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Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara – 02 »« Shokugeki no Souma – 24 (END)

Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara – 01

「その箱に詰めるもの」 (Sono Hako ni Tsumeru Mono)
“What Fills the Box”

Returning this season after a year since it’s premiere, is none other than Shokugeki no Souma! And not to get everyone’s hopes up, but for those that aren’t aware, this season is only going to be 13 episodes and probably conclude the Autumn Elections tournament. For anyone (like myself) that doesn’t remember where the story ended, Yukihira Souma (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu) just got himself past the first stage of the tourmanent in his group making curry. The top contender in his group – Hayama Akira (Suwabe Junichi), also made it through (with just one point difference between himself and Souma) and so did Kurobiba Ryou (Okamoto Nobuhiko), Nakiri Alice’s (Akasaki Chinatsu) trusted friend. In the first group, Tadokoro Megumi (Takahashi Minami), Arato Hisako (Oonishi Saori), Nakiri Alice and Aldini Takumi (Hanae Natsuki) advance. The OP shows a good shot of everyone and who’s advancing into the next round this season. There’s a stranger amongst them… whom I will leave nameless for now for spoilers’ sake, so I ask that everyone else do the same for anime-only viewers. We’ll just have to wait and see when he appears.

We jump right back into the story without missing a beat and Souma is going to face against Alice one-on-one with the food subject being: bento. There’s literally no time for side stories or sympathies as Souma and Alice prepare and serve up their dishes. I was surprised by the lack of time spent on smack-talk or an introduction of the judges because last season certainly spent a lot more time in that department. Maybe it’s because we already know who Alice is and what she’s capable of. One of the judges on the panel this time is Alice’s grandfather himself, Nakiri Senzaemon (Ginga Banjou) and I thought that was going to warrant some conversation but nope – he’s there and then he’s shirtless. Wow. Anyway, Alice is the first to go – she serves a bento filled with an assortment of sushi. Each piece is meant to compliment the next and has little unexpected flavors in each bite. The finale being the little beaded soup next to the sea bream at the end. Anyone have sea bream sashimi before? It’s amazing! Anyone, Souma reciprocates with his own version of bento which is more warm and close to home. He serves up a layer of soup, a layer of fried fish and finally, a layer of rice. The rice is topped with his verison of “nori” – which is seaweed but in to the form of spheres. What makes it so jaw-dropping is that the process of sphereification is actually a molecular gastronomy technique – which is what Alice is known for and her expertise. Souma uses the same technique for the “seaweed” topping on his rice! What a surprise as Souma really thinks out of the box (ahaha… box, get it?) for this challenge and takes a gamble on a technique he hasn’t tried before. On the other hand, Alice only does what she knows best and although her food might taste great and look visually appealing, she loses because it doesn’t embody the “bento” theme as much. Senzaemon explains that Alice’s dish is “cold” and could’ve easily been also served if the theme was “sushi”, but Souma’s dish is warm and really brings back that feeling of opening up a bento box.

No surprise that Souma won but it’s a great feeling when it’s over a head-to-head competition against Alice. She gave Souma a lot of smack-talk earlier on last seaosn (when they met) so to finally see her defeated, is admittedly satisfying. We see more of her childhood as she’s constantly placed one step after Erina but we already know she has a complex against her cousin. I actually thought that one of the best flashbacks in Alice’s life was when she met Ryou and befriended him. Alice is a lot more socialable and likeable than Erina given her challenges, but she has a tendency to provoke people which is the issue I have with her. No matter, we’ll see her more in the audience as Ryou and Megumi are up next in this tournament.

The OP gives away a lot in terms of competition matches andd who is up against whom… And then who advances from that set. It’s a bummer when they’re all strong competitors and half the fun is predicting what’s going to happen. I would’ve liked for it to be a surprise when the time came who actually defeated who. No matter – I don’t doubt that Shokugeki no Souma has more in store for us then what’s been shown. It’s a shame that we’ll only get this sequel for another season but something is better than nothing and if this proves to be successful, we’ll certainly have more material for more. More food pron please!

Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: Forgot how hungry #shokugeki_anime makes me… #shokugeki_anime jumps right back into the Autumn Elections without missing a beat. With only 13 eps, there’s no time to waste this season.

Author’s Note: Given that I blogged the first season of Shokugeki no Souma, it’s almost a given that I’d do the sequel… except – I hate Saturday shows >=( I actually hate weekend shows in general because it’s hard to find time to set aside to blog; even if the show is AMAZING! With that said, I hope this show will continue to receive coverage even if the blogger isn’t myself. It certainly deserves the attention and hype.

 

OP Sequence

OP: 「ROUGH DIAMONDS」 by SCREEN mode

Preview

July 3, 2016 at 3:40 pm
35 comments »
  • July 3, 2016 at 3:51 pmPurpleBomber

    I’ve seen several opinions that this was horribly rushed, but IMO the breakneck pace added some great impact for a series that has been off-air for a while. It’s pretty clear that the production team wanted to return with a bang between that and some of the best animation I’ve seen out of this series so far, and for that I’ll give them a thumbs up for the effort.

    • July 3, 2016 at 3:59 pmstarss

      Also remember that reader complained that this part of the manga suffered from arc fatigue, so I think the writers are trying to quicken the pace while still making it coherent.

    • July 3, 2016 at 4:40 pmLyfe

      There was like a little over five manga volumes of material to complete this arc. Given the pace of the first season, I thought this would probably cover pretty much the entirety of Season 2. However, I think we shouldn’t discount the entire Stagiaire arc being covered now. I thought maybe they’d do some as it was teased in the PV, but the pace suggests more.

    • July 3, 2016 at 4:49 pmThe Walker

      I will admit that the speed of events felt really quick, but for me it was probably because I rewatched the first season in a day with a friend who hadn’t in preparation for this. I didn’t have to worry about anything because I knew I could grab another episode and keep moving. Now I have to go back to the waiting game again. *Sigh. I forgot how slightly empty and hungry I feel when I have to wait a week for this show.

    • July 4, 2016 at 5:03 amErimaki

      I’m conflicted on this, to be honest. On one hand, this episode did skip a lot of material I liked (a lot of preparation for the match and the kids’ cooking class visit mentioned by Souma for instance). And I’m always sad when minor scenes are edited out since those are usually my favorites about a series (which happens with pretty much any adaptation ever so I really should be used to it by now).
      On the other hand, the episode was just so darn good. Getting to the match right away worked really nciely for a 20 minute-long episode, and the way it threw viewer into heat of thigns screams Shokugeki no Souma. Plus as starrs says above, in manga this arc is really long and to an extent, suffers from that.

      Anyways, looking at the food made me hungry and isn’t that why we watch this?

      Also, I need to eat sea bream sashimi one day if it’s really that good.

      • July 4, 2016 at 9:58 amCherrie

        As an anime-only viewer, even though I thought the pace was fast, I didn’t think there was anything “wrong”, it was just different than the first season. The first season probably adapted the manga frame by frame, but this season, it seemed to skip a lot which is fine if it wasn’t so abruptly different than its predecessor. It would’ve made the anime longer for sure and probably make me feel worse for Alice for her loss and Souma more triumphant but oh wells… can’t have it all =(

  • July 3, 2016 at 3:58 pmstarss

    A shonen isn’t complete without a seasoned, hulking, badass old guy! :D

    • July 3, 2016 at 5:26 pmzztop

      The return of fit grandpa

  • July 3, 2016 at 3:59 pmL002

  • July 3, 2016 at 4:44 pmLyfe

    Welcome back Shokugeki no Soma :)

    This episode felt more like an Episode 25 than a season premiere. But I guess that’s down more to how they basically just delved right back into the action like the show was never off the air :3

    • July 3, 2016 at 7:59 pmGuile

      Exactly! They didn’t miss a beat, it’s crazy.

