Follow TV Tropes


Characters / Food Wars! - Polaris
aka: Shokugeki No Soma Polaris

Go To

Polaris Dormitory

Polaris is a financially-independent dormitory situated on the main Totsuki campus. While most students have their own residences off-campus, Soma, Megumi and their friends live at the dorm for one reason or another, including Satoshi Isshiki (2nd Year, 91st Generation), Seventh Seat of the Council of Ten Masters. The dorm used to be very prestigious, but has gone into a decline until the present, when several of its residents, all freshmen from the 92nd Generation, make it to the qualifiers of the 43rd Autumn Election, with Megumi and Soma even reaching the quarterfinals and finals, respectively.

    open/close all folders 

  • Band of Brothers: After being singled out from the rest of the Academy as the old guard standing in the way of Azami's reforms, they slowly grew into this, led by Erina and joined by Alice, Ryou, Hisako, Ikumi and the Aldini brothers.
  • Commonality Connection: Despite their various personalities and cooking styles, all the tenants share a sense of determination and confidence in their cooking. This is best shown when Erina first took asylum at the dormitory to escape her father Azami, where not only do they refuse to be intimidated by her critiques, but also convinced her that the culinary world is far bigger than what she might have thought.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: At Soma's welcoming party, Isshiki mentioned that all the characters present only make up less than half of the dorm's residents. They are all the named characters listed below and they are the only inhabitants of Polaris.
  • La Résistance: After Azami's takeover, the Polaris tenants have become the vanguards of Totsuki's old status quo, together with Erina, Hisako, Alice, Ryou, Mimasaka, Ikumi and the Aldini brothers. Erina is even compared to Jeanne d'Arc. With Erina as the leader, and bringing Terunori Kuga and Tosuke Megishima on their side, they form the Rebels faction in response to Azami's Central.
  • The Power of Friendship: As Erina observed, the tenants' secret to their success at the 43rd Autumn Election (Soma and Megumi reached the playoffs, while Shun, Ryoko, Yuuki and Zenji, though they fail to qualify, nevertheless earned scores above 80, a rarity in the contest) lay in their habit of brainstorming ideas together. This factored into Soma's victory over Etsuya in their Shokugeki, as he reveals that the idea to use tomato ketchup for his Satsuma jidori to preserve its original taste and texture while using different ingredients and methods came through his dormmates' feedback. Also during the Regiment de Cuisine, Satoshi defeats Julio using a dish made mostly of ingredients created by the Polaris freshmen.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Amongst the hundreds of students of Totsuki, the Polaris residents are known for their wildly distinctive personalities and cooking styles, more so with the current generation.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Zig-zagged. Everyone sans Soma, Megumi, and Satoshi are knocked out during the exam by the Council of Ten Masters, relegating them to the sidelines even more than they were previously. However, even when placed inside iron cages and threatened with expulsion, they're still used for exposition and comic relief during the otherwise tense Regiment de Cuisine arc.
  • True Companions: Despite coming from various backgrounds, the tenants stick together through thick and thin. Their "family" has even extended to outsiders Erina, Hisako, Alice, Ryou, Ikumi, Takumi and Isami. This is further reinforced when the original dorm crew (and Hisako) decide to defend the dormitory from Etsuya's lackeys while Soma is out dueling Etsuya at a televised Shokugeki.

    Soma Yukihira 

Soma Yukihira

Voiced by: Yuki Ono (Japanese, Vomic), Yoshitsugu Matsuoka (Japanese, Anime), Blake Shepard (English, Anime), Diego Santos (Latin Spanish, Anime)

Hailing from family-run local restaurant Yukihira, Soma immediately antagonizes his fellow 92nd Generation freshmen by bragging about using them as his stepping-stones to glory. Widely dismissed as a braggart transferee from a no-name diner, Soma gradually climbs up the ranks of his batch with his work experience, a steely resolve, and a willingness to experiment, all of which he learned from his father Joichiro, who he aspires to one day defeat to prove himself worthy of inheriting their restaurant.

