Food Wars! The Second Plate – Mid Season Review
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?
Mid Season (6 Episode) Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: With Food Wars!’s return for another season, many noted a blindingly fast pace that threw viewers off. The anime seemed more concerned with cramming in as much content as possible, rather than allowing time for the drama to breath. Now halfway through the season it seems The Second Plate has gradually slowed down, providing a pace that allows for more appreciation of the characters and events that are unfolding this season. It took several episodes, but we’re finally at the halfway mark and season 2 seems to have finally returned to the same stride and pace that kept Season 1 feeling fresh, fun, and altogether enjoyable. It’s just really unfortunate it’s taken half the season to achieve that same level of quality.
Linny: There’s lot of drama and tension served up every episode, all of the focus is on the Autumn competition and every single episode has been about the match up between two competitors. It’s most definitely an intense watch with a lot more action packed in than the last season. For fans who enjoyed the over the top nature of the Shokugekis in the last season, this time around feels like an endless string of showdowns that is sure to delight. Aside from Yukihira himself who we all know is the hero, and thus more likely to win than lose, the outcome of every other match is a mystery. Adding to it is all the usual about turns and dramatic twists that only up the ante and excitement, making this second season feel like it’s bursting with adrenaline.
Tom: While an entire twelve episodes focusing on a tournament could become tedious, there’s plenty of dramatic revelations and personal battles that push the narrative forward, particularly during the season’s mid point, which helps to inject extra drama and offer additional tension when the tournament format starts to drag. However, as the mid season comes to a close, and we move onto the show’s remaining episodes, we’ve dealt with the extra drama that gave a new edge to the proceedings, and it’s unclear if this season has more to offer other than the conclusion of the tournament itself. That could be a real problem going forward, as while the tournament is enjoyable, it’s starting to feel a bit expected, if not outright predictable.
Linny: This new season is definitely keeping its shonen spirit alive with its constant one-upmanship, over the top visuals, and display of cooking prowess. Soma remains ridiculously undefeatable and carefree in true shonen hero style. However, thanks to the comedic tones of the series, it’s easier to enjoy and overlook this classic cliche.
Tom: Soma and the rest of the cast get character development peppered throughout their matches, although the impact of these developments are damaged in the early episodes from the series’ obsession with cramming as many chapters as possible into each episode. Without room to breath, the character development feels less poignant and more like a footnote. It’s unfortunate, but thankfully the series is slowing down enough that the nuance of the story is starting to come back into play.
Linny: Megumi feels like she has grown the most from all the characters featured so far, especially when we recall how timid and unconfident she was when we first met her. We also get to see a bit more into the relationship between Erina and her aid, Hisako and establish that, despite Erina’s cold attitude towards others, she does genuinely care for Hisako. We also had some new characters, one of the most prolific and heavily featured being Mimasaka. Although we had a lot of him in this season so far, it’s yet to be known if he will actually end up becoming a series regular or if he was a one time villain.
Tom: Once the pace has slowed, The Second Plate feels more authentic, and the content cut feels a whole lot less noticeable. It helps that the animation remains as top notch as its first season, though the fan service generally feels toned down, with less frequent disrobings for its female characters and a more heavy reliance on the more absurd depictions of foodgasms.
Linny: If you were put off by the amount of fan service in the first season, this season seems to have been tamed. It’s still there of course but due to a lot of the matches having elderly male judges, their reactions end up becoming more comical than sexual. They’ve become the main source of comedy but if you thoroughly dislike the female reactions, brace yourself as those still exist albeit in smaller quantities.
Tom: Despite a fast pace that threatened to undermine its quality, Food Wars! The Second Plate has recovered quite well and again approaches the quality delivered in the first season. With just six episodes left, it should be clear that this adaptation won’t extend far past the end of the Autumn Tournament arc, and there’s no word on whether we’ll see a third season. For now though, I find myself recommending the second season for anyone who loved the first and was in need of a conclusion to the 1st season’s rather awkward cliffhanger.
Linny: This new season of Food Wars! is a must see for audiences who were left hanging by the awkward conclusion of the first season. It’s jam packed with all the things that made the first season so amazing and is sure to please fans, despite its rushed pacing. The animation holds up and the introduction of new characters makes the story feel fresh even with all of its focus placed on a single tournament arc.
Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma – The Second Plate is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com.