Manga: Shokugeki no Soma

"Children, 99% of you are nothing but common rocks. You exist solely to grind to perfection the 1% of you who are diamonds!"
Headmaster Senzaemon Nakiri

Soma Yukihira's dream is to surpass his father Jouichirou's culinary skills and become a full-time chef at their family restaurant Yukihira. However, just as he graduates from middle school, Jouichirou decides to close shop to work in New York as a favor to a friend, sending his son to Tootsuki Tea Ceremony and Culinary Institute, an elite academy notorious for a graduation rate of 1%.

No sooner had he stepped in when he immediately ran afoul of Erina Nakiri, the notoriously picky granddaughter of headmaster Senzaemon, who finds his "commoner" food more than a match to her. And as if that wasn't enough, on his admission speech Soma makes the seemingly foolhardy vow of using his fellow 92nd Generation freshmen as stepping stones to glory, making him a virtually marked man.

It's a long way to the top, but Soma is determined to beat his dad, make Erina approve of his dish, and prove to his batch-mates that he really means his words.

Shokugeki no Soma (食戟のソーマ) is a high-stakes cooking manga written by Yuuto Tsukuda (in collaboration with Yuki Morisaki, a chef who comes up with the series' recipes) and illustrated by Shun Saeki. The series makes liberal use of Ecchi and a variety of other visual metaphors to make preparing food, cooking food, tasting food, and merely talking about food intense enough to make you think you're reading a shonen battle manga. Not to mention that the food itself looks gorgeously mouth-watering.

The series is currently serialized in both the Japanese and English versions of Weekly Shonen Jump, and Viz Media is currently releasing it in North America under the title Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma. A TV anime adaptation started airing in April 2015 as part of the Spring 2015 season.

Also in 2015, a Spin-Off manga, Shokugeki no Soma — Etoile, started its run, written by Michiko Itou and illustrated by Taiki Asatoki, detailing the struggles of Tootsuki alumnus Koujirou Shinomiya (who first appears in the main series as judge during the freshmen's summer training camp) to survive in the French culinary world and its drastic effects both to his career and personality.

Compare with Toriko, another Shonen Jump series about Food Porn, and Yakitate Japan, a series with similar themes, except with impossibly delicious bread.

Character related tropes should be placed in the character page.

This series provides examples of:

  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council: The Elite Ten, Tootsuki's best of the best, also serve as the second-highest authority in school after Senzaemon himself.
  • The Ace: The Elite Ten are the best cooks in the school. Without even using his best ingredients, seventh-placed Satoshi easily matches up to Soma.
  • Always Identical Twins: Averted with the Aldini twins. While Takumi is blonde and has clear eyes, Isami is big, has shut eyes and black hair. Their personalities are complete opposites. Soma and Megumi are shocked to learn they're related.
  • Always Someone Better: Happens to Soma twice, given how he's confident in his ability to the point of arrogance.
    • Erina is a better cook, but at first he only wants to beat her as a point of pride, not particularly recognizing her as anyone worthwhile. During training camp, he seems to be the first one done in an assignment, only to realize after cleaning up that Erina had finished long before him, causing him to stop in (brief) shock.
    • During the Fall Classic, Akira is set up as the man to beat. When they get to the final, he wins because he'd already started to develop a specialty, forcing Soma to start playing catchup from that point forward during Stagiare Week and subject himself to intense training under Koujirou.
    • By the Red Leaf Hunt, Soma asks any of the Elite Ten members for a Shokugeki, which the others flat out reject. The main reason is because the 2nd Years have it hard already with the 3rd years, who currently have the higher seats.
  • Answer Cut: Towards the end of Chapter 1, Jouichirou tries to tell Soma the secret to becoming a good chef: to find a woman that will make him want to give all the food he makes to her. The next page cuts to Erina's first appearance in the manga.
  • Arc Words:
    • At the end of Chapter 1, Soma cuts the phone call before his father states, "The secret to becoming a good chef is meeting a woman that will make you want to give all the food you make to her". This idea returns after the Fall Classic preliminaries, when Megumi tells a group of children (and Soma) during a cooking lesson, "Just make it while thinking of a person important to you". This is a point where her affections for Soma are beginning to bud.
    • In a subtle nod, it is heavily implied Akira won the Fall Classic because he found Jun to be the woman to whom he will dedicate his cooking.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Many of the chefs introduced in the series are very proud of their cooking finesse and tend to look down on those who lacks this skill. This includes Soma, though he's at least humble when defeated and willing to learn from a loss to improve.
  • Badass Minds Think Alike: Soma and Akira make curry dishes for the Fall Classic preliminary using an aroma surprise factor.
  • Bait and Switch: The first chapter of the series establishes that Soma will learn cooking at his restaurant and he will defend it from any threat... Only to reveal that Jouchirou is closing it and sending Soma to Tootsuki, meaning that the action will rarely happen at the restaurant.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy:
    • Usually, the breasts of all females will be covered when they have "foodgasms". With the exception of Alice Nakiri in chapter 66, where she has... no nipples. Strangely enough, her "foodgasm" does not end there and continues in the beginning of chapter 67, where her breasts are covered.
    • The ending for the anime also has the characters drawn this way through much of it, particularly the girls.
  • Beach Episode: Chapter 52.5 has Alice and Erina go to a public pool, a place completely foreign to the latter. Alice suggests they might get obnoxious people flirting with them, but everyone is too intimidated by their looks, bodyguards and nearby berserk Ryou to try anything. They mostly hang around in swimsuits for the rest of the day and talking about love briefly. Neither has any experience, but Alice successfully pretends to be an expert and mocks Erina for considering love beneath her.
  • Bleached Underpants: Illustrator Shun Saeki was former ero-manga artist "tosh"note . Amusingly, it's not the first of his illustrated works to get an Animated Adaptation — that goes to one of his previous X-rated works, Harem Time.
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The official Crunchyroll English subtitles for the anime render "Tootsuki" as "Engetsu", even though the manga already has an official English translation that shows it correctly, and even after people say "Tootsuki" in the second episode.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Among the girls of the Polaris Dormitory, Yuuki Yoshino, Megumi Tadakoro and Ryoko Sakaki, respectively.
