Review: Shokugeki no Soma Season 4 Episode 8

In my previous reviews of Season 4, I expressed my concerns over how tedious this season has become with its formulaic approach. Every episode has a very predictable pattern where it all starts with a brief cook-off and the contenders simply rush to the judges’ table to serve their dishes. This is then followed by an explanation of the dish which parallels with orgasmic reactions of the judges.

To an extent, since I’m starting to get used to this format of each episode, its monotonous tone is still a bit tolerable, but the most displeasing part of almost every episode comes in when the results of the bout are announced with no proper explication of how the judges reached their final decision. Unfortunately, Episode 8 is no different.

Shokugeki no Soma Season 4 Episode 8 Recap:

In the previous episode, Momo-san ends up losing against Nakiri despite having an upper hand in the Shokugeki. Episode 8 starts off with the remaining two battles of the fourth round where Tsukasa will be facing Satoshi and Rindo will be going up against Takumi. The stakes are much higher as the Shokugeki is drawing towards a final conclusion and since Rindo and Satoshi are the top chefs of the Elites, the Rebels may not really have a chance against them. It all begins with Rindo and Takumi’s battle. With a nimble pace, Rindo prepares her “Cousa” and rushes towards the judges to get her dish tasted. To everyone’s surprise, even Takumi does not hold himself back and is done preparing his “Calamari Ripieni” soon after Rindo.

The judges taste both the dishes at the same time and end up giving positive reactions to both. But they are simply drawn to Rindo’s dish a bit more and they unanimously announce her as the winner of the bout. With this, both the teams end up with one win under their belt in the fourth round of the Shokugeki, and it all comes down to Tsukasa and Satoshi to give their teams a lead. But this time, since Tsukasa is going up against the top chef of the Elite, his chances of winning are fairly low.

As always, all eyes are set on Tsukasa while Satoshi seems to be unbothered by all the pressure that is being enforced on him. This is when the episode drifts back to Satoshi’s backstory where he was first inspired to take up cooking after he saw Kinokuni working in the kitchen. As a child, cooking was never really his thing, and every time his family asked him to work in the kitchen, he would often feel out of place. But after looking at Kinokuni’s commitment towards her heart, he felt deeply motivated to do the same. As he narrates this story and pays his tribute to Kinokuni, she sheds a tear and realizes that she has been wrong about him all this while.

Meanwhile, the judges finally taste his splendid “Isshiki soup” and are completely blown away with the depth of its flavors. Now that Satoshi has completely astounded everyone with his dish and has gone beyond what is expected from him, Tsukasa might have to pull off something completely extraordinary.

Shokugeki no Soma Season 4 Episode 8 Review:

In the previous seasons, the show always made it clear that, at the end of the day, all of them are students and they can often make mistakes during Shokugeki that expose them to a lot of pressure. But in Season 4, almost all the dishes prepared by chefs are just turning out to be perfect and even the final decision of the judges is quite abrupt. There are no explanations on why one perfect dish is being chosen over another. What makes Episode 8 even worse is how it completely focuses on fan-service fueled reactions instead of bringing in some intriguing shounen metaphors.

Till the last episode, the creativity in these reactions was one of the few things that were forcing me to stick around, but with all this unnecessary fan service, I no longer care about the plot or the characters of the series. Like most viewers, I’m probably just watching it because I have seen the previous 3 seasons. There sure is something that is missing in all of the Shokugeki and even the lack of any pressure between the contenders of these battles steals away from the overall amusement of each episode.

Even the backstories lack the depth that they once had. What used to be a great show once, has now been butchered by J.C Staff, and at this point of time, ‘Food Wars‘ offers nothing more than a barrage of foodgasms and flawless dishes. It will probably never be as good as its predecessors and it has lost almost all of its charm to cringy visuals and frenetic pacing.

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