Elections arc, the Stagiaire arc, and the arc after that, all being adapted in a two-cour series. But unfortunately that didn’t happen.
With the second season, you’ll be seeing the old characters back in action, but you’ll be seeing some new characters too, particularly a finalist you probably haven’t seen yet. Shokugeki no Souma had a fairly huge cast, and most of the characters ended up being either memorable, interesting and hilarious. The series revolves around Yukihira Souma and how he uses his skills to succeed in the world of cooking. But it’s not just about him doing, but also about him learning. And we also have many returning characters like Tadokoro Megumi, Nakiri Erina, and many more. But a good chunk of the series mainly focuses on the finalists of the Autumn Elections, which are Souma, Megumi, Alice, Kurokiba, Hayama, Takumi, Mimasaka, and Hisako. And this season develops on those characters more than they did in the last season. You’ll be seeing backstories for characters like Kurokiba, Hayama, and Alice, and they add more of a meaning to these matches. These characters end up feeling more complex than just a simple rival. And knowing what these characters value the most makes you not just cheer for one person.
The art quality is basically the same as the previous season, and just like the previous season, there aren’t any noticeable quality drops. Shokugeki no Souma’s art style is quite simplistic and is the one you would typically see in a typical school comedy. But more detailing is put for things of greater value, like the dishes in the series. Just like the previous season, comedic moments would be shown using chibi-looking characters and that helps add to the humor of the show. The foodgasms fanservice look just as good as the previous season. The backgrounds look quite nice, though most of the backgrounds in the series is more in buildings rather than outside. When compared to the manga’s art, it is a little lacking as some facial reactions can look more badass in the manga. But that’s a situation evert anime has since a still panel from a manga enables the mangaka to put more details than an animated scene where each frame needs detailing.
The animations quality is also the same as the first season, and just like its art quality, it’s quite consistend throughout and there’s barely any quality drops. Never once did it seem like they were saving budget and cutting it short, and the same went for the first season too. The animations for the cooking moments look pretty good. The animation quality is pretty much what you would expect from J.C. Staff at this point. It’s nothing mind-blowing, but it’s not like as if an anime like these needs animations like that. My only concern is that outdoor backgrounds can look a little static, but most of the anime is taken place within buildings anyways.
The seiyuu cast remains the same in the second season. The voice acting in the first season was excellent, however most of the seiyuu are pretty unknown. Souma is voiced by Matsuoka Yoshitsugu and he does a great job as the confident, yet curious protagonist. His effort here is of course nowhere near the level of his role as Petelgeuse in Re:Zero, but it’s not like as if that’s necessary. Megumi is voiced by Takahashi Minami again and she does a very good job, even if her role wasn’t as important as it was in the first season. Taneda Risa returns to do Erina, but just like Megumi, there’s not much of her to begin with. However, characters like Hayama and Kurokiba play a bigger role in this season and their seiyuu do a very good job. Okamoto Nobuhiko knows how to do raging characters well, so he did a great job as Kurokiba. And Suwabe Junichi did a great job as the composed, yet focused Hayama. Overall, the returning cast does a great job again with their characters. The
Voice Acting: 8/10
The music was mostly excellent in the first season and the same can go for this season too. The OP, “ROUGH DIAMONDS”, is a very good song made by SCREEN mode. The music for the OP sounds like something you would hear from a battle shounen anime, but it’s not like Shokugeki isn’t as intense as a battle shounen. The ED, “Snow Drop”, was done the really loved and popular band, nano.RIPE. Though it might not be their best, but the song is pretty good. I’m not a big fan of the band’s vocalist though. The soundtrack for this anime is the same as the soundtrack used in the first season. Though I haven’t noticed if there’s any track that is new in the series. My favorite one (just like the last season), “Food Battle Start!”, is used very well in the anime to create suspense. Some of the over-dramatic music used when the dishes are being judged adds to the absurdness of the series too.
Even with the lackluster adaptation, I found it very hard not to enjoy the second season of Shokugeki no Souma. With more shounen-style cooking, mouth-watering dishes, over-the-top foodgasmic reactions, epic one-liners and references to other series, it’s got everything I expect from a sequel to Shokugeki no Souma. Although what should’ve been Shokugeki’s best arc ended up being one of its weakest do to a rushed adaptation and lack of buildup. But the characters are developed just as effectively as they were in the manga. I still enjoyed this season, and it’s one of my favorite of the year, but what could’ve been amazing only manages to be great and nothing more.
If you’re a fan of Shokugeki no Souma, chances are that you have already watched this season. But if you haven’t then you should do so. The supporting character are more developed than before and are now much more complex as characters. Even Souma got more development as his goal from reaching the top got turned into finding his own style of cooking. And you get what you know and love from the first season too. However, the really rushed adaptation makes this season lack the intensity and buildup the last season. It’s quite disappointing that the manga’s best arc got a not so good adaptation. But even with the lackluster adaptation, there a lot of find in the second season of Shokugeki no Souma.
+ The shounen-style, over-the-top cooking, and foodgasms are back.
+ Supporting characters are well-developed and some receive proper backstories.
+ The great background music used in the first season is back and new OP and ED are very good.
+ Souma is developed more as a protagonist who needs to find his own style of cooking.
- Very rushed as an adaptation and makes the series lack any proper buildup or intensity.
- Never reaches the heights of its first season, despite adapting the best moments from the manga.
The only thing frying in this culinary show were my brain cells.
So you've got the main character, who is the greatest cook ever! He's so good, no one can believe how good he is! And he fights other cooks in cooking battles, and he always wins! Except when he loses, but even when he loses we are still reminded that he's sooooo great!
Then you've got this Meat Girl. She's the BEST at meat! Not as good overall as the main character, who is the greatest in the whole world, but she does have huge, and I mean HE-YUGE tatas.
I'm talking boing boing boing sandbacks that will surely result in severe lower-back problems at a tragically young age. Did I mention how ENORMOUS her boobs are? She is never shown without her leopard-skin rag-bra. Ever seen a porno staring Wilma Flinstone? Me neither, but now you don't need to! Now that I've covered her cleavage, I should probably move on to her number one character trait: that would be her boobs!
My other favorite character is Failure Girl. Failure Girl is great because she can't succeed at anything. Except when the main character believes in her, that is! And then we're reminded of how great he is (did I mention he's the best ever?). There's one scene later on in the show where, despite Failure Girl's absolute lack of any self confidence whatsoever, she manages to achieve a high score because she remembered a trick the Main Character taught her! All of her achievements are attributed to him in some way.
