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The new Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma extra episode is full of food and fan service, and it includes a super funny short.
The Food Wars OAD (original anime DVD) extra episode that came with the 24th volume of the manga follows Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Second Plate. The students at Tōtsuki Culinary Academy have finished their cooking internship and are taking a vacation at a hot-spring resort.
The Food Wars! extra episode hits all the beats fans have come to expect from the series, but places it in a familiar hot-spring story. This means lots of table tennis, fan service bath scenes, autumn scenery, and, most importantly, food—in that order.
Hitting those simple narrative beats allows the extra episode to focus on the two prominent stories: the protagonist, Soma Yukihira, fishing with Ryo Kurokiba and Akira Haya and the other students filling in for the sick kitchen staff at the inn they are staying at. Seeing them occur in parallel with each other is entertaining. And, by the end both plots came to a satisfying close.
However, the real treat of the Food Wars! extra episode is the anime short at the end of the main story. The short was written by Ryo Nakama. Ryo Nakama is relatively new to the manga scene, but his comedy series Chronicle of Isobe -The Life is Hard- was a breakout hit in Weekly Shonen Jump. He employees a woodblock print art style, which is unique for a Shonen Jump manga. But the real charm of Ryo Nakama’s series is the comedy in the daily life of a young and lazy samurai named Isobe during the Edo period of Japan.
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It’s the combination of the woodblock print artwork and comedy that make the Food Wars! short comedy gold on a number of levels. Not only does Ryo Nakama capture the essence of Food Wars!, but he does so by adding his own touch to the characters and the core elements of the story. For instance, the way Yukihira is portrayed when cooking in Food Wars! proper makes him look amazing. But, with Ryo Nakama’s woodblock print character design, Yukihira’s skills appear less stellar. This small change in the character designs added a new flavor to Food Wars! and make the short at the end of the extra episode extremely fun to watch.
But, when Ryo Nakama adds self-deprecating humor, the short became undeniably one of the best things to come out of Food Wars! overall. Like when the character Hisako Arato breaks the fourth wall and comments on how Ryo Nakama can’t write a story on the level of Tsukuda Yūto (the story writer for Food Wars!). That one self-deprecating comment not only points out how ridiculous the food battles in Food Wars! can be, but also that the ridiculous nature of the series is what makes it so entertaining to watch.
The short also couples the amusing aspects of Food Wars! and the self-deprecating humor with how Ryo Nakama has little knowledge about cooking and describing meals. This one “flaw” in his writing makes the meal description hysterical because it is a string of non-descriptive words placed together in a way to make the dish seem appealing. This flies in the face of a good foodie anime, but works well for the type of comedy Ryo Nakama uses in his own series. Thus, by fusing Ryo Nakama’s comedy with Food Wars! the short at the end of the OAD is really what makes it worth watching.
The Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma extra episode is a fantastic little side story for fans of the series. The main story of the episode is fun to watch and has all the beats you’d expect from Food Wars!, but in a hot-spring setting. As entertaining as the main story is, it’s the short at the end of the OAD that steals the show. Ryo Nakama’s humor mixed with Food Wars! is too delectable to pass on, especially when his writing conventions are the antithesis of typical food manga and anime. This extra episode is definitely worth watching. Check it out.
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The Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma OAD was released in Japan on May 2, 2017. No international release date has been announced.