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Shokugeki no Souma: Ni no Sara Episode #10 Anime Review

4 min read

Food Wars Second Plate Episode 10Even the most inventive chef needs a specialty to come out on top.

What They Say:
“A New Genius”

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The Autumn Elections are finally at their end, after having taken up the entirety of the story since late in the first season. The final three have all proven that they reached this point by no fluke, Souma requiring a surprise second coming to stand alongside the others. This prompts Isshiki to shower him with praise a tad too strongly considering how wonderful Souma has been made out to be all throughout the series. He struggles and works hard, and that’s great, but this message being so intensely conveyed to love Souma as the perfect protagonist gets tiring when he has been legitimately too arrogant and had things go his way too often to really get behind him as the most deserving character in the series. Some of the structure around when each of these three characters is given focus is strange, although the point could be to throw off guesses of who will emerge the victor. Just before the result is announced, we’re transported to a scene that makes the conclusion obvious, but it does subvert some expectations that may have arisen prior to that point, as well as serving to explain some of the lack of even attention given in the first episode of the final match. All things considered, it’s probably the best outcome, but the judges make sure to point out strengths and weaknesses of each character that could contribute significantly to making or breaking the careers of these young chefs both at Totsuki and in their professions.

The most important message sent is that everyone can learn from someone else, and if Souma didn’t take that notion very seriously, he wouldn’t make it as the protagonist of this series at all. It’s only because we can see each of the three finalists begrudgingly hanging out with each other to taste the cooking of their rivals and trying to figure out how they can do better that they all deserve to have been considered worthy to stand on that final stage, and the relationship that has developed between the three of them as a result is very interesting. Ryo was always just Alice’s plus-one and we didn’t know Akira before the tournament, which has been running for so long now. He always seemed like the kind of master who wouldn’t be seen with the rough likes of Polar Star, an image that had been presented for the Nakiri family but more or less shattered by this point. To see him not only experience so much in his backstory but ultimately come to a point of equality and competitive camaraderie with his final opponents humanizes him a lot and adds to his character. As the story moves past this tournament and he remains prominent, though, he quickly becomes the character most in need of a real challenge to knock him down a few pegs, lest he become an even more boringly perfect golden child than Souma ever had the risk of.

While the Autumn Elections took up the last chunk of the first season and most of this one, they are in fact over with a few episodes to spare. Having spent all this time on this tournament, being left with only three episodes before the season concludes feels strange, mostly because it’s hard to imagine how much can really be accomplished toward what sounds like the next big event of this kind that is introduced almost as soon as the previous one is finally over. It seems extremely unlikely that it will actually begin, but the question is now how strong the finale will end up being.

In Summary:
The Autumn Elections are finally over. For all the time invested into them, this may be a slightly underwhelming finale, in part due some surprising structure around the results, but the real takeaway is how it affects the characters going forward, building a fun new three-way rivalry.

Grade: A-

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Roku 3, Sceptre X425BV-FHD 42″ Class LCD HDTV.