An Anime QandA review for Food Wars! The Third Plate Episode 24
What’s the show? Food Wars! The Third Plate, Episode 24.
The season finale of Food Wars, yeah? You made a few predictions about what this episode might contain, were you correct in any of them? Well, as it turns out… all of them! I’m not going to be smug about it though, they were fairly safe predictions.
Let’s see last review you predicted that the episode would be entirely the battle between Soma and Nene. Yup, that happened. Though I felt like the episode was intentionally drawn out so that it was neatly just that rather than half-start a new battle. That’s not to say the episode didn’t have other things happening—but more in a ‘wrapping things up/looking back montage’ kind of way—rather than starting anything new. There’s even an end credit montage of every time Erina got flustered by Soma in some way or another!
So is that a negative against the episode? I mean if you were viewing this show as a whole, some time from now once it’s all completed an episode like this would feel padded and even repetitive—when shown against what’s come before. But as a season finale, I still really liked it!
You also predicted that Nene would lose to Soma to teach her to be less rigid about her cooking style? Okay, I guess I was ~mostly~ correct with that one, while she does learn a lesson it’s less about being rigid in her cooking style and more about learning to adapt to a cooking venue. Soma won the soba battle against her because he was cooking for a cold climate and a cold cooking/serving venue; therefore the aromatics of her noodles were more muted, whereas Soma—by stir-frying his noodles bought the aromas to the forefront! Practiced and perfected methods versus clever cooking and adaptability in any environment, that’s the difference and that’s why he won.
And it wouldn’t be an episode of Food Wars without talking about fan-service, right? I’m surprised you brought it up! You’re always so ~aghast~ at the mere mention of oppai.
Well I’ve got a role to fulfil here too… Well since you asked, it’s pretty good, but on the whole I feel like it’s been a bit lacking this season in general—with the exception of the blonde twins from a few episodes ago. Wait should we be talking about this or saving this for a season long review?
That depends if you’re even doing one for this show? I guess there’s no need, I’ve already said on several occasions that I sometimes find it difficult to talk about the show because I end up just endlessly complementing it so I might as well give my full season thoughts here.
Right, so what did you think of Season 3 of Food Wars? The first cour (half) of Season 3, which aired in the Fall 2017 anime season was an exceptionally strong experience, perhaps the best the show had been! The second cour, was a bit more of an uneven experience—though finished well with some much needed character development, fleshing out of backstories through flashbacks and a return to form with regard to the Shokugeki format. Hopefully next season (whenever it may appear) will have more of an added focus on relationships—of a romantic kind—because I just can’t help shipping Soma and Erina and neither can the show if that ending credit montage was anything to go by!
An Anime QandA review for Food Wars! The Third Plate Episode 23
What’s the show? Food Wars! The Third Plate, Episode 23.
The team Shokugeki continues, yes? Indeed, and at the pace they are going we’re barely going to have enough time for Soma’s battle against Nene–let alone the rest of the damn thing!
Is that a bad thing? Well it’s going to mean the season ends on a cliffhanger, but there’s no doubt in my mind whatsoever that we’ll get another season so all good on that front.
Hmm, fair enough. So what happens in this episode? We get the conclusion of the Isshiki X Julio battle which has a predictable outcome but is still exciting to watch–we also get a little bit of backstory for Nene, turns out she and Isshiki grew up together–though they are a far cry from childhood friends… in fact she kinda despises how damn good we was at everything he ever attempted meanwhile she had to work super hard just to get to that level.
That’s a pretty relatable thing. For sure. I could be wrong but I get the feeling they’re setting it up for her to break ranks with Central (at some point–maybe after her inevitable loss to Soma) and then join up with the rebels.
You’re already predicting a loss for her against Soma then? I haven’t read this far in the manga so it is purely speculation but yes, I don’t think he’ll lose… there’s too much “oh he can’t win against someone who’s devoted the life to making Soba in a Soba challenge,” for it not to be the ~shock~ outcome, plus it’ll be a nice parallel to her fraught ‘relationship’ with Isshiki. Also it’ll help her learn not to be rigid in her ideals about cooking–i.e. the entire point of this ‘Central’ arc.
Anything else to add? I always kind of get dubious when they introduce new judges–like they’ve had so many interesting judges throughout the show why bother introducing new ones when they’ve got a whole host of others they could re-use. However these judges from the World Gourmet Organisation are a lot of fun, especially Anne–the head of the group. Also for those who are unaware this group is meant to be the Food Wars version of the real life organisation that awards Michelin stars to restaurants around the world, a.k.a a big damn deal–hence the awed reaction from the onlookers.
