This season is such a disappointment I created an account just to post about it. I have watched every other season of Food Wars and enjoyed them thoroughly, but this is nothing in comparison.
To put it bluntly, everything feels rushed. A good show, and especially a tournament arc, is addicting because there's tension and real weight behind failure. Here, so much is packed into one episode and lines of dialogue are crammed so tightly together that there's no space for tension to be built. It almost feels like a show recap, but the recap pace is the entire episode.
This is also reflected in the animation,
where the low number and poor quality of the character art is compensated for by having 80 to 90 percent of the shots all be panning shots to make them seem dynamic. As another reviewer put, it's nauseating. Furthermore, mouth movement is badly-timed and use poor-quality mouths and strange expressions that pull you out of the story. Even the foodgasms that made this series famous are now pale imitations of what they once were - there are no memorable or unique ones and the animation seems hurried on them.
The sound is also ruined by the pacing, with all the music being high-tempo. If there's no contrast to a more relaxed environment however it doesn't feel energetic and more just coked up - it's all very fake.
Overall I am incredibly disappointed as the previous seasons were all 8s or 9s in terms of enjoyment for me. Do yourself a favour and rewatch the old seasons and ignore this one.
It is obvious that after 60 episodes, as a viewer, our expectations change according to the story, the characters and their development, their evolution. The first seasons were entertaining with its intense battles, its appetizing dishes which always made you want to snack and of course the famous foodgasm. But does the series still manage to satisfy spectators four seasons later?
This season continues the battle between the Tootsuki rebels and the Elite Ten led by Azami Nakiri. It is obvious the main characters are affected by this confrontation, in particular Erina who decides to firmly oppose her father since the last season. Regarding Erina, I
can generally say that at this point in the series, I am very satisfied with her development and evolution. Behind her haughty appearance, she is a girl like the others. She learned a lot from spending time with Souma and his friends and with this human experience, she is now ready to lead rebels against her own father.
Her relationship with Souma alternates between surprising complicity and incessant arguments. Despite evident oppositions in their cooking style, the two characters complement each other in their skills.
Let's move on to the other characters, most of them have been excluded. Their main role will be to comment on the duels and it is regrettable these characters such as Hayami or Alice are only used to fill the backgrounds. Characters like Nikumi or Hisako have long been forgotten and you won't get much except the usual fan service. However, I will be dishonest to say all secondary characters are forgotten. Takumi Aldini has a decisive role in the middle of the season. Since third season, he opened his mouth only to talk about his revenge against Souma, it was a bit childish. but this season has shown him in another way. Some characters like Subaru Mimasaka or Satoshi Isshiki will have some key moments in the action but don't expect much either.
Also, more promising characters like Megumi will shine slightly but it is always disappointing to see how much the character seems to be on the verge of crying (her trainings with master Shinomiya were pathetic). However even if her role is minor, she remains a notable character.
If I were to mention the Elite, it is obvious that its characters are for the most part disappointing. For the most part the development can be summed up as a flashback which has no relevance in the main plot. Do we need to know that Momo is an incredible girl because she is able to detect the cutest cuddly teddy? Yes and no. It would have been especially relevant to understand why all these characters decided to support Azami. If you think you are getting clear reasons, let me tell you that you will soon be disappointed.
Kobayashi Rindou and Eishi Tsukasa are probably the two most memorable members of the Elite. Their interactions are relatively funny and although I don't notice a connection as developed as that between Souma and Erina, I feel that these two characters have a solid friendship.
Rindou was rather intriguing in previous seasons and honestly I was waiting for more interesting revelations about her. As for Tsukasa, since he holds the first place, I thought he would be a less passive character. But unfortunately Shokugeki's storytelling seems above all to highlight the battles but not enough the development of the characters.
Moreover, at this point in the series, we expect an ideological confrontation between the discipline wished by Azami against Souma and Erina's freedom desire. Azami's ideology could be defensible but the series has obviously taken Souma's side since the start of the season and gives no nuance in this opposition of ideologies.
The main oppositions are especially noticeable between Satoshi and her childhood friend and Azami/Erina, but beyond that we especially have a basic shounen thought "Cooks must live freely". This idea of freedom is obviously very frequent in the shounen, it is not original but it is an idea which could be nuanced and particularly Azami's ideology could have shown the limits of this freedom.
The writing is generally lazy which makes the outcome extremely predictable. Erina is a character who has a successful development after 4 seasons, but if you want to look for more, you won't get much.
Writing is so lazy that everything is predictable. You can easily guess the result of cooking "battles" because the script is written so that it must highlight Souma and Erina.
Do I really have to comment about art?
JC Staff continues to offer dynamic slideshows with its Windows Media Maker effects, the camera is in constant motion but the images aren't animated. I am quite impressed to see that this visual is not catastrophic. (Nowadays, I have to lower my expectations so that I can be able to find Shokugeki's visual almost acceptable. Damn.) I don't really get bored when I watch Shokugeki, the soundtrack amplifies the intensity of the battles. Even if the animation is almost nonexistent, I think we don't lose so much dynamism thanks to the voice actors and the soundtrack.