You've got some other great characters, too. There's your Stern White-Haired Godess, who has magical God-Taste powers (I'm not joking) and is always watching with contempt from afar as our Main Character proves himself time and time again to be the best. There's the Hot Food Judge, whose entire set of dialog only consists of two lines: "That looks disgusting, that can't possibly taste good!" and "I AM LITERALLY ORGASMING FROM THIS RICE!!!! [sexual squeal]".
You've got Gay Dude, who frequently strips naked in the most inappropriate situations (as gay people do!). He loves gardening!
There's Character Foil, the main enemy of Main Character, but really he's just Main Character with a different paint job and slightly less skills.
Then you have Cast Of Minor Characters Who Each Have Specific Shallow Character Traits, they kind of blur together.
For a show about food and the culinary arts, everything looks suspiciously like the fake plastic imitation meals that sit outside restaurants in Japan: colorless and dull, plasticy and off-putting.
But since most of the youngsters this show is targeted towards are only here for the boobs: rest assured! They're drawn as engorged as ever.
Main Character looks like most main characters and has a great head of Main Character Hair.
I bet you didn't know this many sound effects for bouncing breasts existed! And the orgasmic shrieks of bliss as the judges are overcome by the pleasure of eating Main Character's meals will leave you craving a bowl of udon for sure.
You may be wondering how the show remains interesting when its only plot device is an Anime Food Battle with no stakes and no purpose. The answer is easy: it doesn't! Anyone who has the intelligence to speak a human language should feel insulted that this show exists. This show even eschews the traditional "shounen" plot progression where our hero wants to be the best at The Thing, so he works really hard all season to be good at The Thing, and then finally achieves The Thing (or doesn't, but learns a lot along the way!). Instead, this show cuts right to the chase, and our hero starts out ALREADY best at The Thing! All he has to do is prove it! Again... and again... and again.
I would rather eat a bowl of nails than suffer through another 22 minute of this show. Even the worst restaurant in the world would never serve up a slice of meat that stunk this bad.
Having enjoyed the first season I was glad to hear we were getting more, but what we got wasn't more. In the 2nd season of Shokugeki no Souma they've chosen to abandon anything resembling story or character development and given us a cooking competition. The first 10 episodes are a series of duels with different characters we have no reason to care about and the final 3 episodes are "restaurant rescue" episodes.
Now abandoning a story isn't necessarily bad. I like cooking shows, I watch Beat Bobby Flay, Cuthroat Kitchen and many others, none of which have story or character development either.
However much of what is said on Shokugeki no Souma is factually wrong and it's clear the writers of Shokugeki no Souma have never even seen a Michelin starred kitchen let alone been in one. With food that are "scent bombs" that can instantly fill a stadium with aroma and where every bite causes an orgasmic clothing-destroying explosions in the judges, this show has as much to do with cooking as a bullet dodging anime has to do with fighting.
So what are we left with given there is no story and what they're doing is reality ignoring make believe? We have a kid who is the best in the world kicking butt and saving adult run restaurants better than Gordan Ramsay could dream of. In other words it's a chunibyou power trip with the magic being kitchen knife wielding skill rather than a sword or a spell. But don't fret, huge breasted high school girls all admiring the main character are there too for people that want a touch of harem flavor in their otherwise flavorless show.
So in summary, there is really nothing here to watch. Give the second season of Chef's Table a watch if you want to see some of the best chef's in the world at work, or Beat Bobby Flay, Knife Fight, Cuthroat Kitchen etc. a watch if you want to see a cooking competition. Not only are they better, they're also real, not magical nonsense.
Shokugeki comes back with this second season! As someone that picked up the manga, I expected that now that I know everything that will happen, I wouldn't be as much interested as before, back when I fell in love with this anime, but I was totally wrong! the pure epicness of Shokugeki no Souma is more than enough to make me as scream like a fanboy just like before.
Shokugeki Season 2 started really strong and full of action and character development since the first second due to the place the first one ended, that doesn't usually happen so the pacing might feel wrong at the
start, but one gets used to it quickly.
This season repeats with the awesome formula of comedy, hype, and the already iconic foodgasms, to continue entertaining the viewers, J.C. Staff delivered once again in the art department, with quality animation and food that looks so good and tasty that you better not be eating in that moment or you will feel disappointed.
If you liked Shokugeki, get ready for 13 more episodes of pure awesomeness, if you haven't watched the first season yet... What are you doing here? Go watch it, it's amazing!
Before I wrote this review I watched the series like 4 times and still fun to watch even you watch it over and over again.
Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara one of the best anime in the year 2016, though disappointing because it only has 13 episodes but still hoping for another season of this amazing anime series.
This season has a pretty good story line and i think it is the reason that the ratings of this anime is pretty damn high. Excellent visual graphics and amazing animations is what to expect when you watch this season.
This season concentrates about the lead character striving
to find his own personal style of cooking. Season also has a lot of twist which you will not expect at all and new fun characters.
Shokugeki no Souma's characters all have one goal: be the best chef. They all have different reasons for wanting to be the best, as the show will often remind you, but in the end their goals are one and the same. Perhaps that's what makes this second season of Shokugeki fall a bit flat. They're simply not progressing towards that goal for the majority of the show. It starts to make everything feel a bit pointless.
The majority of my complaints for this season come from the tournament arc:
-It barely matters who wins.
Winning the tournament simply shows that you are the best in the class. While
that definitely aligns with the characters' goals, it also has no significance in the grand scheme of things. The series often reminds the viewer that these are just students we're following by showcasing the alumni of the school who are successful chefs. These constant reminders doom the arc's conclusion into the winner believing they still have a way to go. Of course, the losing characters all have the same thought. If the characters aren't satisfied with the conclusion and there are no tangible results win or lose, it's tough to find purpose in the events. Contrast this with the first season when expulsion was the result for failure and you can see how the intensity was dialed down a notch.
-The fights themselves are tough to follow.
This might be a personal thing, but I'm not extremely well versed in cooking. When Hayama is describing all these spices that I last used to cure status conditions in Star Ocean, I'm stuck just trying to imagine how these things would taste. When you're watching an action show you can tell who's winning by how much damage each side has taken. In a sports show you look at the points. Winning conditions are easy to follow. In Shokugeki it's much more difficult to gauge who is winning the battle. In the tournament in particular, you're often relying on the judges' and crowd's reactions to tell you who's winning. The results of the fights could be switched and I would be none the wiser.