  • Brick Joke: During the training camp, Gin makes Koujirou hold an unofficial Shokugeki against Soma and Megumi, with fellow alumni Hinako, Fuyumi, Donato and Hitoshi as judges, who worry that Roland Chapelle will find out. Nearly a hundred chapters later, Koujirou invites Chapelle to the opening of the first Japanese branch of his restaurant. Hinako accidentally blabs about the Shokugeki and the others only barely manage to cover it up before he finds out and punishes them.
  • Call Back
    • The color double page of Chapter 70 shows Megumi, Soma, Takumi, Ryou and Akira as Japanese Delinquents, a reference to Satoshi's Dream Sequence in Chapter 28 when Megumi was turned into a delinquent. Later it turns out that the color page is a Foreshadowing of the "foodgasm" in the next chapter.
    • Erina thinks back to telling Soma over and over that he would never get into the Fall Classic. When he easily qualifies, she thinks back to her statements and gets all depressed.
  • Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Most of the students are drawn average to handsome (especially Takumi, for the joy of Jump fangirls). Even Isami slims down into Tall, Dark and Handsome during summer, and Zenji is drawn better whenever he's not being a Nervous Wreck.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: In the tenth-graders' first cooking test, two students, miffed at Soma's entrance speech, try to sabotage his and Megumi's boeuf bourguignon by adding extra salt. However, Soma not only passes through improvisation, but is complimented by their notoriously strict professor. The saboteurs wind up gawking for so long they neglect their own dish and leave it cooking too long, in the process accidentally spilling salt on it in panic, earning them an "E" for their trouble.
  • Chekhov's Gun: During Soma's match against Subaru, he consults Erina to see what's lacking in his dish, but can't possibly afford her normal consultation fee. She agrees to help him on the condition that he lend her the full volume set of a shoujo manga she's reading instead since her aide Hisako left her side. After he wins, she asks for her manga because he still hasn't delivered it. That manga set comes into play at the end of Soma's Stagiare (OJT) assignment with Hisako, where he gives the set to her as an incentive for her to return to Erina's side after her self-imposed exile out of shame for losing to Akira.
  • Children Are Innocent: All children have had completely innocent reactions to food so far.
  • Cliff Hanger: Several episodes of the anime end on one, such as episode 8 showing the Aldini brother's finishing their dish and passing the class. But we don't get to see Soma's dish until the next episode.
  • Cooking Duel: The titular "Shokugeki"; stakes can get exceptionally high, ranging from club rooms to a spot on the Council of Ten Masters. The finals of the Fall Classic are cooking duels as well, but they are not formal Shokugekis unless two participants want to hold a formal one.
  • Costume Porn: Provided by the foodgasms and the artwork, which features a lot of them, from traditional folklore japanese outfits, shout-outs to other series, magical girl outfits, stylish kimonos, a kaiju costume, yakuza styiling, and so on...
  • Covert Pervert: Every character with his/her orgasmic or naughty reactions qualifies. Especially blatant that this kind of "foodgasm" happens only to teenagers and adults, but not to children whose reactions are entirely innocent.
  • Crossover
  • Dare to Be Badass:
    • During the welcoming ceremonies for the 92nd Generation, Senzaemon encourages the students to aspire to be part of the 1% who will graduate from Tootsuki.
    • Before the Fall Classic preliminaries, judge Natsume Sendawara claims that despite the evolution of Japan's curry industry, the food still bores her, challenging the students to create something revolutionary.
    • It turns out Soma's evolving cooking methods subtly encourage this. By refining his skills through trial and error, he shows that anyone can do what he does and make something amazing.
  • Decomposite Character: From the pilot One-shot, we got a character named Julio Rossi Saotome. Even though the character was Adapted Out for the main story, many of his elements were used for other characters:
    • His role as Erina's ever-loyal secretary was given to Hisako Arato.
    • He also was defeated by Soma in a Shokugeki, even thought his entry was made of more expensive ingredients, like Ikumi.
    • His character design was a more butch version of legendary alumnus Donato Gotouda.
    • He is also half-Italian, like the Aldini twins.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Soma makes friends with Ikumi after beating her in a shokugeki with her taking a Be Yourself message from the whole thing. They start hanging out together with her in particular crushing on him.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?
    • The way food preparation is treated and depicted often resembles a fighting manga more than anything to do with cooking. We're obviously supposed to think Hisako is a cold blooded badass for decapitating a live turtle in front of an audience.
    • The reactions to the good food people make are often sexual to the point it could be mistaken for porn, even with just the dialogue. For example, Ryou makes people beg for more of his food while they blush and tremble in anticipation. Other times, itís portrayed as more of a fight, such as a dish having so much impact itís like being punched in the stomach.
  • Double Meaning Title: Shokugeki no Soma directly means "cooking spirit", yet it can be interpreted as "Soma of Shokugeki". The word "Soma" is a pun on Soma's name in the Japanese version, and a direct reference to his name in the English localization.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In chapter 4 of the manga, we see several characters who won't be introduced until later, including Yuuki, Ryou and the Aldini twins, with other standout faces from that chapter seemingly bound for later appearances. Episode 3 of the anime (based on that chapter) adds a few more to the mix, including the rest of the Polaris Dormitory residents, Alice (standing next to Ryou), Ikumi, Akira, Nao (stalking Erina with binoculars), Miyoko and Yua (who also has a blink-and-you-miss it cameo in episode 9 sitting next to Megumi in the bus after passing Chef Inui's test).
  • Early Installment Weirdness:
    • In the first chapter, artist Saeki covered Minagesaki and her men's bodies entirely with screentone when they have their "foodgasms". He never does this again for any "foodgasm".
    • Jouichirou told Soma that only 10% can graduate from Tootsuki. Three chapters later, Senzaemon Nakiri tells the students that only 1% of them will graduate. This might be justified, considering that there is a 22-year gap between father and son's tenure in Tootsuki. Either there weren't so many students in Jouichirou's generation who entered tenth-grade or the standards of Tootsuki have become so high that even more students will be expelled than before.
