Shokugeki no Soma – 24 [END]

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Yes, I’d like seconds of this, please…

After a 2-cour run, the gourmet gag show Shokugeki no Soma is ending. The story is still going strong in manga format, but that isn’t going to stop me from whining about one of my favourite shows of the season coming to a close. I’m gonna miss all this food porn!

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One man. One mango.

For a finale, this played out like pretty much any other Shokugeki no Soma episode. There’s nothing all too special about it. Dishes are presented, crazy reactions ensue, and then we get a healthy dose of partying and laughs at the end. Maybe things would be different if these were the finals, but it’s hard to build up the appropriate tension for what are essentially just qualifying matches. I know Soma is upset he got second place, but that’s not really saying much since he lost to the all-time master of curry by a measly point in a competition where he only needed to make the top 4. The fact that they even go on to say he would have won if it were a Shokugeki just makes his loss even less meaningful for a finale. In the long run though, it’s an okay tension builder for when/if he faces Akira again. But seeing as season 2 isn’t greenlit at this point, this very slight loss at an inconsequential stage of a tournament doesn’t do much to shock or interest me.

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Am I watching the right show?

While this doesn’t pack much of a wallop as a finale (especially after 2 episodes nearly identical to this one), I still enjoyed it. At this point, you better enjoy the formula of Shokugeki no Soma or else you’ll feel like you’re trapped in an Endless Eight arc. Akira’s curry looked delicious and I liked that he researched some biochemistry to make sure certain ingredients reacted together to produce tastier results. He’s not just about the fragrance, he’s a genuinely talented chef who looks at every single angle. The way he elevated curry by baking a naan lid on top (using French techniques) shows that he doesn’t want to be complacent. He’s always striving to be better in every domain he can. Also, it was a nice bonus to have him shooting smoldering looks at everyone to give the ladies some fanservice. He’s probably the hottest dude on the show right now, with his handsome factor greatly aided by the fact that he doesn’t look 13 years old like some of the other chefs.

Then there’s Soma’s dish which was…frankly a little disappointing. I know the whole point was that he took his two weakest dishes (his losing risotto and his near-fail omelette mishap) and redoubled his efforts to make up for his past mistakes. Unfortunately, it makes for a bit of a dull dish. I’m so tired of egg cuisine after we had a whole challenge dedicated to eggs. Compared to, say, Alice’s dish, this lacks any striking appeal. It’s just…omurice. Come on, Soma, even diner food can be flashy! You have to up your game for the finale! Even the judge’s description of his dish wasn’t that persuasive. It was only until Soma engaged Akira in a fight to the death with his bare fists that I started getting into it.

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So here we are, left in a bit of a peculiar position as the tournament is just starting. Not the best ending, but it’s better than trying to rush everything. Maybe it’ll do well and we’ll get more? Maybe I should just read the manga? Maybe I should make dinner since writing this post has made me really hungry???


Final Thoughts

Food porn with softcore porn is an anime trend that I am completely on board with. Koufuku Grafitti did it with slice of life vibes and Shokugeki no Soma did it with shounen battle vibes. I’m just glad it’s a thing that’s become popular enough that multiple manga-ka are adopting it for their stories. As someone who loves to cook (and eat!), these kinds of shows are naturally appealing. It was an easy choice when it came time for picking shows to blog, and I don’t regret it at all.

Shokugeki no Soma is a series that showcases pain-stakingly researched recipes as a love letter to chefs all around the world…and to general perverts. The mixture of decadent food and indulgent fanservice is well-done. I’m able to get the science behind why the enzymes in honey break down meat as some completely naked buxom lady moans suggestively. It’s enough to maintain the interest of those who maybe aren’t so interested in food sciences, without alienating a female audience. It’s additionally framed through a very formulaic, shounen battle lens which allows for lots of action, new developments, training arcs, tournaments, and all the works you’d expect in any traditional Shounen Jump series. It’s a brilliant combination of genres!

