What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about the series finale for Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma! I was honestly crushed when I woke up one day with the realization that this was it. This hit hard because I fell in love with this series from the minute I gave that first episode a shot. When the world fell apart earlier this year, I blasted through all four seasons, and anxiously awaited the fifth. It felt like as soon as I had gotten into this series, it was at the same time getting ready for a final farewell.
At the same time, I couldn’t help feeling like I was going to be disappointed by the end of this series finale. I mean how could this be it?! As someone who has only watched the anime, it felt like it was just too soon to reach a conclusion with the end of the BLUE. Even with the bomb that they dropped on our laps last week that everything which happened up to this point was part of some grand plan to save Erina and Mana Nakiri. This just didn’t feel like it could be it.
Though let’s start with how the finals ended for the BLUE. That was a shocker in itself. From the minute that Soma tasted Erina’s food and decided what to make himself, it was anyone’s guess as to what he would make. Especially when they have made it known that this dish he’s decided to make is for Erina. Unlike other matches, they didn’t jump too deep into the technical details of it. Which wasn’t a problem this time around considering what Soma decided to make. I actually found myself admiring the dish he made for the nostalgia he stirred from it. This was a dish we have seen before, and certainly one which Erina was familiar with, but at the same time this was surprisingly an original creation for Soma. The reaction to it from Erina and Mana was equally surprising for the version of The Gifting they unleashed upon the crowd. You know, because being the series finale there was no way that they were going to do something we have seen before. It had to be grand, it had to be flashy, and it had to be something very unique to the Nakiri bloodline.
I was just a bit disappointed that they didn’t show us the dish which Erina made, or the reaction from her mother. Right after Soma made his dish, and had both of them taste it, that was pretty much it for the BLUE. I get that there are going to be some things rushed in order to wrap things up, but this moment right here was what everything was building up to. It hurts the impact this finale is supposed to have on us when there are certain things like that left to our imagination. Now with that said, you could give them credit for at the very least focusing on the part which mattered most. That was saving both Erina and Mana. The effect which Soma’s dish had on them was exactly what the two of them needed to be saved. Mana for obvious reasons, and Erina for the new spark of life he put into her as a chef, and as an inheritor of the God Tongue. I will even go so far as to say that you had to appreciate the fact that at the end of the BLUE, Soma would decide that this dish was specifically for Erina. While the future for these two is uncertain, it was nice that they could fan the flames between them when they could.
What came after the BLUE was endearing, if not also shocking. It was at this point that we came to understand the part which everyone else played in making sure that the BLUE unfolding without too many distractions. For a good while you thought that the other members of the ten were forcing their way into the BLUE in order to just spectate, but who would have imagined that they had another job to complete beforehand? Who would have imagined that there was this whole other battle going on outside of the walls which no one at all noticed? It was all a bit goofy considering these are chefs, but at the end of the day it was worth recognizing the effort put into making sure that there was no one in this large cast left out.
Now with that said, some things weren’t too shocking about how things ended. Of course we needed to see what would come next for this bunch of chefs. Most importantly Erina and Soma who have a future filled with more options than they had before the BLUE. Starting with Erina, it only felt right that the focus would shift towards her family, and what it would take to bring them together. Fighting their despair only began with finding the right dish and chef. The next thing was repairing what has been broken for them so long. It mattered a lot that it was even Erina who matured enough to the point where family was coming before all else. Which brings us to Soma. Some things never change for him, but it was nice to see him make the same bold move that we saw from both his father and even Megumi. The only way to further find your own style is to step outside of your world, and absorb what the rest of the world has to offer. That came as naturally as what came from his return trip.
Everything said and done, the big question remains. Was Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma “Food Wars”, the finale for this series satisfying? For the most part I will say yes. They shoved a lot into one episode to wrap things up. Though they did make sure to address most things we couldn’t have said goodbye without seeing from these characters.