      I do feel they could have used an extra minute or two to stretch out the reactions and provide a little more exposition. But I guess they wanted to complete a matchup each episode, and this one needed a handful of minutes on the startup and getting to the stadium.

  • July 3, 2016 at 5:42 pmSmokex365

    Alice is the perfect combination of a girl that can intimidate the hell out of you one second and ne super cute the next. The little spat between Souma and Erina was fun too. She’s a lot less openly hostile and just more tsun.

    • July 4, 2016 at 9:27 amstarss

      Alice is adorbs! I’d prefer her tons more than her stuck-up sister!

  • July 3, 2016 at 6:13 pmBlackBriar

    In light of his strict policy of strength and fortitude along with having a ripped body for his age, I guess they’re saying Senzaemon is the Heihachi of Shokugeki no Soma.

  • July 3, 2016 at 6:17 pmDave

    If you’ve read the manga then the episode does feel extremely rushed in that they basically jumped straight into the match while skipping over all the experimentation/build up. I’m kinda hoping the little character moments don’t all disappear in the name of 13 consecutive match episodes; the balance of the first season was just right.

    • July 4, 2016 at 10:02 amCherrie

      By skipping through all the extra scenes (and SOF moments), it makes Souma’s victory feel a bit more coincidental than actual success from his skill. I dunno, when he told that story of how he went to work with the kids, I was like “Huh? But when? How? What…??” and it just felt very tacked-on.
      At the same time, you don’t really need to fully animate everything to make the viewers feel invested in the characters. Hopefully the rest of the anime won’t be too rushed this season but I won’t get my hopes up when everything’s thinking that another arc might be in there too…

  • July 3, 2016 at 6:44 pmxephx

    Having not read the manga I’m not sure if this episode was rushed or I was just taken a back at them just jumping into plot as if there wasn’t a break between episodes.
    Also going by the OP I’m guessing Megumi is going to lose next episode which sucks since she’s the only character I’m emotionally invested in.

    • July 3, 2016 at 8:00 pmGuile

      It’s not really a surprise though, is it? Megumi has come a long way, but getting matched up against Ryou who is one of the favorites to win…

      I don’t actually remember this matchup at all from the manga, I’m looking forward to it a lot.

    • July 4, 2016 at 10:18 amCherrie

      Megumi is my favorite too =) It’s no secret that I’m on the SoumaxMegumi ship!

  • July 3, 2016 at 6:44 pmOne Pinch Man

    Extremely rushed but still acceptable.

    http://randomc.net/image/Shokugeki%20no%20Souma/Shokugeki%20no%20Souma%20Ni%20No%20Sara%20-%2001%20-%2024.jpg
    Cooking experts out there, is Soma’s cooking really possible to be made?

    http://randomc.net/image/Shokugeki%20no%20Souma/Shokugeki%20no%20Souma%20Ni%20No%20Sara%20-%2001%20-%20Preview%2003.jpg
    Yay, BIZARRE cooking next episode!

  • July 3, 2016 at 7:41 pmJuan

    13 episodes only :( I was really hoping they would make it to the Stagiaire Arc since I think it’s one of the best places to end. Well with the extremely rushed nature of the first episode, I don’t think it’s impossible for them to reach it

    • July 4, 2016 at 12:05 amAcerbus

      According to previews, it looks like it’ll get to that arc?

      I’d love to see the Azami arc done but it’s not happening within 13 eps, even with quick pacing. Stagiaire hits the right balance of challenge with character development so that’d be a nice place to leave off if a season 3 doesn’t happen.

    • July 4, 2016 at 10:15 amCherrie

      No idea how much longer this arc is going to go… but I thought the Autumn Elections would’ve been at least another 10 eps if the full thing is going to be animated with a good pace and enough detail. =S Je ne sais pas.

      • July 4, 2016 at 11:03 amGuile

        Who knows? With 8 matches left in the autumn elections, they might do 1 match an episode for 8 episodes. That would leave 4-5 for the stagiare thing, which sounds about right.