-There's little forward impact on the characters (yet).
The arc gives a little motivation to Souma in the end, but by and large the cast is static. There's nothing inherently wrong with static characters. However, Shokugeki wants its characters to progress and get better at cooking. In that sense, it needs the characters to constantly improve. The best the arc does towards that is getting the characters to be more creative. In the short arc afterward we see some brief glimpses of the cast but no one besides Souma has seemed to change at all... and Souma is pretty much the same anyway. The tournament ends and it feels like the show is just like "Welp, on to the next arc."
Take my criticisms with a grain of salt. Obviously this season isn't a full adaptation of the manga. The results of the tournament might become more important later. It's the fact that there are little immediate results that makes the arc feel unsatisfying.
Thankfully, the following short arc brings the show back to its strength: high-pressure situations that aren't cooking battles. It puts the characters (but focusing on Souma) in a high-pressure situation in which they are quickly forced to improve or else face negative consequences. It's far more interesting and intense. I wish it had been longer.
Art/animation/sound... it's all basically the same as the first season. It's not so bad that you're going to complain. It's not so good that you're going to be awed. It's good enough to get the job done. Frankly, that's good enough for me.
Despite my complaints about the tournament arc, it still had its moments of fun. Shokugeki's cast is fun to watch. So even if what the characters are doing isn't interesting, the cast's exaggerated personalities and silly reactions can make it enjoyable all the same. If you enjoyed the first season because of the cast interactions, then this season will not disappoint.
First, I'm soooo excited to see shokugeki having another season. This is one of the things I considered when watching an anime, If there is a high probability of getting another season.. and I'm sure there will be another season next year.
Let's start with the NEGATIVES:
- I'm kinda disappointed that it will only have 13 episodes, but still, I think its fine as long as it will left me in awe every episodes.
- The story is a LITTLE BIT fast-pacing. Particularly in episode 1 where they already began cooking, and the judges where already sitting in their chairs. Unlike in the manga, the judges where
shown coming from their cars, and the manga has a lot more cooking/prep scenes. BUT, I assure you, gradually, it is now turning into normal pacing again.
- ECCHI, I know lot of people dropped this series because of the ecchi scenes.. but guys, look, you just need to be open-minded. What you are watching is a cooking anime, let the small things like this slide. IT IS THE STORY WHICH COUNTS.
Next are the POSITIVES:
- OST, sh*t.. Shokugeki never failed to give us quality opening and ending songs! I love the opening so much, it was awesome! The scene where they are standing above their knives in the sky was priceless!!
- Complete package, it will surely make you LAUGH! There was no boring episode, every scenes were all must-see. There is a little bit of romance, and that's why it is good because LOVE CAN DESTROY AN ANIME. Hahaha. There was also some touching scenes. And one thing for sure, every episode is full of SURPRISES!
- ANIMATION, everyone, even the extras were all HANDSOME and PRETTY. There are also a wide variety of characters. And I must say, the character development of the mc and even the supporting characters are all top notch. They have their own expertise and identity. And also the foods, it made me crave for snacks every time I'm watching shokugeki.
- TWISTS, it always have a twist one after another. New characters are making appearance every arc. Its full of fun and exciting events.
- The best characteristic of this anime is the STORY. The concept and everything are all MASTERPIECES.
I just want to say to all people who dropped this anime.. Guys, you were all losing a great show. Give it another chance.
And to all the super fans out there, lets continue to support Shokugeki.
Btw, I started a lot of threads in forums regarding who is the best girl (currently Tadokoro Megumi is leading), which supporting character needs to appear more (currently, Nakiri Alice is leading), which soundtrack is the best [currently, Spice (Season 1 Ed 1) is leading].
I hope I conveyed my love and support for shokugeki by writing this review.
This section is not spoiler-free
One of the best character development i saw in anime was Megumi's. I honestly love how she represent common people who kept on struggling, waiting for their hidden talents to bloom. Yeah, she inspired me a lot.
Particularly in episode 2, damn, she really grew up a lot since season 1.
Also, it was a good thing to do a Jojo parody on Megumi and Kurokiba's battle.
I also loved the part when Souma defeated Subaru then the 99 knives were returned to their respective owners.
My final thoughts for the final round between Souma, Kurokiba and Hayama is that i felt pissed off very much, not because Souma didn't won, but because a glory hunter like Hayama won. For those who did not read the manga yet, that guy is full of crap! Since season 1, i don't like that guy, and now that i learned that he's going to betray Souma, i want this guy dead.
Anyway, I appreciate season 1 more than this season. Still, overall, this anime deserves a 10. I hope season 3 is already around the corner.
Art/Characters: The art style is just like the previous season; that is to say it is impeccable. The sharp design and the detail of not only the people but of the food as well is really what makes this show stick out among the crowd. The way the food is presented and the flavors can be seen rather than just heard about drags me into this world of food and excitement. One of the best parts about this art is the amount of detail that the food has as a finished product. If layers are important to the composition of
the dish, you better believe those layers will be present and they will be so eye catching you won’t be able to take your eyes off of it. There is a healthy amount of fan-service in this season, as well as the previous season, but it was more male that female; that being said, do your best not to let the fan-service draw you away from this masterpiece of a show. The characters themselves are quite interesting if I do say so myself. Obviously Yukihara is up to his usually antics and everyone wants to see him in action, and the same goes for the people surrounding him, but the people I want to focus on are some characters that we haven’t seen prior, like Mimasaka, a crazy stalker guy that takes down his opponents by making the exact same dish as them, but making it better, or the growth of a former teacher in the latter half of the season. Overall there was a lot of growth coming from the cast here, but the focus is primarily on Yukihara, with the others hardly making an appearance.
Music/Sound: The music that we hear throughout the show makes a splash and helps move the plot along just as much as any of the characters do. The opening is catchy and I find myself listening to it over and over again. As for the music that is in the background, it is refreshing to listen to exciting music to accompany excitement on the screen. And it isn’t some generic music that they use over and over, but it is new and it fits the scene in just a spectacular way. The one song they do use over and over happens to be when Yukihara all of a sudden looks like he is about to take the lead in a challenge and it is both awesome and inspirational, and I find I can’t get the smile off my face when I hear it. The sound direction itself went in a fantastic direction. Much like the previous season, we have sounds for food as well as images (and dare I say smells). We hear the sizzling of meat on the pan, the crunchiness of vegetables being bitten into, and the overwhelming sensation of smell when the food bursts out of an oven. This attention to detail is what brings me to love this show so much.