  • Accidental Pervert: On his first night at the Polaris Dormitory he walks in on a naked Megumi. Also when he was heading to the public baths after his first training camp session and accidentally knocks Erina over, both she and Hisako think he was staring at her breasts under the yukata (he was just surprised to run into her) while Hisako also thinks that Soma purposely tried to molest her. Once the series takes on a more serious tone this gets turned down quite a bit and rarely happens, however.
  • The Ace: Becomes one in his own right. His performance at BLUE garnered widespread publicity. He is capable of surpassing the notoriously high standards of the Nakiri family on a regular basis. Joichiro deems him to be his equal. After graduation, Soma becomes a world famous freelance chef just like Joichiro, frequently being invited by clients across the world.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Tomita addresses him as "Soma-chan".
  • All of the Other Reindeer: It comes in waves. At first, his status as an outsider from a simple family restaurant combined with his boast that he plans to use the school as a stepping stone earns the ire of most of the other students. However, he ends up blindsiding most of them over the course of the series thanks to his cooking skills and determination. This comes back into play once Central takes over and the vast majority of the school again treats him as a pariah because he opposes the Azami administration. And yet again, once the Azami administration is defeated, Soma is again treated as a badass by the rest of the school, who take his proclamation that he'll accept any shokugeki so seriously that it becomes dishonorable to turn a challenge down.
  • Almighty Janitor: Despite his humble upbringing, Soma's culinary skills saw him standing alongside such talents as Erina and Akira as among the best chefs of his generation, gaining enough street cred to be noticed by the Council of Ten Masters. His culinary spirit has earned him the respect of Terunori, the Eighth Seat, after nearly being beaten by Soma sales-wise during the School Festival, enough to lend Soma his support during his struggles with Azami's administration. He proceeds to defeat more of the Council of Ten Masters during the said struggle, namely Etsuya, Akira, Nene and Soumei, before teaming up with Erina to defeat Eishi and Rindou, the top two students of Totsuki, to reverse Azami's reforms, even to the point of being appointed as the First Seat.
  • Always Second Best: A running gag.
    • Prior to joining Tōtsuki, Sōma never won against his father.
    • During the Pre Election and Autumn Election, Sōma lost to Akira and had to share 2nd place with Kurokiba.
    • He decided to outdo Terunori Kuga in sales using Chinese speciality, and even though Sōma gave a strong fight, he narrowly lost to Kuga.
    • After the Regiment de Cuisine, although Sōma became the 1st Seat of the Council of Ten, he acknowledged Erina to be above him, and admitted he had never actually defeated Tsukasa, Rindou, or the other Third Years in single combat (which isn't entirely untrue - Erina did much of the heavy lifting against the most difficult opponents and Soma received partial assistance from Megumi and Takumi during his match against Soumei).
    • He also lost the BLUE final match to Erina. That loss upset him so much that he travels overseas and avoids any contact from Tōtsuki.
  • Animal Motifs: Kuga compares him to a stray cat who gradually turns into a mighty lion.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: When Mimasaka asks what he could offer that's worth the same as the 100 tools he's collected, Soma replies by betting his entire career as a chef.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Downplayed when compared to other characters that exhibit this trope, but still there. Soma has an immense thirst for knowledge and eagerness to learn that allows him to quickly learn the basics of any cooking discipline. He is often shown to study and experiment for days before a match, even late into the night, and it's also a part of his ability to quickly improvise.
  • Badass Boast: He has a pretty good knack for this.
    • On his introduction Soma claims he will use his schoolmates as stepping-stones to glory, which obviously made him a marked man. When Erina confronts him with the fact that most of the batch-mates he offended received high-quality education in middle school, he counters that he already had work experience as early as three years old. Soma did live up to his boast by succeeding Eishi Tsukasa as the Council of Ten Masters at the end of first year.
    • After defeating Etsuya at a televised Shokugeki, Soma faces the camera and claims that he is ready to challenge anyone who dares harm his friends at Polaris, even if it's a member of the Council of Ten Masters.
  • Badass Minds Think Alike: After discovering that many students who rebelled against Azami were expelled, Soma proposes that the remaining students should group up and take the seats of the Council of Ten Masters for themselves, effectively disbanding Azami's Central. His friends had considered this a crazy proposition, but elsewhere Gin Dojima was also discussing the same plan with Joichiro and Senzaemon. With their support, the Rebel team and the Regiment de Cuisine is established, leading to a momentous Shokugeki war.
  • Badass Normal: Unlike his peers, Soma isn't gifted or talented in cooking. He acquired his skill through sheer determination and experience. Lampshaded by Joichiro during the BLUE competition.
    • This actually plays a role in the plot. Asahi's Cross Knives ability doesn't work on him because there's no "superhuman ability" for it to acquire. This leads Asahi to dismiss Soma as a threat.
  • Batman Gambit: Soma banked on Etsuya's pride to get a proper Shokugeki by consistently taunting him throughout the match and refusing to back down or flinch, provoking the Ninth Seat into actually cooking and to get the judges to actually eat. It pays off big time, when all three rigged judges were forced to vote for him.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Soma's creativity allows him to utilize some of the techniques of his opponents, whether it be against them in their own match or against new rivals.
    • Against Ikumi, he managed to beat her special meat dish by complementing the rice and meat to create a more unified and addicting flavor.
    • Played with throughout the Autumn Election: subverted during the preliminaries, where his curry lost by one point to that by specialist Akira (despite more judges liking his dish); straight in the quarterfinals, where he used a simple molecular gastronomy technique to beat Alice's more exquisite bento; played straight again in the semifinal against Subaru, where he deliberately told the latter he will make a beef stew, challenging himself with the knowledge that Subaru will copy him; and subverted in the final, where he narrowly loses to Akira and ties with Ryou.
    • Against Terunori, Eighth Seat of the Council of Ten and Chinese cuisine specialist, he stepped up his game by improvising his mapo tofu dish throughout the first three days of the Full Moon Banquet before setting his grand plan into motion come the final day, armed with his homespun skills, Megumi's direct assistance, Miyoko's initial guidance, Erina's indirect feedback (with Hisako convincing her to do so), Yuuya's logistics assistance, and last-minute help from Subaru, Ikumi, the Aldini twins and members of the Local Cuisine RS (who initially tried to recruit Megumi). It works so well that he not only lured customers away from Terunori, but also overtook him at the central area standings at the end of the fourth day, and while Rindou assesses that his final earnings may not be enough to surpass Terunori's, she nevertheless compliments him for actually beating a member of the Council of Ten Masters at something.
    • Against Etsuya Eizan, Ninth Seat of the Council of Ten and a schemer who specializes in manipulation and putting opponents in unwinnable situations rather than confronting them directly, Soma turns his tactics against him in their Shokugeki, whose judges were Azami loyalists (and thus on Etsuya's side). Soma taunts Etsuya by accusing him of cowardice, provoking him to actually cook. Then, having allowed him to taste his dish, Soma then goads him into trying his in turn, indirectly forcing the judges to do the same. His dish was so overwhelmingly good the judges gave him their votes.
    • Against Nene Kinokuni, Sixth Seat of the Council of Ten and soba specialist, he works around the noodle-unfriendly temperature of Hokkaido by cooking up a dish that would maintain its texture and flavor even under such inhospitable conditions.
    • Against Sarge, a top level Noir and wielder of the dish arms. She uses a chainsaw, a sledgehammer, a detonator and high class ingredients to bake a cake. Soma uses his own unusual tools: a small cup ice cream spoon, a plastic bag and cheap ingredients to bake his own version of Christmas Log and wins.
    • Teams up with Takumi to beat Don Calma, a Noir specializing in team effort.
  • Berserk Button: Soma hates unfair treatment, especially of his dormmates. When Kojirou expels Megumi from training camp for adjusting his recipe, Soma points out that she simply tried to adjust to the bad ingredients she procured (which was a deliberate setup), and seeing her crying over being forced into a no-win situation made Soma drop his cool disposition and challenge Koujirou into a Shokugeki. Later, he challenged Etsuya to a Shokugeki to force him to stop the disbandment of Polaris as being unnecessary to their one-track specialization.
  • Betty and Veronica: Soma is the laidback and friendly Betty to Asahi's dangerous and malicious Veronica in their Love Triangle for Erina. It's very obvious Erina prefers Soma, but he still doesn't really view her as a Love Interest and is just competing with Asahi to see who can satisfy the God's Tongue.
    • He himself seems to be in a dynamic like this with Megumi as the Betty and Erina as the Veronica, though he's blissfully unaware of his Archie status. Same with Ikumi and Mayumi during the Kaarage arc, the former as the Veronica and the latter as the Betty.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Makes a Dynamic Entry to help Takumi in his match against Don Calma and his men.
  • Bishōnen: Initially appearing no different from a standard shonen hero (to contrast with good-looking Akira, Takumi, Satoshi and Eishi), post-Stagiaire he looks better with slightly longer hair, symbolizing his maturation as a student-chef.
  • Blood Knight: In a family-friendly, cooking contest sort of way. A great number of Soma's shokugekis and competitions aren't necessarily for someone else's sake but rather his own pride and urge to improve, and even with someone else's stakes on the line, he almost always indulges in the personal challenge of the competition unless he's in genuine Tranquil Fury. As Joichiro puts it, he himself may have been unable to weather the storms of heightening challenges due to everyone's expectations, but Soma will straight up tackle it head-on with a grin because it's all challenges for himself.
  • Book Dumb: Played with. On one hand, Soma lacks the knowledge of some of the finer aspects of cooking, but makes up for it with his willingness to experiment, and it's emphasized that despite not having attended culinary school before, he's had enough hands-on experience in his family restaurant to be more than a match for his peers. On the other hand, later chapters reveal he actually knows a lot of foreign culinary styles, except he only manages to master them through his experiments.
    • One of the first examples on his breadth of knowledge but lack of finesse is his first challenge against Isshiki, where he uses a classic French technique to crisp the skin of the fish he is cooking. Isshiki asks how he knows how to do so, but he says he doesn't know it was called anything in particular, just that his dad taught him it was the best way to do so.
