With the Fall Election in full swing to the final eight, we have one battle finished. The first episode of Food Wars: The Second Plate ended with Soma defeating Alice in the bento challenge by a landslide. Big surprise, I know. At the end of it though, there was a tease to the next match; Megumi Tadokoro versus Ryou Kurokiba.
Food Wars: The Second Plate episode 2 should promise a lot of drama and excitement, considering these two characters are such opposites in the kitchen. Even though Ryou is normally calm and deadpanned day to day, he does a complete 180 when he puts on that headband to cook. Even though Megumi is so insecure and shy to her day to day, it was introduced towards the end of the last season that she was going to become a more independent cook now that she doesn’t have Soma to lean on. She wants to be her own chef, being just as fierce and unique as all the other finalist. Hopefully we’ll see her put herself on a plate once more for this next competition.
Even before the next match starts, there’s already hype for what’s to come! Like mentioned earlier, Megumi talks with Soma before the match, saying that she’s actually calm and confident enough to go up on that stage. Meanwhile, Ryo gives a sick burn after Alice tells him to “know your place” even though she was the one that lost, saying “save it for when you beat me.” Before that point, it seemed apparent that Ryo was just Alice’s lacky and would do whatever she said. After their talk, we get more insight that Ryo isn’t as compliant as we once thought.
As they walk in, it is reminded that Megumi was at the bottom of the top eight during the preliminaries in the last season of Food Wars, while Ryo was second place. Seeing how high the stakes are, this should be an intense battle, but if you look at the promotional poster for the second season, you see Ryo taking up a large portion of the poster, with Soma standing in between Ryo and Akira. Even without reading the manga personally, it’s a safe bet on who may be the victor here. Megumi is such a lovable character and is a strong chef in her own regards, the show does a great job to showcase that it can be anyone’s game!
The hype gets raised once the battle gets underway. For starters, episode two of Food Wars: The Second Plate starts better than the last episode in terms of pacing. In the last episode, they sort of dropped us into the Alice versus Soma match nearly five minutes in or so. With this one, it spaces out the cook time better while mixing in some backstory on Ryo and Megumi practicing her dish. In my opinion, one of the more interesting parts of the show is when the characters are experimenting before a big match. Since we know Soma can handle a theme like bentos, they don’t dwell on him practicing his dish in the first episode. Meanwhile in this episode, we get to see Megumi making all kinds of broths, since she suspects that Ryo will be making a rich broth based off his noodle choice.
That’s another interesting thing about this match. Normally in these matches, they have to bring their own ingredients to the stage. This time around before the match, they were asked to pick what kind of noodle they wanted for their dish the night before. This is assuming that the challenge is mostly about making the perfect broth to match with the noodles they pick, along with complimentary toppings. It’s also good to see Megumi experimenting because she later gets a care package from home of hometown ingredients, which is perfect! Just like during the preliminaries, she gets to incorporate her own hometown flare to the dish, which is one of her strengths as a chef. People love her dishes because it reminds them of home. It’s wholesome and familiar.
This, on top of her cooking without nervousness increases the hype of her doing well! Even when it’s revealed during a flashback that Ryo was a head chef as a child, the show still does a good job at putting them at even ground. Earlier I mentioned that these two are almost opposites in the kitchen, but we are reminded through Alice that both competitors both grew up by the sea. Which means this seafood battle of the ages!
I commented earlier that they showed more background and relevant side stories in this episode compared to the first episode. While the first episode of Food Wars: The Second Plate had more cooking/tasting than background stories, this one has more background stories than cooking/tasting. Theres only so much to fit in 23 minutes give or take, but I personally like how this episode was constructed more than the first episode. We see both Megumi and Ryo cook a lot, don’t get me wrong, but once Ryo puts his dish up to taste, judging Ryo’s dish ends really fast. His dish was all about making a rich broth with shrimp and lobster guts, along with mashing up lobster to dust so that there would be more of a concentrated seafood taste with his complimentary toppings and protein added.
Meanwhile, Megumi used a type of scallop as the base of her broth, with using vegetables to make the taste even stronger to compete with the richness of Ryo’s seafood ramen. The judges are both stumped with which one is the better, since the played up their strengths so well. Ryo has a lot of edge on his side because he had to rule with an iron fist in his kitchen, since his staff would try stand up to their child head chef. Ryo wouldn’t have any of that though, and has all the confidence in the world that his cooking is the best.
Ryo gave a speech earlier during the match that he hates when chefs befriend other chefs, believing that the cooking world is a dog eat dog world, where only the strongest survive on their own. Of course Megumi stands up to herself and says that the power of friendship is what made her strong. It’s even mentioned by one of her friends that the way she cooks with so much focus and timing reminded her how Soma cooks. This is a wonderful way to show that Megumi working with Soma has worked to her advantage in many ways, and has given her the confidence to cook independently while still having her friends by her side.
Episode two of Food Wars: The Second Plate ends with a wicked Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure-like fight to see which stand, I mean which dish, will come out as a the victor! Honestly, I like yankee Megumi and the design, and was glad to see it make a callback, but also reference one of the biggest anime out there currently.
Both dishes really are so strong with what they are trying to accomplish, it is almost as if their dishes are fighting each other to the death. With that, the episode teases at the end of the end credits with the chairman taking his giant calligraphy brush out to name the winner. WHO WILL IT BE!? It also teases that the next match will have Erina Nakiri’s right hand, Hisako Arato compete against somebody. The next episode is titled “The Generation of Prodigies”, which sounds like a reference to Kuroko’s Basketball‘s Generation of Miracles.
The last thing I wanted to take note of is the new ending theme song for Food Wars: The Second Plate. Again, this song is also underwhelming compared to the first ending theme from the first season. It mostly showcases Soma throughout the ending, with him running in a tracksuit like he’s Rocky Balboa or something. Some of visuals are pretty I guess, but it’s pretty meh. I wasn’t a fan of the second ending in the first season either, but I found the second half of the ending theme kind of catchy, and the imagery of everyone bathing in soup was clever as well. This current ending also has him next to Shinomiya-sensei from the last season. Perhaps a teaser of what’s to come later on? We’ll just have to keep watching to find out. Till the next episode of Food Wars: The Second Plate!