Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma – Season 3

Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma – Season 3

Shokugeki no Soma
centers on Yukihira Soma, a middle school student who is determined to surpass his father’s culinary skills. One day, his father decides to close down their family restaurant and hone his skills in Europe. Before leaving he enrolls Soma in an elite culinary school that is extremely difficult to enter with a graduation rate of only 10 percent. Will Soma be able to improve his skills, or will the kitchen prove to be too hot?

Shokugeki no Soma continues to be one of my favourite anime recently. How it manages to compare cooking to real blow-for-blow battles that you might see in a boxing ring or historical coliseums is beyond me, but it’s damn addictive. Every episode it manages to bring something different to the table (‘scuse the cooking pun) and keep the audience entertained.

Though its concept is a simple one, the depth of the content is very impressive. The story continues to pursue new avenues of interest, taking the characters and plot in new directions and making cooking seem different, fresh, interesting and, most of all, gripping. For an anime plot based almost solely on young chefs and their cooking, tensions are almost always running high. No wonder they say being a chef is a very stressful job with all of the pressure Totsuki students are continually put under!

From reading the manga as soon as the chapters come out and watching the anime, I’ve come to be really attached to all the characters involved – The Polar Star Academy residents, Soma’s rivals and those who would like to see him leave Totsuki as soon as possible with no recognition of his talents. They’re all great chefs in their own right and I am always wowed by what they bring to the competition kitchen during cooking tournaments (though it doesn’t take a lot for me to be overawed by something that someone has cooked, given that I am a terrible cook myself). I hope that it’s gotten past the point where people who are failing are dismissed from the academy, as I don’t want to lose any more of them. It’s like the Game of Thrones of anime cooking!

img_5116.jpgIn shows like this, it is sometimes overwhelming to see such a large cast of characters and try to give them all the screen time that they deserve in order to get the same level of development that they receive in the manga, but the good thing about Shokugeki no Soma is that the characters often communicate their personalities and ideals through their cooking, which is probably why I’m so attached to all of them. Every single one seems to have an area that they excel at based on their backgrounds or passions: knowing how to perfectly prepare cuts of meat, how to expertly use spices, classic Italian cooking or how to bring together food and technology in order to bring out new flavour combinations.

 The Autumn Elections part of this story is by far one of my favourites. The Kurokiba vs. Hayama vs. Yukihira is one of the most exciting battles by far and the build-up to the ‘fight’ is almost too much to bear at times. Even though this is a show based around cooking, and I’ve already read far and beyond this area in the manga, the anime is gripping enough that I still get immersed in the competition and the intricacies of each dish. I love hearing about the techniques and preparation that each Totsuki student has done in order to continue to secure their place within the academy and I never knew that there was so much to be learned about gourmet food.
 Shokugeki no Soma moves from strength to strength. With every series you feel like tensions and competition has reached an all-time high, but the next time around you discover that the stakes have been raised and that the Polar Star Dormitory residents have to reach new heights in order to maintain their places within this cutthroat cooking academy. There’s almost no doubt in my mind that this anime will have a third series in the future, and I for one cannot wait to watch it.