    • Then played straight when Alice explains to him the functions of all the expensive machines used by Rentarou, and he could only understand that it has separated compartiments. When Takumi scolds him for not remembering this particular lesson, Soma just admits that he didn't pay attention in class.
  • Boring, but Practical: During his Regiment de Cuisine matchup against Nene, the latter beautifully makes her soba noodles with her hands. Listening to Azami's explanations, the crowd is impressed by Nene's skills and gets excited. Soma on the other hand uses noodle-making machines and earns boos, and his friends wonder whether he already has given up the match. Nene, Azami and Erina however realize that Soma is playing it safe, since if your handwork isn't superior, it's better to just go ahead and use a machine.
  • Brutal Honesty: Soma calls things exactly as he sees them. As Joichiro points out, his culinary prowess is not so much based on his natural talents as much as him being upfront about areas where he may need improvement. He will also go and say whatever he is thinking, mostly challenging any superior chef without hesitation.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: After he defeats Nene he is asked how he was able to notice such small details like the scent of the flour and make changes to the dish to overcome them, let alone in so intensely competitive an environment as a Regiment de Cuisine, where everybody else should've been too frazzled to notice the details. He simply replies that, having grown up working in a family-run diner, he got so accustomed to making last-minute improvisations it has become par for the course for him.
  • But Now I Must Go: Played for Laughs. After losing to Erina in the BLUE's finals, he decides he's gonna do the same as his dad and travel around to hone his cooking skills, since he still feels he's not up to take over the family business.
  • Captain Oblivious:
    • He didn't realize that Joichiro was globally famous despite seeing photos of him with foreigners and taking phone calls from people who speak different languages. The other dorm members tell him to get a clue when he finally figures it out.
    • He also genuinely doesn't realize that the school initially considers him an academic pariah because of his Badass Boast at his enrollment. Or doesn't care, as until going against Takumi, he didn't consider any other student worth much as they were just taught cooking and he'd been living it in a restaurant for years.
    • He's the only one that didn't realize that his match in the semifinals against Subaru was a setup by Eizan, later asking him when he's going to try to get his revenge. Eizan is not amused.
  • Catchphrase: He has two: "Dig In!" (or "Oagariyo!" in Japanese, which he uses when presenting a dish), and most frequently "Osomatsu!" The latter is a Japanese phrase variously translated as "Happy to Serve" (in the official manga translation, which is used on This Very Wiki), "Glad you enjoyed it!" (the official anime translation), and "It wasn't much!" (unofficial translations). None of these translate perfectly, as Soma's line is a variant on a self-deprecating phrase offered when someone thanks you for a meal you cooked, but Soma is using the line in a rather arrogant mannernote . Amusingly, near the end of the Regimental Shokugeki, Soma acknowledges the fact that it's specifically a catchphrase and that he intentionally uses it to look cool whenever he wins. Also, it's a Borrowed Catchphrase as he stole it from his father, and in turn, he specifically encourages Erina to copy it when she wins a shokugeki (although she had actually stolen it from him earlier without his permission).
    • In the English dub his Catchphrase is simply "You're Welcome!"
  • Challenge Seeker: If he encounters someone that can do what he wants to learn, Soma is ready to give them the fight in that field. This goes Up to Eleven upon his return from Stagiaire month, where he immediately accepts Shokugekis from second-years. And, to Megumi's horror, the first thing he does when he and his fellow top freshmen (including Erina) meet the Council of Ten for the Red Leaf Hunt is to request a Shokugeki against any member of their ranks (though they flatly refused), and during the Survivor's Hunt, once he sees Fourth-Seat Momo display her expertise in desserts, Soma instantly yearns to challenge her right after pointing out that he has little to no experience in making desserts. Once he claims a seat in the Council of Ten Masters, he also offers his seat on the line to literally any student that challenges him.
  • Character Development: He experiences this subtly throughout the series while never changing his fundamental attitude. In the beginning, he feels like attending Totsuki is a waste of time since he has a considerable amount of experience working at Yukihira. Very quickly, he meets opponents that match or surpass him in skill and experience and he realizes that the school is far more interesting than he thought.
    • Though he doesn't realize the true significance of the change, after Akira defeats him in the Autumn Election, he tells Joichiro over the phone that he wants to stay at Totsuki to prove himself truly worthy of their family name. Before this, any loss was either against someone with vastly more experience, subjective or thanks to him feeling he hadn't done as well as he could have.
    • After his match against Eizan, he shows that his loyalty has shifted to the Polaris Dormitory as the place he wants to refine his cooking, whereas the beginning of the series he was content with returning to Yukihira.
  • Characterization Marches On: It can be rather jarring to read the pilot chapter and see him being so callous; he never shows up to any of Erina's lessons and when he finally does, he shows up late and insults her cooking to her face. note  Even in the series proper, he's rather full of himself at the start of the story and it was a few chapters before he developed many of his current quirks and good-natured attitude.
  • Character Tics: He would wrap his head with his headband, lifts his finger whenever he's explaining his dish, often grins whenever his food get some positive outcome, and finally, yank off his headband once he wins.
  • Character Title: The series is called Shokugeki no Soma, but his name is either written as "Sōma" or "Souma", depending on which romanization style used.
  • Chaste Hero: As he is Oblivious to Love, he also shows no interest at all in love. He thinks Ikumi and Mayumi's reactions to each other are just "they are not getting along", is amazed at Megumi's philosophy of cooking for a loved one, and treats everyone with the same friendly attitude regardless of the gender, not showing reaction to all the blatant Fanservice around him.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Soma's disgusting squid and peanut butter as well as the aspic he used on his entrance exam against Erina who called it disgusting. Months later, Erina uses the same ingredients to create her winning dish against Tsukasa and Rindo.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: The Polaris girls appraise his romantic appeal to be on par with his father Joichiro (probably justified in that Soma is basically an ultra-skilled rebel who consistently defeats various authority figures). Soma, for his part, is entirely clueless of Megumi, Mayumi and Ikumi's affections for him and never seems to have any interest in anyone else beyond their ability to cook.
  • Cool Bike: There's an art of Soma with a delivery motorbike around the Autumn Election arc. Following the Red Leaf Hunt he is shown riding a scooter, with the narration explaining that he got himself a student driver's license because Totsuki is too big to walk through.
  • Cool Loser: While he is fairly talented, good-natured and charismatic, the vast majority of the student body (especially pre-Character Development Erina) continuously dismiss his talent or try to get him expelled because recognizing his talent would also force them to acknowledge their own weaknesses. So far the only ones who treat Soma with the respect he deserves are his Polaris dormmates, Mitsuru, post-Character Development Erina, Hisako, the Aldini brothers, past rivals, and a handful of alumni (in particular, Gin, an old friend/rival of his father Joichiro, and Kojirou, his Stagiaire mentor).
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: He likes to experiment with strange food combinations that would result in a horrible-tasting dish, such as his "squid with peanut butter", and takes great pride in making the most horrible tasting concoctions. While his father also has this habit, they appear to do it for different reasons - Joichirou does it to deal with the stress of the constant pressure to innovate, whereas Soma just seems to enjoy trying to make horrible combinations work.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Initially comes off this way since he often is unfamiliar with cooking techniques everyone else around him is familiar with. The trope is most often applied in order to come up with a plausible reason for other characters to explain various techniques that it wouldn't make sense for Soma to be super familiar with given his background. But just as often as not, Soma will turn out to actually be quite proficient in the technique or theory (e.g. the French poêlé technique), it's just that he isn't familiar with either the science or the name behind the technique. As the series progresses, Soma's skills are acknowledged by several people including the Tōtsuki Alumni, Gin Dojima, Eishi Tsukasa and even Azami Nakiri. See also Hero with Bad Publicity.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Is quite capable of dishing this out frequently. In the Autumn Elections, he easily defeats Alice Nakiri and Subaru Mimasaka who were strong opponents. He also defeats Eizan Etsuya and Nene Kinokuni, both of them who were seniors and members of the Council of Ten. In the BLUE competition, Sōma simply walks over the three trials and effortlessly defeats Sarge- an elite tier Noir- in the first match at Heaven's Keep. Later, Soma partners with Takumi and the duo quickly defeat Don Calma and his group in a team battle.
    • Soma wins 3-0 against Asahi Saiba during their rematch at the BLUE tournament.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Arguably his most prevalent characteristic in the story. Joichiro dared him to surpass him in cooking as a child. Erina's rejection of his cooking led to Soma daring himself to improve his cooking to make her admit it was good. As Satoshi pointed out during the Autumn Election, the rest of the student body hated him because his amazing performance is an uncomfortable reminder of their own complacency. Finally, when teaming up with Erina for the final bout of Regiment de Cuisine, his strategy was to craft a massively powerful appetizer, then dare Erina to make her main dish more powerful than his.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He has moments like this, such as when Takumi says they'll meet again, perhaps at a Shokugeki and leaves on a dramatic note. A few moments later, they're sitting right next to each other on the bus back to the hotel. Soma immediately cracks a joke about "meeting each other" again already.
  • Delayed Reaction: When he walks in on his dad in the Polaris kitchen, he just begins helping out without thinking, not reacting properly until a few seconds later.
  • Determinator: Soma's greatest strength is his refusal to give up, even against a vastly superior opponent. Joichiro admits that Soma is far superior to him in that regard. It helps him keep calm and continue improving himself where everyone else will have simply given up. Basically, his philosophy is that all chefs must not be afraid to fail, for they serve as motivation to spur them onto eventual victory.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: He tells Eishi, the First Seat of the Council of Ten and thus Totsuki's top dog, that he may be a better cook than him when turning down his offer to join Central as his assistant. The latter calls his bluff and challenges him to test that theory, even betting the first seat in exchange of Soma joining Central.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Subverted. Despite continuing to suffer lack of respect from the student body at large, Soma takes it in stride, and is more focused on doing his thing.