Story: We pick up the story right at the beginning of the Finals for the Autumn Elections, and Yukihara is not even close to feeling the pressure. He was able to come in 2nd place, only behind Hayama, in the Block challenges, but now it is time for the best of the best. The thrilling conclusion to the Autumnal finals is underway and you do not want to miss the outcome. As for the second arc, we explore with Yukihara the depths of his own cooking and what really makes it great; and from one former professor, what he can do to make it better.
Personal Reflection: FOOD WARS!!!!!!! Now that that is out of my system; this show is spectacular. I fell in love with the first season, and if you haven’t read my season 1 review, I ended it mentioning that I was desperate for a second season, and I begin with this: I am desperate for a Third Season! Everything about this show screamed amazing. The Shokugeki’s, the autumnal finals, and so much more, this show put me in the mindset that I want to be able to cook like that. Now, I am not a professional chef, and I never will be, but I have just enough cooking talent to see this show and want to try, even though I see the rigorous training and the extremely stressful environment might tear me to pieces. In all seriousness though, this show really made my top 2 of this season. The characters were fun and energetic, the art was spectacular, and just when I thought the story was predictable, there is something to trip me up and makes me wonder if I know anything about story. Shokugeki no Souma: No ni Sara is an amazing ride and an incredible squeal to the first season. If you have seen the first season and loved it, I am surprised if you haven’t yet seen The Second Plate!
I just can't get enough of this show. I feel I would become mentally ill if I don't get Season 3 by next week xD. ( but then i realize i am already mentally ill from all that waiting for Hunter x Hunter :3 )
The most praiseworthy thing about this show is the Character development. I just love watching Souma grow as he tries to figure the chef he needs to become and cook the food that only he can, not to forget all these badass cooking moments. Just how can a cooking show be this exhilarating? the whole atmosphere of the show just pulls
me in. But watching the characters cook for only 13 episodes just doesn't satisfying my hunger. ( geddit? :3 ). It just doesn't cut it out for me. The next season has to be bigger and hopefully it comes fast. I am most probably going to continue the manga anyway tho.
Coming to the Art and music, Of course it was great! Watching all that food made my stomach growl like crazy, it is so detailed and looks so delicious. The OP and ED are really good, I like the ED more, The beat is kinda generic but the vocal is very unique and i found myself listening to it on repeat. The visual in the ED deserves a mention too, they just add beauty to an already sublime feast.
For my final rating, I'd give it a 8.5/10. Can't rate in decimal here, so 9/10.
I only have a problem with the pacing and the length of the show, the length being the source of many flaws, like how many of the side characters or even the main ones like Megumi and Nakiri Alice didn't get as much screentime and some scenes were rushed. But overall that didn't ruin the thrill and enjoyment this show had to offer. Bring on the third plate!
I honestly wanted to enjoy the second season of Shokugeki no Souma much more than I did. Don't get me wrong.... it's good, but not as amazing as the first season. I'm a bit disappointed, but not all that surprised.
I don't have much to say about the animation here. If you enjoyed the quality of the animation in the first season, you get the same thing here. I literally couldn't tell if there were any improvements, despite the fact that it's a new season.
Music for Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara is pretty good. The OP and ED are nice. I wouldn't say they're quite
as good as the first season though. The score for the rest of the show hasn't really changed. It's just as good as the first season.
One of the problems I had with this season was the story. As everyone already knows, the first season ended in a cliffhanger, which I was not too happy with. Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara continues exactly where the first season left off. At first, I was excited, but I after a few episodes in, I realized what was going on and became utterly disinterested in the series. There's little to no real story in Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara. No, instead it's pretty much one food battle after another. That's the majority of this season. It got tiring and boring after awhile. I mean, the jokes are still funny and everything, but I was hoping for some more character development and a story that dealt with self-discovery. That's not what this is. Not only that, but the ending was pretty disappointing as well.
Unfortunately, because the story suffered, so did the characters. They still have the same personalities as the first season, and they do grow, but not by much. As I said before, it's literally just one battle after another. With the first season, I felt like there was a lot of downtime between battles where we got to learn more about the characters and their past. Sure, that happens here, but not much.
So overall I was pretty disappointed with Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara. It still has the humor and charm of the first season, yet, I definitely felt it was missing a lot of what made that first season so good. Would recommend as a time waster - not much else.
So much hype for such an overrated series that can't get proper development. I see how it is nowadays with people's liking (Not that my liking is any good, it's just a saying). Such mediocre and predictable storyline with many "serious" encounters that won't ever happen in real life.
- As for the story, i don't understand what's the point. From a realistic point of view, none of this could ever happen, from the fanservice that makes no sense to those serious glances.
There's no real story, it's just the main character trying to be a thug and one of the best chefs, by being
slow. Everything is the same as previous seasons with the fact that first season had a more creative storytelling. At this point everything is about food battles with no real meaning and a bunch of almost if not nude scenes, resulting in 0 progress done, like what happened with that first half? Nothing?. Even those TV cooking shows have a better growth.
The art was horrible from a certain distance (Season 2 was worse, trust me). The animation was poorly done but at least you could get the idea of what was going on, i'll give props on that. Only on close shots you could see a certain progress compared to bigger shots with a lot of people or just a few.
Faces were the worst on trying to mimic feelings, i fully understand they wanted to give a proper sensation of them, but they are too exagerated that they were not funny but rather unpleasant. On the other side, i find it funny that Souma never changes his uniform, not for cooking, not for being in the house, not for anything. While everyone else respects the rules on that.
I haven't been enjoying the OP and ED as much i would like, but it doesn't matter. The music is put on good placed and properly decreased the volume if someone was talking, but there is too much music in the show, of a 21 min. episode, at least 17 minutes have music in it. I don't really like that, i feel like they are trying to get me excited when i shouldn't be.
There was no real progress from season 2 for the main characters, but rather there's a bit of development for support characters. Some of them have changed, some don't even appear anymore, and some of them is like they didn't even care to give them a proper development, you get to see everything.