The story may not be anything ground-breaking, as the whole thing is one giant excuse for them to cook against each other. However, I don’t expect, or want, Shokugeki no Soma to have a narrative beyond anything I’d see in a video game telling me to collect 7 crystals to save the world just because. I don’t care why it happens, as long as Soma cooks and it makes the clothes fly off people in increasingly silly ways then I’m good. However, for that very same reason, this ends up being a very shallow show. I’d call it a junk food show – one you watch for cheap thrills and laughs, feeling genuine enjoyment of its consumption even though you know it’s not exactly a high class meal.

As silly as this show is, I can’t say it’s entirely two-dimensional. There is depth that appears in the form of food science and all the research behind every dish. That stretch of effort really went a long way in elevating my interest in the show. Almost every week, ahokugeki no Soma inspired me to get off my butt and cook something new. I learned how to poach an egg, how to grind my own curry spices, how to make apple risotto, and how to clog my arteries by eating mashed potatos drenched in fat and wrapped in bacon. Save for that last one perhaps, it was inspiring. I got something extra from this show – life skills – that I will able to use time and time again when I cook for myself or my loved ones. It’s very rare for me to take something like that away after watching an anime. It’s not a masterpiece, but I got so SO much out of watching this wonderful show.

…We all know the true masterpiece is Prison School, right?

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Don’t cry! Shokugeki no Soma will always live on in your heartburn…I mean heart.


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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15 Responses to “Shokugeki no Soma – 24 [END]”

  1. skylion says:

    I would say there is no show like it; but we haven’t seen what going to emerge from the “Me TOO!” bandwagon that is sure to follow.

    But I rather like how the show was able to coast into a conclusion. They’ve been running at a hard clip for quite some time, so a warm down jog at the end seems apropos.

    I thought they did a great job massaging the food into what is a simple shounen set of tropes. They had to skip a few; master dying then coming back only to die again, but they could work it in later I guess.

    This was a good group of characters to hang out with. I liked them. Megumi will always be Best Girl, and Nikumi will come in close second. We had fun.

    Thanks for covering it. I’ll see you for the Fall shows!

    • Overcooled says:

      The food thing is great but I think Toriko may have come first in the whole gourmet shounen thing. I’m glad it’s catching on though because I also think we’ll get more cooking shows now!

      It’s basically the same thing you’d see in any shounen or even a sports manga…but with food. And it works so well! Cooking battles are just as exciting as fist fights or magic fights or a tennis match.

  2. zztop says:

    The story is still going strong in manga format.

    It is, you should read the latest chapters.
    Show ▼

    • Overcooled says:

      I usually never follow through on reading the manga but this time I actually did and now I’m almost at the end of the tournament arc. Erina’s dad sure is…special…

  3. Highway says:

    While this doesn’t pack much of a wallop as a finale (especially after 2 episodes nearly identical to this one), I still enjoyed it.

    Didn’t you forget the “3” after the 2 there.

    I don’t think the show was bad, and while I agree that it did ok with the shounen tropes, my question is why it couldn’t do something else besides that. As it is, it didn’t really do anything new, and it’s not like ‘shounen’ is a straitjacket. But I think they really just didn’t want to bother. Doing things the way everyone else does them is fiiiiine.

    They did manage to back away from the ludicrous ‘instant death’ consequences, to the benefit of the show. It sucked out any suspense from the show, because they’re not going to get rid of the main characters. So the only interest is “How are they going to write around whatever the result is?”

    One thing that was good as the series moved along was moving Megumi out of Souma’s shadow. Even more than getting her head out of the hangman’s noose, this gave the show some depth. The “villains” certainly didn’t. Nobody mattered. A shipload of interchangeable mooks.

    It wasn’t a bad show, but I don’t think it was amazingly good. Repetitive, limited, it was good for what it was, but what it was capped how good it could be.

    • skylion says:

      Didn’t you forget the “3” after the 2 there.

      OC? Ain’t nothing but soap in a sock for this!