    • This continues even after the poor guy achieved the First Seat of the Council of Ten Masters. He is defeated by the creepy Midnight Chef Asahi. While competing in BLUE, no one recognizes Soma and everyone is focused on Eishi. Soma decides to use that as motivation and promptly clears all three gates of BLUE, defeats Asahi and makes it to the final round.
    • It is essentially a running gag that hinders Soma from achieving The Ace status.
    • Averted near the end; see Living Legend below.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Soma tries out one of his new dishes (squid tentacles with peanut butter) before feeding it to Mayumi, which showcases his quirks as a chef. In a subsequent scene, he astutely notes his mistakes after his latest cook-off with his father, which displays a bit of a quieter side. Not to mention his incredible improvised meat dish against realtors, which cements himself as an unorthodox but highly determined chef.
  • The Everyman: While he doesn't have a specialty like other characters, his signature style seems to revolve around common, homely dishes, though oftentimes giving them a new spin while still staying in that homely territory. It gets lampshaded in later chapters when people start referring to his food as having "the flavor of the masses", which makes sense as he comes from an ordinary diner.
  • Exact Eavesdropping: Soma, Megumi and the Aldini brothers stalk Erina and peek into the conversation between her and the Bookmaster. This is when they all discover the Bookmaster's identity as Erina's mother.
  • Experienced Protagonist: Soma himself boasts about having twelve years experience in serving customers, which proves to be one of his biggest assets. His father is himself an elite chef who used to put Soma in all sorts of crazy situations developing his exceptional ingenuity in cooking.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Soma slowly lets his hair grow, which is the most noticeable after the hellish training camp and after the Stagiaire month, indicating that he Took a Level in Badass and is slowly getting better and better.
  • Face Fault: After he just defended his restaurant from landsharks, and declared that the Yukihira is his castle that will never go down, his father appears to tell him that he intends to close it down for two-three years.
  • Famed in Story: Even though he failed to win BLUE, Soma's performance garnered lot of media coverage.
  • Friendly Rivalry: It's almost impossible to make enemies with Soma, since he always ends up befriending or at least get along with his opponents. He can hold a normal conversation with Erina despite her protests, has Ikumi falling for him, becomes good friends with Takumi, gets orientation from Akira, talks friendly with Alice during the match, compliments Subaru's motorcycle, and later hangs out with both Akira and Ryou after their Autumn Election match.
  • Friend to All Children: He's surprisingly good with kids, knowing a lot of little visual tricks with cooking that help grab their attention.
    • During the breakfast buffet trial at training camp, he calls a shy little girl to try his omelette breakfast by showcasing it as a "magic trick".
    • At a community cooking school where Satoshi works part-time, he and Megumi get the children's attention by appealing to what they find cool, and later encourage them to do their assignments by various methods.
  • The Gadfly: Soma has the tendency to taunt his opponents when presenting his dishes.
    • With Yaeko and her mooks, Soma rubbed in her face, turning her previous "The Reason You Suck" Speech into an Insult Backfire.
    • It's mostly because of this that Erina rejected his application, since on top of proving her wrong, Soma started to tease her.
    • Right during the fourth day of the Festival, Soma flaunted about having more experience in business than Council member Terunori Kuga.
    • This actually becomes a plot point when Soma manages to get Eizan and the judges to taste his dish by taunting Eizan. Eizan, of course, reacts accordingly.
  • Good Is Not Dumb: An establishing moment of this trait came from the Sumire District arc, where he pointed out the fact that customers (or people) are greedy in nature.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: He bears a diagonal one across his left eyebrow. The anime reveals he got it when he accidentally dropped a fish and while diving to save it, he hit his head with the kitchen table's edge.
  • Graceful Loser: Played with on this and Sore Loser. On one hand, he's a good sport and not one to linger for too long on his losses. On the other hand, he has a tendency to vent his frustration on his dishes (for example, during the Autumn Elections preliminaries, Satoshi noted that he served the judges a combination of his two latest "failures": the omelette from training camp, which nearly cost him his tenure, and the apple risotto from his latest cook-off with his father), and he uses any loss as an opportunity to improve himself (to the point where Fumio called him the "ultimate sore loser").
    • Taken Up to Eleven in the anime, with the revelation that he challenged the former third-years hundreds of times before they graduated, yet never won a single encounter against them. Despite that, he always took the defeats in stride with a smile, and used them to improve himself.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Averted. While a quick and flexible thinker, Soma clearly lacks the natural talent of Erina or Akira, the specialist knowledge of Alice or Ryou, or even experience with cuisine outside of cheap Japanese foods. However, his twelve years' worth of hands-on experience (plus his impulse to constantly test strange food combinations) proves to be a great asset from the beginning, making him a flexible thinker who copes well with pressure and works constantly to improve himself. This allows him to be one of the best chefs of his year, but precisely because he lacks the obvious natural gifts of someone like Akira, the other students resent and belittle him. They look forward to seeing him fail out because acknowledging his ability would be the same as admitting that they just don't work hard enough.
    • Most notable in his three-way match against Akira and Ryou at the final of the Autumn Election: both of them are far more capable of obtaining fresh saury than Soma is (Akira because of his excellent nose, Ryou because of his longer experience with seafood). Instead of trying to defeat them on their terms, he aims for an alternative way of preparing the fish.
  • The Hero: He's the protagonist, and his talents in cooking and his overall genial personality attracts no shortage of friends and rivals. Satoshi implies that his uniqueness may bring about larger changes in Totsuki.
  • Hero-Worshipper: While he started seeing Shinomiya as the one to beat during the training camp, after being his intern at Shino’s Tokyo, Soma is so impressed with him that he starts calling him “Master Shinomiya” from that point, reacting with excitement every time they see each other again.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: As noted by Satoshi, almost every school publication spends time either criticizing or dismissing Soma's relevance (for example, by picking bad photos of him or giving more spotlight to the other contestants). The only journalist who genuinely likes him is Mitsuru. It's justified since the negative articles against Soma are the most requested by the student body in part due to him rubbing them off the wrong way with his introduction speech, and because acknowledging his strengths would also mean doing the same for their own weaknesses.
  • Heroic BSoD: Downplayed and Played for Laughs at the same time after Soma loses his duel against Tsukasa. Even though Tsukasa backed out on the conditions of their Shokugeki (that Soma join Central), Soma still felt upset about the loss. During Ikumi and Megumi's Shokugekis, his friends could notice that he has been down ever since.
  • Heroic Lineage: Not many people outside his circle of friends (including, initially, himself) know that his father Joichiro is a world-renowned chef, partially because he is still known by his maiden surname, "Saiba", before adopting his wife's "Yukihira", which Soma also uses.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: This happens at one point during the training camp's breakfast buffet. His desire to create a surprising dish (based on his experience) also meant it wasn't suitable for a buffet. He narrowly passes using improvisation and showmanship.
  • Hollywood Tone-Deaf: In the anime, he would sing loudly and off-key while having a goofy face.
  • Honor Before Reason: Even after learning that Azami blackmailed Akira into joining Central by taking Jun's research hostage, Soma couldn't get over the thought that Akira didn't even try to fight to protect his home like all of them did, labeling him as pathetic as a result.
  • Honorary True Companion: Despite not being a full member, he is this towards the Don RS (on account of having saved them from an earlier attempt at dissolution, leading to), so much so that during the Survivor's Hunt he actually shows some concern for how they will fare on their shokugeki.
  • Hope Bringer: Soma is the kind of person who not only gets along with anyone, but also brings out the best in them.
    • His victory over Ikumi made her a nicer person and allowed her to accept herself without having to be tough, and by the terms of the Shokugeki, her having to join Don RS allowed her to become more creative with her dishes.
    • He gradually influenced Megumi into breaking out of her shyness and finding the courage to stand out on her own.
    • Despite winning against Subaru, he nevertheless encouraged the latter to keep trying and that defeats are not the end, even as he influences him to give up his dishonest ways.
    • After helping her survive their Stagiaire assignment at a struggling restaurant, he helps Hisako come to terms with her loss to Akira during their Autumn Election matchup, as well as encouraging her not only to not give up on her relationship with Erina, but also start seeing herself as more than just her Number Two, for which she mellows out to him and starts to serve as his middleman with Erina.
    • Satoshi perceived from the beginning that Soma was destined to bring change to Totsuki and hopes the rest of the student body will step up their game, regardless of who he is fighting against.
    • Senzaemon is implied to also think of this about him, particularly after overhearing his introductory speech and while musing that Jouchirou may be right in telling him that he can help save Erina from Azami's influence.
    • Erina is surprised just how everyone in the dorm, even Hisako trusted Soma to bring about a miracle during his Shokugeki with Eizan. Soma defeats Eizan and halts the demolition of Polar Star dorm. Hisako herself lampshades this to Erina, going as far as to say that if anyone could stop Azami, it was Soma.
    • In a comically ironic twist, this very trait actually works against him in the final chapters. When he sees Erina having a breakdown during the BLUE finals, he approaches her and taunts her with a remark about how her dish is boring to snap her out of it. This gets Erina to regain her competitive spirit and subsequently win BLUE, much to his chagrin.
  • Humble Hero: For all his cocky tendencies, Sōma doesn't gloat over his rivals. He is quick to recognize talent in other students and doesn't make the mistake of underestimating them. Even after becoming the 1st Seat of the Council of Ten (signifying he is the very best student chef of the current generation at Tōtsuki), Sōma admits that Erina is better than him and believes he still has much to learn. He also welcomes Shokugeki challenges from any Tōtsuki student.
  • Hyper-Awareness: Only when it comes to cooking. In any other situation, he is a Captain Oblivious.
