I’ll review both seasons of Food Wars, or also known as Shokugeki no Soma, in one article, because both seasons overlap and there aren’t a lot of differences. It’s my second time watching Shokugeki no Soma, so let’s not waste any time.
Yukihira Soma is a 15 year old boy who has been working for as long as the can think for his family diner. His goal is to surpass his father by making a better dish than him, although he doesn’t know yet just how good his father is. His father, realizing that Soma needs more experience to become better and that he won’t be getting that stuck in a family diner, simply closes his diner and gives his son a chance to get into Totsuki. Totsuki is a school for the absolute cooking elite, even attracting people from the outside.
After getting into that school, Soma meets several colourful characters like the Aldini brothers, gains a lot more knowledge and finally meets rivals that can match him that aren’t his father.
Okay so what about the story as a whole? Totsuki is a really interesting place and it shouldn’t get boring listening to the lore and the other aspects of the school. The characters, while one dimensional are actually fun to see interacting with each other though the most interesting is Soma, one of the few with multiple character traits. Seeing him is just fun as the comedy freshens things up, although most of it is just slapstick comedy with repeating jokes but they do eventually grow on you. Although the series has too many moments where it just copies the usual harem jokes that already got old ten years ago. That being said, there are jokes in the anime that do work well but it needed more of that. Overall though, the comedy works. The character developments are also believable and the characters don’t randomly change back to their old self for no reason, especially Somas development is welcomed as you really feel like he’s constantly growing not only as a character, but also as a cook.
The flow of progression is awesome until you hit the second part of the first season starting with episode 16, which marks the start of the Autumn Elections. That arc goes far into the second season, as 3/4th of the second season finishes up the arc that started there. The problem is that the Autumn Elections, in the first season, slows the progression down by a a lot. The 8 episodes of that arc in season 1 only have enough material for three or four at most, you can imagine just how much time filler there is. Once the second season starts, it returns to the quick progression of the first season and the quick flow we’ve been used to, so be ready for that. The low point of both seasons is episode 22 of the first season which is just a whole bunch of flashbacks containing information we already know, but it’s an episode you can’t skip either. Just be aware that if you get annoyed with the snail-like pacing, it gets good again once you hit season 2.
The story overall is pretty good, but the fan service might turn you off as there is just so much of it. I do think though that the parody aspect of this anime evens this out. Usually the fan service is so ridiculous that you eventually stop seeing it and just appreciate how hilarious the situation is when you realize that people literally have orgasms when eating food in this anime. The first time this happens is also one of the most extreme ones, if that turned you off, give the series another try by watching the next two episodes.
Visually this anime does it right. Everything looks stylized, the comedic events are marked with very simple drawings which works with the visually more impressive cooking and general food scenes. I honestly didn’t notice a flaw in the visual aspect, unless you expect realistically moving boobs and butts.
Musically this anime is also really good and some tracks could fit right in multiple action anime. I can actually only recommend this soundtrack as a whole.
To be honest, it might seem this review is half-assed but there isn’t much more to talk about without going into spoiler territory. This is just a really enjoyable anime that you can watch multiple times with only a few significant flaws, especially in regards to pacing in the second part of the first season. I’m actually looking forward to the third season if they can keep up with this level of quality.
7 for season 1
8 for season 2