Blu-ray Review: Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma – Season 2

We’ve gone for a second serving of Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma but how does this second season serve up when compared to the first dish? Well enough of the food puns and let’s get looking at Animatsu Entertainment’s Blu-Ray release of Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma – Season 2.

Synopsis:

At the Tohtsuki Culinary Academy, the first rule is survival of the fittest, and if you don’t have what it takes to become a master chef, you need to get out of the kitchen before you get burned. With the wheat of first-year students separated from the chaff, cocky former diner cook Yukihira Soma is one of the handful of kitchen whizzes still standing.

As the next round of the Autumn Elections gets underway, can he survive a brutal bento boxing match with the chemistry-obsessed granddaughter of the Academy’s director? And which of the other contenders; Megumi, Ryo, Akira, Hisako, Takumi or sinister dark-horse Subaru; will advance to fight for the gold medal? Get ready for another cut-throat season of eat, beat, and defeat!

Our View:

The second season of Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma continues the over-the-top cooking variation of Master Chef but unlike the previous season, of which demonstrated character personalities, cooking style and learning, this second season focuses solely on the intensity of being the top chef within the school. If you’re looking for the high-end cooking action as seen towards the end of the first season then you’ll enjoy what this second season has to offer; otherwise it might just be worth skipping the second plate and heading for desert in the [yet to be released but available to stream] third season.

Taking place directly after the events of the first season we see the top eight combatants of the Fall Selection do battle amongst themselves to be crowned the Number 1 student amongst the freshmen. This “battle for the top” lasts for the entirety of the first disc – which consists of nine episodes – and sees each episode focus on a singular battle; that is unti the finals which sees a three-way-battle to the top.

Personally by the third episode of this second season it became a little bit dull; sure enough each episode did offer a slight twist – be it Megumi proving her worth in seafood creation or Takumi’s Italian cusine put on the line by a copycat chef – but it didn’t add anything new other than copying what we’ve already seen before.

Fortunately this doesn’t last long as by the three-way-finale, of which sees Akira, Ryo and Soma doing battle in a fish-based-challenge, we begin to see that character development and skill based development that the first season was known for. In this case Akira, Ryo and Soma each have to pick fresh fish from the market, a skill which Soma doesn’t technically have so not only does he try to perfect this skill but in the process attempts to create his own seafood type of dish that would rival the skill of those able to pick the optimal fish.

Of course i’m not going to spoil the results; but it is an intense battle that replicates the experiences of the previous episodes – intense cooking with high-levels-of-criticism from the judges.

With the repetitive nature of the first disc out of the way we are then treated to quite a different selection of episodes on the second Blu-Ray disc; in this case the Stagmire. The stagmire sees budding chefs sent to work in real-life-locations across the globe with each person tasked with overcoming their drawbacks. Yet again this delivers the ‘high points’ of Food Wars! With character development and insight to those characters we’ve yet to see as well as development for characters we already know.

For instance Soma attempts to create his own speciality while Megumi learns to be more self-confident in the kitchen while another instance sees a close-friend-and-servant to the top student at school learn her true worth and become familiar with the inner workings of a kitchen that is busy.

This second season of Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma may start off relatively slow, in a repetitive fast-paced kind of way, but stick around and you’ll get to see the elements which made the first season a treat to watch spring up on screen.

Extras:

Just like the first season of Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma the extra content on this second season are lacking in culinary delights as other than a selection of promotional trailers for other Sentai Filmwork releases, as well as textless opening and closing songs, you won’t find anything new.

Personally I wasn’t expecting anything else; but alas for a show that goes into such detail about food (as well as how things are preformed in the kitchen) it is surprising that some ‘behind-the-scenes’ elements are not included (that is if they exist at all).

In relation to trailers then we have videos for Tanaka-Kun Is Always Listless, Flying Witch, Haikyu!! and Haven’t You Heard I’m Sakamoto; with the two latter titles available in the UK via Manga/Animatsu.

Specs:

Media:  BD 50, BD 25
Region: B
Running Time: 3:46:48 (Disc 1), 1:40:48 (Disc 2)
Video: MPEG-4 AVC
Audio: DTS-HD 2.0 (English & Japanese)
Subtitles: English (Yellow)
Resolution: 1920×1080 (1080p)
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
Frame Rate: 23.976 fps

Overall:

This second season of Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma focuses more on the intense battles rather than the developing skills of the characters and their origin stories; with the exception of Ryo and Akira that is; but overall it’s a season that doesn’t really go anywhere other than highlight who the top student is within the school. Of course this changes in the final selection of episodes when the focus is once again put on Soma to survive the stagmire; a test to see which chefs can adapt and learn new skills within a working environment.

Naturally if you’ve streamted Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma online via Crunchyroll or Viewster then you’ll know what to expect from this selection of episodes; but as a first time viewer I felt rather disheartened by the contents considering that the first season offered so much variety. Of course season two offers variety by the different characters being focused on; but again its the food and cooking style; not the personality of the chef that is being shown.

Despite my complaints Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma was, at times, entertaining and this physical Blu-Ray release by Animatsu Entertainment – with discs authored by Sentai Filmworks – brings the best out of the series. It may be animated but the attention to detail in food preperation looks and sounds amazing, even so that each episode will no doubt make you hungry – a treat extending with the High Definition quality of as a result of this Blu-Ray. Once again the Japanese audio (with English subtitles) provides the better audio experience when compared to the English dub, which seems to be lower quality in volume, but those wishing to experience it in English dub form can do so with its mediocre (but adequate) dub.

Overall I found Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma: The Second Plate, otherwise known as Season 2, an enjoyable and entertaining disappointment. The animation quality and comical banters between characters are priceless; but the pacing of the story and where its going needs work. Naturally if you enjoyed the first season you’ll enjoy what you see here; but for me i’m waiting for my desert in the third season.

Score: review-stars-3

Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma – Season 2, otherwise known as Food Wars!: Shokugeki No Soma – The Second Plate, will be available on Blu-ray & DVD from the 13th August 2018 via Animatsu Entertainment.

About Scott Emsen
Scott is the Founder and Executive Editor of AnimeBlurayUK but in the past he has worked at ZOMGPlay, Rice Digital and Funstock and was once a Community Moderator for the Nokia N-Gage forums. Based in the UK, he loves anything related to Games & Anime and in In his spare time you'll mostly find him playing on one of his many gaming consoles; namely the PS Vita, PS4 or Xbox One.

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