OP: 「Chronos」by (Stereo Dive Foundation)
「守りたいもの」 (Mamoritai mono)
“What We Want to Protect”
Shokugeki no Souma: Shin no Sara has just premiered and my plate has very quickly reached full capacity. After just one episode, it feels like we’ve navigated through events that should have occurred over two or three. That’s not to say I didn’t thoroughly enjoy the premiere.
As a fan, I’m actually really glad to find the series again. I missed its over-the-top competitive edge and cooking bouts. The first time I saw a Shokugeki, it felt as though I was watching superheroes fight. We’ve definitely come a long way since then and so have the characters. Although the first two seasons guided us through Yukihira Souma’s fish out of water experience, the third season shifted its focus to a larger issue: that of the institution. Rebel faction, lead by Souma (protagonist), fights against the Elite Ten, lead by Tsukasa Eishi in order to retake control of their school, now structured to satiate Nakiri Azami’s (antagonist) corporate interest.
At the end of the previous season, we were left in the midst of a food war between the rebel faction and the Elite ten (both old and new members) that would determine the fate of the school. It was a harsh leaving us stranded there with no confirmation of a fourth season coming, but I knew it had to happen. Now rushed back into it this season, the creators have compiled various (elaborate) timelines explaining how we’ve reached the second stage of the battle. I expect it was done this way to help everyone catch up and give them a quick reminder. But to be honest, I felt more confused than enlightened. I would have rathered have a recap of the last season than have to jump through that timeline again. The confusing aspect could also be attributed to the mashing of characters side by side in the hopes of reminding viewers of those present at the end of last season. It was a lot in such a short period of time and I’m hoping this pace is a one-off.
But things I enjoyed included seeing Kuga Terunori and Souma working together, Souma’s stubborn and determined stance (always a pleasure), Kobayashi Rindou’s elaborate skills (yes!), and of course, the over-the-top tasting sessions. Still to this day, after having watched so many episodes, I have no clue as to why the barechested reactions to food appeal to me so. I do enjoy food thoroughly so the idea that there could be something so tasty out there that I would feel ‘bare’ sounds delicious and exciting! Hasn’t happened yet, but I’m holding onto hope.
In regards to Kuga and Souma, it’s nice to see them working together. They’ve challenged each other in the past, learned from defeats, and enhanced their cooking so the fact that they’re on the same team almost makes them seem indestructible. Now, imagine if Rindou switched sides.
As for the shokugekis themselves, up until last season they kept me on the edge of my seat but Azami’s got to be taken down and there’s no way the rebels will be expelled because that would mean we’d lose our main characters. So it’s easy to see where this is headed (maybe for the first cour) but I wonder what will come next. How will the creators of the show rectify upcoming challenges and offer up a stellar season to help end the series?
The rebels will make it out alive (I’m sure) but the rest is to be determined, and to be watched too.
ED: 「Emblem」by (Nano Ripe)