So with only one episode left, do you think it’ll make for a satisfying conclusion? Hard to say, but I’m not really expecting a conclusion to much of the plot points if any–maybe Soma x Nene but really little else. Which I’m actually totally cool with, because I won’t be at all surprised if they announce a new season to start in Winter 2019–so even if the episode ends unresolved there won’t be too long of a wait.
An Anime QandA review for Food Wars! The Third Plate Episode 18-22
What’s the show? Food Wars! The Third Plate, Episode 18-22.
I thought you were done reviewing ‘Food Wars’ for this season? I was, because at the time I felt like I was just repeating myself every time I sat down to write about it—there’s so only so much you can mindlessly praise a show—and that’s what I felt like my reviews of the season 3 episodes were rapidly becoming.
I suppose that’s fair enough, if even you thought it was tedious I can’t imagine what the readers were thinking… Tch.
So why are we back with this bumper review of episodes 18-22? I felt like talking about Food Wars again, I got the itch!
But all of the missing episodes, and not just the latest one? Sure why not, let’s quickly run down what I thought of each of the preceding episodes before the one’s I really want to talk about.
Episode 18? A satisfying—if predictable conclusion to the Akira x Soma battle, I liked how Dojima and Shiomi put Akira in his place for his overall conduct, though how ‘neatly’ Akira is pretty much back to being a “good-guy” is top-tier cliche ‘shonen’ BS. “The power of friendship” and all that. Also, I hope the cute blonde twin judges come back in a future episode! Oh and the episode ends with the ‘shocking’ revelation that pretty much everyone in Polar Star Dormitory and the rest of the rebels have been expelled with the exception of Erina, Megumi and Takumi. It’s a bloodbath—you know just without the blood…
And how about episode 19? Hmm, not a lot happened in this episode, though it’s cool that Soma’s dad is back in the picture! I’ve always liked his character and how easily he can rile up his son. There’s a couple of funny moments but ultimately not a lot to it, it’s probably the weakest episode of this half of the season (so far).
Next, episode 20? More of the same as the previous episode just with a bit more food porn (of the edible kind). Truth be told I loved seeing this side of Erina, and it makes me ship her and Soma all the more! The ending of the episode is thoroughly fantastic as the last remaining rebels confront Director Azami and the rest of the remaining Elite 10 on different sides of a train-platform and Erina finally gets the courage to stand up to her brutal father by resigning her place on the Elite 10 to be able to compete against Central in a team Shokugeki! She’s so brave! *heart eyes*
Episode 21? Something of a flashback episode—as it started I was kind of dreading it would be dull but I should have known better, they knock it out of the park with this look back to Joichiro’s, Dojima’s and Azami’s high-school days at Totsuki Academy where all of them were members of the Polar Star Dormitory! I loved getting to see a different side of Azami with his all-encompassing admiration for Joichiro and how him leaving the school before graduating deeply affected his whole world view and pretty much created the twisted, totalitarian director of Central. The visual motif of Joichiro barely able to keep on his feet as he walked through a windswept desert and then it transitioning to Soma doing the same but with a determined smile on his face was powerful imagery. I probably could talk longer on this episode, but suffice to say this was an unexpected highlight—well until Episode 22 rolled on around.
Right on then, let’s talk about that one, what made it so good that you had to return to reviewing this show? It’s not any one thing, and I think that’s indicative of Food Wars in general, it’s that it’s an ensemble show and not any single thing can make it stand-out, it’s only when every piece of the puzzle is put into the correct place that the perfect picture forms.
But I thought you said you had little to complain about the previous episodes? How can this be better than something you had no complaints about? Just because I had little to no complaints didn’t mean it was perfect. The thing about Food Wars is that it’s gotten to the point when even an episode that’s lacking the ‘spark’ such as Episode 19 is still a wholly entertaining 24 minutes of anime. I don’t want to turn this into some ‘overview’ of the series—that’s best left for Seasonal reviews, but I just find it pointless to complain about something that’s so consistently good at what it does. Back on point…
Sorry, go ahead. It’s time for the Team Shokugeki! Soma has his team of 8, bolstered by a couple of familiar faces such as Satoshi—the bare buttock 3rd year from Polar Star Dormitory, Kuga—the teasing one whose voice actor sounds a lot like Soma, Subaru—the musclebound copycat and Megishima—who I didn’t initially recognise from the anime but who I’d seen a couple of times in the manga.
