Shokugeki no Souma – 07

Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -5 Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -22 Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -23

If there was ever a show about which the word “shameless” was perfectly suited, it’s Shokugeki no Souma.

Why do I like this series?  It’s unapologetically sexist (though you can safely preface every adjective with “unapologetically” where Souma is concerned), with some of the most crass fanservice you’ll ever see.  It has an overpowered male lead who conquers everything before him no matter how impossible the odds.  The conflicts that drive the plot are as subtle as the sweetness in a venti caramel Frappuccino.  In short, it has more strikes against it than the French railway system.

Yet I do enjoy it – I can’t deny that.  I enjoy the manga pretty well, and interestingly the things that make it enjoyable are both better and worse in the anime.  The anime is even more crass and dumb and preposterous, but with Shokugeki, those are the merits as well as the flaws.  This is such a sensual series in every way that it’s just bigger in anime form, because anime is a medium that plays to more of our senses and does so more dynamically than manga does.  With some adaptations that can be a help, with others a hindrance – and with this series, I think it’s both.

What can you say about the shokugeki between Nikumi and Souma – obviously an important moment, as it’s the first true expression of the title?  It pretty much speaks for itself.  Nikumi plays the cartoon villain role to the hilt in her pointedly skimpy outfit, preaching tired elitist claptrap that you know Souma will rip to shreds with his Godly cooking.  There is an actual philosophical divide on-display here, a style that values the quality of the ingredient above all (which is actually the cornerstone of much of traditional Japanese cuisine) versus one that relies on robust flavors and thrilling the palate.  There’s something to be said for both – assuming you have the money to enjoy the former as it’s meant to be enjoyed – but this is Souma’s series, so there’s never any suspense as to how this is going to turn out.

That said, as usual the material itself is a feast for the senses.  Between Nikumi’s luscious meat and Souma’s gutsy tower of flavor, one sure does get hungry for a don watching the shokugeki happen.  And there’s a lot of amusement along the way, stuff like Konishi’s recollection of an earlier shokugeki with only wild dogs in attendance, and Souma’s cutting observation (I confess I was thinking it myself) that chefs who talk too much in the kitchen might be afraid their cuisine can’t speak for itself.

So how does it all turn out?  After some food porn involving the judges, Souma of course wins – and that means not only is Nikumi forced to join the DRS, but she’s ruthlessly cut from Erina’s clique.  And of course, she falls for Souma too – which is a bit of a problem as he’s announced to Konishi that he’s not actually joining the DRS himself.  The epilogue closes in a way that perfectly epitomizes the lowbrow comic appeal of this series – “They say Nikumi got even more violent after that”.

Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -7 Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -8 Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -9
Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -10 Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -11 Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -12
Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -13 Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -14 Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -15
Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -16 Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -17 Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -18
Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -19 Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -20 Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -21
Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -24 Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -25 Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -26
Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -27 Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -28 Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -29
Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -30 Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -31 Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -32
Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -33 Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -34 Shokegeki no Souma - 07 -35
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5 comments

  1. A

    This is the second series to pass under my "never watch anime with girls with RIDICULOUSLY big breasts along with Fan Service" rule [the other being TTGL], because it's so enjoyable. Maybe you're right on it being so over the top you can't get too bothered by the fanservice. It also helps, that it's really funny and has consistently made me laugh out loud [the stray dogs!] and dare I say I love Souma's attitude? Somehow they managed to balance the shounen archetype and not make me want to throw my pillow at the screen whenever they get cocky.

    I'm in for this one 100%, weirdly drawn boobs and all.

    …And don't forget the food!

  2. G

    The fanservice actually has toned down a lot but Ikumi is who she is and not seen the last of her either!

    The manga was so good I caught up reading 70 CHPS in one night! The anime is kust starting to warm up!

    But when the stage was done in anime it brought the showdown to the large scale that it is and that what anime can do . Take a manga and display it in speactular fashion which is doing so with this adaption!

  3. E

    That stage did remind me a little of HXH's Heaven's Arena, very very grand. Hopefully that setting will be used for more intense shokugekis later on.

  4. C

    So far this adaptation has been 10/10 the only thing it can't surpass is Tosh's delicious art but everything else is excellent.

  5. E

    Hahahahahahahahahaha. Shameless! Thats so true. Its even shameless about how its probably going to be a lazy show periodically! But its so fun :)
    I am watching Revolutionary Girl Utena on the side, slowly. Happy days.

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