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EP. REVIEW: Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma [2015-04-11]


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Via_01



Joined: 24 Aug 2014
Posts: 551
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 2:00 pm Reply with quote
They are going a bit beyond what's necessary with the foodgasms, but I'll keep myself optimist, as I know that this gets pretty interesting in the future. Souma makes for a compelling protagonist, at least, and the fact that they build up Erina to be his rival, and not a love interest (for the moment), is rather refreshing (plus, though she may act the way she does, but she DOES have the necessary skills to support her haughty attitude).
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johan.eriksson.9003



Joined: 27 Oct 2014
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 2:23 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, the early foodgasms were all a bit too creepy if you ask me, but I must say that I appreciate them as a clever way of including copious fanservice without ever putting the characters in genuinely sexual or humiliating situations. They also work great as a way of making someone's taste-experiences amusing to watch. I much prefer the later ones that branch out and do more than just fanservice with them though.
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Stark700



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 2:42 pm Reply with quote
One of my personal favorites for this season...

It's on par with the manga and always knows how to entertain the audience. I take the fanservice as more of a satire rather than being blunt and unnecessary. Plus, the food is artistically crafted imo. I wonder if this will be a 2 cour though as it seems very likely given how many chapters there are present in the manga.
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Via_01



Joined: 24 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 2:46 pm Reply with quote
They are going a bit beyond what's necessary with the foodgasms, but I'll keep myself optimist, as I know that this gets pretty interesting in the future. Souma makes for a compelling protagonist, at least, and the fact that they build up Erina to be his rival, and not a love interest (for the moment), is rather refreshing (plus, though she may act the way she does, but she DOES have the necessary skills to support her haughty attitude).
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Andrew Cunningham



Joined: 01 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 2:49 pm Reply with quote
I can't help but feel like he's slumming it a bit on this project, but it definitely feels like a Yonetani show, both from the over-the-top flourishes and the ridiculous cheesecake. He's one of the best directors in the businesses, even if his own excesses tend to get in the way of him making an out-and-out masterpiece.
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gedata



Joined: 04 May 2013
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 2:52 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Unfortunately the show's use of the foodgasms present in the manga the anime is based on make use of a very dated idea of female sexuality. Both men and women experience the extreme pleasure of eating Soma's cooking, but men are shown as reveling in it, while women appear to be experiencing it against their wills. In part this could be explained by the fact that neither the land shark nor Erina want to admit that the food is any good, spoiler[but that doesn't explain Soma's female friend]

Well she was forced into eating that awful combonation by Soma at the very beginning so the reaction, as tasteless as it was, makes sense. The only reason the foodgasms feel downplayed in the manga is because, well, it's a manga. Adding voices and animation would obviously make them more noticeable.
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Hameyadea



Joined: 23 Jun 2014
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:01 pm Reply with quote
Episodes #1-2:

In the previous cour, the Winter Season, we got Kōfuku Graffiti, this cour, the Spring Season, we have Shokugeki no Sōma. Two food-centric shows and use light eroticism (in Kōfuku Graffiti's case) or more borderline-sexual content (as in Shokugeki no Sōma's case).

The show starts with the titular character, Yukihira Sōma, and his father, the Yukihira diner-owner Yukihira Jōichirō, having a cooking contest with Sōma's female classmate Kurase Mayumi as the umpire. The "weapon of choice"? Delicious-looking and greatly-animated Fried Rice (with seasoning). And that's when the series' hook kicks-in: she squirms in her seat, clenching her legs together and starts breathing heavily. In other words: she experience a foodgasm. And their tone is hard-and-rough. so much so that some viewers might find the Foodgasm scenes in #1 & 2 as intolerable, disgusting, misogynic or any of them, so viewer discretion is advised.

However, the Foodgasms aren't the only thing this series has to keep the audience's attention; it has gorgeously-looking, impressively-presented dishes. Meat, potatoes, eggs, rice, sauce. and many more ingredients are animated in a beautiful fashion and shown for good viewing-angles (not just top-down views, but side-views and diagonal-views) to emphasize the meals' greatness and richness. From the two aired episodes, zero meals were depicted in an ugly way (yes, even the Squid-in-a-Peanut-Butter), and there's left to hope is that studio J.C. Staff will keep this level of emphasis on the meals animation throughout its run.

With Matsuoka Yoshitsugu voicing the male lead, he is now in four animes that premiered this Season (the other being Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darō ka?, Daiya no Ace ~Second Season~ and Mikagura Gakuen Kumikyoku, voicing lead, support, lead, respectively). Not counting the lead roles he was in 3 shows in the Winter Season (plus 1 guest appearance), one might get the Matsuoka-fatigue. And as someone who heard him almost-constantly from 2014's Spring Season, I'm having a bit of trouble discerning between his roles (Dungeon ni Deai wo Motomeru no wa Machigatteiru Darō ka?'s Bell Cranel is the most recent exception within this streak). However, somehow despite the Matsuoka-fatigue, I find his performance as Sōma natural and appropriate for the character. Taneda Risa's rendition of Nakiri Erina is also a good fit with the character's egomaniac persona.

The BGM is also helping building the tension during each of the two episodes' "Moment of Truth", when Sōma cooks a meal that must be tasty or he'll incur serious losses (restaurant closure in #1, school acceptance in #2). It also helps reaching a tonal catharsis from said tension was the meals have been served.