The last season is coming soon, I hope we can get a decent conclusion even if I don't have much hope when I read the script. JC Staff could offer us something else... maybe.
Another Plate, another panning shot yet the culmination of one of the best character arcs yet!.
So Shokugeki no Souma Shin no Sama leaves off right where the Totsuki Ressha-hen season in where the tournament for the fate of the rebels contines and well it's roughly what you'd expect but LA will note this season did improve slightly even if they continue to use panning shots though utlize it when they can't think of any new way of showing the transitions which is most of the time unfortunately.
The 4th Plate visually is the same with some flourishes in the Shokugeki's here and there but where it
lacks in animation, the characters gets some well deserved mentions, from Megumi, Takumi, Rindou, Tsukasa, Isshiki and finally ERINA having the the best character resolution to her rebellion to her father with this arc.
Though her rebellion started during the Totsuki Ressha-hen, once Erina steps up to the plate (PUN) she not only develops as a character but since this season is much more about the rebels and their camaraderie AS well as the Elite Ten Council and why they cook the way they cook and in some instances how Azami influenced them into his side, you'd thought it was SOUMA who would get the glory of this tournament, no we forgot how this all started and with Erina being the face of the rebellion like daughter to her overbearing father, what Erina cooks for him at the final bout not only shows off Erina's trust in her friends, but shows off her rebellion in full force and all the hopes and dreams that will crush Azami's authoritarian take on cooking and just MAN does that final bout delivered, LA KNEW investing into Erina (from what LA remembered LA started getting invested at the tail end of the third plate) was worth it and culminated and essentially exploded here in all of Erina's glory.
This season though the payoff was great, does still have it's flaws, one LA well get into a bit later. The pacing of the tournament bouts if anything seemed really rushed, from Isshiki and Tsukasa's bout to Rindou vs. Takumi is glossed upon (showing no prep to give us a hint to hows it's made etc.) and the thing is most of the bouts this season was or would have been interesting if not for it's rushed pacing, though the pacing doesn't ruin Erina's final bout, but everything leading up to it...LA can't ignore it and yes does sorta ruin elements of those season much like the previous 2 or 3 seasons before it.
And now for the elephant in the room and that is animation. Well it was done once again by JC Staff and welllllllll yeah the panning shots isn't going away and admittedly uses it the majority of the time, but where the panning shots are prevalent, the battles and especially the focus on the food (not so much on the prep anyways) is still great and of course the foodgasms were great and expected for Shokugeki no Souma for all manner of reasons. Overall same as Totsuki Ressha-hen, not much has changed for animation which is a damn shame since the plot and it's characters is now holding this season up while the animation is inbetween lazy to "trying".
The voice cast is back and LA will give the MVP's here as there isn't much to say considering the voice cast is pretty much intact and hasn't changed "as much". LA will give out the obvious, being Hisako Kanemoto as Erina, Miniami Takahashi as Megumi, Shizuka Ito as Rindou and Show Hayami as Azami.
The 4th Plate was essentially the payoff season or in culinary terms, the main dish for LA and man besides some messy side dishes of elements, the MEAT of this season was excellent with great character development seasonings, great battles though slightly underpinned by rushing the sauce and the presentation was PANNED as per usual and of course great aftertaste at the end.
Let me be frank: This show is not worth your time. If you feel watching it is the only way you'll enjoy the story then by all means, go ahead and do so. In my opinion, however, it'd be much easier to read the manga. "Easier?" you may ask yourself, "Why would it be easier? Surely the anime can be accessed with the same ease as the manga?". Well, dear reader, it would be correct to say that both are equally accessible, but that is not what I mean. In this case, easier means easier on the eyes. Put bluntly, the show is headache-inducing (more
on that just now).
Many people are of the mind that the story for Shokugeki starts to fall off around the time the new director, Azami Nakiri, takes over and the main cast effectively become criminals in the eyes of the rest of the student body. I think it's a bit far-fetched, but others may enjoy the escalation and that's perfectly fine. At this point, I'm not as engaged as I was in previous arcs.
The characters look great! The backgrounds, when they exist, look good too! Most importantly, the food looks God-tier as it does in previous seasons! Now you may be thinking "This guy just praised three of the most vital visual aspects of the show! How does art get a 4?!". Well the answer is quite simple (it's what we've all been waiting for!): panning shots.
The art of a show is the overall visual presentation of everything, that much is obvious, but this is not just limited to the way things are drawn but also the manner in which they are presented to the viewer. This show presents almost EVERY FRAME in EVERY EPISODE with these godawful panning shots. For 20 minutes at a time, you sit and watch the characters stand dead-still; their mouths flapping open and closed as they deliver their lines. But the directors must've realised that characters standing and talking would pointless as people could just read the manga. They realised they had to animate it somehow! So instead of, you know, animating cooking or something, they made every single frame a panning shot of some sort! YES! Because this would simulate movement and thus make everything okay! But alas, it looks like crap. Every new frame is panning in some random direction across the screen, along with random zoom-ins, zoom-outs, and diagonal/slanted shots. All of this means there is zero visual consistency for the most part, and makes the otherwise semi-interesting episode into an absolute nightmare to behold. It completely kills any and all chances to enjoy any episode.
