First Impressions – Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara

Step aside Black Clover, the real, hot Weekly Shounen Jump anime of Fall 2017 has arrived!

In all seriousness, I am really glad that Shokugeki no Souma got renewed for a third season. It’s effectively a cooking anime following the story beats that you expect to see in the shounen genre and while that sounds weird on paper, it surprisingly works really well. The cook offs are intense, the characters are very motivated and compelling, and the food is undeniably very tantalizing. I also quite like how this show looks; J.C. Staff does a great job adding stylistic and picturesque flourishes to really accentuate how intense and, dare I say, steamy things can get. And yes, this show is amazingly perverted but I find most of the fanservice to be goofy as opposed to gratuitous. The show is far from perfect — I thought Season 1 paced a little too slowly and Season 2 got a little carried away with the action — but I find it to be very entertaining.

Just a head’s up: I encourage that anyone who will be watching Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara, to watch the second Ni no Sara OVA first. San no Sara actually starts right where that OVA left off. You do have Souma and Megumi provide some recap in this episode but it’s a little bit awkward and you’re better off having the additional context the OVA provides. Sadly, none of the Shokugeki no Souma OVAs are currently available on Crunchyroll so you’ll have to look on third party websites to watch any of them (and I’m not one to encourage that kind of stuff but for now, it’s the best option).

Anyway, in San no Sara, Souma has his sights on becoming a member of the Elite Ten Council again though only the 8th seat, Terunori Kuga, shows any bit of interest in taking up on Souma’s challenge. Coincidentally, Totsuki Academy is gearing up for its Moon Festival where students can set up booths and service food to the public and Souma sees this as a chance to compete against Kuga and prove that he’s a worth duking out in a shokugeki. It’s a crazy plan on Souma’s part but this far into the show, it’s pretty obvious that Souma rarely gets intimidated by anything.

Plus, this is a very intriguing and unorthodox way to have Souma climb up Totsuki’s social ladder. I originally expected Souma to compete against each Elite Ten member tournament style but I’m glad that the story is not going in that direction. As much as I enjoyed the Autumn Elections in Ni no Sara, it did get a little stale towards in the end because of how much non-stop action was going on. Having Souma get the Elite Ten’s attention this way is a little refreshing and it’s absolutely something Souma would do. There’s also an interesting set-up here. On one hand, Souma’s bold strategy to set up a booth right next to Kuga and steal all of his potential customers could seriously work. On the other hand, Kuga has an army of bald clones to systematically cook mapo doufu while Souma is currently on his own. Regardless, I’m looking to what kind of Chinese-style cuisine Souma will cook up. So far, Souma has not disappointed in that department.

OP: “BRAVER” by ZAQ

ED: “Kyokyo Jitsujitsu” by nano.Ripe

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