Image source: 『食戟のソーマ』TVアニメ公式 on Twitter

When the characters in Food Wars eat an amazing dish, their clothes explode off them even as they go into a detailed explanation about the food’s taste. In the newest Food Wars! The Second Plate original video anime (OVA), the characters do that—and “ascend” to a higher plain of food ecstasy.

It’s autumn at the culinary school Tōtsuki Academy, and the yearly Autumn Leaves Viewing Picnic is held for the top ten first-year students and the top students of the school, the Elite Ten. Our hero, Yukihira, wants to challenge one of the members of the Ten to a shokugeki cooking battle. But he and the rest of the first years are shown the difference between them and the Ten when they get a taste of the fourth best’s cooking.

Food Wars takes the idea of food porn and runs with it regularly. As I mentioned in the introduction, when the characters eat an amazing dish, for some reason, their clothes burst off them and the experience becomes orgasmic. Of course, it’s all in their minds, but the mere fact great food is equated to great sex makes the series really easy to understand. But rarely do we see the characters ascend to a different plane of existence after eating an amazing dish. That’s why seeing this in the new Food Wars Ni no Sara OVA episode “The Elite Ten” is so important.

While we’ve long known about the existence of the Elite Ten—since prominent characters Satoshi and Erina are both members—this OVA is the first time we actually see all ten members on screen at once. This episode serves two functions: The first is that it introduces us to the characters. But the second, and more important, is that it’s showing us the next roadblock to Yukihira’s path to becoming a better chef.

However, just seeing the Ten doesn’t really make them feel like a credible threat. Yes, the student Terunori Kuga—who is number eight in the school—explains why the Ten are the best and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Yet, in the end, it’s all just exposition and really goes in one ear and out the other—for both Yukihira and the viewers.

Image source: 『食戟のソーマ』TVアニメ公式 on Twitter

Yet, we need that exposition to set the stage for what’s to come. It’s not enough to be told the Elite Ten are amazing chefs. Yukihira and company’s taste buds have to experience it firsthand. In other words, we have to see the characters taken to a higher plane of consciousness by one of the Ten’s dishes.

The dish, made by Momo Akanegakubo (the number four best), is a piece of traditional Japanese candy. When it’s first shown, it literally sparkles, and the first year students give their impression of the candy’s visual presentation. But then comes the part of Food Wars we all love: the orgasmic tasting. What sets this tasting apart from the standard fare of clothes bursting off the characters is how the first-year students are taken to a higher plane of food existence. They even go so far as to say the piece of candy is a whole universe unto itself.

And here’s the kicker: What Yukihira ate was one dessert dish by the fourth seat of the Ten. What this implies is the top three seats will likely take his taste buds on a magic carpet ride through extraplanar dimensions beyond the mortal ken. But even getting a sense of Momo’s skill gives us an idea of the potential of the bottom six seats and shows us what sort of wall Yukihira will have to overcome to become the school’s top chef.

It won’t be an easy journey, but it will certainly be a delicious one.

Image source: 『食戟のソーマ』TVアニメ公式 on Twitter

The Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma OVA was released in Japan on July 4, 2017. No international release date has been announced.

The Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma TV anime can be seen in English on Crunchyroll, and Hulu.

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