    • Just by a quick look, Soma notices that his and Megumi's dish was sabotaged by two of his classmates and takes quick action to solve the situation.
    • Soma concludes after one dish that Isshiki cooked for him, that Isshiki's family must run a high-class washoku (traditional Japanese cuisine) restaurant. The viewer doesn't see Isshiki cooking for the next 200 chapters, when it is shown that Soma's guess was correct.
    • Between all of Eishi's questions and freak-outs, Soma is the only one who notices that he never asks about the quality of his dishes.
    • He is the only person who notices that something is wrong by watching Eizan's attitude while cooking. Turns out that the judges were all zealously devoted to Central and were willing to cheat, so he didn't have to put any effort.
    • During his Shokugeki with Nene, he noticed that the soba flour didn't smell like it usually does (due to the arena's cold weather as he'd later learn) and got the idea to fry it to make it extra pungent and get the smell through even under these conditions. Nene is shocked that he managed to pick up on that detail given that most people would be too frazzled by the pressure of a Shokugeki to notice.
  • Hypocritical Heartwarming: In the Fall Classic semifinals, he gambled his whole career as a chef against Mimasaka. When he beats him and Mimasaka says he's going to quit cooking, Soma calls him out on it, telling him why shouldn't quit after a single loss. The others comment how rich this is considering he was risking on doing the exact same thing.
  • Hypocritical Humour: He laughs after hearing how his father had forced Jun to be his guinea pig for many of his bizarre dishes, never mind that he does the exact same thing to Tadokoro who even gives him a flat stare in response.
  • Ignore the Fanservice: He genuinely doesn't care about all the blatant Male Gaze around him. He doesn't make a big deal after walking into the bathroom while Megumi is there, doesn't seem to care about Ikumi's Stripperiffic outfits, and when he runs into Erina out of the bathrooms, he is only surprised to see her instead of looking at her cleavage.
  • I'm Not a Hero, I'm...: Even though he steps up to challenge strong rivals on behalf of others, he clarifies that he has slightly more personal reasons to get involved:
    • After Senzaemon asks him to save Erina from Azami, he replies that he's less interested in meddling with the Nakiri family's issues than simply eliciting her words of approval.
    • When Polaris was threatened with a shutdown, he challenges Etsuya to a shokugeki. When the latter accuses him of playing hero, he retorts that he's only protecting the one place where he can truly master his craft.
  • Insufferable Genius: Subverted. Soma isn't blatantly obnoxious or smug, but he doesn't care much for people who lack cooking experience. That said, he is quick to acknowledge people with ambition or experience and doesn't underestimate or gloat over his opponents.
  • Insult Backfire: When the loan shark claims the Yukihira is nothing but a failure, Soma presents her with an extremely delicious dish, explaining it was inspired by an accident, i.e. from a failure.
    • Lampshaded by Isshiki. Most of the student body hate Soma and wish to see him suffer a humiliating defeat. Unfortunately for them, Soma has enough ability to back his words. Isshiki remarks that if the student body acknowledged Soma, they would have to admit that they are not putting enough efforts themselves.
  • I Resemble That Remark!: Denies being a sore loser, then corrects his dad on how many times he’s lost to him because he doesn’t want him to think he's already won 500 times in a row.
  • I Shall Taunt You: How he gets his match with Etsuya to become more or less a proper Shokugeki, and indirectly convince the judges, all of whom were Azami loyalists, to somewhat be more impartial.
  • It's Personal: His motivation for participating in BLUE is to defeat Asahi Saiba to avenge his previous loss against him. In addition, he plots to exact revenge on Erina for her earlier actions. Soma does succeed in defeating Asahi, with the added bonus of gaining approval from Mana Nakiri's God Tongue, which is the rarest of all honors.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Both a strength and a weakness of his. Unlike most of the other chefs featured in the series, Soma doesn't specialize in any particular ingredient or cooking style, instead having picked up a wide variety of styles and techniques from his father, which is otherwise known as "Yukihira style". So while he may not necessarily be the best at any one style, his vast array of knowledge and versatility is what allows him to outperform the most specialized chefs he goes up against. However, under Kojiro Shinomiya's supervision, Sōma does learn a number of French cuisine techniques. Later on he employs it occasionally. But as a weakness, his lack of specialization is the main reason he will lose a food war, with his defeats most often coming at the hands of a chef who vastly outshines him in a particular discipline.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Soma often comes across as a flippant, insensitive person who sometimes likes to mess with others. He does care for his friends, though he isn't so blatant about it. The only time he completely lost his cool was when Shinomiya tried to expel Megumi over a triviality.
    • Another time when he won against Subaru, Soma returned all the stolen knives to their respective owners and chided Subaru for stealing their pride. Not long after, the two of them became friends.
  • Last-Name Basis: Soma calls almost everyone by their surname, except Takumi, Fumio (to whom he applies the suffix "-san"), Ikumi (whom he nicknames "Nikumi") and Alice (who he labels as "Nakiri's cousin").
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Usually casual and laidback, Soma stops beating around the bush and gets serious whenever he's fired up, usually every time someone belittles his family, hometown and/or friends, including some of the chefs' pure honor.
    • Always indicated by the putting on of his headband.
  • Lethal Chef: He is an excellent chef. However, like his father, he purposely creates gross dishes during his free time. He once made a snack with octopus and peanut butter.
  • Like Father, Like Son: On the one hand, Soma is exactly his dad when he was his age, and both share the same quirks, a fact not lost on Joichiro's old classmate, Gin. On the other hand, he has none of his father's brashness in his youth, instead bringing his mellowed-out personality (as a father) by the time he enters Totsuki. He even leaves Tootsuki (temporarily) to travel the world and find his own style like his dad, leaving an exasperated schoolmate with all of his paperwork much like Jou's relationship with Gin.
    • After graduation, Soma follows his father's footsteps becomes a world famous freelance chef, frequently being invited by clients to cook overseas.
  • Living Legend: By the time of the epilogue, Soma is regarded as a top tier chef not only for his accomplishments at BLUE, but also for shaking up Tootsuki to such an extent that the gourmet/lower class barrier was brought down under a newer and fairer regime. Tons of young chefs from more humble backgrounds now seek to apply for the school, and the student body is all for him.
  • Locked Out of the Loop: Joichiro never told Soma about his past. This is serious when he has to confront Azami and Asahi.
  • Logical Weakness: Soma's work experience serves him well, but only if the situation is similar to his experiences, otherwise it can work to his disadvantage by giving him false assumptions. During the training camp's buffet challenge he almost failed because he didn't consider whether his dish can keep on a heating plate, something largely irrelevant in the Yukihira but absolutely crucial in a buffet. He's also unused to handling tasks as complicated and demanding as multiple-course meals and really struggles during the Autumn Election semifinals because he's not used to making meals designed to have immediate, powerful impact rather than milder food meant to be eaten regularly.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Amusingly inverted in his exchange with Azami, when the latter is gushing over Joichiro.
    Soma: Ummm... you may not know this but Saiba Joichiro is my dad.
    • The truth about Sōma's father often amazes and shocks people around him. The most extreme example was Erina: she nearly fainted when she overheard the truth from Sōma.
  • MacGyvering: Soma can make any dish taste incredible, even when the barest of ingredients are available. For example, in Fumio's entry test to the Polaris Dormitory, he makes a hamburger with canned mackerel, eggs, onions and panko, and also uses the liquid with the canned mackerel with ponzu to create the sauce.
  • Magnetic Hero: Soma's friendliness, his helpfulness, his willingness to teach and motivational ability make him easily make friends, even with students that are very antisocial otherwise.
  • Meaningful Name: In Vedic mythology, Soma is the name of the moon god. Considering his father Joichiro's nickname was "Asura", also a Vedic name (literally "distant moon"), this is probably not a coincidence. It's also notable that the venue of the Autumn Election and shokugeki between the Council of Ten (i.e. the battleground where the first seat is won) is named Chandra's Hall...Chandra being another name for Soma.
  • Mood Killer: In a positive, Big Damn Heroes way — Chapter 133 ends with Soma (and Megumi) breaking the tension between Erina and her father Azami by asking the former if there are still seats in her stall, much to Hisako's great relief.
    • In Chapter 303 when Asahi indulges in Evil Gloating and taunts an anguished Erina, Soma breaks the tension and confronts him.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: While his competitors will use financially expensive ingredients, yet rich in flavor, Soma can pull off the same result by buying affordable items from the local supermarket and any leftovers.
    • In his Shokugeki against Ikumi, Soma uses a discounted beef from a supermarket to go against the grade A5 beef — which is probably the best quality of beef that can be found — the former uses.
    • When Soma is paired against the showy Alice, Soma opts for a Nori bento, which is considered the most basic kind. Soma then makes this bento "evolve".
    • He doesn't know how to pick out the best seafood, so instead he opts to try various styles of curing instead. His dish is judged as being by far the most creative and at least on par with the other dishes he was competing against though he stills fails to win.
    • When he offers Erina to make her a "Yukihira special", he chooses to make her a simple Tempura-Bowl Eggnote , with some eggs Soma bought cheap on a sale. When the others wondered how Soma managed to deep-fry an egg without it breaking up, Soma explained that he fried the egg while still frozen solid. Also that the flavor was amplified by freezing it and it wouldn't have been the flavor he wanted if he had used a high-quality egg.
    • During the BLUE semifinals, Soma serves a specially augmented fried rice to Mana Nakiri, the head of the World Gourmet Organisation and bearer of the Divine Tongue. The dish is so delectable that not only Mana is forced to acknowledge, it also evokes Mana's bestowal on an unprecedented magnitude. This is an impossible feat even for the other Nakiris (including Senzaemon).
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Sports a comical one when he realizes he just indirectly helped Central by being Tsukasa's sous chef.
  • Naïve Newcomer: Subverted; he's impressed with every new fact he discovers from Totsuki or his roommates, but he gets used to it in less than three panels.
  • Naked First Impression: How he met Gin the first time, as he was the first male student allowed to rest from the first day of training camp. A little stunned at first, he quickly is talking to Gin jovially and helping him stretch in the bath.
  • Nerves of Steel: Joichiro taught him how to stay calm under pressure, which, combined with experience, helps him keep his cool during high-profile matches.
