Food Wars, also known as Shoukugeki no Soma, is a well-known ecchi anime. It blends competitive cooking with outrageous suggestiveness. The series’ over-the-top visuals have gained it a fan following, and not only because of how good the food looks. Food Wars is all about the bonds and rivalries between chefs. Its showdowns are equal parts bizarre and hilarious, but somehow always uplifting. Now that season three has drawn to a close, we wanted to run down the most intense battles in the series.
Food Wars’ Most Intense Face-Offs: Soma Versus the Japanese Real Estate Market
The very first Food Wars face-off is also one of its most iconic. The premise: our protagonist, Yukihira Soma, has their place of business threatened when a real estate developer wants to buy them out. This is also where the series firmly establishes Soma’s underdog roots. The developer’s agent is as buxom as she is brassy and she has an ill-hidden disdain for the humble diner run by the Yukihara family. As such, she accepts Soma’s ultimatum – if he can’t prepare a delectable dish to her satisfaction, the diner will shut down.
While the agent gets her lackeys to do her dirty work by sabotaging Soma, it’s all for naught. He crafts a delicious bacon and potato dish that imitates roast pork, and the reception is explosive. The show pulls no punches in showing how delicious his adversaries find the food. There are simulated orgasms cleverly depicted by rivers of sauce and characters bursting out of their clothes from pleasure. This effectively set the tone for the rest of the series.
Food Wars’ Most Intense Face-Offs: Megumi Versus Ryo in the Autumn Elections
Food Wars builds a rich ecosystem of deuteragonists. Soma is supported by an ensemble cast that grows steadily in size with each passing season. Sure, there are tongue-in-cheek nods to how harem anime manage extended rosters. However, Food Wars adopts a friendship model that has more in line with duelist’s honor than arbitrary affection.
Kurokiba Ryo is a rival turned supporter of Soma by the time season three concludes. With a background steeped in Viking mythology, Ryo is depicted as someone who demands the subjugation of others through sublime food. His duel with Tadokoro Megumi is an important turning point for both the shy Megumi and for him. She surprises everyone showcasing the power of regional flavors that complement rather than dominate. Ryo’s rich seafood soup takes a beating, and so do his opinions about teamwork. Their fight about knowing that the support of others is a strength, not a weakness. The delicious food is just the beginning.
Food Wars’ Most Intense Face-Offs: Isshiki Versus Julio Throw Down Over Central
Throughout the show, the underdog motif introduced in the pilot only grows. Food Wars isn’t afraid to tackle issues like abuse, and the effects that it has on victims. In doing so, it pursues a plotline about unmasking the evils of an indoctrinated regime at the school. The revenge story that follows relies on empowering the victim as she draws closer to facing her abuser’s supporters in battle.
The crux of this rebellion against the regime is demonstrated when the antagonistic Central go toe-to-toe with Soma’s rebels. In the intense knockout cooking competition that follows, Isshiki Satoshi, a former elite student chef, takes on the snobby but talented Julio Shiratsu.
Both Isshiki and Julio come from storied culinary legacies. Julio believes that gourmet is the one true way, and his French-inspired haute cuisine reflects that. However, Isshiki walks his own path of fusion food despite the backbreaking expectations of his family and his peers. Julio sneers at Isshiki’s loyalty to the rebels backfires when the judges pronounce the latter the winner. The two clash in a battle of words as well as flavors, but Isshiki’s heartfelt dedication of his success to his teammates is the true kicker here.
Food Wars is packed with all sorts of lessons that its ecchi exterior seems ill-suited to. However, it tackles anime tropes and difficult topics alike with an unusual nuance. The anime clearly uses its combative cook-offs to spark wider discussions about positive themes. While we have listed some of the most pivotal cook-offs, there are many more worthy scenes. Have we missed out on one of your favourites? Let us know in the comments section below!