  • July 3, 2016 at 7:50 pmjifu

    Yeap i agree the rush is just nice they mash the things up nicely.

  • July 4, 2016 at 1:50 amxClueless

    I hope you’ll be blogging this Cherrie :) You’re right the show just picked up right where it was left off and the pacing was surprisingly fast! I think I’ll have to reread the manga chapters to refresh my memory now!

  • July 4, 2016 at 6:15 aminfo600

    IMHO, I’m rather glad that a lot of the fluff got cut off from the episode, especially all the explanations of Alice (really, do we need her awards speech in here?). Still, they got a lot in already, including these beauts:
    http://randomc.net/image/Shokugeki%20no%20Souma/Shokugeki%20no%20Souma%20Ni%20No%20Sara%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2020.jpg

    http://randomc.net/image/Shokugeki%20no%20Souma/Shokugeki%20no%20Souma%20Ni%20No%20Sara%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2021.jpg

    http://randomc.net/image/Shokugeki%20no%20Souma/Shokugeki%20no%20Souma%20Ni%20No%20Sara%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2002.jpg

    Gosh I’m glad all those fun stuff were kept.

  • July 4, 2016 at 11:18 amKabble

    Am I the only one who prefers the speediness of this episode as a manga reader?
    As much as the preparation period was awesome I think this speedy format really gives the competition more intensity because they’re just jumping into making them as bombastic as possible. The autumn election arc took an eternity for shokugeki standards so I like this. Honestly, too, I really only need them to adequately show the prep period before the final battle is all; which is what I expect will happen.
    It strikes me as if they’re doing this season bracket style, just fight after fight with the intermediate and final ones getting longer coverage.

  • July 4, 2016 at 1:35 pmHenrietta

    It’s not bad, actually it’s kinda decent but

    IT

    COULD HAVE

    BEEN MUCH BETTER

    WITHOUT RUSHING THE HELL OUT OF EVERYTHING LIKE THIS !!!!!!!

    I mean they literally cut half of the match out. be it preparing period or not. Without proper hyping the opponent and periods of struggling you can’t have a really satisfied outcome IMO.

    This episode is 7/10 for me. But in the parallel universe that this fight get a 2 episodes treatment I would probably give it 9/10

  • July 4, 2016 at 5:10 pmMormegil

    I will continue to watch this for the hot girls(speaking of which, I hope we get more Nikumi this season), foodgasms, and overall intense food battles.

    I like Alice. She’s arrogant, but she’s nowhere near as arrogant and stuck-up as Erina.

    • July 4, 2016 at 6:13 pmCherrie

      I like Alice more too… but that might be because I’ve seen more of Alice’s childhood than Erina. We don’t know much about Erina and her god-like tastebuds but with Alice, we’ve seen that she’s always been in Erina’s shadow and it makes me sympathize her a bit more.

      • July 4, 2016 at 6:23 pmGuile

        From what I remember, Erina’s childhood is fairly standard. For a tsundere anime ojo-sama with ultra-demanding expectations, I mean.

        Alice on the other hand gets to go off to Norway and meet Ryou and wear cute fur outfits in her backstory. I’m sure we’ll see some more backstory out of her eventually this season, they’re super cute together.

  • July 4, 2016 at 10:10 pmManly Tear

    This felt more like a 3rd cour to the 1st season rather than a 2nd season, which I’m fine with, especially with only 13 eps to work with.

    I especially liked seeing Nikumi cheering for Souma – heck, she was cheering the loudest even. Also, as I recall, she wasn’t exactly fond of Alice.

    Now, as much as I like Megumi, I’d find it more interesting for Ryo to win their match next week, just to hear his banter with Alice afterwards :D

  • July 12, 2016 at 11:42 pmzero5889

    I really don’t mind the pace; perhaps JC Staff wants to start with a bang after a long wait (and in the meantime I’m sure many of us still had some Ansatsu Kyoushitsu withdrawal).

    Given Koujirou’s appearance at the opening credits (and as a manga reader), there’s a good chance we’ll also see the Stagiaire arc.
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