Four seasons of foodgasm. At some point, I’d think Shokugeki no Souma (Food Wars) needed a break from its run. Let’s face it…the anime at this point has lost some steam since the previous seasons. What started as an experience of food ecstasy is now more about who is the best. If you want to beat the best, you have to be the best. That’s pretty much a general idea of this season as the Polar Star residents face off against the Elite 10, a group of students who are considered the best of culinary arts at Totsuki Culinary Academy.
This season didn’t take long to
get straight to the point. We already know that Erina has defected from her Father’s clutches and allied herself with Souma. However, Erina is now in a conflict on whether she truly wants to cook. The season explores her character as we see how Souma can positively influence her as he did to others. Thanks to Souma, Erina regains her confidence and plays an invaluable role for the Polar Star residents. That is to say though, I’m not a big fan of Erina. She debuted in the show with a huge ego and a dogmatic attitude. However, this season shows Erina in a different light. She has changed and is now much easier to make friends with. It actually changed my impression on her as well as she values characters more than just their cooking. On the other hand, I’m not too pleased that some major characters got put on the sidelines to focus on her. I’m looking at you, Megumi.
Watching this season also made me realize that Souma is also improving a lot since the previous seasons. He proves this by going up against one of his archrivals, Akira Hayama. If you remember from the previous seasons, the two went head to head in a previous Shokugeki that ended up with Akira taking the victory. This season pits the two against each other once more in a match to see who the better man is. And once again, it’s not hard to see how Souma positively influences Akira. However, the main conflict in the series isn’t just about winning or losing. It’s about standing up against Azami, someone who holds the academy under an iron fist. For Souma and his friends, they want to prove to the world what cooking really means. To do that, the season chronicles the rivalries between the Polar Star students (aka rebels) against the Elite 10. With only 12 episodes, it soon became obvious that the season isn’t enough to cover everything. It’s too bad really since I was looking forward to some of the more hyped Shokugeki battles. On the other hand, this season puts more value into the characters. It explores their past and almost feel like a character study. Characters that we don’t know too much about such as Nene and Azami gets their own background stories. Furthermore, the season makes us care more about what’s really at stake. Sometimes, it’s not just about being the best.
Like previous seasons, you will witness a lot of exotic food. A short list includes bear meat, salmon, soba, among others. The style of this season is very similar to the previous with the info dump on the food along with the judges’ reactions. To no one’s surprise, this season indulges on foodgasm whenever the opportunity presents itself. And what better way to do that with the Elite 10’s talents? Indeed, expect over exaggerated moments from the best of the best showing why they are so feared and respected.
As a fan of the franchise, I’d say the fourth season is an improvement over the third. It became self-aware with the story’s pacing and decided to pour more value into the characters rather than rushing the plot. It’s a clever move as I’m sure fans doesn’t want to see a half-assed adaptation. While the latest season may not be the best, it still worth the time to indulge yourself into.
*Minimum Spoiler Foodgasmic Review*
If you did not watch S1 or S2 or S3 then go watch them ASAP before reading this!
TL;DR: This season has more exploding clothes and foodgasms by packing some hype, some humour, some fan service, all while having the shittiest animation in all 4 seasons for the longest 24 minutes of your life. What more do you want? Grab a bowl, pull down your pants and start watching!
[Story: 3/10 , Characters: 4/10, Art: 2/10, Sound: 3/10, Enjoyment: 4/10]
"It's time for you to go. Go figure out what you've got" - Yukihira Jouichirou
Shounen genre is great. Shounen genre with food and
fan service is even better. But if it can't execute it well then boy does it suck hard. As a huge fan of SnS, fans of this manga will be so let down this season with their lackluster display of commitment from JC Staff. In short, Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara - Toutsuki Ressha-hen (boy are the names getting longer as each season getting shittier) was pretty much a train wreck that could not live up to the manga potential and kept derailing from it's path of what made this series so amazing when it first came out. If the previous season had it's flaws well this season definitely did their utmost best to further highlight their flaws. Fortunately, SnS somehow manages to make the fans happy albeit it's crappy plot arcs and dismal animation laziness. I guess if you show enough chibis and titties constantly moaning in foodgasms, people will turn the blind eye and plow through this show.
The story continues off from where it left of last season since this is the second part of that. The Polar Star Rebels are waging war against Azami's dystopian gourmet food heaven. Azami is trying to kick them out of the academy by hosting shokugeki where the odds are always stacked against them but with the power of plot armour our heroes shall prevail... or will they? Seriously this show isn't that unpredictable anymore but it does have slight surprises here and there to keep your umami game strong. I guess it's good they didn't deviate much from the manga but if only they could amp up the hype before each shokugeki or food exams it would make them really exciting to watch. It almost felt rushed. Atleast the season ends well and sets up better for the upcoming season.
