“Ermm... I am Souma Yukihira. Truth be told, I did not expect to be admitted in this academy. I do not plan on losing to some bunch, who never stood in front of clients. I will use all of you as stepping stones. Now that I am here, I will take the top.”-- Souma Yukihira
Food Wars!, or Shokugeki no Soma is a Japanese shounen manga series, which was written by Yuuto Tsukuda and illustrated by Shun Saeki. Due to big success, the manga received an anime adaptation by J.C.Staff, which aired between April 3, 2015 and September 25, 2015 and a second season, which began airing on July 2, 2016. The new season continues after the qualifying test with curry dishes. Eight contestants have entered the quarterfinal of Autumn Elections: Souma, Megumi, Takumi, Hisako, Alice, Kurokiba, Hayama, and Mimasaka. Their next challenge is bento. (Note: bento is a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine. A traditional bento includes rice, fish or meat, with pickled, or cooked vegetables, usually in a box-shaped container. While bento can be bought all over Japan (you can buy them almost everywhere in Japan), Japanese try to prepare bento for their relatives, with a great care. That said, bento is something very important for all Japanese; it has been a part of Japanese history for almost 831 years). What new dishes will Souma, Megumi, Takumi, Hisako, Alice, Kurokiba, Hayama, and Mimasaka have to cook, who is going to be the best, and how is Totsuki Saryou Ryori Gakuen going to implement their Totsuki Saryou Ryori Gakuen stagiaire program—are the main three questions the new season will try to answer.
The animation and sound are on the level. Not only character designs, but also the food makes you want to cook something delicious. The creators of Food Wars! spend enough time and money on the animation, making cooking look more like a fistfight than anything else. The sound and the voice acting; however, deserve a special mention. The OST is so awesome that it helps you to dive into the atmosphere of this series and to be more prepared for what is about to happen. Truth be told, I have never called a shounen “epic”, but thanks to the OST of Food Wars! I can say that this anime is truly epic sometimes. But the OST is not the only thing that I should mention, the voice acting is also amazing: all characters seem to be real, their emotions, their deeds; the Japanese cast did one hell of a job voicing their characters.
The characters are still the same, the only exception; however, is that some new supporting characters that will not do anything significant for the story, will take part in the new series. Anyways, the characters of Food Wars! are still far from being flawless: Souma is not perfect, sometimes you just do not want him to repeat all these cliché of his ancestors. (Not noticing that some girls love him, for example). But, at the same time, Souma is different because he is the true warrior, he is the true man. His aim to become the top, his aim to become the best, has not changed. He is also not a prodigy, he is not a billionaire, he is just a normal young man with his own dreams. He does not only win, and it has not changed in this season, but he still works hard and he is still able to surprise everyone. And I must say that his charisma is still very contagious. However, the main problem of this anime is supporting characters and it has not changed yet. They are so dull and boring that sometimes you just want to skip their scenes. Do not get me wrong, I am just trying to say that more attention should have been spent on the supporting characters.
As for enjoyment, the series is still very enjoyable and I would even say that the new season is more enjoyable than the first. Everything has become serious, and the second season of Food Wars is far from being a comedy now. Yes, it is still not flawless, and I would love to see more supporting characters’ development, but, at the same time, it is not something I would call “a very serious flaw.” Food Wars still has enough material for a new season and I hope that the third season will become even more epic than the previous two.
All in all, Food Wars has not changed at all: it is still epic and you just want it to never end. Without a doubt, it is still far from being flawless, and I would not recommend you to watch it, if you did not like the first season; however, for those who liked the first season, I am sure that Food Wars! The Second Plate will not disappoint you.