YMMV / Shokugeki no Soma

  • Alternate Character Interpretation
    • Is Hisako Arato truly just an Undying Loyal Sidekick who only wishes to stand alongside her friend Erina Nakiri or does she hold some form of romantic affections for her (such as this reaction)? The fact she challenges Nao Sadatsuka to a Shokugeki to force a 50-meter restraining order on Nao to keep her away from Erina could make a case of Hisako showing Clingy Jealous Girl tendencies towards anyone who could interact with Erina apart from herself, not to mention the few times she attempts to downplay Soma Yukihira for giving Erina a rough time. As of the "Fall Classic", a third camp believes Hisako might possibly be Yandere towards Erina.
      • This changes once Hisako receives Character Development/expansion during the "Stagiaire Period Arc" when she admits to Soma she wants to be friends with Erina but the social distance between them, as well as Erina being the "God Tongue", makes her hesitate to be overly familiar. Currently, the most frequent question about Hisako is whether she is friendly and grateful towards Soma, or has Hisako herself developed a crush on him post-Stagiaire Period Arc?
    • Eishi Tsukasa's vote for Azami Nakiri as new director: does he really sympathize with his ideals of standardizing the student body or is Eishi merely playing along while hiding his true colors? Another question arises after his impromptu match with Soma: does he believe Soma is too troublesome for him to keep on as an assistant or does Eishi have an ulterior motive to either help or hurt Soma in the long run?
    • Is Akira Hayama devoted to Jun Shiomi because she is his surrogate mother and savior or are his affections for her deeper via a romantic way? It's not helped by Yuuki Yoshino's reaction to their spontaneous hug.
    • Leonora Nakiri's broken Japanese and her subsequent "disrobing": is she shy until she tastes good food or is she putting on this act to surprise the audience?
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • The 4 Central recruits during "Elite Ten Invasion Arc" are built up as a new group of students facing off against Soma and company, but they're cast aside rather quickly in the end. While Rentarou gets his own fully seen Shokugeki defeat against Ryou, the other members, Mea and Shigemichi, are quickly defeated by Megumi and Ikumi through what is basically a one-chapter Montage. The defeat of the 4th Central member, Rui, isn't even seen in manga form, and it's only through anime Adaptation Expansion that it's revealed she lost against Marui during the same Montage as the other Central recruit defeats.
    • Megumi Tadakoro and Takumi Aldini escape the Curb-Stomp Battle the Council of Ten Masters gave to the "Rebels" during the "Hokkaido Promotion Exam Arc" because they were assigned Rindou Kobayashi, who simply asked them to make a delicious dish to pass rather than challenge them to a Shokugeki they would most likely lose.
  • Arc Fatigue
    • The Fall Classic got hit hard with this.
      • The exhaustion came about during its preliminary challenge where ten or so chapters are devoted to showcasing every curry dish made by major AND side-characters introduced from the first-year students. Fans agree this is to invoke Character Development, but some wanted the plot to move along and re-focus on Soma.
      • The second exhaustion is the tournament itself due to dragging on for over 40 chapters, with each match requiring culinary explanations and fine details; the result is three to five chapters each. By the time of the finals, readers were wishing for the story to just move on from this Tournament Arc.
    • The bear meat duel between Soma and Akira in the Promotion Exam Arc: readers were already groaning in exhaustion when they realized that not only was the meat getting tested but the accompanying sauce, as well. It still took several chapters just to announce who the winner is.
    • Dethroning the Fall Classic as the longest arc of the series is the fight against Central, though this becomes a mixed case: it's more of a saga due to smaller Story Arcs surrounding Central's involvement, which helps break up the fatigue. For perspective, however, Azami made his debut at Chapter 131; seventy chapters later, the conflict against Central finally approaches something resembling a climax with the remaining Rebels challenging the Council of Ten Masters for control of Tootsuki.
  • Ass Pull
    • Subaru Mimasaka coming out-of-nowhere to take one of the eight finalist spots for the Fall Classic was seen as this for readers who would rather see someone they'd gotten to know over the course of the manga to battle in the finals, the largest one being Shun Ibusaki getting the shaft. Subaru becoming a huge Base-Breaking Character later on did not help matters.
    • A portion of the fans were less than happy about how the Shokugeki between Subaru and Takumi went, not necessarily due to the results, but from the former's dish — in the words of some, it's a "Deus ex Machina it-has-everything" dish.
  • Author's Saving Throw
    • Introducing Erina's abusive father Azami was this for some readers who had always viewed Erina as a Jerk Ass with little-to-no redeeming qualities to her character apart from being a loose Tsundere. That this revelation humanizes her character to a certain degree justified why she's such a huge Academic Alpha Bitch.
    • Fans of the Animated Adaptation praise how Erina's role is expanded in proportion to the amount of time given to her in the manga (before Azami enters the picture), possibly as a response from readers joking about what exactly is her role in the story.
    • One could argue the anime also attempted to be this by powering through the Fall Classic Tournament Arc, which suffered high Arc Fatigue for some fans when it was first done in the manga. As a result though, it ended up suffering major criticism for Compressed Adaptation.