    • In the first few chapters, Soma acts like much more of a Jerkass and his Idiot Hero traits are really exaggerated. By about chapter 20 or so, he has settled down into a more normal Shōnen All-Loving Hero.
  • Ecchi: Food Porn has never been more accurate. Most of the "foodgasms" contain some form of sexual undertones, while others throw in some sort of fantastical element into the mix. For example, several incorporate some sort of wacky cosplay, while others actually resemble shounen battles. There are also "foodgasms" that are just plain funny, such as the gorilla that suddenly appears in Erina's hot spring (meaning she didn't like it).
  • Elaborate University High: Granted, Tootsuki is managed by the richest people in Japan and most students come from prestigious restaurants or food companies, which allows the school to extend to several acres and have a private resort with a large green area for ingredients.
  • Epic Fail: In the Moon Banquet festival, when the total sales of the first day have been tallied, it turns out that Souma and Megumi, and the trio of Alice, Ryou and Akira, are dead last on their respective areas, being in the red and thus in danger of being expelled. Erina especially is upset at this and calls them out on it, especially because they were in the top 8 of the Fall Classic and the three guys were the finalists.
  • Everyone Has A Special Move: Aside from Soma, whose specialty is learning from experimenting, other students have a special forte, ranging from smoked dishes, poultry, using their own produce, molecular cuisine, spices, Chinese culinary techniques, and so on. However, these are considered the mere starting line for developing a true specialty, something that shows someone is truly becoming a master cook.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: The legendary alumni and many Tootsuki professors. Jouichirou, Gin and Jun were roommates at the Polaris Dormitory during their time.
  • Evolving Credits: The anime's OP and ED change slightly per episode. For the OP it's the rotating dish, and for the ED it's whoever had the main 'foodgasm' of the week.
  • Exposition Party: After the preliminaries of the Fall Classic, the Polaris Dormmates (plus the Aldini twins and Ikumi) celebrate Soma, Megumi and Takumi making it into the next round. Additionally, this serves as a Breather Episode.
  • Eye Catch: Used in the anime regularly.
    • In episode 12, Hinako is pointing and laughing at Koujirou. A quick cut is used to show him smacking her, and the second scene is the exact same, except with Hinako reeling down from the hit.
  • The Faceless:
    • Soma's mother in the family picture is hidden behind a light reflection on it.
    • The first members revealed from the Elite Ten are Erina, Satoshi and Etsuya. The others have been seen, but only briefly and mostly shadowed over. The entire Council is finally revealed in Chapter 118 for the Red Leaf Hunt event, as they have to meet the Fall Classic eight finalists, with Erina among them.
    • Alice's father had appeared twice in Alice's, and later Leonora's, flashbacks. Both times, his face was obscured by something or someone else.
    • Takumi and Isami's father is obscured whenever he is talking to his brother. The twins get the suggestion of going to Tootsuki from their uncle instead.
  • Family Business: Most of Tootsuki's students come from family-run restaurants with the intent of raising their prestige or preserving their traditions, and those who don't at were at least involved in the food industry.
    • The Nakiris are the most prominent example, with Senzaemon as headmaster of Tootsuki, his daughter-in-law Leonora as head of their Danish branch, and granddaughters Erina and Alice as consultants in student evaluation and molecular gastronomy, respectively.
    • Soma has managed Yukihira along with his father, presumably also with his mother, since the restaurant is named with her family name.
    • Megumi learned how to handle goosefish to prove herself worth of inheriting her family inn, while her mother encouraged her to attend Tootsuki.
    • Ryoko is said to have come from a famous shiokouji shop.
    • Soma also concluded from their first cooking match that Satoshi may have come from a Japanese restaurant, given the techniques he applied on his dish. He neither confirms nor denies this guess.
    • Takumi and Isami carried Trattoria Aldini along with their father and uncle.
    • Ikumi, one of the few exceptions to the restaurant heirs, comes from the Mito Company, the largest meat distribuitor across Japan.
    • Hisako Arato has also done it, albeit in a roundabout way. Her family has been in service to the Nakiris for generations, and she has followed in their footsteps as Erina's right hand, but rather than become a doctor like her ancestors, she chose to become a chef to integrate modern nutritional science and traditional medicine into gourmet cooking.
  • Fanservice: Par for the course with an Ecchi series, and both genders are applicable.
  • Fan Disservice: During reaction shots, you might get a cute girl mostly naked or in a fetishy outfit, but youíve also got roughly even odds of seeing a burly adult man in a duck hat, an apple for a head or a magical girl outfit.
  • Fat and Skinny: Isami as the fat one, and Takumi as the skinny. However, in this case, Isami is actually the more level-headed one, while Takumi frequently makes a fool of himself.
  • Female Gaze: Provided mostly by Satoshi in a Naked Apron (sometimes in the full nude) and Gin, who has quite the ripped body for a middle-aged man. At least half a chapter during the Training Camp arc is devoted to a Public Bathhouse Scene, entirely with guys rather than girls.
  • Filler: There are two cases which are ultimately subverted, as they actually serve to further the plot (and mostly serve as Breather Episodes).
    • The Sumire District arc is devoted to Soma's brief return to his hometown, but it quickly transforms into a duel with Mozuya, a rapidly-expanding karaage restaurant quickly gobbling up all the local businesses... which led to him piquing the interest of Etsuya Eizan, Ninth Seat of the Elite Ten, who served as consultant. At this time the Elite Ten were also discussing the upcoming Fall Classic.
    • When Soma and Megumi join Satoshi as substitutes for a children's cooking school, it initially seemed like a random breather amidst the action, except it actually raised two major plot points: the candies the kids give to Soma later gave him an idea for his dish against Alice, while Megumi starts to realize that she has fallen in love with Soma.
  • Food Porn: GOOD GOD YES! Potentially Trope Codifier for manga.
  • Foreshadowing: Alice Nakiri tells Soma that she'll gladly take him on anytime...guess who fights first in the Fall Classic arc?
  • The Force Is Strong with This One: Chefs of a certain caliber can generate pressure that scare a few of the younger chefs.
  • Four Girl Ensemble: With the addition of Ikumi to the Polaris girls, we have Ryoko as the Sexy One (mostly The Tease), Ikumi as the Mannish One, and Yuuki and Megumi alternating between The Heart and The Sweet-Naive one.
