Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma – The Second Plate – Preview
Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma – The Second Plate:
Original Air Dates: July 2nd, 2016 – ???
Synopsis: Having won the right to compete in the traditional Autumn Elections Tournament, Soma now finds himself in the final rounds, up against some of the toughest first years the Totsuki Academy has to offer. Can Soma, Megumi and the others climb their way to the top and take first place in the Autumn Tournament or will Soma find his culinary skills aren’t up to the challenge?
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Shokugeki no Soma returns for its second season, picking up practically right where we left off at the end of its first. This time fan service is minimized for its return, with only one disrobing foodgasm for the lovely ladies. Instead this episode focuses more on the comedy of the foodgasm/disrobing than the ecchi overtones often present with the female characters. The art itself remains top notch, equaling the quality we’d all grown use to last time. Visually Second Plate is a perfect continuation of Shokugeki no Soma.
Linny: Fans of the first season might notice that this new episode moves a lot faster than before and when you realize that this season is only getting 13 episodes as opposed to last season’s 24, it explains the quick pace. Whether done due to budget limitations or on purpose, there’s a fear that we might be missing out on some material from the source in order to get all that content to fit. For now, the premiere episode returns us to our familiar and well loved characters with no huge changes in their art style or depictions so there should at least be no big disappointments in that regard.
Tom: The focus here is on Soma and Alice, the first two to be competing in the final rounds of the tournament. Soma is his usual charming self, with crazy pop cooking ideas that seem incredibly foolish on the outside, but show a surprising amount of thought and care on the inside. Alice, whom we didn’t get too much time with last season, is just as oblivious and sheltered as ever. Interestingly this second season doesn’t bother with any kind of recap to try and catch audiences up. Rather it jumps right into things and feels almost as if we never left to begin with. The pace is very quick this time around, covering an entire match up in just one episode, which is much faster than Season 1; where matches would often take at least two episodes to finish.
Linny: This episode continues to explore its contestants and their background, more so in the case of Alice leading to the feeling that we’ll be getting backstories on all the other contestants as well in their respective match up episodes. This should hopefully help flesh out characters who had limited screen time in the past season and make them more interesting and more endearing.
Tom: As an Adaptation, I find Second Plate isn’t quite as faithful as the first. Shokugeki no Soma ran for twenty four episodes adapting about sixty chapters over the course of its run. So a little more than 2 chapters an episode on average. Here however, we can already tell something is different thanks to Second Plate’s wildly fast pace. It’s clearly trying to cover as much ground as possible, as quickly as possible. It leads me to suspect that, adapted at the original’s pace, we’d have enough content for maybe eighteen or so episodes, falling short of the twenty-four requirement for a two-cour series. Rather than stretching the tournament arc out to fit that twenty-four count, or adapting content after the end of the Manga’s tournament arc and wrapping things up with a fairly unsatisfying stop point while we wait for the manga to move forward, Second Plate has opted to instead cram the forty or so chapters left of the Tournament arc down into just thirteen episodes. This isn’t without causalities however. In the episode Soma mentions having to work with a group of children to teach them cooking. This, in fact, happened in the manga, and the adaptation has chosen to skip the chapter that covered this little side story. This episode also covers all five chapters that the manga took to portray the match between Alice and Soma. Seeing as we’re down to less than thirty chapters to adapt left after this, it’s likely Second Plate’s pacing will slow down, adapting less material and giving more room for its content to breath unlike the balls to the wall pace we see here.
Linny: If you enjoyed Season One’s thorough adaptation of the manga, this first episode might make you feel disappointed by the amount of material it skipped, more so if you’ve been faithfully following the manga yourself. Hopefully, like Tom mentions, the rest of the season will try to include as much as possible. Regarding its fan service, looks like even with the reduction, Soma will never fully dismiss it. All in all, it was an enjoyable return to the series and one that makes me look forward to the rest of the season.
Tom: Despite this adaptations eagerness to cover extra ground, it still felt more than enjoyable enough to keep watching. Everything you loved about the first season is back, and an argument could even be made that the increased pace makes the show feel tighter. I’ll definitely be interested to see if the series slows down a little now that we’re past the first match up.
Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma – The Second Plate is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com.