  • Awesome Art: Fans agree Shun "tosh" Saeki's drawings are very beautiful and awesome. The character designs, whether female or male, are excellent, the great details of the dishes make them look very delicious, the "foodgasm" reactions (or any form of reception to the dishes) are illustrated well, and the badass auras of the chefs are very entertaining, including the creative Imagine Spots.
  • Base-Breaking Character
    • Either Erina is an excellent rival and heroine to the series or she doesn't deserve the spotlight because of her Jerk Ass qualities and rarely appears in the plot despite receiving top billing in promotional materials. However, she's more universally popular with Japanese readers and placed runner-up in the first character poll and top spot in the second.
      • Despite the subtle Character Development, while some readers appreciate how her flaws and personal history were being revealed, others pointed out Erina had been reduced to a Neutral Female during the "Tootsuki Reformation Arc". This phase thankfully ended after the "Tootsuki Reformation Arc" concluded.
    • Subaru quickly became despised after his "perfect" win over fan-favorite Takumi. It doesn't help he's established to be a great cooking competitor, yet comes out from nowhere to take the eighth spot in the Fall Classic finals. Additionally, he doesn't follow usual culinary methods others find to be biased and unfairnote , nor does Subaru have a food-based Signature Style like the rest of the students. However, others state this simply propels Subaru into Magnificent Bastardry: he thrives on the fact a Shokugeki is simply, at its core, "which dish tastes better" and runs with it. Beating Takumi wasn't entirely an Ass Pull when the judges stated Subaru goes above and beyond with the recipe to surpass and outstrip Takumi's own. Effectively, the win was Subaru's Establishing Character Moment, setting him up as a top contender and rival to the rest of the first-years.
    • Akira used to have a large fanbase earning him the ninth spot in the first popularity poll, even though he had only appeared for a few panels at that point in the manga. While many still like him for his looks and cool, helpful attitude, a fair share of detractors thought his overconfidence in his sense of smell was obnoxious, or find the way his specialty in aromas and spices seem to give him almost effortless victories boring. Having him win the Fall Classic to wrap up the infuriatingly long arc was too much for many readers, causing them to drop the series altogether. In fact, when he made his reappearance as a member of Central, the manga's ratings began decreasing, hitting dangerous lows during his painfully drawn-out rematch with Soma only to snap back up to the top quarter again once Akira was defeated and shunted back Out of Focus.
    • Terunori Kuga, the eighth seat on the Council of Ten Masters, became this due to haughty personality, short temper and sadist fixation for Sichuan cuisine. Some readers hate him because of this, while others think he is a good rival for Soma.
    • Council of Ten Masters second seat Rindou because of her reasons for voting for Azami as the new director to replace Senzaemon Nakiri, which has moved her from Cool Big Sis to Bitch in Sheep's Clothing. The other members of the Council who also voted for Azami have this too, except Etsuya Eizan (see Love to Hate).
    • Azami, especially when he's pretty much the reason Erina is the way she is. Some fans find this as a cheap, cliched Freudian Excuse to give a previously unpleasant character sympathy by showing her as an abuse victim, but others state this was a natural outcome and the series was going to deal with/justify Erina's attitude eventually. On the other hand, Azami's motivations stemming from his idol Jouichirou Saiba dropping out of school, which kicked off his Start of Darkness to end the cutthroat practices of Tootsuki, lessened some of this trope for the character.
    • Urara Kawashima is this In-Universe and for the fandom: similar to how male students consider her adorable, yet girls hate her Attention Whore status, parts of the fandom like her for being a cute Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, while others find her fake, annoying and useless. This intensified during the Hokkaido Promotion Exam Arc, where she's Brainwashed into siding with Central and is openly hostile towards the Rebels instead of being a neutral host. It's no surprise a lot of fans have expressed her naughtiness has crossed the line, making her awful to watch.
  • The judges of the RdC, considering that they were just as much of thebstc as the chefs due to it running for so long. Anne in particular has her fans for her appearance and her foodgasms, but many detractors for voting for Megumi based on her potential when she considered Momo's dish overall superior, decrying the act as a pity vote and losing respect for her as a judge. Historie and Charme are also either loked for their fun reactions to dishes, or not thought of otherwise.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: To the uninitiated, the series is best recognized for its "foodgasm" scenes. Shonen Jump even ran a popularity contest where voters got to rank their favorite reaction scenes. Its inevitable though given the head artist was a former hentai artist before starting on this series.
  • Bishonen Jump Syndrome: Many of the male characters are drawn very prettily, such as Takumi, Satoshi Isshiki and Akira. In the Fall Classic, Isami Aldini not only slims down, but turns into Tall, Dark, and Handsome; even Zenji Marui, the resident Butt-Monkey Extreme Doormat, is drawn nicely.
  • Broken Base
    • The title for the official English translation by Viz as Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma: many hate it for its attempt to be "extreme" in a time when that's frowned upon, while some defend it for being an accurate translationnote .