    • During the training camp's breakfast selection, he made a mistake in his choice of menu, but last-minute improvisation allowed him to come up with a new approach and attract nearly 200 customers in only half an hour. In the process, he managed to keep refining and improving his technique. All around him, other people had given up or were panicking, but he remained calm and focused, for which Gin praises him.
    • Doesn't even blink when Subaru appears in his room after the semi-final bracket is made. He just calmly says he'll make tea, as well as a meal, then just as calmly challenges him to a Shokugeki while telling him what he'll be making.
    • This is especially demonstrated during Soma's Shokugeki against Eizan. Eizan publicly reveals that he's rigged the affair so that the judges will vote for him, no matter what dishes are produced. Then, just to put extra pressure on Soma, he orders his subordinates to go ahead with the forced eviction of the Polaris Dorm while the Shokugeki is in progress. Despite having total assurance of his victory, the fact that Soma takes all of this without so much as flinching is what ultimately draws Eizan into taking the match seriously, which ultimately proves to be his undoing.
    • Upon hearing that all rebels sans himself, Erina, Megumi and Takumi got expelled, he just calmly calculates how many seats they'll need to gain a majority in the Council of Ten Masters so they can overturn the expulsions and stop Azami. He goes so far as to directly challenge Azami himself to a full-hands Shokugeki.
    • How he is able to convince Megishima joining Team Rebel. In spite receiving punishment from the big man himself, Soma was still standing and told Megishima his speeches about his desire to protect the way he learned to cook by challenging every chef he encounters.
    • This is the lynchpin to his victory over Nene in the first round of the Regiment de Cuisine. Nene's absolute confidence in the quality of her soba (her culinary speciality) is built upon her reliance on the teachings of her family, which she defaults to, partly to concentrate under the pressure of the Shokugeki. In contrast, Soma's ability to remain calm allows him to notice the little things, such as the soba's flavor not being as pronounced (due to the temperature) and adjusting his final product to compensate, which wins him the match.
    • It goes on after the first round as well, as, with the second round, the three chefs from Central have won all their bouts, but Eishi and Rindo are both mentally and physically exhausted, along with Somei (though he manages to bounce back in time for the next match). On the other hand, Soma has gone though almost exactly the same level of strain, but comes out while hardly even breaking a sweat and goes on into the third round with absolutely no problems.
  • New Transfer Student: Soma transferred to Totsuki at the beginning of his first-year in high school. It is not unusual, except Totsuki also has a middle-school campus, and the majority of its tenth-graders hail from there.
  • Next Tier Power-Up: He's finally able to complete his "specialty" that he's been working on since working at Shinomiya's resteraunt during the Regiment De Cuisine Shokugeki. By having Erina's God Tongue point out any deficiencies in his composition, he's able to craft a dish that even Azami Nakiri acknowledges as being as good as 1st Seat Eishi Tsukasa's own specialty.
  • Nice Guy: Soma's biggest virtue as a person is his friendly nature. Even when people looked down on him for his humble origins and transfer student status, he quickly makes a circle of close friends thanks to his outgoing demeanor and helpful attitude. He is always helpful and inspirational to his friends, and many of his rivals turn around and become his friends after being defeated by him because he always shows respect and admiration for them before and after a match.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Zigzagged. During the final match against Erina in the BLUE, the latter is in the middle of a Heroic BSoD, so he snaps her out of it by saying that her cooking is boring and he won't feel good winning against her like that. While this does cost him what could possibly have been an easy victory, it doesn't have any lasting consequences, and if anything, it only brings him and Erina much closer to each other than before.
  • No Badass to His Valet: Inverted. Joichiro points out that this is Soma's other main attribute, as he, unlike most people, won't get intimidated by status or fame. He won't hesitate to challenge anyone into a duel even if their levels are vastly significant.
  • No Fame, No Wealth, No Service: Most of the school looks down on him because of his humble origins, compared to the many heirs of wealthy restaurants.
  • Nom de Mom: He took his mother's surname "Yukihira" instead of his father's "Saiba". Joichiro later mentions that he now also goes by "Yukihira", though he's still known the world over as "Saiba".
  • Non-Uniform Uniform: Soma wears his shirts open with a navy blue T-shirt inside (long-sleeved when getting colder) and no tie.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: Soma is usually a blithe person who enjoys challenges. But in chapter 304, he is visibly exasperated with Asahi's arrogance and Erina's indulgence in despair. To make matters worse, Erina meekly prepares to marry Asahi and bluntly tells Soma she wants to see him lose to Asahi. Soma snaps and tells her he doesn't care about her family drama. The next day, Soma is in a stern mood as he confronts Asahi in the BLUE semi-final.
  • Oblivious to Love: As of the Autumn Election, at least two girls have a crush on him, yet he can't tell, since he's focused on two things: surviving school and surpassing his dad. That's it.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome: Soma promptly clears the third trial of the BLUE without breaking a sweat which happens off-panel. Many light chefs (the ones who cook mainstream as opposed to those who work in the mafia) had miserably failed in that trial.
  • Power Copying: Not as blatant as Subaru, but he's pretty good at getting inspirations from other dishes and/or concepts. He used Alice's own molecular gastronomy technique against her (sodium alginate and calcium chloride), and against Subaru, he used Hisako's technique to thicken his own stew using collagen in beef tail. However, this trait eventually leads him to failing to win the Autumn Election. Nothing he makes is really unique to him, so even if he can make food on par with other cooks he still hasn't grown as much as they have, thus factoring into his decision to use his Stagiaire Week shift with Kojirou to learn as many things as possible from a former First Seat.
  • The Power of Love: Soma invokes this during his rematch against Asahi. He fondly remembers his mother while he is cooking. Coincidentally this also happens to be one of Joichiro's biggest cooking secrets which he had tried to reveal it to his son.
  • Running Gag: Every time Erina tries to tell him how terrible he is, he just laughs it off or ignores it. When she keeps it up, he eventually notes that having a normal conversation with her is pretty difficult.
    • He also has a habit where he often takes charge of everything even being incredibly reckless and all which infuriates everyone including his own dormitory friends.
    • In addition, he loves to cook lethal dishes which grosses out his friends including Megumi, who is a victim of this. Yuki even once stated that he should only use Megumi as his only victim which horrifies the girl.
  • Second Place Is for Losers: He gets incredibly frustrated at any perceived loss, no matter who his opponent is. He takes it hard when he failed to help Megumi win against Kojirou during their unofficial Shokugeki, striking his hand against a wall hard enough to hurt himself once Megumi is out of sight. When he gets second place against Akira in the Autumn Election preliminaries he's angry that he didn't get perfect scores across the board, despite only losing by one point to a specialist on his home ground. Losing again in the final is a bit different, however. He's still bitter, but he also acknowledges that Akira's cooking has something he lacks.
  • Secret Legacy: His father is renowned in the culinary world, but Soma isn't even aware of it. Soma is shocked by the revelation, but his friends point out that all of the signs of his father's legacy were there, but Soma was just too oblivious to have noticed them.
  • Shonen Hair: Like most shonen protagonists, he has spiky hair that sticks out all over the place.
  • Shower of Awkward: He was seen naked by Megumi when he walks in on her on the bath on his first night at the Polaris Dormitory. Well, at least for Megumi it was awkward - Soma didn't seem to think anything of it.
  • Showy Invincible Hero: Played with; there are many opportunities for students to get expelled at Totsuki, thus Soma has to put his cooking experience to the test and improvise when he can to win, yet there are a few moments where he doesn't "entirely succeed".
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Sōma perfectly sums up Azami's attitude problems in one line:
    Soma: Um, couldja stop telling people what they're supposed to think is happiness, please?
  • Slasher Smile: Sports a vicious one as he brings out his food cart at the end of the second day of the Full Moon Banquet, apparently up to something to beat Terunori in his own game. He also gives Eizan one when he asked if his dish was delicious.
  • The Social Expert: He easily makes friends with Ikumi and Alice and, even though she dislikes him, he's one of only a few people who can actually hold a conversation with Erina despite her notably terrible social skills. Going from there, he makes friends with Hisako easily despite her starting with the same opinion of him as Erina, to the point where even the latter expressed some jealousy over how Hisako seems more friendly to him than her. Nao even liked him enough to decide that she doesn't need to hold a grudge against him for having worked with Hisako. He also befriends the bear hunter who gave them the tour around the mountain by showing genuine interest in his knowledge of the animal, which gains the admiration of Kuga, as this also gets the hunter on their team if they needed more meat.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Phonetically, the "o" in his name is written as "ō", which equates to "ou". Both are correct, but the series' title uses the word "soma" for "body or physique", a pun on his name. The English localization uses the latter.
  • Stock Shōnen Hero: He fits a lot of this character type's traits, being a Fiery Redhead who enters the prestigious Tootsuki Academy to become a great chef. While he is at first looked down upon due to his humble background, he manages to survive the academy's cutthroat environment due to his determination, creativity and experience. Despite being very proud of his skills (he antagonizes the entire student body during his entrance speech where he practically calls the other students a bunch of losers for not having any practical experience in the kitchen), he is also very loyal to his friends, being willing to wager his position in the academy to save a school club from being shut down, and prevent Megumi from being expelled after she failed an exam.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Soma strongly resembles his mother.
  • Supreme Chef: Even by Tōtsuki's absurdly high standards, Soma has often proven himself to be one of the best chefs of his generation. Throughout his time at the academy, he has been competing against several accomplished chef-students, continuously honing his skills and ingenious methods in multiple cuisines. As a result he is often held in high regard by his close friends and seniors.
    • After graduation, Soma is often invited overseas to cook. The chance to taste Soma's cooking is considered to be prestigious by several gourmets.