  • Freudian Trio:
    • By temperaments of the three finalists of the Fall Classic and their new dynamic as Vitriolic Best Buds, it has Soma as The Kirk (cool under pressure and balanced emotionally), Ryou as The McCoy (the most hotheaded of them) and Hayama as The Spock (the quiet ace).
    • By the Moon Banquet Festival, Ryou and Akira's roles changed after Alice managed to take over the Shiomi Seminar booth, with her as The McCoy (impulsive and outgoing), Akira as The Kirk (the rational guy who is trying to deal with his frustration) and Ryou as The Spock (since he is without his bandana during the arc, he sees the situation neutrally without showing his real emotions)
  • Furo Scene:
    • Megumi found out right in the middle of her bath that Soma was now living in the dorms, leading to their Naked First Impression moment.
    • One of Erina's Imaginary Spots has her in a hotspring with a gorilla (which meant the soup she was tasting wasn't good).
    • Soma and Gin met in Tootsuki Resort's spa while the other students weren't done with the assignment.
    • In a brief shot, Koujirou had to decline the spot as guest judge for the Fall Classic over the phone. This conversation was happening right in the middle of Gin's bath time.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Megumi's hands shake uncontrollably during the Shokugeki in episode 11. Soma has her put her hands together, then slaps it with his own hands, helping to ease her stress so she could focus on cooking.
  • Girls' Night Out Episode: Chapter 52.5 focuses on Erina and Alice going to a public pool, with small appearances of the Polaris girls trying to cool off using an inflatable pool in the Dorm garden.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: The series uses a more subtle variant of this trope. When characters (most notably Erina) are shown to be seriously angry, their irises are whited out to create a luminous effect.
  • Happy Flashback: The judges' reaction to Soma's bento makes them feel like kids again.
  • Helping Would Be Killstealing: Soma is told by Gin in episode 11's Shokugeki that Megumi has to prove her own abilities as a chef, or she'll simply fail a later test.
  • The Host: Urara Kawashima and Yua Sasaki both served as the Fall Classic MC for Block B and Block A, respectively.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Some of the chefs in the series end up at a disadvantage due to their reliance on their specialties. Notably, Ikumi and Alice both make delicious dishes in their respective duels, but fail to grasp the central theme of their battle.
  • Hope Spot: Takumi thinks that incorporating some last minute olive oil from a flask that he keeps with him for good luck can improve his dish and gain an edge over Subaru, whose cooking style involves making the exact same dish as his opponent and improving it a step further. Unfortunately, it's not enough to beat his opponent, who predicted this maneuver as well and prepared for it accordingly.
  • Hypocrisy Nod: When Ikumi and Megumi realize that Soma accepted Subaruís Shokugeki to teach him that failure is acceptable and he doesnít need to obsess over victory they muse that itís a bit of a Broken Aesop coming from him considering he was betting his career as a chef on the match.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: Most of the "foodgasms" are like this.
  • Impossibly Delicious Food: The descriptions of the dishes are often complicated, but judging by the character reactions, they're enough to make the reader drool.
    • In Chapter 1, a Buddhist monk finds Jouichirou's dish so tempting he discards his vows just to break his fast.
    • Played with regarding Erina due to her sensitive palate: any dish she eats must be this trope. Just imagine how well a strawberry cake or a cup of tea must taste for her to even sample it.
  • Insistent Terminology: Justified. The word "Shokugeki" is used specifically for official cooking duels between people affiliated with Tootsuki. Unlike any ordinary cooking duel, Shokugekis need to have an odd number of judges, conditions of equal value (for example, expulsion doesn't even match an Elite Ten seat) and certification from the administration.
  • Instant Fan Club: Erina, Miyoko, Ryoko and Takumi have fanclubs, much to Urara's annoyance. On the guys' side, there's also Takumi.
  • "I Want" Song: Inverted with the anime's ending, which is likely from Megumi's perspective. It's all about how she doesn't need wealth, fancy things or even flashy foods so long as she can have a simple, happy life after regaining her confidence.
  • Japanese School Club: Tootsuki has many researching societies specializing in particular cooking styles. It's possible for a student to challenge an entire club to a Shokugeki just to make more room for themselves or for their club.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: In Soma's first class at the academy, two students sabotage his and Megumi's dish by dumping salt into it, feeling that they need to put Soma in his place after his Badass Boast earlier that morning. With nowhere near enough time to start over, everyone is convinced that they're going to fail, including Megumi herself. However, with a bit of improvisation, Soma is able to finish the dish anyway, and it's so delicious that their homeroom teacher (who has a reputation for being incredibly strict) is absolutely beside himself with joy upon taking a bite. Not only are the saboteurs so awestruck by the display that their food starts to burn while they're distracted, but, in the middle of their panic, one of them accidentally drops a bottle of salt into their dish, ruining it in the same manner that they ruined Soma and Megumi's dish. Needless to say, they failed.
  • "Last Supper" Steal: In the anime's first ending, there is a scene where all of the Polarstar dorm members are seated around a table with having actions suspiciously similar to those of the disciples.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: By the Fall Classic, most characters have been introduced. However, the current cast are largely first-year students, with only a few second-years, and no third-years in sight yet. Naturally, the plot is still developing and Soma is a first-year himself, with no idea how skilled his seniors are until he builds his reputation at Tootsuki.
  • Loophole Abuse:
    • In episode 9, Soma asks Hinako if they're allowed to use any ingredients they find within the the fences of the resort. She confirms it, and he immediately grabs her "Kaki no tane", or peanut and senbei snack that she had sitting next to her. He then uses that in his dish.
    • In episode 10, Soma asks Koujirou if alumni are exempt from being challenged to a shokugeki after Koujirou fails Megumi for altering her dish slightly instead of following his recipe to the letter. Soma wants him to allow Megumi to pass if he can defeat the teacher in a cooking duel.
  • Male Gaze: Special emphasis on Buxom Is Better, Panty Shot, and the female reaction to the dishes.
  • Market-Based Title: The English-language dub adds the "Food Wars!" prefix.
