As a big fan of the manga (probably my favourite currently publishing series right now) and a fan of the first season obviously I was excited for Food Wars! second season. It had just over half the episodes as the first season and we should probably take a reminder of how I felt about Nisekoi in a similar situation for season 2. So did J.C. Staff manage to provide an enjoyable experience anyway?
The story picks up right where the first season left off with the Autumn Elections. Since we’re continuing right where we left off it’s hard to describe the plot as anyone reading this review should know the basics, it’s in the middle of an arc and a tournament at that so what do I say? They continue cooking? There is an interesting amount of backstory thrown in this arc though. During this arc we get Ryo’s, bits of Alice, bits of Hisako/Erina, the Aldini brothers, Hayama’s and Mimasaka’s. I know this was done in the manga to draw out events but it felt kind of weird how much backstory we got in 13 episodes.
There are a few new characters but most of them aren’t very memorable and really only show up to give some changes to the judges. Two of importance are Mimasaka who challenges anyone and everyone to a shokugeki to take their cooking utensils. His gimmick is that he stalks his opponent to be able to predict their dish and beat them with a slightly better version. The problem with this challenge is Soma has been described in the past as being unpredictable and has been shown (in episode 1 of season 1 in fact) as being able to think of a game plan extremely quickly with pressure on him. The other character of note is Alice’s mother, Leonora, who speaks in broken Japanese until she’s eaten delicious food then her Japanese is perfectly fine.
One issue stemming from the smaller episode count is the pacing. While it didn’t skip anything super important the pacing was a little fast (not like I miss Alice’s dish taking forever to be presented like in the manga). An issue I did have is how often the characters resort to serving a good but not great dish, the judges eat it then they pull a “wait there’s more!”. It’s obviously there to add suspense but having it show up so often seems a little boring and like Yuto Tsukuda couldn’t figure out any other way to add a “who will win!?” aspect.
The comedy aspect is still there from the first season. There aren’t as many anime original gags (such as episode 9’s from season 1) but the manga ones still have their own charm.
The visuals are pretty good, about level with season 1 and the soundtrack and voice acting are just as good. I didn’t like either the OP or ED as much as either from season one though.