2017 Fall Anime Season brings in lots of different tastes to everyone’s plates, and the one show that’s literally bringing itself onto your plate is no other than Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara. Despite the hype surrounding it, I am no stranger to surprises as the show goes on to become Naruto of today–mostly followed by diehard fans, rarely and unlikely picked up by newcomers.
I am the former.
Sometimes I really do find myself cuddling in my bed, watching this show right after waking up, still hungry. Well damn, I get even hungrier after an episode or two. I can’t stop!
There are a plethora of reasons as to why I am seriously enjoying this mixture of cooking, battles and ecchi, but hear me out on just a few that still stand strong to me after three seasons of Shokugeki no Souma.
1. The FOOD
J.C. Staff always has it above the point. Sure, I love some delicious food that looks realistically edible but I love visually enhanced food just as much. All foods are carefully angle-displayed as if they all come straight out of Instagram!
Food making is all dramatized for ridiculously action-packed feel. While they are hardly one to one ratio in terms of methodology, important techniques are well highlighted and trust me, they actually come extremely handy sometimes.
Like great sword-clashing battles, food battle participants almost always come prepared. It’s not a battle of the mindless; shokugeki is a food battle between cuisine strategists. In fact, I love this part of the show more than anything else comedic it has to offer, especially when it involves Souma. It is also the main reason why I will never be able to compare other cooking shows like Isekai Shokudou to this. When it comes to food preparation, Shokugeki no Souma is little to no different from any other cooking anime out there; it mostly gets to the point, no fuss.
Not only that Souma goes to literally give us the detail on how he makes his prototypes resulting in less technobabble during action-packed moments, I am almost always guaranteed humorous foodgasm that has very little to no ecchi!
Anyone hating on Megumi for being useless can back right off! I wouldn’t have anyone else being in scenes like this. Also, 20/10 voice acting for this scene! (Season 3 Episode 2)
If you are still wondering as to why Megumi can sometimes come off as very lovely, that is most likely because her seiyuu is even more ‘animated’ than Megumi herself.
2. Tension and Suspense
Souma always takes the fight to his enemy’s grounds. The show elevates the already convincing determination in his eyes with surprising details. For the very first arc of the third season, the stage has been set up in the exact same way the show has been doing since the first time Souma showed desire to dish it out against anyone he saw as a challenge.
You know what they say: Big talk makes big game. Souma confidently declares that he’d be setting his booth right in front of his enemy and he’d be cooking CHINESE. The word ‘Chinese’ gets amp’d up, deafening everything else others (and I) may be hearing. It’s a thing started way back to when he challenged Chef Shinomiya to a shokugeki.
Souma is always being loud and clear; he’s in for a win.
3. Characters and their little to no Dynamics
Somehow in battle shounen shows, having a large cast is hardly an issue. They all just miraculously find their own place to sit in the story and help drive the mood up, left and right. Like all shows of the same genre, Shokugeki no Souma sure has the archetypes of:
But like many great shounen shows out there, the real saving grace would have to be the ‘supporting’ characters…
I have a feeling that the only real supporting characters in this show are pretty much everyone in Polar Star Dorm (minus Megumi) and the leader of Don RS, otherwise everyone else in the side dish shine in their own ways, with some eventually making it into the main dish of the show even if it is just for a while.
This is totally biased but I have already said it; Hisako is my favorite character of the show!
Each and every one of them have qualities similar to unique abilities in a fighting game. With a large cast for the show, you can conveniently hand-pick a character that is most fitting to the scene/arc.
Taking an example straight from the first episode of season 3, Miyoko Houjou, despite having debuted near the end of the second season, easily welcomes herself into the show without any real hassle because the story is truly revolving around Souma and Souma only. And he’s having the time of his life, going up against the Elite Ten’s eighth seat whom specializes in Chinese, specially Sichuan cuisine. Wouldn’t it just make sense to bring in Houjou since her very ability in the ‘game’ is Chinese cuisine as well?
The obvious downside to this, as it has always been the case for many shounen shows, is the lack of important dynamics that come with each character. Removing half of the cast and the show would still remain pretty much the same until the time has come for them. Eventually this means having some characters ultimately meeting their end. Regardless of the method, they are being taken out of the story, partly or entirely. There will always be a small faction of fans causing uproar that will last pretty much indefinitely.
Shokugeki no Souma is about the join the long-running shounen train at any given moment. There have been ups and downs throughout the first two seasons and granted, the third season can in no way come close to perfection. Despite all of the remarks I have made towards the show, it performs adequately to my taste–satisfies my palette. It’s the show that fired up my passion for cooking, allowing me to reach beyond the boarders of a typical ‘recipe’. It’s also fun and crazy at the same time which makes cooking much less of a soul-draining session in the kitchen.
If fun, crazy and cooking happen to be the inner you, why wait?
Join me for the Toutsuki anthem before I leave you to sing on your own!