  • Meaningful Name: Tootsuki has the kanji of "Moon" in it's name. The Dorm is named "Polar Star", which is the Guide Star and one of the brightest. After Soma joins the dorm, Fumio thinks to herself how the stars gather around the Moon. Also the Theme Naming of Tootsuki comes to play as the Finale of the Fall Classic is staged under the light of the Full Moon.
  • MÍlťe ŗ Trois: The final match of the Tootsuki Fall Classic: Soma vs Ryou vs Akira.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Takumi occasionally plays with this: while trying to have a dramatic boast, he gets interrupted and turns the moment awkward.
    • During her introduction, Alice teases Soma with words and leaves in a cool fashion, only to bump into Ryou and begins whining about how it ruins her intimidation factor.
    • Senzaemon appears imposing and intimidating, only to choke right before delivering his big opening speech at the Fall Classic.
  • Mr. Fanservice/Ms. Fanservice: Shokugeki no Soma seems to advocate equal-opportunity fanservice, and it shows. From the female side there's no shortage of potential foodgasm targets; the male side doesn't hold back either — for starters, there's pretty-boy Satoshi, manly-man Gin, and Badass Grandpa Senzaemon.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: The dishes are either so good that people have orgasms eating it, or so bad that it feels like sexual assault. Even the simple culinary techniques used to prepare each dish are done using this trope.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: There are multiple scenes where they show off partially naked characters, mainly female. However, this manga is also full of naked or half-naked men. Senzaemon, Gin and Satoshi each accrue more panels of nudity than most of the female cast put together. And unlike their female counterparts, most of their nudity is not Imagine Spots.
  • Naked First Impression: Not exactly first, given that they were already paired in their first homeroom assignment, but Soma and Megumi's first meeting in the Polaris Dormitory still counts, as the former walks in on the latter in the bath, both in the nude.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Megumi sleeps through Somaís match with Satoshi, waking up only at the end while they congratulate each other with a handshake. All she sees is the new weirdo shaking hands with a naked man who has tears in his eyes.
  • Odd Friendship: Souma and Nao bond over their mutual love of revolting dishes. Nao even drops her grudge against him for being paired with Hisako instead of Nao
  • Omake: The volume extras often tell you how you can cook a dish shown in the menu as well as including a bonus strip or two.
  • Onee-sama: Nao stalks Erina and later Hisako, referring to them as her onee-samas. Hisako is rather creeped out by her affections, though we don't know how Erina feels about it. Souma's only concern is that neither of them are actually older than Nao.
  • Orgasmically Delicious: In the most literally way possible.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome
    • Yuuki and Ryouko both score 86 in the Fall Classic preliminaries, while Shun and Zenji both hit 88, with the latter being upended at the last moment by Subaru. Their scores would have been high enough had they had been in the other bracket, where Megumi qualified with 88. Nevertheless, the judges are impressed, given that in many years nobody scored above 80, let alone a dozen, meaning the other Polaris Dorm members just had the misfortune of competing in an extremely talented year.
    • Like the above mentioned students from the dorm, other students Ikumi, Isami, Miyoko and Nao perform excellently in the Fall Classic, and in any other year would have been in the Top 8, except they couldn't manage this year due to the large amount of highly talented students.
    • Daigo and Shoji were the only named students from the Dormitory to not get chosen as contestants for the Fall Classic. However, when working together during Stagiaire Week, they also do an exceptional job.
  • Overused Running Gag: When people taste delicious food, they're always put into imagine spots that tend to involve them naked and blushing or in cosplay outfits. During the Fall Classic, Senzaemon gets a page of his traditional clothing exploding off of him. The next page reveals what really happened. He really does strip when he tastes delicious food.
  • Picky Eater: Mostly the special guest judges to the big Shokugeki, composed of food critics, cooking masters, food suppliers and so on. Erina, on the other hand, is a specific example because of her fine palate.
  • The Power of Love: Played with. In the first few chapters, Jouichirou muses that Soma doesnít yet understand that the true secret to great cooking is to want to cook for a special someone, with the image shown being Somaís mother. Before Soma is even officially enrolled, he already wants to cook something Erina will admit is good. Not quite what his father had in mind, no doubt, since he just considers her a goal to surpass.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: By the latest chapters there are three groups:
    • The residents at the Polaris Dorm have a distinctive characteristic, forte or habit: Soma comes from a special-of-the-day restaurant and is currently the eye of the storm at the school; Megumi is the shy girl who used to have the worst grades at school; Satoshi is the only member of the Elite Ten and he spends most of the time naked around the dorms; Shun is the stoic one who especializes on smoked food; Ryoko's speciality is shiokouji (saltwater preserves), and has a personal workshop in the basement, occasionally making "rice juice"; Yuuki is the Genki Girl of the group and raises animals for her Wild Game style; Zenji is the dorm Bookworm Butt Monkey, whose room always get trashed for parties and gatherings; Daigo and Shoji are The Big Guys who are constantly bickering; and Fumio the caretaker is the Team Mom who has taken care of many generations at the dormitory.
    • By the time of the Red Leaf Hunt, the Top 9 of the 1st Years have become this by their cooking styles and personalities: Erina as The Ace of the group for being the only official member of the Elite Ten, Soma as the transfer student and Challenge Seeker, Akira as the refined nose and spices expert, Megumi as the shy girl who makes kind homely food, Alice as The Tease and Molecular Gastronomy prodigy, Ryou as the hot-headed and especialist in seafood, Hisako as Erina's secretary and medicinal cook, Takumi as the Italian-Japanese fusion chef and Soma's self-proclaimed rival, and Subaru as "The King of Stalkers" who can copy any style.
    • The Elite Ten members themselves are a very distinct group, each one with an especific cooking style and forte — From the 2nd Years: Isshiki as the Perpetual Smiler and The Face of the Elite Ten, Eizan as the cold and calculative strategist who especializes in marketing and consulting, Kuga is short and boisterous and leads the Chinese Cooking RS, and Nene as the Aloof Dark-Haired Girl Meganekko. And then we have the 3rd Years: Soumei, the "samurai" with the Cool Sword; Momo, who looks like a middleschooler; Tosuke, The Big Guy; Rindou, the girl with the Cat Smile; and Eishi, handsome The Leader with fragile personality.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: With the exception of Erina's grudge against Soma, the elite ten seem to judge the performances of the student without bias, though Eizan does abuse his position in order to set Soma up for failure. Even then, he doesn't sabotage the competition. They also don't judge exclusively by grades, noting Megumi's good performance during the training camp and allowing her to compete despite her widespread lack of recognition.