    • Overcooled says:

      Admittedly, I was totally content for Shokugeki no Soma to be complacent and just follow a paint-by-the-numbers shounen route. Could it have done more? Absolutely, and it would have likely been an even better show for it. But we got what we got and I really enjoyed it as is!

      I’m really glad Megumi learned to stand on her own as well. Otherwise it just feels like she’s there to make Soma look good next to her blundering errors. Soma is good enough that he doesn’t need that sort of downwards comparison.

      • Highway says:

        This is probably the most of a straight shounen non-sports show I’ve watched (I think I got through 12 episodes of Mushibugyou which would be 2nd place). So it was good at what it did. I just felt like it was too comfortable in what it did, and didn’t bother to try to do something more. That kind of complacency bugs me both from an interest standpoint and from an attitude of the production standpoint. In a show where the goal is not to show the process of improvement, that’s fine. So a show like Love Live! S2, where I think it would be a valid criticism to say that they didn’t really reach for too much more besides winning the School Idol competition, storytelling-wise, I would say that I don’t think that was the point of a show like that. And even then, there was a lot of character development.

        In Souma, the only character that got developed was Megumi, who I think we all agree had the best development, and may have been the best character in the show for it. That’s what I wish they’d done for everyone, but instead they focused more on introducing umpteen new special villains to defeat, and even through that, I don’t know if Souma had much character development. He’s pretty much unchanged from the beginning of the series.

      • skylion says:

        Megumi is the Ninth Brave! Saint of the Monkfish Curry!

        • BlackBriar says:

          Ninth Brave? Then who’s the Eighth? We have a bunch of different Saints in this show.

          • skylion says:

            The Eighth Brave was Nagisa/Iris from Classroom☆Crisis. But since we Rokka gave us Saint Cow of the Healing Blood, I may have to amend the list.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    And so ends one of the best series this year. Shokugeki no Soma was fun from start to finish so it’s sad to see it finally reach its end, leaving a huge void behind. Whoever came up with the idea of mixing cooking with shounen elements, they were onto something. With such detailed information on the cooking, no less.

    Among what’s mentioned, another winner was the cast of characters. Despite the attitude of some, I can’t find myself disliking them. Each makes things interesting in their own way. One who deserves some recognition is Megumi who’s come a long way since the beginning. And we get a last tsundere moment from Erina fighting a trance borne from the fragrance of Soma’s dish.

    The final episode was essentially a battle royale between Soma and Akira. A part of me felt Soma wouldn’t surpass Akira. Not only was the feeling based on shounen tropes that would inevitably tell him he has a long way to go but because the curry topic was Akira’s forte so it makes sense he’d be the victor. Both chose some odd ingredients for the dishes, though. Akira with yogurt and Soma with mango. I can’t imagine how that would taste.

    That final picture… The feels from Yuki crying for not making the cut. I wanted to pat her on the back alongside Fumio.

    Overall, a series that did so well a second season is more than deserved. A shame it would be not to see a continuation. And word from the manga readers is the adaptation was extremely faithful to the source material. Good sign, if you ask me. Anyone who mentions the words “Food porn”, I’ll recommend this to them because calling it adequate is an understatement. Thanks for blogging, OC!

    • Overcooled says:

      Yes, it’s such a great hybrid of ideas and genres, I can’t get over how much I love it.

      Soma did his best, but he still has room to improve so he can beat Akira. He only lost by one point in a curry battle of all things so given another challenge he might have more of an upper hand. As for the ingredients, yogurt is very common in Indian curries. Mango is a bit weirder, but think of it like a substitute for something like apples in apple curry (like in Mawaru Penguindrum!). Not that I’ve ever made curries like that….

      I felt pretty bad for her not making the cut. She’s so cute but she hardly ever gets any good screentime! So sad…

      Thanks for following the posts, BB! Glad you enjoyed it too!

  5. Foshizzel says:

    I loveeeddddddddddddddd this series! I can’t recall ever being bored and hopefully we get another season in the future because they can’t end it in the middle of a freaking cooking tournament…

    I will miss all the fun characters!

    10/10 I want more food porn.

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