  • Surpassed the Teacher: Other than getting Erina to say his cooking is delicious, this is Soma's main goal, to become a better chef than his dad and take over the family business. This is the main reason why he enrolls into Tootsuki, as Joichiro tells him that if he can graduate there. He manages to do so by virtue of becoming First Seat of the Elite Ten before finishing his first year of high school (Joichiro only managed Second Seat), and later, by defeating Asahi, the only chef on-screen to ever give Joichiro a complete defeat. Even though Soma doesn't feel like it, Joichiro acknowledges Soma has surpassed him.
  • Tall Poppy Syndrome: As explained by Isshiki, the reason for the hatred of Soma among the bulk of the students was his ability to compete on equal footing with those someone with such a low background should be able to face. Soma has no famous lineagenote , no particular genius and works in a low class special of the day diner, yet he's going up against prodigies and those with ties to the top tiers of the culinary world through nothing but hard work and sheer determination not to give up. If the students acknowledge his skill then that would mean they have to acknowledge they've just been making excuses to give up and not work hard.
  • Tastes Like Friendship: Soma wins over several people by giving him some of the food he cooked. The flavor triggers memories of their childhood and then purifies them, allowing the eater to come to terms with them.
  • Taught by Experience: The crux of his skill is growing up in a kitchen for twelve years, and food-battling his father (a.k.a the best chef in the entire world) 489 times, and losing every single match. He has much yet to learn, but Soma's a very quick learner and knows how to make his mistakes curb in his favor. After losing to Akira in the Autumn Election, Soma voluntarily subjects himself to intense training under Kojirou's guidance for his second Stagiaire Week shift, and upon returning to Shokugekis from second-years he sets his winning conditions such that his defeated opponents would have to teach him their techniques. This is also one of his biggest strengths as a chef, as he proved during the Stagiaire. He quickly learns to adapt to the chaotic environment of a high-end restaurant simply by being in the kitchen, making mistakes and working hard to correct them.
  • That Came Out Wrong: When Asahi declares his intentions to marry Erina, Soma angrily retorts that Erina and her tongue belong to him. Erina listens to Soma's line. Believing it to be an Anguished Declaration of Love, she becomes flustered and faints. Even after some days, she is still shocked Soma would actually say something like that.
  • To Be a Master: Sōma's primary goal which drives him on throughout the series is to one day surpass his father and mentor, Jōichirō Yukihira. During his time at Tōtsuki, Sōma takes new goals such as winning Erina's approval as a chef and surpassing her, defeating Akira Hayama and becoming a member of the Council of Ten Masters. As of now, Sōma has achieved the last two goals.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: Joichiro reflects that Soma's greatest strength is not that he is fearless in the face of overwhelming challenges but that he enjoys them. This is why he isn't fazed by the fact that he's lost to Joichiro 489 times before the series begins. He's still eager to battle again and again until he wins. This is represented by an imagine spot of Soma treking through the same metaphoric wasteland that caused Joichiro's burnout; even though he's bleeding from the mouth, Soma still bears a grin of audacity.
  • Training from Hell:
    • Had one lasting for four years. It is revealed that when Soma was still in elementary school, Joichiro used to assign him all the important and challenging aspects of the diner. This forced Soma to constantly experiment, think, innovate and adapt to so many different situations. Being subjected to extremely difficult tasks and situations as well as hundreds of matches against Joichiro transformed Soma into a competent chef capable of handling anything Tōtsuki can hurl. This comes into play in the BLUE arc where the spectators are intrigued by his unorthodox methods.
    • He also boasts that Erina's intensive seminar prior to the Advancement Exams was a 100x tougher than the exam itself.
  • Tranquil Fury: A good way to tell when Soma is pissed off is when he shifts from his normal, relaxed expression to an extremely stern and serious one, almost always accompanied by him being drawn even more detailed than normally.
  • Transfer Student Uniforms: The jacket he wears seems to be the black gakuran from his previous school, while the Totsuki jacket is navy-blue with white borders on the collar, with pleaded brown pants and tie.
  • Turn Out Like His Father: He's skirting this trope, exemplified whenever he feeds Mayumi and Megumi some of his experimental dishes... just like what Joichiro did to Jun back in his day.
  • The Unchosen One:
    • It is emphasized that Soma's father never formally taught him how to cook or even wanted him to become a chef. It was simply through challenging him all the time that Soma gradually developed his abilities.
    • Played With later on. Senzaemon Nakiri reveals that he was the one who told Joichiro to enroll Soma into Totsuki, believing that Soma might eventually have a positive influence on Erina. Although Soma becomes aware of this backstory, he admits that his reasons for helping Erina are still the same; to get her to admit that his food tastes good. This is again played with when Senzaemon had handpicked many members of the 92nd generation himself.
  • Underdogs Never Lose: Zigzagged. Soma is constantly being labelled by other students for being the nobody from a small restaurant, yet consistently performs better than most of the other students in his year. He manages to beat Ikumi in a Shokugeki, ties with Takumi for their unofficial contest in the summer training camp, and later beats Alice and Subaru in the Autumn Election semifinals — both of whom were considered to be leagues above him. However, he also loses in an unofficial Shokugeki against Kojirou, scores lower than Akira in the preliminaries and eventually loses out to him by one point in the finals. Then played straight at his Shokugeki with Etsuya, where he manages to convince the three judges, all of whom employed by the latter, to actually vote for him.
  • 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.
  • Undying Loyalty: He will defend the name of Yukihira at any cost; this extends to his neighborhood and classmates from his old school. This has also extended to Polaris, both because of Joichiro's past connection to it and the friends he has made there, to the point that he challenges Etsuya to a shokugeki to keep it from shutting down.
  • Unknown Rival:
    • Soma tries hard to have some form of competition with Erina or get her to accept his cooking, but she never really reciprocates his feelings of rivalry. First he just pisses her off for being both rude and serving commoner food, then she ignores him when she can't get rid of him and eventually she makes friends with him. By the time the Azami Administration is ousted she thinks his stubbornness in trying to compete is kind of charming but still doesn't seem to take him seriously as a threat.
    • The Council of Ten don't really take him seriously, especially Terunori Kuga, who believes it would be a waste of time taking him on. The others aren't as blunt in dismissing his challenges, but they don't really disagree with anything he's saying either. Unfortunately for them, Soma does become the 1st Seat of the Council of Ten Masters.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: One of the few people who can hold a straight conversation with Erina, although they often bicker.
  • Walking the Earth: In the final chapter. Just like his father, Soma becomes a world famous freelance chef, and is frequently invited overseas to cook. He does intermittently visit Japan.
  • We Do the Impossible:
    • Soma pulls off the near-herculean feat of actually forcing the three judges employed by Etsuya during their Shokugeki to vote for him in a 3-0 whitewash.
    • Cranked Up to Eleven when towards the end of his first year, Sōma is appointed as the 1st Seat of the Council of Ten, the highest and the most prestigious rank a Tōtsuki student can ever achieve. Soma broke Azami's record because the latter achieved Third Seat in his first year while Soma won the First Seat in his First Year.
    • Soma is able to elicit Mana Nakiri's bestowing on an entirely different level, by serving a specially prepared fried rice. Consequently he defeats Asahi Saiba for good. In the final match, his dish activates Erina's pulse for the first time, blasting a wall.
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy:
    • His Goal in Life is to one day surpass his father so he can inherit their family restaurant. Joichiro actively encourages Soma to do so, outright stating that if Soma cannot graduate Totsuki then his dream of surpassing him will never come true.
    • He also has made it his goal to make Erina say his food tastes good. Ever since the entrance exam, when she called his dish bad (but was still able to pass because her grandfather, the dean, overrode her decision), Soma has tried to challenge Erina with his food again. He cooks another meal for her in chapter 170 and is eager to hear her answer in the next chapter, which she naturally doesn't give. Even during the final chapter, Erina still calls his dish disgusting.
  • When All You Have is a Hammer…: While his cooking is very versatile, Soma still comes from a "special-of-the-day" family restaurant, and he "specializes" in simple dishes that can be created and served on the spot.
    • This briefly becomes a negative during the breakfast buffet trial, as he's used to serving food immediately. The solution? Put on a show to attract customers.
    • The same aspect also bit him back for his Stagiaire shift at SHINO's. He simply isn't used to the amount of forethought and planning needed to ensure that the dishes in multiple multi-course meals go out at precisely the right time.
    • Soma does overcome this limitation briefly by learning French cuisine techniques from Shinomiya. He also explored Chinese cuisine while challenging Kuga. However, he usually relies on his Yukihira style while combining the techniques he’s learned.
  • Wild Card: According to Satoshi's appraisal, Soma's unorthodox methods and his sheer determination have the potential to rock Totsuki's status quo by provoking his batch-mates into striving to become more than what they are in the present.
    • This is also acknowledged by Tsukasa, explaining that keeping Soma by his side was potentially dangerous to Central.
  • World Tour: Shortly before entering the third year, Soma went on a voyage to hone his skills, and hasn't returned yet. Erina is frustrated that he is evading her messages.
  • Worthy Opponent: Kojirou respects his guts to challenge him to an unofficial shokugeki to force him to retract Megumi's expulsion from training camp, and thus (in his own way) takes him in as protégé for a Stagiaire week. Likewise Alice is impressed with his ability to redesign his breakfast buffet and attract 192 customers in only half an hour to complete the minimum 200 servings required to pass, telling him that she looks forward to dueling him come Autumn Election. And after beating him to the top of fourth-day sales for the Full Moon Banquet, Terunori admits to Rindou that perhaps Soma has the potential to become a chef worthy of the Council of Ten Masters.
    • After the Regiment de Cuisine, Soma has earned the respect of all senior members of the Council of Ten, especially Eishi Tsukasa. Tsukasa and Hayama are seen rooting for Soma during the latter's match against Asahi at the BLUE semifinals.
    • His father Joichiro himself considers Soma to be this. Soma does not believe in natural talent or genius and perseveres until he surpasses his opponents. Joichiro would often be upset when people labeled him as a genius instead of acknowledging his hard work, which is why he likes to compete against his son.
  • You Remind Me of X: He reminds Rindou of Terunori, who also challenged the Council of Ten last year.

