OP: 「BRAVER」 by ZAQ
「十傑に挑む」 (Juu Suguru ni Idomu)
“Challenging the Elite Ten”
So happy that I actually celebrated by eating some Chinese food – and I don’t like Chinese food! *gasp! I know I’m horrible. Anyway – Shokugeki no Souma is back for a third season! And obviously as the resident foodie, I have to blog it so there’s no surprise there. There are a lot of series that I watch that I often forget the characters’ names and faces soon after, but Shokugeki no Souma is so unique and special that it’s like being welcomed back home whenever I see it. Getting back into it (and I haven’t read the manga, so I don’t know if this is how the arc starts), it feels like the best place to begin. With the introduction of all our old favorites, but also with the visit of the Elite Ten! Finally! After a whole 2 seasons, they all show their faces and I’m not going to name them all, but you get the point. A few of them are similar faces, but for the most part, everyone is new and the one Yukihira Souma (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu) decides to challenge is number 8, Kuga Terunori (Kaji Yuki). Knowing Souma, it’s not a shock that he would jump at any opportunity to further his position, but I’m more surprised that it’s even possible! Can anyone just challenge them? And if Souma beats him, does Souma replace Terunori as seat 8 (maybe this was already explained and I just forgot)? It feels really soon for us to get to this point in the story already.
I feel like I’m getting ahead of myself, but seriously, is there anyone new to this anime that needs a reintroduction? RC typically starts it’s introductory post with a recap or summary of the general plot of the show. I feel like Shokugeki no Souma needs no intro. It’s a shounen-esque anime that features a lot of cooking competitions, food porn and some overexaggerations of how food can taste like an orgasm in your mouth. It follows the protagonist, Yukihira Souma and his journey to make it to the top of his class at the most challenging elite culinary school ever! The characters each have their own cooking style or cuisine or choice and they typically stick to it – except for Souma who is the exception and he’s almost like a jack-of-all-trades. I would say that his own comfort zone is probably “elevated diner food” but I think where he excels is his ability to learn and quickly adapt to situations (especially competitions). You can see for his eagerness in this episode that he wants to compete with Terunori head on and he intends to set up booth just across from his. Normally, everyone else would consider this a suicide or failure but at a market? This is completely fair game! I totally am down for his strategy. If he can convince people to try his food instead of Terunori’s or buy both, that’s a win for him.
I loved how this premiere brought back so many favorites from the Autumn Elections that we only got to see briefly. Goes to show just how large the cast of characters has grown and how Souma may be great, but he still has a lot to learn. Amongst all the returning characters (and new ones), I was most pleasantly surprised by Mito Ikumi (Ishigami Shizuka), Konishi Kanichi (Kawada Shinji), and Sadatsuka Nao (Gotou Saori). I mean, out of all the confrontations possible, you see the Don RS vs. Nao for a stall? That’s hilarious and it’s so cute how Ikumis sticks up for Kanichi. It’s all these little developments that happen along the way that I miss and you don’t see often. Then Arato Hisako (Oonishi Saori) shows up and Nao starts swooning which is adorable in its own way. I loved seeing the return of Tadokoro Megumi (Takahashi Minami) and I’m sure everyone will still hear me talking about how I think MegumixSouma are the ultimate OTP in my heart. Asides from that though, it’s very refreshing just to see brief appearances from Houjou Miyoko (Seto Asami), and Isshiki Satoshi (Sakurai Takahiro) because they actually help and encourage Souma to do his best this time around.
I have high hopes for this season as it brings about new characters and returns with the colorful array of characters already available. Of course, I also hope they build upon the development that’s already set – especially between Nakiri Erina (Kanemoto Hisako – they changed her seiyuu!) and Souma given the OP now. That seems to be a focus this season so maybe they’ll finally reveal the relationship between Erina and Souma’s dad.
Full-length images: 13.
ED: 「虚虚実実)」 (Kyokyo Jitsujitsu) by nano.Ripe