  • Red Baron: Any high-level chef will get a nickname. By the unnofficial Shokugeki against Koujirou, the Legendary Alumni are already picking one for Megumi.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Takumi is Red (short-tempered and Challenge Seeker), while Isami is Blue (more calm and centered).
  • Red Shirt Army: At least 90 to 99% of the student body in one generation will be expelled before graduating Tootsuki, due to its curriculum's competitive, cutthroat nature. During the admission ceremony for the 92nd Generation, Senzaemon reveals that of the 812 from their preceding generation, only 76 (that is, 9%) made it into eleventh-grade, and no doubt even fewer will make it into twelfth-grade, let alone graduate.
    • After the Training Camp Arc, more than 600 students were expelled from the school in a span of 5 days.
    • From the 504 remaining students, the Stagiarie month eliminated 210 students who were unprepared for real-life work at real restaurants. According to Senzaemon and the staff, this is an outstanding number compared to other years, meaning that the remaining 294 still have to face the seniors.
  • Refuge in Audacity:
    • In Chapter 80, Mimasaka Subaru reveals that he and Soma will be facing each other in the next round of the Fall Classic. He attempts to bet Takumi's mezzaluna against Soma's cooking knife. Soma not only agrees, he takes it a step further, betting his cooking career against all 100 tools Mimasaka has stolen. And then he tells Mimasaka what he's going to make.
    • Mimasaka himself is this trope. The guy publicly admits, many times, that he spends most of every single day stalking people, including and not limited to hacking into their computers. One would expect this kind of behavior to get him expelled from the school or even arrested, but the most this gets him is anger and disapproval from the judges in the competition for the underhanded way he competes.
  • Running Gag:
    • The "foodgasms" count.
    • Soma's horrible cooking squid experiments and the reactions to the taste, especially by girls.
    • Anytime Erina delivers a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Soma, it sails right over his head or he shrugs it off, much to her annoyance and ire.
    • Takumi's scthick of saying something cool, then being thrown into an awkward situation moments after.
    • Hinako always makes fun of Shinomiya or does something annoying near him. He'll put up with it briefly, but then he'll lift her up one handed by clamping his hand over her face while her legs kick around feebly below. When Lucie joins her in making fun of Shinomiya's tsundere attitude towards Soma, he lifts them both.
    • The Polaris dormitory always meeting and gathering in Zenji's room. He always asks why they keep doing it every time as well.
  • School Festival: The Tootsuki Academy Festival Arc is completely dedicated to this. Tootsuki's festivals are built on a large scale with three vendor zones — "The Main Street Area", which consists of tents placed by the road; "The Central Area", where all the specialized booths occupy the school buildings; and finally "The Uptown Area", where all the exclusive and high-class clients attend, mainly managed by the Elite Ten members. This event attracts more than 500,000 people every year, meaning that most of the booths need staff employees to satisfy the demand. Also if a booth loses money, the student is immediately expelled.
  • School Idol: Erina Nakiri, who is admired and feared by many of the students. Also count Urara Kawashima, Takumi Aldini, Miyoko Hojou and Ryoko Sakaki, as seen by the massive numbers of their personal fanclubs.
  • Secret Test of Character: Besides serving as on-the-job training, Senzaemon reveals a hidden purpose of Stagiaire Month: Character Development. Not only are students expected to perform well under pressure, they are also encouraged to both "leave a mark" on their assigned restaurants (that is, encourage changes that last beyond their tenure) and nurture their mental and emotional strength. And as seen in various cutaways, the 500 or so survivors of the training camp got whittled down ever further when faced with the realities of the outside world.
  • Self-Deprecation: During the crossover chapter, Irina tries the food and reacts accordingly. All the other heroines try (in vain) to control themselves, figuring that the only reason anyone would read Shokugeki no Soma would be to enjoy Shun Saeki's foodgasms. Erina can be seen in the background not saying a thing.
  • Serious Business
    • Cooking in Tootsuki; for example, issues between students can be settled via cooking duels that can potentially get the loser expelled. However, they're going to a prestigious cooking school, so it's only natural for them to take it seriously.
    • Megumi also gets way too serious about table tennis. Everyone else gets really caught up in the moon and the manga has to have the narrator remind us that Shokugeki no Soma is a cooking manga. Twice.
  • Ship Tease:
    • Megumi explained to some precocious kids that the best way to get a great dish to think of someone you hold dear. Moments later she realizes that thinking of Soma gave her confidence when she was nervous just a few chapters before.
    • Also in the after-prelims party, we have a scene where Megumi and Soma were alone in the balcony, praising each other's cooking, with Megumi developing a Luminescent Blush as Soma said her cooking is good. Ikumi is on the sidelines, unable to get between them.
    • Less obvious, but during the first few chapters Jouichirou muses he didn't get to get tell Soma that the secret to good cooking is wanting to cook for a single woman. The next page shows Erina, who is the new target for Soma to surpass.
    • After Hayama wins the autumn election he suddenly hugged Jun, which was rare coming from his usual image as The Stoic. Normal enough considering she's practically his mother, but then Yuuki's shipping radar goes berserk at his reaction.
  • Shocking Elimination: Two In-Universe examples during the Fall Classic.
    • Takumi gets beaten by Subaru, even after a last-minute improvisation with an alternative for the dish upon learning of Subaru's method of ripping off and then improving on his opponent's style. Everyone, including the judges, were shocked and angered by Subaru's victory.
    • Soma then deals this towards both Alice, who got the highest score on her preliminaries block, and later Subaru, who was the favorite going into their semifinal match.
  • Shout-Out: The series has so many of them that they have been moved to their own page.
  • Sibling Team: They have been cooking together since they were children, and frequently works together when they need to complete their task in pairs. Takumi even declared that Aldini is complete when he and Isami are together.