The parts where characters react to the food, one of the best parts of the series honestly, is still enjoyable to witness (despite the fact that the panning shots even infect these scenes).
I generally don't notice sound too much but Shokugeki has a fairly good soundtrack which bolsters the impact of each scene (despite the fact that the panning shots ruin said scenes).
If you've watched the show up until now, you probably like most, if not all, the characters to some degree. The main cast and the Elite Ten have a variety of personalities and the way characters interact is good. The same formula of "thing happens and everyone is shocked" resumes in this season as well and makes everything seem more intense than it otherwise would've been. Some old faces make a reappearance and I was glad to see them back. Both factions have characters with powerful plot armour, however.
It's not great, but it's definitely not terrible. If you like the story, read the manga instead. If you've watched and enjoyed the previous seasons, or just like watching something mindlessly for 20 minutes and are immune to headaches or motion sickness, go ahead and watch it.
Out of all the anime that have come out this year, I think this was the biggest disappointment for me. After 3 seasons of slowly diminishing quality, I was worried that this season was going to be a slog to get through. When I say that though, I was still hopeful. I mean, they were going to tackle an arc from which I had heard was a decent arc. It could've been good but J.C Staff really went out of their way to make this one of the cheapest and lazy productions I've seen in a while. I hate saying that for a show I
used to love. I loved the characters, I loved the foodgasms and yeah, the animation wasn't the worst, but it at least looks decent enough.
This season, I truly think J.C Staff didn't care about this show. With the last three seasons, there were some production issues, but there was at least solid music and some good shots here and there. With this season? If feels like they got out a powerpoint presentation template and just stuck the clips of the show they had into said template. Hell, I can break down a good amount of episodes of this season with bullet points.
- We are introduced to the main competitors
- We see the main ingredient
- Some words from the peanut gallery
-Some trash talk
- A flashback here or there to one of the totsuki ten because the shows forgot to develop literally any of them minus Tsukasa and Rindo, I guess.
- More words from the peanut gallery
- Chefs show off their dishes
- Judges eat and foodgasm
- More words from the peanut gallery about said food and what makes it special
- Judges choose the winner.
- Some more words and repeat the cycle.
The biggest problem with this repetitious cycle is that you slowly see the flaws within it. You realize that no matter what Soma will win his food battles because he's main protagonist. That would be fine if they spaced out the food battles but they don't. You're supposed to watch all of these food battles happen with the same repetitious cycle and it's just a bore. The show ended up this year as background noise for me. Just like how the peanut gallery was this season
Let's talk about that peanut gallery because if you wanted any characters like Mito, Ryo, Alice, Hisako, and anyone apart of the dorm anything this season, well that sucks. Literally all these characters do this season is sitting behind literal character jail and spout out stuff about the food they make. It's probably the worst crime that this season does because the main strength of this show is its characters and them interacting off one another. It's insanely stupid and for a solid eleven episodes, it's just sad to watch characters that I love as Hisako do jack for the majority of the season.
This then leads into the actual team rebel squad who consists of Takumi, Soma, Erina, Megumi, Kuga, Isshiki, Mimasaka and some random guy. Yeah, this show decides to use this arc to introduce another new character and instead of giving more interest in any of their other characters. "Yeah Mito and Alice haven't done much in a while and some characters like Ryo who are rivals to Soma have done zero anything with Soma but who cares! We need more one off characters!" - Some guy that works on Food wars. I also realized that in this show, I don't believe Megumi has one a single food battle that wasn't an election. In actual food battles, she has won none. That is stupid and something that pissed me off while watching her getting beat by some girl that uses cat paws as oven mitts.
Yeah, let's talk about the Ten because they're all forgettable. The only ones exempt from this are Tsukasa and Rindo, I guess. Thier not funny and Tsukasa's whole thing is dumb. I only liked Rindo to an extent. Azami is stupidly evil to the point where he ruins the tone of the show and while he does add to one of the more positive things about this season, he's not that interesting of a villain. Eizan was better.
As much as I have been complaining about this season for its soulless production, for its constant amount of throwing characters into the show without thinking about the characters in literal jail or even the diminishing quality of foodgasms and backgrounds which are generic to letter, there are some positives. Erina's whole arc is finally done with and it feels satisfying. While Megumi still hasn't won a single food battle, Takumi has and that was cool. The music stays pretty solid and the OP was solid, though a little samey.
Overall, this season was a big disappointment. Flat production, waste of characters and the constant adding of one-offs and this overall feeling of emptiness. It's sad for a show that had such solid first and second seasons. While season 3 wasn't great, it was still fun to an extent. This felt like such a waste of time. It's a shame. I can't wait for the fifth season because it apparently gets worse.
War for the elite ten seats has continued. As we know, Yukihira Souma and her friends now have to fight the central members to fight over their obligations as totsuki school students. As you sow, so shall you reap. That adage is suitable for this season, a group of students who want to know the wider culinary world ... They are a polar star residence.