    • Who's the true female lead — Erina or Megumi? Discussions are often coupled with Ship-to-Ship Combat.
    • While some enjoy the Fanservice the series brings (mostly through foodgasms), others don't appreciate the visual eye-candy and believe the story can be just as popular without having to rely on such gimmicks to bring in fans.
    • The A-block winner of the Fall Classic's preliminary curry challenge: Akira defenders state him being the winner is a given since his Signature Style is creating curry dishes and having him lose suddenly to amateurs in what he specializes in is unrealistic from a story stand-point. However, Soma supporters argue while he did lose by a single point, he received the second highest overall score on a dish he had only begun working on for a few days, and is warranted to be a greater overall achievement compared to Akira's winning dish. Lampshaded In-Universe as the judges debate this among themselves.
    • How Subaru won his match in the Fall Classic main tournament: some think it's a believable follow-up to his pre-established Signature Style, while others see it as an Ass Pull of massive proportions.
    • The final results of the Fall Classic; the fact a Flashback is used before the judges make their decision in order for readers to sympathize with the winner's motivations didn't sit well with some readers (accusations of the writer rubbing it in against the one fans wanted to win are abound). Additionally, the judges using the criteria of "specialty" to determine the winner is another Ass Pull, when the same method wasn't used anywhere else during the Fall Classic Arc.
    • The outcome of the Tournament Arc ended with a divisive response: many were happy because Akira's win subverts the dreaded Invincible Hero/Underdogs Never Lose clichés, while others complained about how Akira's victory demonstrates an example of Hard Work Hardly Works, which goes directly against Satoshi's prior statement about the importance of determination and hard work to reach one's goals.
    • In a similar vein to Subaru, Azami suddenly hijacking the position of director from Senzaemon while backed by more than half of the Council of Ten Mastersnote . Many fans found it hard to believe a group of teenage students, despite being the best chefs in the institution, can have so much authority and power to oust the Tootsuki director easily, but others think it's simply Absurdly Powerful Student Council taken to its logical conclusion, regardless of whether they liked the development. Coupled with Internet Backdraft (see below), the fact many of the Ten Masters received plenty of hype without much characterization prior to the current arc didn't help when this event came out from nowhere, rendering those who support Azami into possible antagonists with little to no build-up.
    • The introduction of non-Council of Ten Masters recruits to Central's ranks added to make up the rest of Azami's faction: either the plot was becoming interesting with a new batch of villains or the story was needlessly Padding itself and stalling the audience by using these recruits as a roadblock before the main cast can settle against the Ten Masters directly. Again, the same problem with the Ten Masters who sided with Azami arose when these recruits have a single characteristic (thus far) as one-dimensional Jerkasses.
    • The pacing of the second season for the Animated Adaptation: season one had better pacing, characterization, and enough material to work with for 24 episodes, while the second season felt rushed to others at only 13 episodes - for instance, a particular chapter was Adapted Outnote  when it provided important exposition for the Tournament Arc; instead, the episode makes a mere mention of it. However, viewers who didn't read the manga cite the anime, although playing catch-up with the former, isn't necessarily doing a bad job.
    • Tadakoro's showing during the Regiment de Cuisine. When she went up against Momo and lost with only one point to her name, people were angry at what seemed to be a "pity vote" thrown her waynote , and others angry at the loss didn't like how Megumi hasn't won a single major match before that point, and was repeating the "she may have lost the battle, but earned a little respect in the end" plot most of her battles use. The fans fine with this development felt like her showing was pretty representative of how far she's come as a chef, especially with how mundane she is compared to her peers, and that the mere fact that someone like her scored a point and was treated like an equal to an Elite 10 at all shows her growth well. They also point out that the "pity vote" wasn't solely based off of her potential, as detractors claim, but also the ideas and ingenuity put into the dish, making it an actual decision instead of just emphatic voting.
  • Crack Pairing: A number of people had jokingly shipped Soma with Fumio Daimidou after Chapter 96 where, in a moment of excitement, the former declares "I love you, Fumio-san!" while hugging the latter.
  • Crazy Awesome: The vast cooking techniques, culinary know-hows, knowledge of food and multiple ingredients and the orgasmic eating; there's a reason why this series is a contender for being Trope Codifier of Food Porn for manga.
  • Creepy Awesome: Subaru, the "King of Stalkers", who often has the expression of a devil, but the fact he's so adept at stalking it rivals or surpasses the level of Yuno Gasai.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: Some fans weren't pleased to see an angry Ryou Kurokiba intimidating judge Sonoka Kikuchi when she couldn't decide whether his or Akira's dish is better in the Fall Classic. On the other hand, the reaction was justified since there's a reason why an odd number of judges are on the panel; In-Universe, the audience becomes similarly agitated and wanted an immediate decision.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse
    • Weekly Shonen Jump ran a few popularity polls for the characters, which made for a handy gauge.
      • Takumi reached fourth place in the first poll and third in the second, placing behind Soma and Erina (and Megumi in the first poll, switching places with her later in the second), despite his minor contributions: one impromptu match against Soma during the "Training Camp Arc" and his loss in the first match of the main tournament to show how good Subaru is.