  • Smug Snake: The female owner of the Mozuya specialty shop; visually Lampshaded with a forked tongue in one scene.
  • Stern Teacher: In general, all Tootsuki professors. The judging panel from the Fall Classic are especially strict and rarely hands a score above a fifty out of a hundred out for the competitors. It becomes a really big deal when certain students are awarded above 80 points during the preliminaries.
  • The Stinger: The anime version has them after the ending credits.
    • In the first chapter/episode, Erina is introduced having her Establishing Character Moment. She is grading some students on their dishes, and gives them horrible reviews.
    • During episode 2, Erina's grandfather, the chairman of the cooking school, tastes some of Soma's food after she claims it's not good enough to pass. Due to his higher position at the school, he overrides her decision not to let him enter the school, which shocks her quite a bit when she sees him there in the next episode.
    • At the end of episode 3, Erina is told about Soma passing a really tough course with a teacher who's normally very strict with grades. She vows to get him expelled one way or another.
    • In episode 4, Soma runs into one of the Elite Ten, Satoshi Isshiki, and tries out one of his dishes.
    • Episode 5 introduces Soma's first major opponent at the school, Ikumi Mito. And in episode 6, she discusses her strategy of using high grade A5 beef to defeat whatever garbage he cooks up.
    • At the end of episode 7, Ikumi, having been soundly defeated by Soma in the Shokugeki contest, goes to the Don RS club room she had to join as a condition for losing. She acts very girly, and is hoping to meet him in the room, only to find Kanachi in there. He explains that Soma declined to join the club, lowering her chances of seeing him.
    • After the credits for episode 12, Soma returns to Zenji's room where the rest of his dorm mates were wondering what happened to him and Megumi. They then decide to start playing a card game, prompting Zenji to once again ask why they're always in his room.
    • During the cooking event in episode 13, Erina finishes her 200 servings of breakfast food rather easily. However, Soma has served less than 10 dishes by this point, and was stationed right next to her...
  • Straw Loser: Many in the audience often comment how some of the Fall Classic contestants are useless, such as Megumi's "dunce" status of having the lowest grades or Zenji's physical struggle during Training Camp, yet these are the same students not selected to participate in the Election at all.
  • Supreme Chef: Everyone who goes to Tootsuki actually has a good career in cooking ahead of them even if they end up dropping out or expelled just from the sheer prestige of the school. The actual graduates usually start their own wildly successful restaurants within just a few years. Of course, even as good as the students seem in the present, some are much better than others, such as Erina. Right now, at least, even she probably couldn't hope to compete with the actual adults who have already graduated as the first or second seats.
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: As Satoshi tells Etsuya during the Fall Classic finals, the students want Souma to fail not just because of his boastful introduction, but also because he obviously doesn't have the natural talent of someone like Alice or the intellect of someone like Subaru. If they were to acknowledge his ability, it would mean admitting that their own failures are simply because they do not work hard enough. Nevertheless, the way Isshiki sees it, it's starting to change, more so after Soma forces Subaru by Shokugeki stipulation to return the knives he took from his past opponents after beating him.
  • Technician vs. Performer: There's a running theme in the story between different approaches to cooking which often fall under technician vs performer lines, such as the contrast between Alice and Megumi. The story itself seems to believe in the need for balance: Alice's cooking may come off as overly technical and lacking in artistry, but Megumi's work is generally sloppy and explicitly inferior to that of her rivals.
    • Most of the cast are varying degrees of technician, but Megumi is pure performer. When she has a match against Shinomiya, he notes that the food wasnít cooked right and it wasnít joined together properly, indicating sheís not nearly as careful as the other cooks. Then it brings him to tears, because he can really tell how hard she worked and how much style and thoughtfulness went into what she cooked. His own dish for the match was considered superior, but was so lifeless and stagnant compared to what he could be doing that he actually ends up voting against himself and declares their match void, despite winning!
    • Alice is at the far end of the technician side of the spectrum, adding lots of little technical tricks. Trouble is, while good, she sometimes misses the point of the assignment. Megumiís dish comes right after hers and while Alice gets a higher score, the judges seem happier with Megumiís food, directly comparing it to her and noting the human warmth in it.
    • Subaru takes it into a repulsive direction. His cooking skill is top notch, but he has absolutely no interest in actually making something people will enjoy. Thatís merely a side benefit to his actual goal, which is taking something someone is proud of, insulting it and then challenging them to a humiliation match. During the match, he then takes their specialty, studies it and improves it by enough to cause them to lose. Itís said that despite his excellent skills, there is not a restaurant in the world that would be willing to hire him.
  • Theme Tune Cameo:
    • In Episode 4, Soma sings the anime's opening theme while he and most of the Polar Star dorm members are drunk on rice juice.
    • Episode 9 ends with Soma and Erina humming the ending theme until they bump into each other at the bathhouse.
  • The Power of Love: It's all over the place. As disparate characters as Jouchirou Yukihira, Megumi Tadokoro, Hayama Akira and, to a lesser extent the Aldini brothers and Hisako Arato are all driven by deep romantic or familial love in their cooking, and all of them are completely awesome.
  • The Reason You Suck: Isshiki gives one of these to Eizan about the entire school. According to Isshiki, the students look down on Soma not just because he's from a small family restaurant, but because he keeps winning against geniuses despite having no special talent of his own. The other students can't be bothered to put out the same effort Soma does and would rather just give up, so it's easier for their pride if they pretend Soma has no chance of winning.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: After the positively grueling torture that was the Training Camp, on the last day everyone who passed was allowed to kick back and enjoy a full-course meal prepared by the alumni.
  • Those Two Guys: Daigo and Shoji, the two previously-unnamed characters from the Polaris Dormitory, always appear together and has very little characterization beyond their role as the dorm's crowd filler.
  • Tournament Arc: The Fall Classic - sixty students are selected among the first-year students. For the preliminary round, participants are divided into the "A" or "B" Block with thirty students each. Only four students with the highest scores in each block can move to the the main tournament.