This season took a long time to reach the point where Yukihira Souma achieved her ambitions. We already know that now the polar star residence must fight Azami's ideology of food that it does not recognize is
rubbish. Yukihira Souma and her friends have to fight Azami but they get the role of rebels, they get insults from all school students but they ignore it because they know that their actions are the right thing.
Watching this season proves that Yukihira Souma's abilities have also improved from previous seasons. Spending time developing each food recipe, fighting with unequal opponents to the point where he has to get lost in the current storm of confusion, even they have to sacrifice the principles they believe in but all for one thing is to be greater than previous.
Like the previous seasons, you will witness many exotic foods. The short list includes a food theme that is determined by fate, even though it is not their cooking skill but they are required to cook the dish because otherwise they will be eliminated and expelled from school like some of Yukihira Souma's friends who have been expelled from the previous season. This season is different from before, the judges taken to do the assessment are not taken from just anyone but they are the chosen people who have experience in assessing a food, they are called WGO.
As a fan of this series, I say this season is a season full of battles between great chefs. It became aware that this season was very tense. The seconds of Yukihira Souma's goal will soon be reached. Are they able to reach that point, and instead they will reach the peak they want so far.
The hate towards this season is unreasonable. Just because there isn't as many 'cute' or explicitly detailed areas as the previous seasons, the show is still great and should remain to be appealing to most viewers. The show features a lot more straight forward and climactic moments than usual, which also isn't necessarily a great thing, is also beneficial to people who want to see more action and less kawaii parts. Although the art does appear to be rather rushed, it is still enough for viewers to get the main point, and the anime imo never happens to seem melodramatic.
Welcome to the Fourth season of Food Wars, or better said, Food Fetish. The best culinary school in Japan just had a change in directors and things are facing an impending revolution. Last season, we saw how the new director is gonna revolutionize the gourmet world by snatching the freedom of chefs and making them adhere to strict defined rules of elite cooking. Our heroes strongly value their ability to experiment on food and strive to achieve new heights of culinary greatness. So, in order to protet themselves and their new tsundere comrade from get stripped of their freedom, they form a rebel group. In
this verse, everything is decided by a Shokugeki and hence, the Shokugeki tournament in this season.
This season takes everything the anime had built over the past 3 seasons and tarnishes it. For the past 3 seasons, we have been presented with fantastic progress and each event was better or atleast, on par with the previous. However, that set the bar a bit too high. This season, fails to surpass what it had formerly estabilished. It doesn't even try to go high and still, it ends up surprisingly subpar.
Let me elaborate. Until now, we had 3 parts to a Shokugeki: The Preparation, the cooking and the judging. Each part excelled in its own way.
---The preparation helped in showing the character's hardwork and out of the box thinking. We all loved to see Soma rack his brain all night and come up with new, innovative ideas.
---The cooking part lay emphasis on new cooking techniques, be it french, italian or japanese, new technology, sudden pivots to up one's game and ofc, aroma magic. Do not sleep on the aroma factor, aroma defines 50% of taste. Also, we got to see SOma being a sous chef, which is a huge experience in the culinary world. After all, chefs work as a team in restaurants and they properly coordinate their efforts. This is what the internship arc was for.
---The judging part makes food wars one of the most unique anime out there. It is here that we get to see what compliments what, which ingredients change the direction, which ingredient adds extra flair, how arrangement works, how to take atmospheric effects into consideration, etc. And then came the foodgasms; the place where ecchi is so damn delicious. Nearly all the food tastings showed a unique way to please the judges and so many different ecchi postures. Don't get me wrong, the ecchi is food wars is actually enjoyable.
The former seasons gave proper time to these stages and fleshed each of them out carefully. Both the main character and the oppoent got their own screentime, thereby creating a sense of tangibility. Often, they'd interdigit two of these steps and create a seperate, non linear experience. It riled things up and kept everything fresh for the viewers.
Now comes season 4. It is incredibly rushed, mushing in 12 fights in just 8 episodes. Cumulative prep time and cooking time were cut down to nearly less than 8 minutes per episode. So, the positive impact of these got lost. The judging got sufficient time but even then, it fails to impress. The creative ecchi coupled with incredibly delicious sounding, detailed judgments were reduced to bunch of cliched ecchi and ingredient listing/complimenting. They saw that we enjoyed the judging part the most and so, they put all their chips into the judge slot and STILL, lost the bet. As an end result, we got a half assed combination on very short, nearly non existant cook-prep time and another set of longer, still half-assed judge-prep time.
Its a tournament arc but it falls flat. There is no real fear of loss, no proper motivation to win, the battles were completely lacklustre and on top, EVERYTHING is horribly rushed. the first 8 episodes went by in a so quickly that i didnt even realise tht im watching a water down version of what i love. It is at episode 9 when shit slowed down and I got some time to think about what I watched. [If I had watched weekly, I'd have realised sooner. But I binged, so it took me some time.] There is no build up of hype, only milking of former hype. There are only a handful of glory moments. Most fights are lacking in all departments and so, none of them are distinguishable(except 1). I didn't get ANYTHING to cherish. Felt more like a glass of cold water that i gulped down when i excepted hot chocolate to savour.