      • As of the first popularity poll, Shun was placed tenth despite having few lines of dialogue and scenes. Likewise, Akira was placed ninth, even though he's one of the last first-year students to be introduced; he rose to eighth by the second poll.
      • Jerk Ass alumnus Koujirou Shinomiya was ranked fifth in the first poll and seventh in the second even though he has appeared briefly during the Training Camp and the "Stagiaire Period Arc", which might have come too late for the second poll! Western fans seem to be more receptive to him, to wit his "Chou Farci" dish was placed second in the dish poll. Above all else, he's the first character to receive the Spin-Off series Shokugeki no Soma: Etoile.
      • Alice Nakiri and Ikumi Mito have gained a noticeable fanbase too, largely from the former being The Ace and The Tease, the latter being Ms. Fanservice, and having occasional Ship Tease with Soma. Both placed among the top ten in each of the character polls to date, with Alice managing third in the latest poll, beating both Soma and Takumi.
      • Hisako got a boost in popularity post-Stagiaire Period Arc where she and Soma worked well as a team, placing fifth in the second poll higher than Alice by a single vote, ascending from fourteenth in the first. To readers' surprise, she was voted runner-up in the third poll behind Erina, placing two spots higher than Soma, the main character.
      • Honorable mention goes to Ryou, who placed eleventh in the second after barely reaching the top twenty in the first one.
    • The introduction of the remaining Council of Ten Masters for a "meet-and-greet" drove fans crazy with excitement, particularly with regards to first seat Eishi, a very handsome, yet charmingly Adorkable character, and second seat Rindou who gives off a large presence that is mysterious, intimidating and sexy all-in-one packagenote . Reinforced with the "Moon Banquet Festival Arc" where the two get more of the spotlight: Eishi is a supremely confident chef despite being timid otherwise, while Rindou is the friendly mentor-type senior who gives off a Distaff Counterpart vibe to Soma or Jouichirounote . Rindou even came in at seventh place on the third popularity poll despite being a relatively new addition to the series, beating out previou previous holder Takumi.
    • While Subaru had a rough start due to his villainous role during the Fall Classic, him turning into a supporting character in the Moon Banquet Festival Arc and assisting the Rebels in the Hokkaido Promotion Exam Arc has fans warmly receive his prescence, with his part in the former being called one of the highlights of the arc.
    • Fifth seat Soumei Saitou on the Council quickly turned popular in the current "Régiment de Cuisine", thanks to being one of least antagonistic members of the Ten Masters, even lending his sword to Subaru to aid in the latter's "Perfect Trace" during their match-up, alongside a sympathetic back-story and motivation.
  • Epileptic Trees: The identity and importance of Rindou in the story has people guessing all over the place about her abilities and origins. Based solely on her color pallete's similarities to Soma, a lot of people speculate she's related to him in some way. Chapter 220 reveals her specialty is rare ingredients, such as alligator, and she's traveled the world looking for new tastes. At this point, it seems as if she's either certainly related to Soma and Jouichirou in one form or another, or a case can be made about a Trolling Creator in the works.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple
    • Soma/Takumi is the most popular between the Yaoi Fangirls for loads of Foe Yay, Ho Yay, both being handsome, extremely talented and having excellent chemistry.
    • For hetero-pairings, Soma/Erina and Soma/Megumi are in a dead heat for first (see Ship-to-Ship Combat); generally, fans who follow the manga prefer Erina and anime fans support Megumi. Meanwhile, there's also Soma/Ikumi and Soma/Alice for fans who seek a slightly different flavor.
    • Minor pairings like Shun/Ryoko Sakaki, Ryou/Alice, and Koujirou/Hinako Inui also have the majority of fans on their side, while Tsukasa/Rindou is essentially a universal agreement.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Some fans (such as this podcast episode of "Weekly Manga Recap") have pointed out Central soldier Rentarou Kusunoki's character design to feature this - a headband, orange messy hair, face-tattoos, eyebrow piercing, another tattoo around the wrist, an inverted cross-pendant on the ear that looks too heavy to wear in Real Life, a red chef suit with cross-motifs and Capri pants. Due to his looks, readers on forums have nicknamed him "Hisoka" or "Visual Kei Reject". While some argue it's normal for this genre to feature villains with over-the-top appearances, others points out Rentarou is still a high school student, and it's unlikely a prestigious academy like Tootsuki is willing to let him go walking around the campus looking as such. However, a counter-argument can be given against Ikumi, who's allowed to walk around in a bra and short shorts; evidentally, Tootsuki's pretty lax on the dress code.
  • Foe Yay
    • Erina/Soma, fueled by the Irony Erina has a crush on Soma's father Jouichirou.
    • Takumi/Soma, to the point Takumi can't stand Soma having other rivals but him.
    • By the Fall Classic, Akira/Soma; worth mentioning is in their bear meat duel during the Hokkaido Promotion Exam Arc, Soma made his dish specifically with Akira in mind.
