The Summer 2016 Anime Preview Guide Food Wars! The Second Plate
How would you rate episode 1 of
Food Wars! The Second Plate ?
What is this?
Totsuki Culinary Academy's Autumn Elections have finally moved past the preliminary rounds and entered the tournament stage! The school's ultimate food war begins with a quarterfinal match between our hero, Yukihira Soma, and the prestigious molecular gastronomist (not to mention granddaughter of the academy's director) Alice Nakiri! Their challenge: bento boxes! Will this seemingly humble dish get the best of these stone-cold competitors? Whose delicious lunchbox will come out on top?! Food Wars! The Second Plate is based on a manga series and can be found streaming on Crunchyroll, Saturdays at 10:00 AM EST.
How was the first episode?
I feel like a total outlier when it comes to Food Wars!, because I actually like the show best when it's in full-on tournament mode. (I'm assuming this is a less common opinion based on the trajectory of the show's ratings on ANN.) The series' attempts at an ongoing plot or character development have never really worked for me as anything more than super-rote Shonen Jump clichés. Heck, if I'm being honest, the story often undershoots that bar as well, thanks to its too-perfect protagonist and two-dimensional supporting cast. If it wasn't for the eminently lovable underdog Megumi Tadokoro, I'm not sure I would have any emotional investment in this over-the-top series at all. I realize this puts me at odds with most fans of the show, and I can definitely see why someone with a deeper investment in the characters might get tired of this Iron Chef tournament setting's monotony. I get it.
But I'm not here for the story, I'm here for the food porn, and when Food Wars! is in full-on tournament mode like it probably will be for this entire 13-episode season, I'm having a pretty scrum-diddly-umptious time!
This first episode of The Second Plate is probably a strong indicator of what to expect going forward: faceoffs, faceoffs, and more faceoffs! We might have one or two breaks for a powwow back at Polar Star Dorm with the wider cast, and they might introduce an outside conflict to shake up the Election's final round, but barring these breathers, I hope you're ready for a long string of orgasmic overreactions from the judge's table week after week! I'm pretty stoked for the nonstop culinary trivia parade myself, and to be fair, there are a few appeals to emotion in Yukihira's ever-present consideration of the everyday consumer's needs and tastes giving him the edge against the snootier cooks in school. Still, if the Autumn Election material from last season left you fatigued, you should definitely brace yourself for more of that intensity going forward. If you're a weirdo like me who's just here to learn about cool cooking stuff in the most flamboyant way possible, then bon appetit!
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