"Don't think of unnecessary things, just make a dish that suits you!" - Yukihira Souma
The best part about SnS was always the cast. Despite having a huge cast, it always managed to make everyone useful. But since that's hard and studio was lazy, they just cut it in half. Don't worry it makes sense the way they did it and those that did get cut weren't really that useful except for moaning uncontrollably while losing all their clothes in the process. Anyways, the dialogues between casts were spicy and the major cast at display did great to showcase their justifications for their cause but if it keeps getting displayed using chibis it sort of loses value. Like usual, the major villain is of course, Azami. Although, his villainous purpose makes somewhat sense now from last season but a weak villain is still a weak villain. He just wants people to eat gourmet food. Erina was interesting this season. She has more knowledge than half the teachers in the academy it seems. However, the best character is probably Isshiki. The dude was the saving grace this show needed. If you watch it, you will know why.
"Let's have some quiet, shall we?" - Satoshi Isshiki
Aside from the linear driven plot and stale characters, this show really fell flat in its animation quality again. Atleast last season the show sort of put in effort. This season zero effort. They just kept doing pans and zooms with coloured manga panels. Even the delicious mouth-watering clothes-exploding food felt boring to look at. If the pans and zooms were too much, they just drew chibis because animating background scenes just became that bloody difficult for them. It was just painful to watch. It feels as the season progresses, the budget invested in the quality of animation drops. As usual, compared to the battle scenes of first season to battle scenes in this season, there are significant evidence for animation laziness. Even the fan service is lacking to the point where all people can enjoy are the different stiches for different characters in that show. I mean, you know this show succeeds in exploding clothes and fan service. Give the fans what they want. Regardless of the poor animation quality, at least the opening and ending songs were slightly better but the background music was somewhat decent. Like always, the major saving grace are the seiyuus. Time after time, they are doing a phenomenal job. Azami's seiyuu really stood out this season. Rest were good as well.
"No matter the hurdle, you face it with a smile. You'll stare at your own weakness straight into the eye for as long as you have to." - Saiba Jouichirou
Overall, SnS S3 Part 2 is an ecchi shounen anime about food that is only worth watching since you have committed yourself to watching the other 3 seasons. If you aren't a dedicated fan of this show, don't even bother. Just go read the manga. I rather your money go to the mangaka than this pathetic excuse for an anime. There is another season on the way and hopefully if they can redeem themselves from fixing the mistakes they made in season 3 then maybe, just maybe, this show will once again be worth watching. At this point, Naruto fillers had better animation than this anime. Ultimately, it's not a bad show. Just binge it on the side if you feel like it. Last review I said, "if one were to compare the different seasons to get a better idea of how this season is, then S1 is gourmet food, S2 is home-cooked food and S3 is just street food." Well, S3 Part 2 is the horrible food your gf makes but you still eat it to make her happy. It's still enjoyable to eat but we all know why you are eating it. Anyways, check it out & let me know later how you like it as well as share with me your favourite quote from the anime! Osomatsu!!!
P.S. Thank you for reading. I hope you found this short and supaishi review helpful!
Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara - Toutsuki Ressha-hen continues on from the Third Plate to the Totsuki Ressha-hen where things goes straight up a Hokkaido Tournament arc.
LA does have some small gripes with this arc so LA might just start with that.
The first should be.......the animation, ohh no, no so much as the overall designs and the beautifully made foods or anything, but to it's animation direction, which Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara - Toutsuki Ressha-hen's excessive use of panning, LA didn't notice but it shows in excess in this arc and ohh boy was it annoying at times,
most probably because Yoshitomo Yonetani, the director of this season wanted to make it like your reading the manga considering the amount of panning but man does it grated on LA when it's been used every time it could. Next would be how rushed this arc was from skipping battles being the most obvious and quickly wanting to get the small bulk of the more serious battles, sure Shokugeki no Souma has done this with it's previous seasons, but this was in new setting and newer form of tournaments, not to mention higher stakes due to the entire Azami dictatorship in place. Finally would be because of the rushed paced, the ending well..ended abruptly, as LA was expecting this arc to FINISH the Totsuki Ressha-hen arc and ohh LA doesn't know...FINISH the tournament instead of leaving it hanging, heck LA would be fine if there was another season...to the third season (hmmm the naming of the next season is gonna be crazy long) anyways this feels REALLY similar to Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha ViVid's tournament was cut short and NEVER revealed again what the last half was like, LA just hopes Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara - Toutsuki Ressha-hen doesn't do the same.
On the other side of the spectrum, Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara - Toutsuki Ressha-hen did great in terms of characters, especially when it concerns Erina Nakiri and this is the season where she SHINES, from being the narcissistic tsundere to being the Rebel Queen standing up to her father, she probably gets the most development in this arc and once again proving LA's best waifu once again and favorite character of the anime (and this season!) for LA along with her father Azami who gets a bit of backstory to how he became how he did alongside Jouchirou Yukihira in the process of it. Now Souma himself gains more development what with Jouchirou's backstory being told and what the entire Azami deal is with him, but alot of people might once again say that Souma ALWAYS wins his bouts thus no character development, well no, as he learns more and more to be a better chef with the new challenges he faces and he's also a pillar of support to Erina as well. Erina might get the majority of the development in terms of character this season, but Souma gets more in terms of cooking. Once again, Shokugeki no Souma manages to make the food impressively tasty looking even for animated food and the animation does have certain flourishes when it CAN do it outside of excessive panning, seriously besides the panning, the animation was well pretty detailed for the most part and LA loved it all round EVEN it's typical comedic moments.
Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara - Toutsuki Ressha-hen does bring in at the very least some backstory to the Elite Ten mainly Terunori Kuga and Nene Kinokuni this season AND even give Akira Hayama and Satoshi Isshiki something quite outside their typical character to go through. Seriously Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara - Toutsuki Ressha-hen's main strength is in it's characters and how they develop them further.
In terms of voice acting, well it's still the same voice cast as before and LA has settled with Hisako Kanemoto as Erina Nakiri by this season and this feels like coming full circle but with Hisako Kanemoto going aboard and taking a hiatus does that mean Risa Taneda gets her role BACK as Erina Nakiri? well IF there's another season...anyways, LA enjoyed the voice cast for the most part with Shizuka Ito as Rindou being a constant pleasure to hear with her witty and genki personality 100% and Kana Hanazawa as Nene with her typical deadpan serious vocals being put on her was fine, but LA would give MVP's this season to Hisako Kanemoto and Shizuka Ito this season, LA bias as fuck but LA doesn't care.
LA was expecting Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara - Toutsuki Ressha-hen to be a 2 cour and expected it ohh LA doesn't know...complete the tournament it set out to build up but even with this seaosn's misgivings such as it's excessive panning, rushed pacing and the finale being just cut off during a freakin' tournament arc, LA is just a diehard Shokugeki no Souma fan to the point that it's strengths of beautiful animation when it can bring it out especially in it's food and eccentric character designs, major character development on countless characters from Erina Nakiri to Azami and Jouchirou and even some development of Souma as a chef AND character as well as some minor characters getting the limelight in a different light altogether just makes up for it.
LA still being an utter fan of this series and bias might come into play for LA's overall feelings to this season but LA will NOT omit the serious flaws this season actually has and LA hopes that if Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara - Toutsuki Ressha-hen actually gets another season that it learns from this season, flourish and make it more exciting and maybe even better and make the remaining tournament arc all the more greater!
This train for LA isn't stopping and LA hopes this train keeps going..............just refurbished and more exciting.
Continuing from what the story of the proud, funny and excellent chef Yukihira Souma and his gang from Food Wars: The Third Plate, the anime is back from its over the top food-gasm. Although this second course of the Third Plate seems quite good, we still have to consider that J.C Staff clearly disappoints us yet again by putting the waiting card to our eyes.
The story starts of with Central's preparation along with Polar Star Members preparing for defense. We get to see from the first episode the development of Nakiri Erina, who rebels against her father's doing towards Central's success. We were given episodes
where the rebels have to push through the limits. Learning everything and then comes down the fight.
Typical Food Wars anime word is "Shokugeki" and we are given a few only this second half. Although one of it was very exciting. The fight with Souma against Hayama Akira is how we see Souma develop through his cooking from his defeat at the Autumn Elections. We see how he could go to an extent to find ingredients just to beat the heck out of his rival and we also see Hayama being the spice master himself although, what was different in the two sides was inspiration.
Souma turning defeat into victory while Hayama being controlled by Central and not going through his own cooking was the turning point. Back stories are typical to every anime and we finally get to see the back story of Souma's dad Jouichiro, where it told how Erina's father Azami turned into a beast and planned Central. We get answers to questions from the last season which is the first half and some good shokugekis on this second bout, although here comes the ending of this second course.
Like the first half ending at the half of the series and making the fans wait for months, we get the waiting game again, stopping it in the very moment where things gets to the interesting parts. If you are a Shokugeki fan, you know its disappointing to see that the part where you have been wanted to animate for so long, and its just so near to you, leaves you again and makes you wait for months again to continue. It is annoying for me as a fan of the anime to wait although what can we do? I have to give credit to the openings and endings though. From the past Shokugeki franchises, this one is at the same level of goodness and it should be. Its good song and good visuals. Speaking of good visuals, the art didn't change that much and the ecchi foodgasm still lives up to the height. Overall, this second cours was exciting but came crashing down as the fact that we won't get to see what lies ahead of the rest of the fight against Central.
Although it still feels like it only just started, we are now somehow halfway through the Spring 2018 anime season already, and trends are now clearly starting to emerge. In the past three weeks, Boku no Hero Academia returns to prominence, Persona 5 sinks like a stone and more.
In these opening weeks of the Spring 2018 anime season, Steins;Gate 0 starts off as the by far highest rated anime, although Megalo Box is the new heavy hitter if we look past sequels. This and more in the opening edition of The Seasonal Quarterly.