    • Given they had an unsanctioned Shokugeki during Training Camp, Koujirou/Megumi; Downplayed when the former returns to mentor the latter for the Hokkaido Promotion Exam Arc.
    • Before the Fall Classic final, shippers also started to do art of Ryou/Akira: both developed a fierce rivalry during their match and, once they make it to the finale against Soma, they dismissed the latter's relevance as a rival to focus on each other, instead.
    • Similar to the Koujirou/Megumi example, Soma/Tsukasa due to an impromptu duel upon the former discovering what Central's modus operandi really is.
    • In Chapter 194, Azami is eager to force Jouichirou to adopt his ideology and become his servant.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: If this poll is any indication, western viewers rank Megumi higher than Takumi. This is more-or-less thanks to her being one of the most well-written Shrinking Violet Nice Girls thanks to her Character Development during Training Camp.
  • Harsher in Hindsight
    • Everything about Erina's personality becomes a lot worse because she was basically corrupted by her father into being like this from the start.
    • The motivations of the Big Bad become clearer and easier to understand post-Flashback: Azami Used to Be a Sweet Kid who idolized Jouichirou, to the point where he hated Tootsuki's high standards because of the emotional trauma resulting in the latter's mental breakdown and drop out from the school. While it's clear his actions are radical and tyrannical, it's understandable the cutthroat rhythm at Tootsuki is what Azami feels has ruined his idol's brilliant future as a gourmet chef.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • At the end of the Training Camp Arc, the Legendary Alumni accused Koujirou of attempting to recruit Soma and Megumi to work as interns for his restaurant. Cut to the Stagiaire Period Arc and Soma has to work at Koujirou's restaurant SHINO's as the second part of the Stagiaire challenge. Additional Hilarity Ensues when he personally trains Megumi for the Régiment de Cuisine.
    • The fact that Hisako Kanemoto took over for Risa Taneda as the voice of Erina in season 3. Even in real life, Hisako is supporting Erina.
  • Ho Yay: Has its own page.
  • Incest Yay Shipping: The most popular ones are the inevitable Twincest between Takumi/Isami and Kissing Cousins between Alice/Erina.
  • Internet Backdraft
    • Making fun of Erina's Out Of Focusness to the story due to the tremendous amount of marketing she received early on started off fun for everyone, but as people began to move past it, it became more of an annoyance for some readers regarding the few that still find time to bash Erina for this case.
    • Some believed the "Shokugeki no Soma is a cooking manga" meme had run its course. This is why others started going with the second version of the meme (see below).
    • Revealing the rest of the Council of Ten Masters members, especially Rindou, got most fans hyped, despite many of them not getting enough characterization (sans Erina, Satoshi, Terunori, Eishi and Etsuya) as they hardly say a word or show more sides to their respective personalities. Once Azami appeared and was elected the new director, while backed by members of the Council, namely those who weren't given enough time for the audience to know about, many readers started abandoning these characters, labeling them as "dead weight" to an established antagonist.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks: As the series continues, the repetitive nature of how cooking matches go down become predictable by readers. Between two competing cooks, the formula boils down to the following - 1) two or three chapters of the cooks making their respective dishes; 2) one chapter dedicated to showing off one cook's dish; 3) a follow-up chapter revealing the opponent's dish; 4) ending the battle with the judges declaring a winner. This repeating formula is part of the reason why Arc Fatigue starts kicking in during certain Story Arcs.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Akira, Erina and Ryou are highly competitive and can be very arrogant and condescending to their peers, yet each of them had a hard time growing up in their own hellish, rough environments. It's hard not to feel at least a little sorry for them, especially when one of them was explicitly abused by a parent.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships
    • Soma, who's been paired with many characters as they are introduced: Erina, Alice, Megumi, Ikumi, Hisako, Takumi, Akira, Ryou, Koujirou, and so on.
    • Koujirou is also becoming this with plenty of Ship Tease with fellow alumni Hinako and Fuyumi Mizuhara, Megumi, Wei Gao, and Grace from the Spin-Off. Also expect pairings with him and Soma or his sous-chef Abel.
    • Megumi is shaping into one, usually paired with Soma, Koujirou, Donato Gotouda, Hinako, Ryou, Isami, etc.
    • Erina, with Soma the most popular, yet girl pairings with Hisako, Nao, Ikumi, and Alice are abundant.
  • Love to Hate
    • Right from his introduction, Azami garnered a lot of hate because of his elitist views of the culinary world and parental abuse towards Erina. On the other hand, his motivations and personality make him more than just a petty, simplistic Big Bad, given The Reveal he has a history with Soma's father Jouichirou. Additionally, it's always interesting to see how he fills the series' Nightmare Fuel with his absolutely chilling demeanor.
    • Pre-Character Development, Subaru was a creepy, unpleasant stalker whose means of winning leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth, leading to a Heroic B.S.O.D. for Takumi. Despite that, his sheer attention to detail and everyone's Imagine Spots of him as a maiden are hilarious, not to mention that as a Jack-of-All-Trades, he was presented as an interesting roadblock to Soma, who is also incredibly versatile and adaptive.