And so how’s this Team Shokugeki work? Well it’s basically just random 1v1 Shokugeki’s and the winners keep competing until one side has wiped out the other side. The first 3 up to the chopping black are Soma x Nene, Satoshi x Shiratsu and Megishima x Shoko (I had to look up the 3rd opponent because the show doesn’t mention it). Now… I could go into exhausting detail about every little moment in this episode but I’ll try and surmise it a lot quicker because I didn’t want this review to end up an ordeal to read.
That’s very kind of you. So the whole event is being emceed by Urara—the closest thing Totsuki Academy has to an idol—and who is in extra crazy form here. She’s pretty much the comic relief for the episode, although the expelled students also have some great lines as they’re left confined to a ~literal~ cage on the sidelines to watch the Shokugeki’s take place. Also if you love the seemingly exhaustive explanations about regional cuisines and cooking techniques and ingredient origins and recipe techniques then boy does this episode have you covered!
That… doesn’t exactly sound all that fun? In any other show this kind of thing might seem dry but it’s delivered with the authority and authenticity and enthusiasm and character we’ve come to expect from this show and it’s all an utter joy to watch! There’s so many great character moments and call backs to previous episodes, this is Food Wars at its best and it only looks to be getting better with the continuation of this arc. I will continue with weekly episode reviews of this show until the season ends so look forward to them!
An Anime QandA review for Food Wars! The Third Plate Episode 16 & 17.
What’s the show? Food Wars! The Third Plate, Episode 16 & 17.
You didn’t talk about the show last week? Ran out of things to say about it? It’s difficult because a show like this which is deliberately taking its time and spreads the prep work for the battles and then the battles themselves over multiple episodes, don’t really lend themselves well to single episode reviews. I mean, sure I could talk about every little thing in exhausting detail but my review style isn’t like that.
Fair enough, so what happens in these two episodes? Well, in Episode 16 Soma and Akira finally get to talk since we learnt of Akira’s defecting to Central as well as becoming the new ninth seat on the Elite Ten. The challenge ingredient for Soma’s exam is announced too, it’s Bear meat, which proves a tricky ingredient to work with mostly due to its pungent aroma which can be ~overwhelming~ if not properly handled and downright disgusting if disrespected. Most of Episode 16 involves Soma figuring out the best ways to use bear meat in preparation for the battle against Akira who is a master at utilising spices.
Hmm, doesn’t sound like a lot happens in it then? Well, Kuga arrives to give Soma some “moral support” but really he’s just there to stir him up. Also Kuga’s voice actor sounds so much like Soma at times, when the animation wasn’t showing who was speaking I sometimes got confused as to who was talking. Not really a fault, just something that I noticed. Also, Dojima, a character from a previous season and friend of Soma’s father arrives to watch over the exam.
I take it that’s important that you’re telling me that? Well… let’s just say if you like nude men you’re in for a treat in Episode 17!
Well I don’t, but go on. Episode 17 opens with Soma, Kuga and Dojima having a bath together and there’s a lot of abs and butts and well, don’t ever say Food Wars doesn’t offer equal opportunity fan-service!
…Ah… Fair enough. So, uh… what else happens in the episode? The battle commences and we get even more characters introduced, albeit in the form of the taste-testers, who, at this point are only here to have their clothes blown off while tasting the delicious meals served to them. And oh boy it must me by birthday because we’ve got adorable twin girl’s!
*sigh*And how’s the battle go for Soma? It seems to go well, the twins get their clothes blown off by the tastiness of his meal and moan in pleasure, always a good sign. But we don’t know the full result because the episode ends just as Akira is serving up his dish! Damn you cliffhanger ending!
I see, so how’s the season progressing so far, in your opinion? It’s classic Food Wars so it’s hard to even find fault with it. Though I thought it was interesting that a character in Episode 17 (can’t remember who) mentioned that it seemed unlikely that everyone was going to pass this exam, considering they’re all going up against members of the Elite 10. And that’s a very valid point, it would be unrealistic if every side character makes it through despite these exams being tougher than any previous year. I certainly hope that at least one character is expelled because otherwise the stakes aren’t really there. I mean I’ll still continue to watch the show if everyone does make it through because it’s fantastically entertaining but I think it’s about time someone is expelled from Totsuki. I guess we’ll see which way the show goes in future episodes!
