Sep 24, 2016
Stark700 (All reviews)
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.