The plot itself is, as pointed numerous times both in the Preview Guide and in Rebecca Silverman's Review, a typical Weekly Shōnen Jump sports-esque show. After establishing the world, settings, characters, ambitions and the Fighting Arena (Tōtsuki Culinary Academy), throwing our lead character into said premise to battle (read: cook) against formidable foes (and one haughty bitch lass). I read the first ~5 manga chapters about a year ago, so I don't know how the story is layered (with Episode #2 already adapting a good chunk of said manga Chapters), but I expect that the story will remain at a lukewarm level that doesn't get too deep, nor gets too mind-numbing simple. Sport mangas as sport mangas go, there'll be (at least there should be) tournament-like settings, with the periodical Cook-Off Battle against Big-Name-Foe or something similar. But again, as I wrote at the beginning of the post, this show's focus is primarily on the food and secondly on the Foodgasms. Any other plot element will take that backseat and will be on a slow burn (pun intended). So if you expect some meaningful story and amazing characterizations, you'll be disappointed (or so I think. Only time, and spoiler-spreading brats, can tell).

So far I'm enjoying watching this show more than I did with Kōfuku Graffiti, but less than, say, Gintama°.


Last edited by Hameyadea on Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:35 am; edited 3 times in total
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johan.eriksson.9003



Joined: 27 Oct 2014
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:26 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, the early foodgasms were all a bit too creepy if you ask me, but I must say that I appreciate them as a clever way of including copious fanservice without ever putting the characters in genuinely sexual or humiliating situations. They also work great as a way of making someone's taste-experiences amusing to watch. I much prefer the later ones that branch out and do more than just fanservice with them though.
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myskaros



Joined: 13 Jun 2011
Posts: 521
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:33 pm Reply with quote
As a huge fan of the manga, I think this was a great review. Going back to read the first few chapters after knowing where it is now, the tone is very different and it feels that they were relying on the fanservice as blatant titillation, whereas, once the story gets into a groove, the foodgasms are more clearly exaggerated puns and any fanservice includes hefty amounts of satire.

I hope people who are on the fence will stick it out to episode 3, since this is where we will get into more of the regular pace for this series.

Did anyone else just laugh out loud at that throwaway mob character Nikaido? Whoever voiced his lines was spectacularly enthusiastic about it Very Happy
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Via_01



Joined: 24 Aug 2014
Posts: 551
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 3:47 pm Reply with quote
I'd ike to add that I'm eager to see Megumi make her debut. She's by far the best female character of this series in my book, both because of her personality and overall growth.
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myskaros



Joined: 13 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 4:00 pm Reply with quote
Via_01 wrote:
Souma makes for a compelling protagonist, at least, and the fact that they build up Erina to be his rival, and not a love interest (for the moment), is rather refreshing (plus, though she may act the way she does, but she DOES have the necessary skills to support her haughty attitude).

I do have to give props to this point, for episode 2. If you had known nothing about the series going into it, the mood was definitely going towards "new super kid proves his skills, gets the girl, gets admitted." Even knowing what happens beforehand, I was still pulled into the tension of the scene. It was a well-directed misdirection, and definitely a nice change from how shounen series typically go.
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Maize Hughes



Joined: 28 Aug 2011
Posts: 81
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:09 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
Unfortunately the show's use of the foodgasms present in the manga the anime is based on make use of a very dated idea of female sexuality. Both men and women experience the extreme pleasure of eating Soma's cooking, but men are shown as reveling in it, while women appear to be experiencing it against their wills.


Yeah, I dropped this after the tentacle scene. He did that to his friend. Ugh. Forget it.

(It would have been wrong to do it to anyone, but really, his friend? What kind of monster is he?)

I think I'm going to watch something more wholesome like Punch Line or High School DxD.
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myskaros



Joined: 13 Jun 2011
Posts: 521
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 5:45 pm Reply with quote
Maize Hughes wrote:
Yeah, I dropped this after the tentacle scene. He did that to his friend. Ugh. Forget it.

Do you ban every anime that features a girl who cooks poorly and forces male characters to eat it anyway?

CrowLia wrote:
It is not a positive pleasure because they're trying to reject it and they're being shamed and humiliated for feeling it.

So the act of sabotaging a business in order to force them to close shop, or trying to shame someone's "low-culture" cooking without even tasting it, those acts are OK, but conversely being shamed into admitting that maybe someone's cooking is actually tasty, that's not allowed? Hm.
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CrowLia



Joined: 24 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:02 pm Reply with quote
^I'm just gonna copy and paste what I said in the Preview Guide when I hadn't tried to make my point in over ten different posts because the more I think about it, the more grossed out I am:

I usually love a story of an underestimated hero who bedazzles the world with his amazingness. My problem with this was that it had such a sexual framing my mind kept going straight to "Look at this cool bro making this bitch subjugate through the power of his manly sexuality". It felt hateful and nasty towards the girl involved

^See, I wrote that when I had forgotten about the assault cherubins scene, 'coz now all I can think about when I try to figure what this show is trying to tell me "haughty bitches who think they're better than you deserve to be force-sexed into submission."
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jojothepunisher



Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 799
PostPosted: Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:27 pm Reply with quote
Here are my complaints for this show:
- The opening and ending were very lazily crafted. Some of the poses and movements characters make in the opening are unnecessary and seem to lack creativity, could be due to lack of budget?
- The first episode dragged out the foodgasm for way too long, and I hope this dragging out problem don't happen again in the future (the second episode was fine)
- I understand that Erina has huge boobs, but in the anime version they just seem monstrously huge

Rebecca's review is sort of funny, because pretty much the entire community that reads Shokugeki no Soma have the opinion that Erina is a huge b!!!h. But Rebecca is also right that this incompatibility of the two characters is one of the reasons why this is an interesting story.
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