This is just an overrated show that didn't deserve my attention, but still got it. It's far from being the worst i've seen but it's certaintly bad and extremely predictable. The ending was a cliffhanger, with again, predictable decisions. The idea of adding a bad guy that would get the support of superior people is not new and not enjoyable. The series just keeps going down and down for me, nothing i can do though.
This series is just concentrated entertainment. It has every element and they are blended together in perfect harmony, much like (some of) the food that is prepared in the show.
1. It's funny. The chibi drawings in particular are cute and always at least get a smile out of me. Everything in this show is so over the top that you have to laugh at it. Sometimes it's just so stupid, but in a good way, because it doesn't take itself seriously. There is no pretension here.
2. It really energizes you. There is constant competition, overcoming-of-challenges, people are gracious in
defeat. There's cliff hangers at all the right places, and just enough unpredictability. Like any good sports anime, basically.
3. All the characters are lovable. And it's not often that i say this about a series, but practically all of them are great here. They're not too archetypal, nor do they have unrealistic gimmicks. In this case, they usually have a food specialty and/or backstory that helps them stand out.
4. Endless eye candy. The girls look cute, really cute. They're consistently well drawn, often have big tits, and there is fan service a plenty. It's forced as hell, but that is intentional, as it ends up looking like a parody of itself, and i can appreciate that. But really it's the food that is the most pleasant to look at. Detailed, colorful dishes and ingredients that are on par with Non Non Biyori's backgrounds in visual appeal.
I've said a lot of good things, but i can't really give it more than an 8. Sure it's enjoyable, but there is not much of a story, no complexity. It gets repetitive fast, but generally remains enjoyable. Also another issue is that i happen to be a foodie myself and generally they fail to create dishes that i would actually want to eat. Plenty of them are not even really feasible in reality. Not a big deal, but if they went the extra mile to do extra culinary research, it would have earned the extra point to hit the 9 mark.
Just watch it, i don't know anybody who didn't enjoy this series.
Shokugeki no Souma is back for another round of refined culinary duels!
AND MAN..... WHAT A SEASON IT WAS!
Shokugeki took the concept of BATTLE SHOUNEN to a brand new level! In the Autumn election arc, the screenwriters crafted make one of the most exciting and creative tournments on the history of shounen anime. The duels were full of twists and turns, great dialogue and imagery. Autumn Election is at the same level as DBZ'S Namek Saga; Saint Seiya's Sanctuary Arc or Samurai X's Kyoto Arc and other great shounen sagas, it reaches the quintessence of a shounen perfectly. If you liked the first season, you
will be just addicted by the new episodes and get stucked in Tootsuki Academy competitive ambience.
Also, the new season features the great Stagiarie mini arc, were we can see all the evolution of Yukiriha Souma, confirming him as one of the greatest anime protagonists of all time.
The combination between an over the top championship and character development is the great merit of this second season, making this one even better then the first one. Yes, you read it right. Ni no Sara is even greater than its predecessor. Not only it had improvements on plot and pacing, but also had technical improvements. The animation is even better, the use of CGI is harmonic with the handrawing. This one is more fluid and vivid, continuing the great work of rocking the viewer's senses. The great soundtrack continues the same of the first season, with improvements on the opening and ending songs, the best of the franchise.
So as Souma, JC Staff have improved its work and made a even better animation. Can't wait for a possible third plate, enjoying the manga while I wait.
Well another season of Food Wars / Shokugeki and it's just as good as the last season as I see it.
Story still follows a very shounen formula of Main Character just having to get better. The characters are enjoyable except for one I found, the music is still good as it compliments scenes and the art/animation is just the same as last season's. Overall a solid second season to Food Wars without losing or gaining anything.
The one character that sort of threw me out of enjoying Food Wars less is the Subaru guy who studies his opponents to the very detail. Like it's an interesting
concept but it just sounds too unreal and ridiculous for a cooking competition...
And the entire arc just feels so shouneny (lol ain't a word but deal with it). The moral felt so forced, they were basically spoon feeding it or slapping it to my face. It's a personal nitpick but I don't like shounen and some people do and that's fine. I know Food Wars is a shounen and there are lots of shounen aspects/conventions in it but the interesting dishes and food they make in a creative way and the characters were also fun to watch is what made me forgive that it was a shounen. But alas this time, that Subaru guy pushed it. I made up this phrase to the common phrase "Suspension of Disbelief." Where you forgive a film/tv show for it's unrealistic bits because you're have too much fun to notice or care for it. Well this show has made me make up the phrase "Suspension of ShounenDisbelief." I was willing to forgive a lot of Food Wars season 1 and 2' shounen aspects because I was enjoying it too much but the copycat chef really killed it for me.
Aside from the nitpick of Subaru, the show is still as average but as entertaining and enjoyable as the first season.
So, a 2nd sequel of Food Wars has just ended, needless to say I had my fill of food porn, so I'm getting down to business:
Storywise, there hasn't been any much development in a romance sense, it was still all about food , exaggerated factoids, and over the top aphrodisiatic judging, and If Gordon Ramsey, Antony Bourdain, Jamie Oliver and other celebrity chefs watching this, will surly give the creator, Yūto Tsukuda an earful of ridicule , then again since this anime's story line is still connected to the original anime, it was basically as mediocre as it can be thus a 5 over
Art, nothing much has change, despite of the fanservice we see, well, we can't expect to see any, Panchira, nipples or hairy pussies. So far, Yukihira is still in his middle school uniform, man what the fuck is keeping illustrator Shun Saeki from making Yukihira wear the standard Tōtsuki uniform? The best fanservice we can see was with Ryoko in her underwear, inpsite of it this category is still a 5 over 10, I may have given it a 10 if I could have seen some Mito fanservice at least in a full bikini.
Sound, I gave this part a 7 over 10 due to the opening and for Megumi's seiyu, Minami Takahashi, since I find it cute.
Character, still a 5 over 10, since we still see the same characters as from the 1st season, as mentioned "No Development", despite of the addition of new judges. I don't have to go any further....besides the star of this anime were always the food..........
Enjoyment, I enjoy this anime up to the end of the Shokugeki, I've started to get bored on the 11th episode, where I've skipped ep 12 and just waited for the 13th, frankly they should have ended on the Shokugeki part and not go to that Stagiaire , thing, so its a fair 6 over 10.
Overall, a 5 over 10, it's obvious that Yūto Tsukuda, was banking on the food preparations as if he's making something like an over pumped up Master Chef, frankly , his work isn't that bad, but overtime it becomes boring as if one is too full to eat more, so no to season 3, if there will be one.