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An Anime QandA review for Food Wars! The Third Plate Episode 14 & 15.
What’s the show? Food Wars! The Third Plate, Episode 14 & 15.
I noticed you didn’t review episode 14 last week, didn’t have enough to say about it? Not really, it’s just sometimes difficult to talk about something that’s doesn’t do anything wrong. Especially when it’s a show that’s been going as long as Food Wars has been!
So do you have things to say now? I’ll try!
Right, so what’s going on? Totsuki Train Arc!
Is that supposed to mean something to me? Right, probably not. So our intrepid gang of rebels, inspired by the expert tutelage of Erina have an uphill battle as they participate in the ruthless Advancement Exam, with the highest of stakes, either you pass or you’re expelled. And with Central pulling the strings you know that means things will be unfairly stacked against the students!
In what ways? Well, in the first stage of the exam they have to make a salmon dish, but Soma and his cohorts are given the poorest quality salmon, and while they’re permitted to leave the testing area to buy some it’s Winter and the school has bought out all the fresh salmon in the area but thanks to Erina’s teachings they know that salmon frozen in brine retains its freshness and so they get some from a local seller and plate up a dish that impresses their judge. Likewise in the second stage, they have to make a noodle dish but because Soma and friends are picked last all the noodles and ingredients to make noodles are used up but because of what Erina taught them they make noodles out of potato instead!
Sounds kind of repetitive… It is! But the cooking segments aren’t even the best part of these two episodes, which I know, for a cooking anime might seem crazy!
What is it then? ‘It’s the friends we’ve made along the way!’ But seriously the character interactions and specifically the character development on Erina’s part is like the best damn thing in this show right now. Just watching character’s who’ve hardly had any time together interacting and getting to know each other, and becoming friends even, it’s such a gratifying and dare I say holistic experience. I could watch Erina and Megumi and Ikumi talk together for 25 minutes and I’d be satisfied!
Certainly seems like Erina is making an impact! Absolutely, and at the end of episode 14 there’s more hints towards the idea of Erina and Soma becoming romantically involved, which I’m all for at this stage! Megumi will always be best girl but it makes sense for Erina and Soma to be together. She has the ‘god tongue’ and he makes the best food after all!
An Anime QandA review of Food Wars! The Third Plate Episode 13.
What’s the show? Food Wars! The Third Plate, Episode 13.
Wait, what? Episode 13? But *flicks through clipboard of notes* my records show you only have reviewed Season 1, how can we be suddenly reviewing a show half way through it’s third season?! What are you, the continuity police?
But what about season 2 and the other half of season 3, how am I supposed to enjoy this review if I don’t know what you thought about the others? I don’t know, mate. Food Wars, is, was and has always been great, there’s not much more to add to season 1’s review when extrapolating it to the sequel seasons.
And yet here we are with episode 13 of season 3? Only because for some reason the people behind this adaptation didn’t want to call it season 4 and so it’s the second ‘cour’ of season 3. Also it’s a Spring 2018 anime, of which I said I would cover week-to-week.
Okay, so let’s pretend you did review the previous seasons in detail. What do you have to say about this continuation of season 3? It’s sublime.
That good, huh? It’s like the best warm hug you could imagine, Food Wars! is consistently brilliant and likeable and entertaining in a way that so few shows manage, and it does it so effortlessly that it’s a wonder to behold.
So what’s this half of the season about? Continuing the fight against ‘Central’ and Erina’s evil father who has taken control over the school, and the blossoming relationship between Soma and Erina in the wake of her learning that Soma’s father was the man who introduced her young god-tongue to a world of culinary pleasures.
That sounded kinda dirty… Hey! It wouldn’t be Food Wars without some food porn, by which I mean naked women writhing in ecstasy over the tastiness of a dish.
Of course… Don’t judge, this is par for the course for this show, besides not only is it funny here it comes from a place of genuine character development that had me for the first time in, like, forever rooting for Soma and Erina as a couple!
Well that’s something. —Stop pretending like you care!
I don’t know! Sorry, it’s just I’m kinda lost is all. Then go back, and watch the previous 2.5 seasons and come back to me, then we can talk.
…You know that’s never going to happen, right? Fine! But you’re missing out! Because Food Wars remains one of the true bright spots of any anime season and this second-half of a third season is no exception!