    • Etsuya slowly built a hated reputation: while he was already an unpleasant person, following Azami's takeover, he shows his true nature as a blatant cheat who manipulated judges just to establish that challenging him to a Shokugeki was useless. Naturally, fans anticipated how and when his downfall took place; furthermore, that Etsuya falls into a similar predicament against Takumi in the Régiment de Cuisine renders him into a pitiable antagonist.
    • The new Central soldiers immediately irked fans as soon as they are introduced due to loads of Jerk Ass behavior, to wit Soma and Takumi In-Universe confront them right away. Even though Ryou is the one who faces Rentarou first, fans collectively celebrated when he wins; the same applies when Ikumi and Megumi defeat Mea Yanai and Shigemichi Kumai, respectively (though off-screen). While Rentarou at least gets to display his cooking prowess, the others are unfortunately given little to none of the limelight.
  • Memetic Badass: Megumi as a hilariously out-of-character Japanese Delinquent, seen during Satoshi's dream sequence in the Training Camp Arc, resulting in a second appearance for a chapter cover art and in an Imagine Spot during her match against Ryou in the Tournament Arc. Since then, the fanbase has been doing fanworks of her as this.
  • Memetic Molester
    • Subaru was instantly pegged a "creepy stalker" by fans long before it was confirmed he was one.
    • Nao stalking Erina and Hisako: whereas Subaru does it as part of his strategy for a Shokugeki, Nao's obsession is treated in a more comedic tone, never mind she harrasses the girls with countless letters, follows their every move with binoculars and tries to cast curses on whoever approaches them (initially towards Hisako for being closer to Erina, then intended to do so to Soma for working with Hisako until they bonded).
    • Azami has been labeled the "Pervert Parent" when Erina's attitude is a by-product of him Brainwashing her by putting her into a dark room with him and hurting her if she refused to do as he says; not helped by the fact he wants to isolate Erina so "he can be the only person she can rely on", stating all this in the creepiest way imaginable. Clearly father of the year material...
  • Memetic Mutation
    • Foodgasmnote 
    • Shokugeki no Soma is a cooking manganote 
      • Shokugeki no Soma is a (blank) manga.note 
      • (blank) is a (blank) manga.note 
    • Poor turtlenote 
      • Poor alligatornote 
    • Sonzonednote 
    • Shokugeki no Soma: Civil War note 
    • Inadequate Servicenote 
    • HERE'S AZAMI note 
    • Notice me, Senpainote 
    • Food Nazis note 
    • Where the hell is Akira?!note 
  • Moe
  • Narm: It becomes hard to take the story seriously when almost everyone who treats Soma and his allies like crap breaks out their own little Psychotic Smirk.
  • Narm Charm: On the other hand, whenever Soma or his friends shows up their opponents, it's almost always a Crowning Moment of Awesome; in fact, the entire series runs off of this. Its self-aware nature combined with extremely detailed art makes readers forget that Shokugeki no Soma is a cooking manga.
  • Never Live It Down
    • Takumi is consistently shown to be among the strongest of Soma's year and has only one major loss to Subaru, in spite of his chances being stacked against him from the start. However, in the eyes of many fans, that loss was enough to cement him as the series' resident Memetic Loser. Part of this stems from Takumi barely having any major appearances from his loss in the Tournament Arc up to the conflict against Central. However, this is getting Downplayed by the Hokkaido Promotion Exam Arc: pre-Régiment de Cuisine, he is one of four "surviving" Rebels, while the rest were defeated by the Council of Ten Masters. And hopefully shattered during the Régiment de Cuisine when he won against Eizan.
    • Those who dislike Erina mostly do so because they can't forgive her refusal to let Soma into Tootsuki at the very beginning, despite all the Character Development she's gone through since.
    • In-Universe, Etsuya post-Tootsuki Reformation Arc: his Shokugeki loss to Soma has soured his reputation so badly that Central recruits demean him for his apparent lack of cooking skills. Matters aren't helped when he's Out-Gambitted by Takumi in the Régiment de Cuisine and loses again, marking him as the only person on the current Council of Ten Masters to have two defeats.
  • No Yay
    • Erina's relationship with her father Azami has extremely uncomfortable overtones; the fact the cover art for Volume 16 of the manga shows her in chains while being held in a suggestive pose highlights this.
    • On a minor scale, while Akira/Jun has a considerable following, people who don't ship them still take into consideration that Jun is basically Akira's surrogate mother. While Akira's loyalty towards her is open to interpretation, all of Jun's interactions with him have been consistently familial.
  • Older Than They Think: An obscure Japanese television show named Delicious Gakuin had a similar premise. The main character is enrolled into a super school of chefs along with two other characters while living at the school dorms, teachers are experts in a particular style of cuisine, cooking duels are big in scale and the protagonist ends up in a match against his father. There are aesthetic differences, the primary one being that Delicious Gakuin is more of a Cast Full of Pretty Boys, while Shokugeki no Soma has Fanservice for both genders, with the latter arguably doing a better job of developing "foodgasms" and explaining insight into general cuisine for casual viewers.