Lets get to the characters now. A tournament is one of the best methods to flesh out a character. Most of the characters in season 4 are quite developed already. So the anime uses this chance to neglect it. Only 1 character gets decent development, the rest get little to none. Neither sides of the battle are allowed to shine properly, whereas previously, they shined equally. As i mentioned, there is no prep or cook time so the window of further development is very narrow. The antagonists were being built up right from season 1. They were shown as a bunch of legendary figures and boy was I excited to see them. Unfortunately, I got just a teeny tiny portion of what I expected. Their development was simply sidestepped by giving a shallow backstory to each of them that accounted to nothing. None of them were fleshed out properly here. Out of 10, only 3 of them felt somewhat satisfactory because they were already partially developed in the previous seasons. Remember, if the opposition is not good enough, the hero's victory doesn't look half as good as it should.
The animation is still fluid and refreshing to look at but it has lost its dynamic edge. Repetitive shots and unimaginative movements are all over the place. The OP is good, maybe it catches on; i wouldn't know cuz I'm already obsessed with "Toss a coin to your Witcher". Soundtracks weren't bad either, some of them did a remarkable job in compliment the scenes.
In a nutshell, S4 is a big disappointment. The 3 episodes of the stagiare arc had better quality than all 12 episodes of this season. I'd sooner rewatch the first 3 seasons 10 times than rewatch this one.
So that concludes my review. If you feel I'm being biased or wrong in some ways, feel free to comment on my wall. But, before you do anything, try comparing the 5th bout featuring Soma-Erina and Eishi-Rindo with the Triple threat featuring Soma-Hayama-Ryo, you'll probably see why I'm this disappointed.
This straight up starts with some good action which is nice.
It picks up straight where last season ended and did not start with pointless filler like MHA did.
So far the food has looked delicious and the cook offs have been epic. Every fight I am on the edge of my seat rooting for the rebels while some of them fail miserably.
Finally we get to see Tsukasas and Rindos cooking and oh boy are they good.
This show still delivers good fan service and of course foodgasms.
They do like to use some still images instead of proper animation but I really dont care
The ost sounds glorious as usual and the opening is a grower.The more you listen to it, the more you will like it.
I would recommend watching this.
Ok so the 4th plate has ended, and it looks like the 5th plate won't be far behind as soon as Erina meets the new antagonist that will challenge them new Elite 10.
Pros: New food were being introduce, that teases our gastronomical senses
Cons: To simply put it , the story plot was still them same and yes it was still on that Shokugeki thing where only this time them rebels were battling for their survival and it was way too predictable.
Verdict: 5 over 10.
Pros: More fanservices were introduce, in fact this was the only sequel where studio J.C. Staff didn't pull any punches
to to also tickle our lust for sex.
Cons: We still see the usual eye candy and Yukihira still wears his signature middle school uniform....
Verdict: 7 over 10.
Pros: still them usual seiyuus.
Cons: Still them usual seiyuus.
Verdict: 5 over 10.
Pros: We get to finally see them protagonists have their characters' developed and we see them antagonists got beaten and we see them senior graduate.
Cons: As one set of antagonist goes another one comes in and yes whoever they are, their now gonna be a threat to the new Elite 10's seat.
Verdict: 7 over 10.
Pros: One wouldn't get enough of the food porn that come with this anime and not to mention the foodgasam fanservices that come along with it.
Cons: It was just too predictable.
Verdict: 7 over 10.
Verdict: 5 over 10.
As always this franchise still rely on the foodgasam porn and it looks like it's gonna be that way until Shounen Jump decides to pull the plug on Original Creators Tsukuda, Yuuto and Morisaki, Yuki.
I'd like to start of this review by saying I can see why some are not liking this season compared to other seasons. As other seasons allowed us more lightheartedness in terms of story, and I guess freedom. While here we're thrown into a heated battle for a number of episodes, which can seem a bit of a chore to get through if you just want to go back to them having fun in class or back in homeroom.
But does it mean this season is a drag? Not at all! The cooking is as visually stunning as it normally is. Along with many lovely dishes
that you'd just love to try for yourself. It's also quite nice to see how the characters truly have bonded, and how certain things have come together for them all to be in this position.
The sound is great as normal, along with a great opening song that I just love. I'll be listening to it for a good while even when the anime is over.
So should you watch this season's Food Wars? You should! Even if you haven't followed the story up to now. It's a great anime, with a great set of characters that in my book shine just as much as the food does. From being just likable in general, from how they act and how they present themselves. A must watch.
I re-watched several episodes from the first season. The introduction of the Aldini brothers in the training camp arc... The one where Soma and his dad have an early-morning cook-off in the Polar Star dormitory... The one where Megumi stands against the fearsome Legumes Magician, and saves herself from expulsion with some wholesome veggie magic of her own.
This series is EXCITING. Fast-paced cuts of frenetic food-flinging; a soundtrack hot enough to simmer your soy sauce; gorgeously-drawn dishes that could hop off the screen and into your gullet; and of course, over-the-top ecchi foodgasms that make you wish you
brought headphones. The stakes are raised (and steaks are braised?) as the battles rage on. And the journey is brought to life with superbly voice-acted characters worth following to the very end.