(This review has been adapted from my blog/reddit thread. Spoilers ahead!)
I love Pizza Hut.
My brother and I used to always go down to the one close to us, sitting in the restaurant to talk and simply eat a tasty pie. Gooey cheese, flaky crust, greasy all around. The plastic, red cups filled with Pepsi, and a side order of the regular garlic and cheesy breadsticks, completed this delicious package – and made us feel entirely too full afterwards.
If I could eat just that whole meal for the rest of my life, I would. I would not say something similar for Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no
Sara, the sequel to Shokugeki no Souma. But I wouldn’t mind having it every now and again.
This season of Shokugeki starts literally where the first season left off. Souma, Megumi, and the rest of the crazy chefs are competing against one another in the heated Autumn Elections. Doing what they can to prove their culinary worth and take one more step forward towards those coveted seats and, ultimately, the top of Totsuki’s food chain.
While many sequels are arguably “only” for those who liked the originals or the prequels, it goes doubly so for this season of Shokugeki. For the first ten episodes are almost entirely dedicated to the food wars and almost nothing else.
Compare this direction with the first season. The huge number of people met. The daily life at their dormitory. The intense training they received at the resort. The shake-up in the who, what, where, when, and why of the food wars themselves.
This tournament arc creates a format that pushes Shokugeki down a path where its slow-roasting pot is filled with all manner of dishes. Sushi bento boxes. Turtle burgers. Mish-mashed meat stew. But it also creates an inherent problem for Shokugeki.
All right, maybe not a problem, but it certainly affects what the anime wants to do or even can do. Due to the large focus on the tournament and the food, only a small portion is set aside for anything different. The same battles are almost always had, boiling down to everyone wanting to win the whole thing. The same characters almost always take part, cutting out or reducing the side cast to a hefty degree. The same reactions sprout forth with the director baring his chest or the judges going through yet another spiritual journey.
Even the dialogue takes a hit. The anime does a lot to describe the huge number of foods created, and it gets points for going into meticulous detail. But the anime likes to swing back to umami this and umami that. It may be the case that umami does, indeed, make up nearly every grain, meat, and vegetable on the planet. But, again, this sameness only serves to turn these exciting wars into uninspired plates.
Now, it’s not exactly repetitive. The anime does just enough to mix up the different duels, like when Subaru (the stalker) forces his opponents to a Shokugeki or the finals turn into a three-way bout. And, to be fair, the food wars are the crux of the show, so it makes sense that they would receive the most attention. However, “variety is the spice of life” (as Hayama would most likely say). Sticking to just the food wars over and over and over doesn’t lend itself to a more diverse offering.
Which is why the final arc of the season, the Stagiaire arc, ends everything on a high note.
It deviates away from the tournament, placing the students in a public setting. It reintroduces the rigor of the school (a joke that Souma points out) and just how tough graduating can be. It pairs specific characters together with the intention of camaraderie and mutual understanding. It makes the motivation more about improving themselves rather than simply winning. It gives Shokugeki the chance to blend in more of its slice-of-life, comedic moments given the down-to-earth presentation.
Granted, this arc lasts for only three episodes, and, once these episodes are up, the arc officially concludes. Meaning it will not appear again should a third season eventually pop up. But, for its short stay, this arc performs much better than its Autumn Elections counterpart for being what Shokugeki always did best – using food as a means to an end rather than the end itself.
Throughout both arcs, a theme on losing takes precedence. That losing isn’t the end but rather the beginning. The audience sees it with Subaru and turning a new leaf. With Alice and Ryou in their constant duels since childhood. With Erina’s secretary in how she does not feel worthy of following Erina. With Erina herself and how her position has pushed her away from nearly everyone. And, of course, with Souma and how he views his losses as more experience than he had before.
Nobody wants to lose. That’s the obvious part. What is not so obvious is that losing leads to understanding. Of one’s self and of the field they are in. So, while winning is the most ideal outcome, losing has its own merits, too. Because, although Totsuki may frown on failure, it is only through loss that these students achieve what is beyond their reach. Namely, a brimming, delicious future.
One final note. This season of Shokugeki lessens the total amount of ecchi content. The evil Subaru, the final round with its more serious tone, and the Stagiaire arc do not give the anime the opportunity to present its ridiculous sexual material, moving away from what made the series a standout to begin with. It does appear occasionally, but, when Alice rotates while naked or Megumi juts out her butt, the finesse, the inspiration just isn’t there like it used to be.
Shokugeki’s art and animation remain at relatively the same quality as its first season. That is to say, it’s pretty good.
Chief among its strengths are the imaginative scenes when the characters eat, the overall designs of the characters themselves, and the mouth-watering food on display.
For the imaginative scenes, they branch out per usual (unlike the ecchi content this time around). The judges have fun at the Souma Land amusement park. Hisako dresses up as a turtle. And Hayama duels Ryou with their own respective swords. Alongside Subaru’s twisted depictions of the devil and villainy, Shokugeki adds its signature flavor to the various scenes once more.
For the character designs, they (obviously) do not change and, indeed, they do not need to since they are already quite attractive. Erina, Alice, Leonora, Megumi, and Hinako have the eyes, hair styles, and figures that are tough to say no to. And Kojirou, Gin, Hayama, Takumi, and Jouichirou are some combination of buff, handsome, and rugged.
A special shout-out goes to Sonoka Kikuchi’s design. Her long, pink hair with a side ponytail and ribbon, her big bust, her soft teal eyes, her white blouse with a contrasting black skirt, and her laced heels. Ultimately simplistic yet extremely eye-catching. She was only around for a little bit, but she always became the focal point whenever her beauty was on screen.
For the food itself, Shokugeki once again delivers a delicious, veritable buffet of goodies. Rice glistens, meat steams, and vegetables shine, creating a myriad of meals that make it almost impossible to watch the show on an empty stomach.
Actual animation remains the same, too. While the anime clearly puts almost all its attention on the artistry behind the imaginative scenes, character designs, and food, fileting, pouring, and cooking support the wars when the show is not trying to sell itself on looks alone. Plus, the reactions from the characters – be it elation at eating something exquisite or another funny face for comedic effect – further give Shokugeki a spoonful of animation.
Shokugeki sets its cast up for many chances to experience growth as a person. The format – two chefs battling it out with cooking – provides the give-and-take necessary to let one learn from the other and vice versa. Then, when needed, the anime delves into the backstory during the cooking before getting into the juicy commentary on the food itself.