So recommended, yeah? It goes without saying but yeah! Of course if you’ve never watched the show you need to start from the beginning, but for everyone else, well… you’re probably already watching it! The stakes have never been higher and things are reaching a conclusion of sorts, not the end of the series, I imagine that’s still years off but this will be a defining season for so many characters, I can feel it in my bones!
I could have probably guessed that much, go into detail please. Well it’s about Soma Yukihira and his exploits as he traverses the ranks of elite culinary school Totsuki Academy in pursuit of his dream of surpassing his father at cooking. It’s a cooking school unlike any other where less than 1% of students graduate due to the rigorous process of ‘shokugeki’s’ (Food Wars), which dominate the academic landscape, weeding out the wannabes from the true professionals.
Why do I feel like I’ve just turned on a cooking channel? Yeah it can kinda get like that, but as long as you watch it in Japanese with English subtitles there shouldn’t be any issues.
So there’s an English dub then? NEVER MENTION THE ENGLISH DUB OF THIS SHOW AROUND ME!
O…kay then… Um, so what’s good about the show? Only everything! It’s a comedy only there’s a kind of genuine emotional relevance connected to every character. It’s practically a sports anime with the kind of detail they go into when it comes to the preparation and serving of a dish, never has a show made me so hungry before. The stakes genuinely feel high every time a shokugeki is issued and because of the character development it only feels higher. And then there’s the fan service…
Fan service? Excuse me? Sometimes the food is just so good that those tasting it are so overcome with adulation that their clothes rip off! Of course not literally, it’s all visual metaphor, but it simultaneously fulfils the shallow need for fan service in this kind of anime and offer a visual representation to externally gauge how good a dish is.
Feels like your just making excuses for seeing anime tiddies. First of all, I thought we agreed you’d never use that phrase again around me. Secondly, it’s not just woman whose clothes disintegrate upon tasting an impeccable dish, men are just as likely to appear naked and aroused upon putting food in their mouth in this show.
This show is sounding kind of perverse. But it’s totally not, I know it’s hard but you should trust me on this. It’s like the anime equivalent of Masterchef except everyone isn’t a self-entitled douche with some thirty-second sob story or one-dimensional persona.
Well that’s good! Anything else I should know? You know this review really should be titled ‘Shokugeki No Soma’, not ‘Food Wars!’
Huh? Well I mean that’s its proper Japanese title, ‘Food Wars!’ is just an annoyingly simplified translation meant to grab people’s attention. Probably because whoever got the rights for the show in the west was afraid a food-based anime wouldn’t be ‘shiny’ enough to make money!
Are you going to make this into a thing? He’s totally going to make this into a thing… I mean why stop there! Why not call ‘Haikyu!!’ ‘Volleyball Show!!’ instead! Or ‘Keijo!’ ‘This Is Totally A Sports Anime, Why Are You Looking At Me Like That, No This It’s Just A Banana In My Pocket.’ Or ‘Yuru Camp’ ‘Laid Back Camp’!
You know I think they did call ‘Yuru Camp’ ‘Laid Back Camp’. ARGH!
Calm down! Umm… oh god I need something to bring him back on topic, I can’t let this end up as another rant review… um? Oh of course! Ah… so does this show have any cute girls I should know about? Of course! Some of the best in fact!
Wow that was easy, uh, great! So tell me about them? Well of course there’s the snobby rich girl who’s something of an antagonist to Soma, her name’s Erina and she’s nicknamed the ‘god tongue’ because her palate is so impossibly refined. Then there’s Ikumi, who loves cooking with meat, she’s got a brash exterior but she’s actually a bit of a sweet heart when you get to know her! And then… daww, its best girl Megumi! She’s a quietly spoken country girl who’s just too precious for words!
I almost prefer the angry you than this you… Don’t hate just because I’ve found my happiness!
Oh I wouldn’t dare dream it. Okay, so I’m almost sold, so now in just three words convince me why I need to see this show. Peanut-butter tentacle porn.
I said convince me to watch it not convince me to never talk to you again. Admit it, you’re curious now.
I will never! Besides you cheated, that was four words. It was hyphenated!
Let’s wrap this up, shall we? As far as an entry point into anime of the ecchi variety, Food Wars is not only tastefully presented (pun intended) but almost all of it makes sense within the show’s plot and aesthetic, and it’s about as equal as you’re likely to find in terms of male/female fan-service. But aside from that it’s a genuinely entertaining, at times hilarious and often touching show with a cast of wonderful, eclectic characters. Premium 5 star Michelin grade anime, 93 out of 100.