This show used to be a lot better. It DESERVES a lot better.
The Fourth Plate feels really, really cheap. Fun and charming, at times. But this tournament arc-- in which Totsuki academy and ALL of our main and supporting characters' careers are at stake-- ultimately seems shallow, repetitive, and nothing like I remembered Shokugeki to be.
It's especially disappointing because of the year-long wait for a single cour. To me it seems staff was still pressed for time, and fell back on the series' most formulaic and unimpressive storytelling techniques to carry on. A few examples:
1) Panning over still shots of characters at Dutch angles, with some abstract background. Used VERY heavily this season
2) TELLING the judges how the food was made, instead of SHOWING the process in real time. This allows for last-minute revelations and mini-plot twists, and can make things more exciting. But not in excess, like this time.
3) The peanut gallery. Characters in the audience will explain to the viewer, in succession, why the competing dishes are so super-awesome/clever. This season, it is the SAME set of characters providing commentary EVERY episode! And the lines are spread so thin, it's often totally irrelevant who's saying what.
... and so on. It made for a really dull presentation. Most concretely, I could tell the animation quality had declined, but... otherwise it was hard to pin down what had changed. In fact, I began to question why I ever liked this show so much to begin with.
And that like, really sucks.
"You're stagnating, aren't you? ... For us, stagnation is akin to regression."
Many will say this was inevitable. The show was too repetitive by design, and would eventually get stale. A tournament arc like this would only emphasize this repetitive nature and fall flat, no matter what. This show is built around still shots, hokey last-minute reveals, and padded exposition. It's part of the formula. That's the recipe for Shokugeki, followed to a T, and we were bound to get tired of it.
Maybe they're right.
Or maybe they just lack imagination. Because that first season still feels fresh and fun. I could watch it again and again, because that sh*t is quality. It's a genuine, heartfelt, and surprisingly horny celebration of the culinary arts. Just like the winning dish in every Shokugeki, there's a little something there that puts it over the top. A secret ingredient. An extra bit of creativity. Over time it's been lost, but it WAS there. With more time & effort, I'm sure the folks J.C. Staff could have found it again, even within the bounds of an adaptation.
If you've stuck with the show this long, here's your finale. Though it leaves much to be desired, Episode 11 is where our story feels the most finished. Episode 12 makes for a decent epilogue. Then, if you're still left wanting more, bless you. I hope you enjoy next season! But left with such a "MAZUI!" taste in my mouth, I think I'll pass on seconds.
I've loved the entirety of this show from the start but this season so far is quite average at this point. If I were doing reviews for the previous seasons I would have given them an average overall of 8 up until the moment that change this show for the worst; Sanzaemon asking Souma to help Nakiri. I am absolutely sure that this fun and interesting show took a tonal hit when the Nakiri arc was introduced and it hasnt been able to recover since. Most the interesting characters like Alice, Hayama, Kurokiba and Mito are almost relagated to the background characters to make way
for Erina whose character simply doesnt work in this enviroment because she isnt written as a funny or facinating character which makes her not engaging enough. The characters in the show also had a comfort and looseness around each other that seems to have disapated because of how on edge everyone has to be around Erina, like she were the "It" girl walking into the D&D club and expecting everyone to behave like normal. Every character before came in seemlessly because they all had an element of being cast-outs in one way or another and they came in without commanding the story to themselves so as to intergate without ruining the over-arching tone of the show. This has nothing to do with the character of Erina ofcause because even a casual viewer could tell that Erina would eventually have her own program (arc) in the show but the issue is that the writers didnt do much for the Erina character in the previous seasons to than expect every viewer to be fine with everything being dropped to deal with her family issues.
I might be wrong but I can also see that the ratings in this season have lowered during these few episodes so far and I have some faith in the show runners to improve the show but so far its been pretty average. All the other issues in this season are not as bad as seasons before, this show has never been perfect but its always been authentic and the predictability of this arc and tonal shift the show has committed too has made this season a "high stakes lowbrow comedy" which sounds like Shokugeki no Souma but doesnt feel like it.
I usually do not write before I finish watching a series with totality, or at least a full season, but I have been in need of writing about this 4th season of Shokugeki No Souma because I am not agreeing with the ones they are publishing and see necessary give my point of view on it.
First it is necesary to clarify nobody has to tell them what to see and what not, that is a matter of each one, those who write here try to guide so that people have a different opinion or just one more. No one can come to impose their authority
and tell you what is right and wrong.
Second this fourth season of Shokugeki No Souma has the same style and I creativity as the previous ones, but above all the justifications of who wins and why the duel. It is obvious that we are no longer impressed by meals, but because we have been watching it for a long time, it is like the animation of Shingeki No Kyojin and his characters moving through the air, but the writing I think is still at the same level.
The characters are so well constructed that it is logical and natural the decision they make at each moment. Duels are justified by those who win and who do not. When the rebels win there is a construction that exemplifies the story and how he knew how to take advantage of his virtues in front of a much higher rival in the roles, but when he wins the Elite they simply tell us that they are better than rebels and ready, and even if it seems forced or simplistic is right, of course they are the best of the prestigious Tootsuki.