A strong example of this character exploration is Hisako – who is arguably the best character that this second season plates.
Hisako (as both the academy and the audience know) is Erina’s secretary. Hisako dotes on Erina as much as possible, doing everything in her power to make Erina’s life a bountiful one. To this end, Hisako is content with following in Erina’s huge shadow, wanting nothing more than to tail Erina as she continues onward to greatness.
But her duel with Hayama serves her a cold, spicy dish of reality. That gunning for second place will only ever hold her back. She loses without question to Hayama, and her sudden defeat causes her to step away from her role as Erina’s right-hand girl due both to pride and a feeling of worthlessness.
It’s not until the Stagiaire arc that she appears again. She just so happens to team up with Souma at a popular diner, and it is evident that the loss she took and the separation from Erina she has endured has deeply affected her.
Initially, she looks down on Souma. Be it the fact that he irritates Erina or that she refuses to take orders from someone as “low” as him when she feels she is perfectly capable of handling herself, she does not see Souma as anything other than a nuisance. Simultaneously, she expresses her current state of mind in relation to Erina. That, “If a loser like me stays at her side, I’ll demean her.”
When the customers roll in, though, she starts to realize that she’s out of her element more so than she would like to admit. And, once Souma begins to give her orders once more, she begrudgingly follows them. She is angry – angry at herself for being too weak.
As Hisako spends more time at the restaurant, she is content with the place and its staff. But, listening to Souma’s thoughts and words, she discovers that something about the diner must change. She insists that, “If there is something you really want to pursue, you should cling to it without worrying about appearances!”
At this point, it becomes apparent how wonderful of a parallel the restaurant is to Hisako’s character. For she is exactly the same way. She has the potential to grow, the drive to change herself. To become the ideal that she could always be.
With the restaurant saved, her and Souma finally seem like friends. But Hisako’s final talk with him solidifies their relationship. For Souma explains to her rather simply: become someone that can walk beside Erina instead of just behind her. Using her own words from earlier against her.
After giving her the metaphorical With Heart manga series to deliver to Erina, she runs off with gusto. And, come the end of the season, Hisako takes her place not behind the person she has aided all this time. But rather right next to Erina, striving for her own ideal self as best she can.
Hisako represents the best that Shokugeki delivers. Other characters, however, are worth mentioning.
Certain characters are set up well. In particular, Subaru, the show’s new villain and resident, talking copycat. His style is frowned upon due to its lack of class, but it is fair within the rules of the academy. His later loss to Souma opens his eyes, teaching Subaru that his approach does not represent the chef that he himself has the power to be.
Other characters are given the stepping stones for later development. Namely, Takumi and Erina. Takumi’s loss to Subaru serves not only to introduce Subaru’s evil ways but also give Takumi the opportunity to go through some self-reflection. As for Erina, Shokugeki clearly has something in store for her in the future. For, at several points, like when Hisako leaves her or when she stares out at Souma and his friends all laughing and having fun together, Erina seems lonely at the top. That her abrasive attitude and inability to connect with people “beneath” her has left her without the relationships she most likely craves.
Some are simply given more. Ryou’s tough upbringing and his constant food bouts with Alice give them and their relationship a stronger fork with which to lift. And Kojirou’s time as mentor to Souma during his part of the Stagiaire demonstrates that he has overcome his mental block, maturing both as a chef and, more importantly, as a person.
And one would be remiss to not speak about everyone’s lovable protagonist: Souma. His friendly personality keeps him grounded and continues to gravitate others towards him. He even won the moral victory in the Autumn Elections when the other students finally begin to acknowledge him and his cooking.
But it’s his willingness to put his career on the line for his “rival.” His ability to bounce back with a smile on his face. His perseverance to better himself in the face of hardship and overwhelming pressure. Souma may not be a complex character, but he is certainly someone worth aspiring to be.
Nowhere is this statement more evident than in the new path he chooses to follow. His loss to Hayama in the finals of the Autumn Elections does not deter him. Rather, it reinvigorates his passion for cooking. He sees now that what he needs is not just to make great food – but to have a reason for making it.
Putting it another way, he realizes he must find something that makes his cooking, his way of living, his own. Not his father’s or someone else’s at the academy. Just Souma’s.
This mentality is seen not only in Souma but also in every character. Hisako converts from cooking for Erina to cooking with Erina. Subaru changes from copying his opponents to taking on his own style. And Hayama (despite the heavy-handed, seconds-before-winning backstory) embodies this point, doing it all for Jun (calling back to Souma’s father’s early words on finding someone to cook for; possible foreshadowing for Souma eventually doing the same for Erina given the chemistry between them).
Yes, the anime teases a lot of the what-will-be with its characters. Yes, many of the side cast members are barely present in this season. And yes, most of them are a lot of build-up and backstory without largely noticeable changes. But they are no doubt a diverse group of chefs, friends, and people, crafting a strong set of characters suitable for the Totsuki brand.
The first season of Shokugeki had a stellar set of opening tracks and ending tracks that were filled with hype, fun, and catchy tunes. The OP and the ED for this visit are not as strong, but they have their positives.
The OP leans heavily on guitar and drums to rock its audience. The song never seems to stop, coinciding with the anime’s own push and constant “action.” While the piano in the background is drowned out, and the vocalist does not have the best range imaginable, it’s a cool piece that fits Shokugeki’s style.
Like the first season, it’s the ED that comes out on top, though. It does use a similar set of guitar and drums when compared with the OP as the basis for its beat and its tone. But the ED has more going for it. A slightly more methodical approach. The emotion in the final stretch. And nano.RIPE’s instantly recognizable vocals which add their unique sound to the mix.
The original soundtrack and the voice acting performances maintain their same level of high quality (which is to be expected, considering everything and everyone remains the same). The tracks are hyped up when they need to be, personable when they need to be, and grandiose when they need to be. And Nobuhiko Okamoto as Ryou, Chinatsu Akasaki as Alice, and Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Souma bring the fire, the cuteness, and the affability like an all-you-can-eat buffet.
And a shout-out to the various sound-effects. Sizzles, clanging pots, and chops ring out in the kitchens as each chef rushes to make their dish, adding weight and believability to these scenes.
For me, watching a sequel goes one of three ways: I like it more than the previous season, I like it about the same, or I like it less. Unfortunately for this one, it sits in the latter camp.