  • Title Drop: "Shokugeki", the cooking duels at the Tootsuki Culinary Academy. It's a long-standing tradition that allows students to settle arguments and debates through a formal duel of their culinary prowess.
  • Training from Hell: The "Tootsuki Friendship and Rapport Training" is literally referred as this. Not only must first-year students cook at least 150 to 200 dishes per day, those who can't are expelled. Every year, up to half of the first-years are eliminated. Usually, there aren't even scheduled hours to sleep: Your only chance to sleep is during the brief free time, during which you may need to be preparing for your next assignment instead.
  • Trash Talk: A staple of many fights is the opponents mocking each other beforehand. Soma usually doesnít rise to the bait, but when he does his lines tend to be great.
  • Trivially Obvious: When Megumi gets upset and tearful at Soma for betting his own career at Tootsuki on match to keep her from failing, his only reaction is that she lets her accent slip when she gets emotional.
  • Truth in Television:
    • There is an "E" grade used in Japan, which is a variation of an "F".
    • In Chapter 116, one of the students is eliminated from his Internship because of his tweets badmouthing the restaurant he is working at (the printed evidence shows that the tweet gathered more than 3000 favorites, retweets and replies). This policy on Social Network is applied in many workplaces as part of the ethic code and professional behaviour of the employees.
  • Two-Teacher School: Without counting the Director and staff (like examiners and the Resort employees), the only teachers seen are Roland Chapelle and Jun Shiomi.
  • Underestimating Badassery:
    • Many people look down on Soma, thinking he's a simple chef from a simple special-of-the-day store. They get blindsided when he shows he can match their three years worth of high-level education with twelve years of experimenting in a kitchen.
    • Megumi's history of failure and low rank lead people to underestimate her, forgetting she is indeed a skilled cook.
  • Visual Innuendo: In the anime's ED, the Polar Star Dorm students all float by clinging to food, generally looking like they're asleep. Then along comes naked Isshiki riding a giant banana.
  • Volleying Insults: Between the second year members of the Elite Ten. Kuga started the cycle by announcing his desire to abolish the Autumn Leaf Viewing event, Nene calls him out for the stupid remark, which Kuga responds by calling her an Auntie. Eizan later says pretty much the same remark, and Kuga flatly tells him that he's too greedy to stay in Tootsuki and should just leave. Eizan calls Kuga a midget, setting him off, and escalating the argument into a fight.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: The autumn election preliminaries and the actual tournament style competition itself are interrupted by Megumi and Soma accompanying Isshiki to one of his projects, where they end up taking over a small cooking class for little kids. It does have a small impact on Megumiís character arc, however, and indirectly inspires an idea Soma's next dish during the tournament.
  • Widget Series: A series where cooking is so badass that people get orgasms or other incredible visions whenever they eat food. Cooking is so important that there is a ridiculously rich, influential school where people from all over world gather to study or teach cooking.
  • Wham Episode
    • Chapter 20: Just as Megumi is finally gaining confidence in herself and the determination to stay with her friends at Training Camp, she is suddenly expelled on the second day..
    • Chapter 25: Soma and Megumi actually lose the Shokugeki against Koujirou. If it weren't for Gin, they'd have been expelled, and Soma is frustrated with the result.
    • Chapter 62: The first match in the main Fall Classic tournament begins, and it's Soma against Alice. Most readers thought he would meet his opponent in the final round.
    • Chapter 67: Megumi's opponent is Alice's assistant Ryou. While this doesn't sound like much of a wham, it's implied through Alice and Ryou's conversation that Ryou is a better cook than Alice.
    • Chapter 76: Subaru Mimasaka challenges Takumi to a Shokugeki with Takumi's prized mezzaluna on the line. Subaru's dish turns out to be one of Takumi's recipes; both competitors are making the same dessert.
    • Chapter 79: Despite Takumi's improvisation from the original recipe, Subaru is awarded the victory, even though the judges state their distaste for his culinary methods.
    • Chapter 92: The match between Hayama and Kurokiba was so close, that a suggestion was made to consider them both winners of the match. This means there would be a 3-way final match between Kurokiba, Hayama, and Soma himself, the first ever in the history of the Fall Classic.
    • Chapter 103: The final match for the Autumn Election between Soma, Kurokiba, and Hayama ends with Soma's first defeat to someone on his level. The only losses he's had in the series have been against far superior opponents, such as his father, but his loss to Hayama, another first year, brings into perspective that he isn't even the best chef amongst the first years.
  • Who Would Be Stupid Enough?: After Soma declared a duel against Elite Ten Terunori Kuga and just then he learns that he will be expelled if his stand loses money, Kanachi explains that, while true, it would be virtually impossible to go broke from a stand because all of them have been trained in middleschool to manage costs... Unless someone did a stupid thing like getting a booth right next to an Elite Ten member.
  • World of Badass: Shokugeki no Soma may not be an action-based manga, but it manages to use Awesome Art and Mundane Made Awesome to make young chefs look incredibly Badass while they're cooking. The students even possess Battle Auras, giving an atmosphere akin to Iron Chef. While most of the story takes place at Tootsuki, the gifted students and professional teachers come from all over the world, and the alumni have established top-class restaurants abroad, playing this trope as straight as possible.
  • World of Ham: Very much understatement, as it's a Shonen Jump series where it takes the concept of cooking and take it to the ridiculous next level.
  • Writers Cannot Do Math: During the cooking buffet challenge at the Training Camp it's mentioned that the minimum required dishes served to pass is 200. Afterwards, it's mentioned that there are 628 students left at the end of the training account. Putting these numbers together that means that there had to have been enough people to serve 125,600 dishes to, adding on Erina and Alice going over at 407 and 380 respectively that totals at least 125,987 dishes (and likely much higher when you consider other people who went over the limit and those who didn't manage to make it to 200 dishes). Even assuming every person ate at least 6 dishes, that still means that there were over 20,000 people at the resort which nowhere near matches the amount of people we actually see onscreen. Either everyone in the Shokugeki no Soma universe is a natural Big Eater or Tootsuki has manpower equivalent to that of a small country.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are: Isshiki believes that by taking on so many challenges against the school's top chefs and winning, Soma will inspire the students who constantly look down on him to put more effort into their cooking.