In summary, Shokugeki No Souma is still as good as before, perhaps the events and dialogues are somewhat rushed and the drawing is not completely detailed as we would like, but I think it is not an impediment to discredit so much this season that it is just as Good than the previous ones.
I don't get why people are being annoying about this season. To me, this season was just like every other Food Wars season. I heard the ending isn't very good, but complain when the actual ending gets out, not now. If you like Food Wars for being Food Wars you get what you want. Of course, I will admit that the 11th episode of the season felt like a final episode, with the 12th being like an epilogue. I would like to see more Food Wars content, but if it is going to end in the next season maybe they'll change it up
A stretch, here. The characters in the series have brought me many laughs over the years, and their individual quirks often make me smile. But I've generally found character development with the female cast instead of the males. Erina and Megumi are the highlights.
None of us came into Food Wars! for the plot. And tbh, I don't think we're really staying for it, either, because it's pretty dull. This season is all about our rebels cooking against the elite ten to win back their school. My problem is with the last episode.
Realism & Authenticity: 1/5
I'm beyond disappointed for this point. I loved the first
season of this show so much, but it's like I'm watching a poorly written fanfiction of it instead. The sexuality doesn't tap into the humor in new or refreshing ways. It's lackluster and just... bad.
Sound & Animation: 2.5/5
Pretty decent. Nothing extravagant, mind you, but I wasn't bored thanks to the soundtrack sending me to war. I'll say that most of the time it feels less like true animation and more like panning over still images like Windows Media Maker... so there's that.
Food Wars! was a gem I found while studying abroad in the UK. The first season was downright saucy (puns forever intended) and blended humor and ecchi in a way that had me crying from laughter. Since those prime days, though, the series has gone downhill, decreasing in funnies and spiciness.
In truth, the characterization is frustrating: some points are good and some are bad. We get little nuggets of truth for most of them: why Tsukasa and Rindou, the first and second seats respectively, side with Erina's father, for one. But it's really not enough to add meaningful depth. Even Azami Nakiri's motivations are tepid at best. You're telling me you expelled students and disbanded countless groups because you're upset your buddy just went off on his own and did his own thing? Seriously? What kind of character motivation is that? Give me something proper and juicy for a "villain", please.
Megumi's characterization has always been spot-on for me. Not only is she the ultimately wifu, but the girl fights crushing anxiety everyday. We've gone from the timid thing writing the character for man on the palm of her hand to battling the third seat at this team shokugeki. Some people complain she cries too much, but hello: she's a cry-y character. It's written into her arc to cry, so let's not get upset over being properly consistent, all right?
She doesn't win against Miss Cute Baker or whatever. And the boys do their best in comforting her, but it's Erina who gets through to her and she breaks down crying.
The tears are important. Why? Because they're not shed from fear or shame. Megumi gave her best effort and fell short and her tears lie from frustration. She has pride now, some confidence even. This is what she's gained from Soma and the others, and the reason for why she fights against Central in the first place.
Besides Megus, most characters are surface level and only exist to provide exposition and context rather than being proper characters, background or otherwise. We get a touch here and there with Takumi and Isshiki, but most of the time it's just like eating prawn crackers at a curry shop: that stuff isn't gonna fill you up or nourish you if you know what I'm sayin'.
We just get some poorly done flashbacks of Megumi wanting to be in a sports anime playing ping-pong instead. The plot points feel largely cyclical, in part from the nature of what the show's about, but it's done worse than how the autumn elections were handled. Nothing feels overly fresh or exciting and the cookie-cutter episodes just add to the horrid predictability.
We know from the onset Soma and his gang are gonna win, right? I mean, this is a shonen show. The whole point is discovering how they're gonna win. We know where our destination is, but we're still unsure about what the journey will hold. However, Food Wars just painfully shows us its hand painfully slowly and using atrociously predictable plot. Talk about boring. It doesn't even feel like cooking anymore, not really. One of my favorite parts of this series was that I felt I was learning a little bit more about food. They've somewhat taken it out of the equation here. Instead of really seeing how things are made and why, we're given words from the peanut gallery, some gutter quality trash talk, some flashbacks about the characters and then the food part is done. They present the dishes and we're supposed to think the dish is special because of what our jailed peanuts say. There's no real knowledge exchanged in all this, and it overall makes the series less impactful and memorable.
The concept of the gifting was just silly. You're seriously going to tell me a guy can magically make other peoples' clothes disappear when he's not even biologically related to the Nakiris?!
But Maybe the entire point is about character driven plot and stuff. Characters? Really? We're hopping back to that point when we consider the majority of our minor characters were shoved into a literal jail and reduced to audience oohs and ahhs?
But I digress. Let's take a look at the main character for growth: Erina Nakiri. Throughout seasons three and four Erina has shown unbelievable strides. While there’s no doubt Erina develops as a character, I have my reservations about her cooking and specifically, her ‘specialty’. She calls it a ‘don’, or a rice bowl. Her ‘secret ingredients’ are a combination of squid and peanut butter, and she uses the gelatinous substance (which Soma uses in season one’s God Tongue episode).