  • One True Threesome
    • Soma/Takumi/Isami is, by far, the most supported one; Soma/Ikumi/Megumi is a runner-up.
    • Ryou/Akira/Soma post-Fall Classic when Ryou and Soma start frequenting Akira's place.
    • By the Moon Banquet Festival Arc, Akira/Alice/Ryou: cemented in one panel where Alice drags and bosses the two around.
    • Post-Stagiaire Period Arc, Erina/Soma/Hisako due to the latter's Character Development towards her view of Soma.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap
    • Koujirou garnered plenty of hate in his introduction for being portrayed as a Bad Boss Jerk Ass who deliberately set up students to fail during Training Camp, but became more likable as the series progressed once Character Development kicked in. He's become so popular he consistently ranks in the top ten for favorite character polls, even garnering a Spin-Off series detailing on his culinary career post-graduation from Tootsuki.
    • Many of Erina's haters started to find her more sympathetic thanks to Character Development from Defrosting Ice Queen, her friendship with Hisako, the Anime showing more of her Adorkable moments and her Up to 11 Jerkass father Azami returning to Tootsuki, which shows her being genuinely fearful, and revealing she and Alice truly love each other, despite their differences. She regained a portion of fans once her Neutral Female phase is averted, turning into a more pro-active heroine.
    • Subaru upon helping Soma with his booth in the Moon Banquet Festival Arc, recognizing he owed Soma for not letting him quit cooking after their match in the Tournament Arc; if that wasn't convincing enough, he joins to help the Rebels in the Régiment de Cuisine.
    • While Terunori started as a haughty big-mouth who looked down on the first-years, a sympathetic light was shone when he's Not So Different than Soma during his first-year, acting cocky when in reality he wanted an opportunity to challenge Eishi and win. The fact he's part of the minority who didn't vote for Azami as the new director indicated he's not an antagonist. He gained more sympathy points when he expressed his disgust at this, to the point of skipping Council meetings out of pure indignation. Ultimately, like Subaru, Terunori returns to assist in the Régiment de Cuisine, cementing this trope.
    • Despite being a member of Central and supporting the Big Bad, readers have warmed up to Momo due to her Not Good with People personality and social awkwardness, making for funny, Adorkable moments.
  • The Scrappy
    • The Central teachers who rig the rebels' tests in the Hokkaido Promotion Exam Arc and Central's biased judges in the prior Tootsuki Reformation Arc are seen as little more than cowardly Hypocrites who can't even back up their elitism towards Central's opponents. Unlike those mentioned in Love to Hate, these characters don't have any positives to compensate, since they aren't Shokugeki opponents.
    • Some find the anonymous majority of the Tootsuki student body repetitive in how they constantly underestimate Soma and his allies. Worse, they get Flanderized into hating on all non-Central aligned students in general, including those that they used to look up to as elites.
  • Seasonal Rot
    • Manga fans find the second season of the anime to be not quite as good as the first, mainly because it only has half as many episodes while powering through two major Story Arcs, which can give a Compressed Adaptation vibe. This turned unfortunate when the third season repeated the same schtick.
    • Azami's return and subsequent takeover of Tootsuki is this to some readers, the primary reason being many feel Azami and Central transitioned the series into being too serious, yet they lack depth to be effective antagonists. Additionally, many felt Akira's Face–Heel Turn was too non-sensical and poorly written, with the pacing slowing to a crawl during his match with Soma. There's also been debate over whether or not Soma is veering into Invincible Hero territory, most notably his effortless victory against Nene in the Régiment de Cuisine.
  • Ship Mates
    • Soma/Takumi fans also like pairing Isami/Megumi.
    • Soma/Megumi and Soma/Erina shippers also pair up Ikumi/Kanachi Konishi, Ryou/Alice and Akira/Jun
    • Soma/Erina shippers also ship Takumi/Megumi, while simultaneously shipping Isami/Ikumi post-Chapter 178.
    • Soma/Megumi fans also ship Erina/Hisako.
    • The headlining yaoi pairs are Soma/Takumi, Ryou/Akira, Satoshi/Shun
    • Expect Soma/Alice and Soma/Erina shippers to apply Pair the Spares with Ryou/Megumi.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat
  • Shipping Goggles
    • Many fans support the Soma/Erina ship because of the latter's initial hostility towards him can be seen as Belligerent Sexual Tension. Following the discovery her idol Jouichirou is Soma's father, the ship is still supported for the sake of Irony. However, by the Hokkaido Promotion Exam Arc, the ship is on full-steam ahead due to moments between the two where genuine Ship Tease can be identified.
    • While Soma/Erina shippers dismiss it as a Platonic Life-Partners relationship, Soma/Megumi is the runner-up favorite because of better chemistry and it's the most developed friendship in the series.
