Shokugeki no Soma is a textbook case of a manga that lost itself along the way.
Somewhere along the line, the story stopped being about a cooking school and over-the-top villains came into picture and the manga became a hot mess after that.
After a very, very long arc with the first over-the-top villain, another one came into line, and by God, it's the worst character. Yeah, the worst character. Not the worst character in the manga. Not the worst character in WSJ mangas. Not the worst character in any manga. It's the worst character in any given story I've read. It's one of the worst things
that happened to mankind since, I don't know, slavery?
This character ruined the power levels of the manga, helped Soma regress all his development as a chef, ruined Joichiro's character AND his status as the final boss, it's in the process of ruining Erina (as of chapter 289) and the whole story. There were people that hated the first over-the-top villain. I miss the first villain dearly.
It's such a pity. The art is top-notch, the cast is memorable and likeable (you know, when Tsukada bother to write about them), the story was really great for most of the part (even in the Central Saga, in my opinion).
When I read, Shokugeki no Soma weekly, it's like watching the Hidenburg being gulfed in fire. 'Oh, the Humanity", indeed.
One of my favorite mangas in the past, I don't recommend it to anyone by now. My grade isn't lower only because of the memory of greater times. I don't drop this clusterfuck because I've been reading it for so long... I'm too committed. At this point, I only care about the shipping aspects, and even then the fanfics are a better option than this once great manga. The only scenario I'd recommend someone to read Shokugeki no Soma is if they want to see the rise and fall of a title. If you want to read a good story, maybe consider reading until chapter 260 something, that should be enough. Or don't read it all.