A few reasons make this so.
One, Erina is hardly around. She is my favorite character in the show, so seeing this season focus about the bare minimum on her did not make me happy.
Two, the reduction in the comedy and slice-of-life segments. The tournament got extra serious and dramatic, so it never felt as if the anime spent (or even could spend) time on more lighthearted material.
Three, Souma didn’t win. I feel like he has lost a lot: Erina’s first taste of his food, the draw against Takumi, his near expulsion at the resort training area, his pseudo-loss in the makeshift Shokugeki with Kojirou. He has won smaller events, like with the karaage back at his hometown. But he has yet to win something big. So it seemed like it was high time for that to happen after almost forty episodes.
Don’t get me wrong. Despite my gripes with the narrative’s structure and my more personal issues here, I had a fun time with the series again. Souma is a cool guy to root for, the small, cute moments with Megumi and Alice had me laughing and smiling, and the food battles, even if they are no longer fresh, maintained their over-the-top mentality.
Overall, though, this season does not live up to the magic and interest that the first season cooked up.
Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara may be a teaspoon compared to the tablespoon that is its first season. But that does not mean it didn’t bring something to the table. Some strong character introspections, a diverse visual palate, and impressive voice acting curtail some of the imperfections in this seasons’ narrative. It’s like eating Pizza Hut pizza without the breadsticks. Yea, it’s yummy food, but it could have been even yummier.
Story: Fine, an overabundance of food wars counterintuitively takes away from the variety, intrigue, and ecchi content that made the plot fun to begin with, but a theme on losing and the Stagiaire arc are there to provide a meaty backbone
Animation: Great, imaginative scenes, attractive character designs with emphasis on Sonoka Kikuchi’s gorgeous look, mouth-watering food, and about average actual animation
Characters: Good, Hisako represents the cast at its best, and she, Souma, and the others highlight how individualism and personal goals lead to one’s improvement
Sound: Good, okay OP, good ED, good OST, above average VA performances, and nice sound effects
Enjoyment: Fine, less Erina, less slice-of-life, and still no major wins for Souma, but cute, silly, and hype moments are still had within this wacky series
This is a continuation of Shokugeki no Soma 3 part review spec-spatula!... Ok... that pun was horrible. Anyway... Let's jump right into part 2! XD
For those who are confused by the above statement, i'm doing a 3 part review for this. The first one is already up if anyone is interested in reading it.
BEWARE OF MINOR SPOILERS
Part 2: The calm waves of the fiery trilogy
In all honesty guys, even though this series is one of my all time favorites, i have to admit that the second season didn't feel as hyped as the first one or the third one did. I know many people are
going to disagree but i do have my reasons for saying so. As those who have watched the first season may know it ended on a cliffhanger. Naturally, when the first half of the episodes were out, I was ecstatic. Imagine all the built up anticipation waiting for the continuation of the the actual competition for months and months, who wouldn't be excited? (P.S i couldn't wait for the anime and instead rushed for the manga. But that just made me long for the anime that much more) And true enough, the show delivered. All the battles were as awesome, if not more so than the first season. Even though the second arc was a huge step down from the finals hype, it was not to be blamed because of the episode constraint. It being a short anime season does not have that much of a leeway because of the tight constraint that is 12 episodes. The real problem lies in the fact there is no real plot involved throughout this season. Now, before you get mad, just hear me out. In the first season, throughout all 24 episodes, you knew that the show was heading somewhere. That it had a specific goal for every arc. Soma enrolling into Totsuki, saving the Don RS club, passing the examination with his friends, challenging *** to save Tadokoro's expulsion. They were all filled with excitement. What's going to happen next arc!? I found myself asking. Since the 2nd season is mainly about the Autumn Elections Main Competition, it lacks a certain eagerness from the first season. Sure, the hype was still there, but it revolved wholly around the competition unlike the first season which had spread the elements of surprise over different arcs and different stories. In the case of the 2nd season, once the hype ended, the transition into the next arc felt more like a interlude than anything else, or OVA if you will. Even the 2nd arc didn't have as much of an impact when compared to the other arcs from the first season. It just felt like a small training session for Soma and Soma alone. None of the other characters were shown (Only tadokoro and others briefly for about 1 minute) and there weren't any real twist or surprises from the show. Not even any indication it was going anywhere. By the time it ended, i was expressionless. I didn't feel the hype, nor did i feel any excitement. For strict anime watchers, you aren't even convinced there'll be a 3rd season (unless you read the manga beforehand). All in all, it is a great season but it just pales in terms of plot to the other 2 seasons, and by quite a margin. Though some of the battles were better than the 1st and especially 3rd arc, and not to mention points are given for the Mimasaka battle and the unexpected finals winner, so its plot level was still above average. Oh, and i LOVED the first intern arc.
No real comparisons from this season and the first. Though some of the metaphors used in the show was disappointing. Such an example would be Tadokoro and Ryo's ahem 'gang battle'. I'd honestly be more shocked if anybody enjoyed that. That metaphor alone ruined Tadokoro's personality. The first season protrayal of tadokoro... now that was a masterpiece! Other than that, no real complaints.
As always, the music is astounding. More soundtracks have found its way into the viewers heart. One such soundtrack i can think of is during the first fight. Global Innovator of Taste. The whole soundtrack just screams NAKIRI ALICE! The previous season soundtracks were awesome as usual.
Remember when i said the characters didn't get much growth development during the first season? Well, this is where they start to shine. For starters, more of their character backstories are revealed so that you may start to relate to them more. Their skills are also explained to a clearer effect to enhance them as a character. Not to mention with the transition from season 1 to 2, you could clearly see that each of their skills have improved (cooking and personality wise), and not just Soma himself. Their ferocity and competitiveness also got fiercer and it is shown with much clarity during the pre finals fight. And that is something that i find really entertaining because it hinted that they will be back as stronger characters in the future. Oh and just 1 little detail that managed to push the initial score of 9 to a 10, and that is secretary Hisako. It's really enticing to see how much her character has developed. Not only did her perspective change, you could see just how much she has to change her views in order to grow and improve, especially after deeming herself incapable of being by her master's side.
There are certain parts of the show that i think are really really outstanding and have rewatched them a few times. Though it felt a little lacking afters its first season, it is still nevertheless a great show. And the main competition deserves more than just the spotlight of the show. So, watch it for that if not for anything else.