    • Isami/Megumi get a lot of this even though they had three Shipping moments: one when Isami pauses from cutting clean duck meat to ask nicely if Megumi wants something, only for her to say she's admiring his cutting speed, the second during a moment when Isami accepts Yuuki's cheering fans for Megumi's match in the Tournament Arc and the third when Isami catches Megumi from falling and helps her lift some heavy boxes.
    • While Akira/Jun shippers love to see their relationship turn into a Teacher/Student Romance, there are people who refute the notion, interpreting their relationship as a familial one as Jun is technically Akira's adoptive maternal figure.
    • Ryoko teasing Shun and getting him flustered was enough for fans to ship them together.
    • A lot of readers ship Koujirou/Hinako together because of their interactions as Sempai/Kohai who are always arguing. The fact that Hinako Cannot Spit It Out in Etoile after Koujirou graduates from Tootsuki fuels this ship further.
    • The Omake depicting Rindou and Eishi's friendship have caused some to see a shipping potential between the two.
    • In Chapter 200, Senzaemon's setup for Jouichiro and Gin's teams (Soma/Erina for Jouichirou, Takumi/Megumi for Gin) has been seen by some audiences as the end-game ships for the characters.
    • Chapter 210 reveals that Satoshi and Nene were former Childhood Friends; to say that fans started shipping them immediately is an Understatement.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: Some viewers were turned off by the anime's first episode featuring a foodgasm with tentacle imagery (due to the medium, it feels more pronounced compared to the manga). The actual story with Soma going to Tootsuki doesn't start until the next episode.
  • Subbing vs. Dubbing: While fans had been hoping for an English dub for a while, some were less than thrilled upon finding out that Sentai Filmworks had picked up the rights to dub it, due to the company's known practice of casting relatively unknown and newer talent; fortunately, the dub has been well received, with particular praise going to Blake Shepard and his enthusiastic performance as Soma and Jad Saxton as Shrinking Violet Megumi. However, the voice most fans are split with is Stephanie Wittels as Erina, not helped by the character's dialogue being rewritten to sound more like a Valley Girl, which viewers agree doesn't fit the character. Others believed her performance is fine and noticed Wittels seemed to get more comfortable with the role as the episodes rolled on, but dislike the Valley Girl accent, while other fans dislike both.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks
    • Minor example from the anime: leaving out Subaru's brief introduction to close out the Fall Election preliminaries. Not only were fans hoping to get a glimpse of an important future character, it ended up leaving anime viewers who haven't read the manga confused as to who got the last spot in the A-Block since Shun and Zenji were deadlocked for fourth place.
    • While it's completely justified due to Risa Taneda and her throat problems, there are viewers who can't get used to Hisako Kanemoto taking over as the voice of Erina beginning with season three.
    • Season three brought some complaints from manga readers: the chapters where Azami pays a visit to the Polaris Dormitory following the Shokugeki between Soma and Etsuya was skipped over until the Central recruits are dealt with in the Tootsuki Reformation Arc; it's only until the tail end of the "Ten Masters Invasion Arc" does this Internal Reveal occur.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character
    • Broken Base regarding their role in the story aside, the Central recruits get pushed to the wayside after Rentarou's Shokugeki with Ryou.
    • Similarly, the other two replacement members in the Council of Ten Masters appointed by Azami, Julio Shiratsu and Shoko Kaburagi, end up losing unceremoniously in the first round of the Régiment de Cuisine: Julio gets treated as an afterthought by Satoshi while Shoko jobs off-screen with nary a description of her character. What makes this particularly egregious is this was their first on-screen appearance.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Despite the fact he's clearly wearing a male uniform, more than a few people have mistaken Terunori for a girl due to his delicate facial shape, his large, effeminate-looking eyes and use of a hairclip.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Opinions on the rest of the arc aside, the Flashback to Jouichirou's days at Tootsuki after his return to confront Azami were well-recieved for finally delving into the back-story of one of the series' most important supporting characters, particularly, how the expectations piled on him by everyone eventually led to near-mental breakdown, his dropping out from school and becoming the wandering chef fans know today.
  • The Woobie
    • Megumi: there are times where readers just want to give her a hug for all the negativity she's forced to endure, with a prime example being Koujirou setting her up for expulsion during the Training Camp Arc, despite doing the right thing for her test dish, and for the amount of heckling she received throughout the Fall Classic Arc for "being in a position she doesn't belong".
    • The turtle from Chapter 73 butchered without hesitation by Hisako while it was alive. It becomes part of a hamburger; Double Standard ensues as readers had already seen plenty of dishes containing other bizarre animal meat (such as monkfish). Also Justified by the fact she employs medicinal cooking, which bears its roots in Chinese cuisine, where it's customary to kill seafood the day it is used to ensure freshness.
    • Akira, Ryou and Erina in Flashbacks as children: Akira was a street kid being mercilessly beaten by a shopkeeper, Ryou had bouts of post-traumatic stress disorder-like symptoms accompanied by the phrase "I have to win. If I don't win, I'll die.", and Erina was physically and psychologically abused by her father as a child in order for him to hone her God's Tongue.
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