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The Fall 2017 Anime Preview Guide
Food Wars! The Third Plate

How would you rate episode 1 of
Food Wars! The Third Plate ?
Community score: 4.1

What is this?

With the Autumn Elections behind him and the Moon Festival ahead, Yukihira Soma's journey toward culinary supremacy has only just begun! If he wants to be rise beyond even his old man's level, he should set his sights on Totsuki's Elite 10, the most powerful chefs in the academy. Unfortunately, none of them take Soma seriously enough to accept his challenge to a shokugeki, so he'll have to get their attention in other ways. The upcoming Moon Festival, which delivers a parade of food stalls to the public, seems like a good place for a different kind of challenge, so Soma makes a bet with the haughty Chinese cuisine elite Kuga that he can outsell him on his own turf. Go big or go home, right? But this motto becomes shockingly literal when Soma discovers that he will be expelled from Totsuki if he cannot turn a profit at his booth! Food Wars! The Third Plate is based on a manga and streams on Crunchyroll, Tuesdays at 12:30 PM EST.

How was the first episode?

Jacob Chapman

Rating: 3

I wrote up Food Wars! for the preview guide last year, and my feelings on the franchise's main appeal haven't changed since then. Basically, I'd much rather see dish after dish churned out in a hectic tournament with short glimpses into basic character motivations and emotions than the shonen-style hijinks of the ensemble cast before or after a shokugeki. Food Wars' central conceit and the creativity of its dishes keep me coming back, but the cast themselves are too cookie-cutter to hold my attention on their own most of the time. Given that there's not much cooking going on in this first episode, you'd think it wouldn't really be my scene.

Fortunately, all the table-setting this episode does is plenty interesting on its own merits. The setup for the Moon Festival gives us a fuller picture of Totsuki Academy as a sprawling institution, and the event itself seems like something you'd really want to attend if you had the money (or the stomach space)! I'm curious how Soma will go about taking out the elite ten, since it seems like showing up just one of them would be enough to get the attention of the group and greatly change the power dynamic, rather than just having him outcook all ten tournament-style, which could also get pretty stale. Though he seems just as shonen standard as the rest of the cast, Kuga is an entertaining little shit who I can't wait to see unleash his full mapo tofu power when he feels cornered. It's not Food Wars! at the peak of its powers, but the season's just starting, so it's a pretty strong foot forward.

Since this is all setup, there's not much more to add except that some viewers might get a little lost in the shuffle if they haven't seen the three OVAs that took place between season two and now. That includes me, by the way. The episode explains that Soma has met these ten elite jerks before at a lovely picnic in the past, but that's clearly OVA material because this meeting wasn't familiar to me at all. With any luck, maybe Crunchyroll will host that extra content so we can have full context for the series of cook-offs to come.

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