What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma “Noir”! Of all the anime series which went on break due to the pandemic, I was shocked that it was really Food Wars! which took the longest to make a return.After what happened in just the first two episodes of the fifth plate, there was a lot to look forward to from this new change in direction for the series. A new foe makes himself known, Soma’s father has finally been beaten in a battle, and we still have everything ongoing leading up to the BLUE.
That said, they quickly picked back up with the challenge Soma was now given. They pull no punches either as the stakes were set for the battle. Now even if we knew how this was going to end, that did not change the fact that this was a battle worth looking forward to. This was going to be our first time seeing what kind of chef who we now know is Saiba Asahi is. For someone who actually beat Joichiro, it makes you wonder what he is capable of in the kitchen. It was a quick battle, but the food they prepared was delicious. Given the conditions where they were doing this battle, that didn’t leave them with a lot that they could really go all out with. Then again, that would have made things too simple. So I was satisfied with what they were both able to come up with. Especially since both of them had just about the same idea as to what they were making with the ingredients. Everything came down to that one thing each did differently from the other. That was a nice reminder of the excellent dialogue which tends to come from these characters explaining what it is they did with their dishes.
That brings us to the story of Saiba Asahi. If like me you haven’t read the manga, then this was going to be quite the surprise. I know I was half expecting Saiba to be some half-brother to Soma, but that would have been way too cliche. It was better that there was something more to Saiba’s story that would motivate him to take on both Joichiro and Soma for their knives. This thing he has for Erina on the other hand is nice to have as a separate mission.
Overall, they simply did not shy away from setting the stakes for the BLUE, and setting them very high. So far I would say that this has started off better than what transpired in the Fourth Plate. Less drama, and more ambitious in scope. The in-fighting got in the way of a lot of progress and time we should have had with the characters we liked.
This was also a great time to begin setting some wheels in motion for the BLUE. It was one thing to get this big reveal for Saiba, but it was another thing to finally understand where he stands in terms of the long-game. Someone like him doesn’t simply dress the way he does as a fashion statement. With Erina’s father defeated and that sinister group of his disbanded, it was perfect timing that they have now begun planting the seeds for the next worst thing to fill that void. Overall it is a good development for the way that this is taking us further into the world of cooking. Well, world of cooking for this world. It was only a matter of time before we started running into the chefs who are less than reputable.
There was something to appreciate from this episode, and that was our first glimpse after five seasons of Soma’s mom. If there was anything I felt they left us in the dark too much about, it was her story. Maybe what’s unraveling right now will give meaning to the mystery, but for now this was a great time for them to begin teasing us of a possible story they are preparing to get into about it.
It’s good to have Food Wars! back. They jumped right into why this episode is titled “Noir”, and what it is that we have to fear about this NOIR taking part in the BLUE. I for one want to see how these chefs continue to improve as the clock counts down.