Shokugeki no Soma Episode 24 [Final Impression]
Shokugeki no Soma is a cooking anime.
After hyping up their confrontation for practically the entire second half, it’s only right that the finale ends with Soma facing off against Hayama – and with the both of them making enough of their dish for the other to try, it seems more like a direct competition than anything in the Autumn Election so far. As usual, their dishes are lauded by gourmet experts who are supposedly jaded and cynical – one thing I noticed (and it’s not only a thing this week, but something in general that was particularly the case here) was that a lot of the praise seemed to be directed towards the use of certain ingredients, or the quality of those ingredients. So those who have the most money would, all other things being equal, have the greatest advantage – like Nikumi and her A5 beef. Of course, it’s not only down to that – I suppose the way spices or other ingredients are used is of major importance too, with Hayama knowing that without the mellow effect of yogurt, holy basil alone would ruin the dish with how strong its flavour was. And Nikumi lost to Soma and his supermarket meat, after all.
I wonder if Soma feels like he lost? I guess he does, he told Megumi just as much by mentioning the single point difference between him and Hayama. If it was a Shokugeki, he may have won as Nikumi said – but it’s not, and it doesn’t change the fact that he lost by the particular rules they played by. I myself was worried that the judges would be too hung up over comparing Soma’s dish to Hayama’s, given that they both used fragrance bombs, were judged consecutively, and seemed to be having a small showdown on their own anyway. But yeah, can we appreciate that Hayama technically lost to Alice and her abstract work of art, given that she got 95 and Hayama only ended up with 94? Alice is therefore, quite literally, best girl.
Shokugeki no Soma is a cooking anime. That’s what it was advertised as, at least – along with the ecchi and shounen genres, both of which were fairly accurate. In the end, it was basically a shounen battle manga dressed up with a cooking theme – and it worked! With an ever-present danger of being unceremoniously kicked out en-masse from a demonic school and the fierce competition, it’s managed to end up with something really entertaining – especially when a lot of people would have thought of Koufuku Graffiti when the phrase ‘cooking anime’ came to mind at the start of last season when it first aired. It has dragged on a bit at times, especially these last few episodes – but there was simply no choice but to fill up the entire episode with food descriptions, given that there were just too many characters to get through. Props to the authors for having such imagination with food, though – everyone in the show seems to be imbued with an amazingly diverse general knowledge on food, but the authors are people who actually know all this stuff in real life!
As for a second season… it’s possible, as they’re only about halfway through the existing manga material (which is on fire at the moment, you should definitely read ahead if you enjoyed the anime) but they don’t seem to be too interested in continuing. A main tournament clearly exists, and those who are acutely aware of things will have realized a discrepancy the anime never addressed – that 4th place in A Block was a two-way tie between Ibusaki and Marui. I mean, it’s not a travesty on the level of Prisma Illya Herz, but if you know what happens next it becomes clear why this indicates a lack of interest in a second season. It’s almost as if you’re being nudged towards reading the manga to find out more, because that’s exactly what you’ll have to do if you want to find out who gets through.