Soma. Her specialty is Soma.
You’ve got to be kidding me.
Throughout this time, the first OP from season one in playing, in case, for some ungodly reason, you didn’t catch all of the allusions going on. And while I love that OP and wish the series stayed with that theme instead of going to the edgy, we’re going to war business they’ve been doing since season two, it’s really nothing more than a cheap shot at nostalgia feels. Like, season one was a lot more successful… you know what we could do? Play that OP and we’ll magically be as good. Yeah, best plan ever...
The time skip is the other frustrating part of this series. For the final episode, aptly titled “The New Elite Ten”, we get to see our cast of characters as a grade higher, even though time has had a weird flow since season two’s autumn elections. To show that time has passed, people are given… NEW HAIRSTYLES! OMG. -_-“ Please, no.
There were positives to the series, and overall I'm left with feeling a mixture of ranty and meh. It was flat on so many levels, but Erina and Megumi's growth, plus Takumi's win made me smile. The music was okay, though feels very much the same for seasons 2-4.
the show is about cooking and that's pretty much it. with such bland and uninspired characters with such a awful story and such hit or miss art to accompany it. the ''jokes'' are about as funny as you discovering you have cancer. just another shounen that doesn't add anything new to the pot.
Every characters feels so carbon copy from other animes. Unfortunately, every season after that just continues to go down hill. It's more like a porno by season four, but it's not really written funny, the series just relies on a lot of overused anime tropes and funny faces more so than anything else.
fan services has continued to get worse and worse with every episode. At first it started off with once in awhile and it has now gotten to the point, someone's clothes aren't exploding off their bodies from eating some noodles or something every single episode. This just feels lazy, like they can't even rely on their own writing to keep the viewer's attention and instead has to rely on sex.
I had high hopes for this anime, but by season four it just falls flat on it's face. Fuck this anime. SKIP
Overall this season is very good, but for some reason i can predict the winner everytime the shokugeki began, very easy to see the winner when you already watch from previous season.
I mean the pattern for this anime is very common, you only enjoy this anime because of how they make the food not for how they must win for the competition between them.
For example, when you watch 1st season this anime you might be very excited with the story they build, souma need to learn with food, he need experience with various kinds of customers, he need to adapt with new kitchen everything he
does is very interesting to see.
And now this season begin, without any explanation on how souma decide the food (with his struggle on it), they just skip souma progress skill to inform the audience that he is the 'master of food' lmao :).
From previous season when Souma with his friends make shokugeki with his father help it done already, it doesn't make sense for me, is he the best chef in the world? even nobody challenging him on shokugeki with equal skill, equal intelligence. He just made 1 vs 50 (which is below him), but it's not fair if you know you will win already. And the last is when they practice on the train with very simple method but very difficult way to describe on how they become stronger from that training.
I won't to write spoiler so, if you haven't watch this season yet just go for the food, not story because there is no need to think about.
The art in this fourth season is crave-worthy as ever! But I'm not going to miss this constructive criticism here, as the plot setting in the arena of Shokugeki is a lot off. I can't feel its massive surroundings, the thrill when they cook, let alone when they serve the dishes and getting scored. Ecchi-ness of the seiyuu's effort is still there even though it gets wishy-washy and I can't tell the difference in-between the moans for all dishes. Felt like it's just existed for the sake of the formula, but it's getting dull overtime.
Worst part of this season is the stagnancy of the story.
There's no heat in the game. Everything's just a come-and-go. Even a simple plot like MasterChef has a lot of thrill. The episodes should've been shorter with more tight story.
The fourth season of Shokugeki no Soma is easily the most non-progressive and ultimately the worst from all seasons.
Here's a problem with adapting a manga like Shokugeki no Soma into an anime: it drags out horrendously. Seriously! The manga goes by quickly, obviously, because it's a manga. But since this anime models its source material almost perfectly, a lot of time is wasted on things that take less time in the manga. In the manga, some food battles are 6 chapters long, but that's okay because it takes around 3-5 minutes to finish each chapter. Average that out to 4, 4 * 6 = 24. 24 minutes! That's the length of a single anime episode! However, this anime manages to stretch it out
to 3 episodes at times. That's ridiculous!
In my honest opinion, if they had focused more on trying to adapt the story for the purpose of an anime rather than try to copy the source material so perfectly, they could've done better. Unfortunately, I felt my time was wasted. An anime adaptation should not just copy its source material--it should perfect it! An example of this, for me, would be Gintama. Gintama's anime humor is completely different than its manga humor because the writers for the anime know how the humor works and adapt it so that it works with the anime better, such as jokes about Sunrise and 6:00 television. This takes the ideas created by Sorachi-sensei and then perfects it for the purpose of an anime. That's how it should be!
Furthermore, they should cut back on the flashbacks for things that could've easily replaced the wasted time from extending the length of the food battles. It could've been better. I liked this part of the manga, I really did. But the pacing in the anime is awful. I hope they do a better job next season.