First Impression – Shokugeki no Soma S2: Ni no Sara

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Bacon makes everything better.

Shokugeki no Soma is a well-plated show with bold flavours that please the palette. As a shounen battle series mixed with cooking (and with a dash of spicy fanservice), it’s got the recipe for success down pat. It’s no surprise to me that it got green lit for another season. Hope you’re hungry for the second course!

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Fanservice for everyone!

Season 1 ended in a rather precarious way, leaving us wondering what would happen for the rest of this huge tournament. Immediately after this finale, I went out and read the manga to give myself a sense of closure. It was very, very worth it! I was a little worried that I’d be bored rewatching the same content I read in the manga, but thankfully I’ve forgotten most of the minute details of the dishes. For once, my faulty memory is serving me well (for all the wrong reasons).

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Episode 1 wasted absolutely no time in jumping back into the swing of things, which is something I can appreciate. In fact, they even skipped a mini story where Soma and Megumi cook with a bunch of kids. It would have been a cute way to reintroduce the characters for a quaint intro, but it also would have delayed this super cool fight with Alice. Priorities, right? As expected of Shokugeki no Soma. I’m the impatient type though, so I don’t mind since it is a pretty cool fight.

Alice versus Soma is always a treat to behold because of their polar opposite techniques. Soma likes warm, hearty dishes that touch the soul with familiarity whereas Alice makes technically challenging, novel dishes that don’t impart any of her personal feelings into them. Oddly enough, their personalities do jive with each other rather well, as Alice is one of the few to react to Soma’s nonchalence with an equal dosage of whimsy. She can take him blow for blow. It’s a nice change from Erina who balks at just about everything that comes from his mouth. All in all, seeing the two in the kitchen together is always a treat.

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As for Alice, her dish is gorgeous, and her description of each mind-boggling step of her recipe is like an advanced culinary school lesson. It’s fascinating. Half of these machines I’ve never even heard of. It must have taken so much research on behalf of the creator to understand what foods pair well down to their molecular level. Then you have to research all these machines, how they work, and what would be good in an actual dish. Not to mention the fact that these things cost an arm and a leg to obtain. Due to this, molecular gastronomy has this sort of “elitist only” circle since only the rich are able to utilize it. This goes perfectly with Alice’s personality as a sheltered rich girl who uses techniques that only she is able to pull off.

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I want this so badly

Soma counters this with his harmonious bento box that rises up to the challenge. It’s a portable lunch that will stay warm and delicious, whereas Alice’s dish is a bunch of cold rocks in comparison. It seems like the classic “oh, he had more heart so he won” kind of deal at first, which would be a bit too cheap of a cop-out at this point. Alice even comments that taste should be king, and judging based on something as nebulous as “soul” is absurd. It doesn’t take much for Soma to prove that his dish doesn’t just smack you with the feels, it also has an incredible depth of flavours. One taste, and Alice can see the difference in their dishes and how well they suit the challenge. Sparks fly, clothes fly, and then it’s all over. Soma wins!

Season 2 is shaping up to be…well, more of Shokugeki no Soma. Bold, brash, skipping anything that isn’t dynamic and slightly insane. What else would you expect? The tournament arc is great because it’s low on fluff and high on cooking battles. That being said, this show can get a bit repetitious, so while this may be a plus for me, it might be a minus for others.

I’m excited to see how this arc is adapted because I’m tired of seeing black and white food from the manga. It simply can’t capture the total beauty of how these dishes look without using colour. The anime is delivering on that once again, and I look forward to more food porn as the show goes on.

My only big complaint is that yeesh, this show needs to think up better animated sequences for their OP and ED songs. Did they seriously just cycle through still images of all the characters for half of the OP? Get your act together! I think I even saw some recycled scenes from season 1!

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Shh, just don’t panic and enjoy your fish cake


A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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17 Responses to “First Impression – Shokugeki no Soma S2: Ni no Sara”

  1. skylion says:

    In fact, they even skipped a mini story where Soma and Megumi cook with a bunch of kids. It would have been a cute way to reintroduce the characters for a quaint intro, but it also would have delayed this super cool fight with Alice. Priorities, right?


    • sonicsenryaku says:

      hahaha; you almost sounded as if you were gonna follow this season

      • skylion says:

        Oh, I’m totally following the show this season. I love me some Food Wars. I’m just disappoint that a nice little story with Megumi was skipped…

        • Highway says:

          They could probably add that back in at any time. Would be a nice breather for later.

          • Overcooled says:

            It would be nice, because it *is* a rather cute side story to break up the same old same old. I don’t know if they’ll do it though :<

    • skylion says:

      ..but in all honesty, the only thing that really held me back wasn’t the Molecular Gastronomy stuff. It was Soma’s stuff. “Yo Judge Dawgs. I heard you like stock! So I put stock in the stock, then I baked the stock inside fish made from stock!” OK, it wasn’t like that, but after awhile it’s so strange how he managed to get so many tones out of just the few notes.

      • Overcooled says:

        Yeah, he was really all about that stock! Considering the later dishes he pulls off, this dish does seem a bit pedestrian. I mean, he just deep-fried a bunch of stuff and made rice. It’s not as complicated as he makes it seem.

        ….It still looks really good though.

  2. zztop says:

    Fanservice for everyone!

    Aka The return of fit grandpa.

    Just a reminder this season’s only 13 eps long.

  3. Highway says:

    I was happy enough with this episode because they kept down the reactions. I liked that they grouped the judge reaction shots together, instead of cycling through all of them like they did at the end of the previous series. It also seemed like they kept down the exposition a little bit. I’d much rather have the chef explain their dish rather than some random person, but that would be a lot of talking for just a few people.

    • skylion says:

      “Amazing, he made bread from flour, yeast and water”

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah, this one was all about the food as opposed to more focus on how the judges orgasm over it. The ratio of screentime was better.

      It’s a pretty talky show now that I think about it. There’s more talking about the dish than actually cooking it.

  4. Foshizzel says:

    Yayyyyyyyyyyy Souma is back!

  5. BlackBriar says:

    Time to readopt the policy of not watching this series on an empty stomach.

    New season and already straight into what makes Shokugeki no Soma great and the characters were deeply missed. You’d swear the show never ended. I do, however, regret watching a certain PV before the actual airing. It spoiled who’d face off in the first round for me. Anyway, it was good to see Alice’s pale complexion and ruby red eyes again.

    The outcome of Soma’s win was already predicted but the way it went about it was awesome. In my opinion, Alice’s way of cooking perfectly represents the manner she’s grown until now. With this defeat, she may become a little flexible. Kudos to Senzaemon’s sense of fairness. Though it was his own granddaughter competing, he showed no favoritism.

    So the next match is Megumi vs. Ryo. I have a bad feeling about that pair-up. That aside, it makes for an amusing scenario. Alice and Ryo kind of have a master/servant-like relationship. So if you look at it this way, it’s the servant is going to avenge his fallen master and get back at the one responsible by going after his friend.

  6. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Three words: Food! :D~

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