The team cooking battles continue…and continue…and continue…and… Maybe it’s a little too long?
Story: Yuto Tsukuda
Art: Shun Saeki
Contributor: Yuki Morisaki
Translation: Adrienne Beck
Production: James Gaubatz, Mara Coman (Touch up art and lettering), Alice Lewis (design), Jennifer LeBlanc (editor)
What They Say:
All six chefs in the second bout of the team shokugeki finish their dishes simultaneously, making judgment imminent. In a battle between dishes that defy the imagination, which team’s inventiveness will reign supreme and bring home victory—the resistance or Central? With the third bout looming, Soma and the other first-years make their move!
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
I enjoy the face-offs and the personalities…but there does come a point where the reader’s patience might be strained just a bit. That is how I feel after completing this volume. While the entire Régiment de Cuisine is a very exciting affair, having it dragged out over a course of months (unlike how it might play in weekly serialization) saps a lot of the tension and thrills out of it. I’m not pushing Viz to suddenly change their publication schedule (not that I’d mind, but of course it’s not happening), but experiencing this entire tournament arc (that’s what this, after all, a shounen tournament arc) in slow drips and drabs is not the best way.
Where we left off, the second bout of the contest pitted the absolute best of both teams against each other: three of the top four Seats of the Council and perhaps the three strongest performers on the Resistance side: former Council members Megishima and Kuga plus the devilish mimic Mimasaka, whose ability to copy others, no matter their skill level, makes him a fearsome opponent in a shokugeki. All 6 chefs completed their dishes at the same time and so it came down to the judging…which went entirely Central’s way. Tsukasa, Rindo, and Saito all win, but it comes at a cost. The three of them are mentally and physically wiped out. It appears that losing was part of the Resistance’s strategy: to tire out Central’s best, making it possible for the other Resistance members to take them down later.
We get no rest, however. The next bout is already scheduled as Soma, Takumi Aldini, and Megumi are sent out to face a barely recovered Saito, Eizan, and Momo. The odds do not look particularly good. It’s hard to say what will happen from this point forward, though I’ll wager that Soma at least will make it through (title character, of course).
While I do enjoy the personalities and interactions still, including a special cameo of an old familiar face who helped the Resistance in their training, I fear that I am getting a little tired of the food. You might wonder “How does a fan of Food Wars get tired of the food! The food is the main thing!” That could be…but at some point I begin to wonder if any of this stuff is even edible. Not the dishes where a recipe is provided in the text as omake; I would assume those have been table-tested, as it were. No, but some of the outlandish dishes that Eishi Tsukasa or Rindo Kobayashi make and seem to automatically bowl over the judges with. Food is very personal and maybe, just maybe…I would not care for the far too refined fare that a fussy fetishist like Tsukasa would prepare (notice that the recipe for his dish provided in the volume is the “simplified home version”).
And that fatigue then spreads to a desire to see this arc come to a swifter resolution. Granted, it may be that the biggest problem is impatience. If this were an anime, it would all pass much more quickly. There is nothing to be done about the publication schedule. But it is something of a weakness that the manga, as written, cannot do much to compensate for. If you want my advice, it might even pay to delay reading these volumes until the completion of the team battle is included.
The team shokugeki moves onward, with the Resistance taking some losses as Megishima, Kuga, and Mimasaka are knocked out by the very best of Central. Is the Resistance doomed? That’s hard to say, since the idea behind this lineup was also to tire out the strongest chefs on Central’s side. That part of the plan seems to have worked. But will Soma and the other first-years be able to hold on for victory? More to come.
Content Grade: B+/A-
Art Grade: A-
Package Rating: A-
Age Rating: Teen+ (16+)
Released By:Viz Media
Release Date: December 4th, 2018