YMMV: Shokugeki no Soma

  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Is Hisako Arato truly just a 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.
  • Arc Fatigue: The Fall Classic Saga got hit hard with this.
    • The first arc exhaustion came about during its preliminary challenge where ten or so chapters are devoted to showcasing every curry dish made by the major AND side-characters introduced from the first-year students. Fans agree this is to invoke Character Development, but some just 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 explanations and fine detail; 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.
  • Ass Pull
    • Subaru Mimasaka coming out-of-nowhere to take one of the eight finalist spots for the Fall Classic is 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 in favor of the former. Subaru becoming a huge Base Breaker later on did not help matters.
    • A portion of the fans are less than happy about how the Shokugeki between Subaru and Takumi Aldini 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.
  • Awesome Art: Fans agree Shun "tosh" Saeki's drawings are very beautiful and awesome. The character design, whether female or male, is excellent, the great details of the dishes makes 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.
  • Base Breaker
    • Either Erina is an excellent rival and female heroine to the series or she doesn't deserve the spotlight because of her Jerkass qualities and rarely appears in the plot despite receiving top billing in promotional materials. She's apparently more universally popular with Japanese readers and placed second in the first character poll and first in the second.
    • On the other hand, some readers find Megumi to be boring and typical, due to a means of filling out the Shrinking Violet archetype, and not offering much to distinguish herself from other obvious examples of the trope in current serializations, such as Kosaki Onodera from Nisekoi. However, her Character Development as this series is progressing has kept a plethora of these readers satisfied for the most part. She still placed third in the first popularity poll behind only Souma himself and Erina.
    • Subaru quickly became a despised character 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. On the other hand, 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 isn't entirely an Ass Pull when the judges state Subaru goes above and beyond with the recipe to surpass and outstrip Takumi's own. Effectively, the win is Subaru's Establishing Character Moment, setting him up as a top contender and rival to the rest of the first-years.
    • Akira Hayama used to have a very large fanbase which earned him the ninth spot in the first popularity poll even though he had only appeared for a few panels at that point. But while many still like him for his looks and cool, helpful attitude, a fair share of detractors think his overconfidence in his sense of smell is 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 tournament to wrap up the infuriatingly long arc is too much for many readers, causing them to drop the series altogether.
  • Broken Base
    • The title for the official English translation "Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma". Many hate it for attempting to be "extreme" in a time when that is looked down upon, while some defend it for being an accurate translation.
    • 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 to the table (mostly through Foodgasms), others aren't so appreciative, and believe that the story would be just as popular without having to rely on such gimmicks to bring in fans.
    • The winner of the Fall Classic's preliminary curry challenge. For Akira defenders, many find him being the winner is a given since his Signature Style is creating curry dishes, but having him lose so suddenly to a group of amateurs in what he specializes in is unrealistic by a story standpoint. However, in Soma's case, people tend to argue that 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 wins 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 isn't sitting well with some readers; accusations of the writer rubbing it in against the one fans wanted to win is 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 also has a very divisive response. Many are happy that having Akira win the Fall Classic subverts the dreaded Underdogs Never Lose/Boring Invincible Hero clichés, while others complain about how Akira's victory demonstrates an example of Hard Work Hardly Works, which goes directly against Isshiki's speech about the importance of determination and hard work to reach your goals.
  • Bishonen Jump Syndrome: Many male characters are drawn like this (especially Takumi, for the joy of the Jump fangirls). In the Fall Classic Arc, 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.
  • Crack Pairing: A number of people have jokingly shipped Souma with Fumio after chapter 96, where Souma, in a moment of excitement, declared "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. On the other hand, the reaction is justified, since there's a reason why an odd number of judges are on the panel. In-Universe, the audience becomes similarly agitated and wants a decision.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse
    • Takumi Aldini reached second place in the second popularity poll, placing above Souma, even though his role has already diminished at this point: He only has one match against Souma during the training camp and then loses in the first match of the main tournament.
    • 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.
    • Jerkass alumni Koujirou Shinomiya is ranked fifth; the unofficial Shokugeki between him and Soma/Megumi helped, but also because of Character Development. Western fans seem to be more receptive to him, to wit his Chou Farci dish is placed second in the dish poll. Also adding that he has now his own Spin-Off series "Etoile".
    • Alice Nakiri and Ikumi Mito have been gaining a noticeable fanbase, too, largely from the former being The Ace and The Tease, the latter being Ms. Fanservice, and both having occasional Ship Tease with Soma.
    • Ryou has quite a following due to his Badass bandana-wearing persona he turns into when he decides to get serious.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple
    • Soma/Alice has garnered a following throughout the Fall Classic; working off one another as if they've been friends their whole life. On the same page, Ryou/Alice is a favorite after more of their back-story is revealed.
    • 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.
  • Fetish Fuel
    • There's plenty on the girls' side, with lots of Costume Porn, gratuitous Fanservice and Foodgasms illustrated in extreme detail.
    • Many of Satoshi Isshiki's attires for parties, which can pass also as stripper costumes.
