What’s the show? Food Wars! The Third Plate, Episode 18-22.
I thought you were done reviewing ‘Food Wars’ for this season? I was, because at the time I felt like I was just repeating myself every time I sat down to write about it—there’s so only so much you can mindlessly praise a show—and that’s what I felt like my reviews of the season 3 episodes were rapidly becoming.
I suppose that’s fair enough, if even you thought it was tedious I can’t imagine what the readers were thinking… Tch.
So why are we back with this bumper review of episodes 18-22? I felt like talking about Food Wars again, I got the itch!
But all of the missing episodes, and not just the latest one? Sure why not, let’s quickly run down what I thought of each of the preceding episodes before the one’s I really want to talk about.
Episode 18? A satisfying—if predictable conclusion to the Akira x Soma battle, I liked how Dojima and Shiomi put Akira in his place for his overall conduct, though how ‘neatly’ Akira is pretty much back to being a “good-guy” is top-tier cliche ‘shonen’ BS. “The power of friendship” and all that. Also, I hope the cute blonde twin judges come back in a future episode! Oh and the episode ends with the ‘shocking’ revelation that pretty much everyone in Polar Star Dormitory and the rest of the rebels have been expelled with the exception of Erina, Megumi and Takumi. It’s a bloodbath—you know just without the blood…
And how about episode 19? Hmm, not a lot happened in this episode, though it’s cool that Soma’s dad is back in the picture! I’ve always liked his character and how easily he can rile up his son. There’s a couple of funny moments but ultimately not a lot to it, it’s probably the weakest episode of this half of the season (so far).
Next, episode 20? More of the same as the previous episode just with a bit more food porn (of the edible kind). Truth be told I loved seeing this side of Erina, and it makes me ship her and Soma all the more! The ending of the episode is thoroughly fantastic as the last remaining rebels confront Director Azami and the rest of the remaining Elite 10 on different sides of a train-platform and Erina finally gets the courage to stand up to her brutal father by resigning her place on the Elite 10 to be able to compete against Central in a team Shokugeki! She’s so brave! *heart eyes*
Episode 21? Something of a flashback episode—as it started I was kind of dreading it would be dull but I should have known better, they knock it out of the park with this look back to Joichiro’s, Dojima’s and Azami’s high-school days at Totsuki Academy where all of them were members of the Polar Star Dormitory! I loved getting to see a different side of Azami with his all-encompassing admiration for Joichiro and how him leaving the school before graduating deeply affected his whole world view and pretty much created the twisted, totalitarian director of Central. The visual motif of Joichiro barely able to keep on his feet as he walked through a windswept desert and then it transitioning to Soma doing the same but with a determined smile on his face was powerful imagery. I probably could talk longer on this episode, but suffice to say this was an unexpected highlight—well until Episode 22 rolled on around.
Right on then, let’s talk about that one, what made it so good that you had to return to reviewing this show? It’s not any one thing, and I think that’s indicative of Food Wars in general, it’s that it’s an ensemble show and not any single thing can make it stand-out, it’s only when every piece of the puzzle is put into the correct place that the perfect picture forms.
But I thought you said you had little to complain about the previous episodes? How can this be better than something you had no complaints about? Just because I had little to no complaints didn’t mean it was perfect. The thing about Food Wars is that it’s gotten to the point when even an episode that’s lacking the ‘spark’ such as Episode 19 is still a wholly entertaining 24 minutes of anime. I don’t want to turn this into some ‘overview’ of the series—that’s best left for Seasonal reviews, but I just find it pointless to complain about something that’s so consistently good at what it does. Back on point…
Sorry, go ahead. It’s time for the Team Shokugeki! Soma has his team of 8, bolstered by a couple of familiar faces such as Satoshi—the bare buttock 3rd year from Polar Star Dormitory, Kuga—the teasing one whose voice actor sounds a lot like Soma, Subaru—the musclebound copycat and Megishima—who I didn’t initially recognise from the anime but who I’d seen a couple of times in the manga.
And so how’s this Team Shokugeki work? Well it’s basically just random 1v1 Shokugeki’s and the winners keep competing until one side has wiped out the other side. The first 3 up to the chopping black are Soma x Nene, Satoshi x Shiratsu and Megishima x Shoko (I had to look up the 3rd opponent because the show doesn’t mention it). Now… I could go into exhausting detail about every little moment in this episode but I’ll try and surmise it a lot quicker because I didn’t want this review to end up an ordeal to read.
That’s very kind of you. So the whole event is being emceed by Urara—the closest thing Totsuki Academy has to an idol—and who is in extra crazy form here. She’s pretty much the comic relief for the episode, although the expelled students also have some great lines as they’re left confined to a ~literal~ cage on the sidelines to watch the Shokugeki’s take place. Also if you love the seemingly exhaustive explanations about regional cuisines and cooking techniques and ingredient origins and recipe techniques then boy does this episode have you covered!
That… doesn’t exactly sound all that fun? In any other show this kind of thing might seem dry but it’s delivered with the authority and authenticity and enthusiasm and character we’ve come to expect from this show and it’s all an utter joy to watch! There’s so many great character moments and call backs to previous episodes, this is Food Wars at its best and it only looks to be getting better with the continuation of this arc. I will continue with weekly episode reviews of this show until the season ends so look forward to them!
Previous Food Wars! Reviews:
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