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)
Apparently Shin no Sara will be 25 eps.
The question is if the anime will faithfully cover the source’s post-Central arc and ending; considering how hated it was by the manga fandom for its poor plotting/writing (some even called for it to be totally removed, or rewritten, for the anime).
Word is that arc caused Sokugeki’s WSJ cancellation, even though it was designed to revive interest in the franchise. (Readers also felt Tsukuda Yuuto’s 3-chapter tie-up epilogue in Jump Giga was also rushed and unsatisfactory, despite an assertion at the Crunchyroll Expo he did his best.)
Tsukuda said in the fan book that he don’t have time to finish the Erica-Souma romance, yet he spend 2 of those 3 chapters focus on the final arc antagonist, the most hated character in the series.
How come Risa Taneda never came back to reprise her role as Erina? It’s been some time since her operation.
I recall having a similar discussion about that over at the comments thread for High School DxD HERO ep. 00. (Where Risa Taneda reprised her role as Xenovia Quarta after recovering.)
TL;DR: Hisako Kanemoto has managed to “keep” the role of Erina Nakiri based on her performance from the second season onward, and her agency isn’t about to give that up.
At this point, knowing what happens next (and especially after) is quite honestly just bad writing, I’d rather prefer she doesn’t come back to Erina and instead do something that can revive her career big time, like the upcoming second season of Zombie Land Saga, or maybe a second coming of Shin Sekai Yori. Yes Erina is her role and she does deserve to complete it, but I don’t think she really needs to right now.
Is this an Evangelion reference? (Kaworu Nagisa and Eishi Tsukasa are both voiced by Akira Ishida.)
With Rindou revealing herself to be an expert on cooking exotic ingredients and having traveled around the world to sample “foreign queasine”, I can’t help but wonder… Has she tried balut (a.k.a.: hột vịt lộn) during her travels?
Anyway, I’m still internally debating whether to continue after the Central arc is resolved or not.
On one hand, perhaps an anime-original arc could give an ending that’s better than the manga (and if the mangaka is on board to help with the storyboarding and scriptwriting, much better). But on the other hand, I did like the resolution of the Central arc in the manga and I do hope the anime does a good job in adapting that first before proceeding to the next story arc–for good or ill.
Well, guess that bridge will be crossed when it comes. For now, I can’t wait to see what kind of dishes are going to be cooked up.
Cool yellow bandana.
*keeps seeing yellow bandana*
Oh. Why is EVERYONE wearing a yellow bandana??
*BIG yellow bandana in the ED*
ENOUGH WITH THE YELLOW DAMN BANDANA!!!!
Best girl Rindou dont get enough screentime in this series~!