    • Gin Doujima's most prominent scene is him naked and stretching... in a Public Bathhouse Scene.
    • Akira provides it with this shot. In the same chapter, readers see Ryou working out very sweaty and showing off his muscular arms.
  • Foe Yay
    • Erina/Soma, fueled by the Irony Erina has a platonic crush on Soma's father Jouichirou Yukihira.
    • Takumi/Soma, to the point Takumi can't stand Soma having other rivals but him.
    • By the Fall Classic, Akira/Soma
    • Given they had an unsanctioned Shokugeki, Koujirou/Megumi
    • 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.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: At the end of the training camp arc, the Tootsuki Aluminati accused Shinomiya Koujirou of recruiting Soma and Megumi to work at SHINO's. Cut to Stagiaire Week, where Soma had to intern at SHINO's for the second part of his challenge.
  • Ho Yay
    • Takumi/Soma, arguably the biggest one online courtesy of the Jump Yaoi Fangirls. He is obsessed with Soma and does not appreciate Soma taking any other rivals, but himself. Make of that what you will.
    • Satoshi/Shun, after a brief interaction where the latter ousts the former he wasn't really giving his best in his impromptu cook-off with Soma. Additionally, Satoshi is the one whom Shun has talked to the most.
    • Following the preliminaries, Akira/Soma, Ryou/Akira or Ryou/Akira/Soma.
    • Gin/Jouichirou or Koujirou
    • There's also the Twincest fan girls regarding the Aldini brothers; it's as popular as Soma/Takumi
    • Subaru has collected data on Soma and Takumi, including shoe size AND underwear pattern.
    • Middle-school student Mitsuru Soutsuda, who has a big admiration for Soma. He even prepared lunch for him, with some girls questioning if they have "that kind of relationship".
  • Freud Was Right: The characters' reaction to dishes are often orgasmic-like or erotic. The only exceptions are children.
  • 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 people that still find time to bash Erina for this case.
    • Some have also begun to think that the "Shokugeki no Soma is a cooking manga" meme has run it course. It's why some readers started going with the second version of the meme.
  • Jerk Sue: Erina is arguably the best cook of the first-years, has god-like sense of taste (hence, "God's Tongue"), beautiful, the granddaughter of Headmaster Senzaemon Nakiri and part of the Council of Ten Masters, meaning she can virtually do whatever she wants at school and get away with it; rarely does she get called out for anything. Her only "human traits"? She's a Tsundere with a crush on Soma's father.
  • Les Yay: Hinako/Megumi, Hisako/Erina
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Soma, who's been paired with many characters as they are introduced: Erina, Alice, Megumi, Ikumi, Takumi, Akira, and so on.
    • Koujirou Shinomiya is also becoming this. He has Ship Tease with Hinako, Fuyumi, Megumi and Grace from the Spin-Off.
  • Memetic Molester: Subaru was called a "creepy stalker" by the fans long before it was confirmed that he is one.
  • Memetic Mutation
    • Foodgasm note 
    • Shokugeki no Soma is a cooking manganote 
    • Shokugeki no Soma is a _______ manga.note 
    • Poor turtlenote 
  • Moe
    • Megumi, The Cutie character of the series.
    • Jun, who looks like a middle-school girl, yet is a teacher at 34-years old.
    • Kanon from Chapter 61, a first- or second-year elementary school Tsundere with long, bright Girlish Pigtails, striped Proper Tights with a Skirt, who gets an adorable reaction upon eating the dumplings.
    • Yuuki Yoshino, who is regarded as cute In-Universe by the stern judges.
    • Erina when showing her dere side.
    • Mitsuru is now the resident shota.
  • Ship Mates
    • Soma/Takumi fans also like pairing Isami/Megumi.
    • Soma/Anyone pair up Ikumi/Kanachi Konishi, Ryou/Alice and Akira/Jun
    • Soma/Erina shippers also ship Takumi/Megumi
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat
  • Shown Their Work: There's a great amount of information about various cooking styles, ingredients and recipes used for each dish. Some of them include tempeh (an Indonesian fermented soybean), shalyapin (or Chaliapin) steak, and the concept of live cooking. Naturally, series collaborator Yuki Morisaki is a chef herself.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Despite the fact that he's clearly wearing a male uniform, more than a few people confused Elite Ten's eighth seat Kuga as a girl due to his rather delicate facial shape, and large, feminine-looking eye design.
  • Viewers Are Morons: Nearly everyone in the audience, including the judging panel, are surprised when Megumi cuts and prepares a monkfish live in the preliminaries, as if no one believes it can work with curry. However, a search online about "curry" and "monkfish" yields the following results...
  • 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 receives 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 have already seen plenty of dishes containing other bizarre animal meat (such as monkfish).
    • Hayama and Kurokiba, the first time you see them as children. Hayama is a street kid being mercilessly beaten by a shopkeeper, and Kurokiba has PTSD-like flashbacks accompanied by the phrase "I have to win. If I don't win, I'll die." If that doesn't make you want to hug the poor kids, you have no heart.