    Megumi Tadokoro 

Megumi Tadokoro

Voiced by: Minami Takahashi (Japanese), Jad Saxton (English), Tamara Veppo (Latin Spanish)

Clumsy and shy Megumi left Tohoku unprepared for life in Totsuki, finding its competitive atmosphere totally at odds with her mellower approach to cooking, leaving her with a bad case of stage fright and poor grades, such that by the time she survives into tenth-grade (and even then she has the lowest passing score) she was only one failing grade away from expulsion. After surviving her first class upon being paired with Soma, however, she begins to look up to him as her greatest hope for helping her fulfill her dream of making her family and hometown proud.

  • Accent Slip Up: She may slip back into her native Tohoku Regional Accent when she's flustered.
  • Adaptational Badass: Even taking her vast improvements throughout the series into account, she gets a big moment to shine exclusively in the anime; rather than simply being invited to participate in the BLUE along with Soma and Takumi, in the anime, Totsuki holds a schoolwide Shokugeki-style tournament with soup as its theme to determine who will be going, with more or less every named student still attending the school taking part. She comes out on top over everyone else, including Soma, who only scored third place despite being the 1st Seat.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Initially considered an outsider to her poor grades and submissive attitude. During training camp she makes a good impression with the instructors, allowing her to participate in the Elections. Though her schoolmates are initially baffled at her inclusion, they eventually come around and respect her abilities after her match in the quarterfinals even though she's defeated soundly by Ryou.
  • Animal Motifs: She has been compared to a rabbit twice: her nickname as a table tennis player is "Tohoku's Hopping Hare", and after her match with Ryou, she was described as "a bunny going against a wolf".
  • Apologizes a Lot: Seeing Megumi and Jun interact, Soma’s eyes glaze over as he realizes they’re stuck in an infinite loop of apologies.
  • Audience Surrogate: Initially, her role was to be the Straight Man to Soma's overconfident antics as well as an observer to his various habits.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: After the Time Skip. She was able to deduce the underworld chef's exact hometown just by listening to his accent, deduced what he might have eaten as a child and recreates the flavors with greater intensity in her dish. The tough chef starts shedding Manly Tears as he is reminded of his childhood.
  • Badass Adorable: After she regained her confidence and lost her stage fright, she managed to give Ryou a good match while still being sweet, cute Megumi. She also made it through the preliminaries due to her skill at cutting hanging monkfish, something she mastered when she was very young despite the obvious difficulty in cutting up a fish larger than she was.
  • Best Friend: Soma is naturally a social person, but Megumi has been his closest friend and partner since the beginning of his time at Tōtsuki.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Chapter 137 ends with her helping Erina, Hisako, Alice and Ryou hide in the Polaris Dormitory after the former was sprung out of the Nakiri mansion.
  • Birds of a Feather: With Soma — both come from a humble background and suffer from bullying at school, yet are better cooks than the average lot. When given the opportunity, they can make friends easily.
  • Book Dumb: Megumi has had a poor academic performance simply because she cannot cope well under pressure and doesn't specialize in technical perfection to begin with.
  • Boring, but Practical: Her dishes tend to be simpler than many of the other students and she doesn't know how to prepare complex dishes like a suitable meat based ramen. However, she does a very good job with normal produce.
  • Call-Back: During her first meeting with Jun, Megumi asked why the professor had a grudge on Jouichiro and his family. It was explained that the grudge was due to Jouichiro using her as his guinea pig for his nasty food experiments during their youth. This reminded Megumi of how Soma force-fed her squid and honey during their first class together.
  • Character Development: She starts out with low self-esteem and nervousness due to being a borderline failure. After being paired with Soma, she starts to gets back to her feet. After the training camp, she's earned the respect of several alumni, and by the Autumn Election, she can stand on her own without Soma's help, even managing to be able to go toe-to-toe with the incredibly aggressive Ryou. Eventually she became the Tenth Seat of the Council of Ten Masters.
  • Character Tics:
    • As Soma notices, as they prepared their first assignment together, she tends to write the "Person" character(人)on her left hand so she won't get nervous.
    • She also has a habit of bunching her fists together in many of her scenes, something that hasn't gone unnoticed.
  • Comfort Food: Megumi's specialty. While dishes from other characters cause the well known orgasmic reactions and imagery in those who eat them, Megumi's dishes cause a different kind of reactions and imagery — that being of simple, heartwarming happiness. The Autumn Election judges are even shown relaxing around a kotatsu after trying her curry dish, and just one bite of her dish during her Shokugeki against Kojirou gave the latter a flashback to his childhood with his mother.
    • After the Time Skip, she takes this to a new level. Using her position on the Council of Ten, she traveled the world in order to get a sense of what "home" felt like and incorporate it into her cooking. Thus, she can pinpoint the exact region of America that a foreigner came from by his accent and clothing and make a dish based on that information.
  • Companion Cube: She always talks to her rubber duck when bathing.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: She was a borderline failure at the start, without self-confidence and with a lot of clumsiness. After getting through those issues and focusing more on her niche as a cook, she shows that she can actually go toe-to-toe with some the best of the 92nd Generation, even making it into the Autumn Election. She's also been able to prepare hanging monkfish since she was a child, which amazes everyone. By the Regiment de Cuisine, she puts up a serious fight in a Shokugeki against Momo Akanegakubo, the best patissier of the Council of Ten who is said to be able to best Tsukasa in a battle of sweets. While she ultimately loses, it was ultimately a close vote, leaving Momo frustrated over her inability to crush Megumi, reluctantly acknowledging her as a Worthy Opponent by using her actual name. And after the Regiment de Cuisine, she became the Tenth Seat of the Council of Ten
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Ruthlessly fodderizes Huang Zuiwang, one of the strongest Noirs and the top five candidates at BLUE.
  • Cute Clumsy Girl: When she's under pressure she makes a lot of mistakes, such as spilling ingredients in front of an audience during the tournament preliminaries. Though it could be seen as endearing, it's also one of her greatest flaws as a cook and nearly led to her failing out of Totsuki at the beginning of the year despite having great potential.
  • The Cutie: While most chefs look badass when they're cooking, she's the character who always looks more adorable than badass, even in table tennis.
  • Determinator: Despite her poor reputation in Totsuki, Megumi wants to cook her best, primarily inspired by Soma. As seen in her flashbacks, she learned as a child to cut hanging goosefish (which is a very hard task, specially for a little girl) to keep up with the tradition of her ryokan once their chef had to retire. The fishermen admired her determination so much that to this day they place her in high regard.
    • She challenges Asahi of all people to a Shokugeki. Megumi calls him out for harassing Erina and tells him that if she wins, Asahi must give up chasing Erina. To prove her point, Megumi instantly crushes one of Asahi's subordinates.
  • Erotic Dream: Seems to become an issue for her after the Time Skip. She has a borderline sexual dream about Soma feeding her delicacies, and later reveals she was actually imagining one of her "foodgasms" of being in a bathtub full of money with two naked girls in each arm.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Done to contrast her with Soma. After Soma has confidently introduced himself to the student body with the intent of using everyone else as stepping stones, Megumi shown cowering in the corner, contemplating her potential expulsion due to her abysmal performance and having a desire to not stand out. She gets paired with Soma for her next assignment.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: One of Tōtsuki's legendary alumna, Hinako Inui starts flirting with Megumi and becomes blatantly biased to her. In an extra, Hinako steals a USB containing pictures of Megumi in a swimsuit.
  • Fainting: Played for Laughs during her Stagiaire shift — even after she Grew a Spine, she still cannot help but pass out upon realizing that not only is she paired with Erina, but they also had to deal with a chef who absolutely refuses to be told around by students. She even imagines writing a letter to Soma asking of his own status.
  • Fatal Flaw: Megumi consistently struggles to overcome her timid, passive nature and nearly gets expelled because Koujirou believes that her inability to be aggressive makes her not cut out to be a chef. If Soma hadn't stepped in and contested this ruling, Megumi would have been kicked out of school for sure.
  • First-Name Basis: In the Japanese version, she's the only major character who calls Soma by his first name apart from his father.
  • Foil: Four examples.
    • To Soma — where the former is the adaptive, cunning challenge seeker, Megumi is the underdog with a terminal case of shyness.
    • To Miyako — the former has been exposed to sexist male chefs in her family-run restaurant; in contrast, Megumi is surrounded by men who dearly appreciate her talents.
    • To Ryo — the former grew up in a kitchen full of "dog-eat-dog" chefs while Megumi grew up with people who encouraged and supported her cooking.
    • To Jun Shiomi — Both are/were housemates to a Yukihira and were victims of their disgusting creations, but Megumi stays as Soma's close friend while Jun blew up at even the mention of Joichiro's name (and initially refuses to help his son).
  • Flowers of Femininity: Has a small flower pin in her right side, contributing to her delicate appearance.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Has two braids of hair going down each side of her head to illustrate visually she's less mature and experienced than many of the other female characters.
  • Girl Next Door: Compared to the rest of the cast, she has a much more normal and down to earth personality and background as the daughter of a family that runs an inn. Also, while not unattractive, her design is much less flashy than the rest of the female cast, especially the likes of Alice, Ikumi or Erina.
  • Grew a Spine: After going head-to-head with Kojirou during training camp and learning to focus on her cooking and not the stakes of her duels, she comes out of the experience with even more self confidence. She's still not exactly the boldest member of the cast, but she can now stick up for her own viewpoints and style as necessary. She also stops having to rely on Soma after the training camp, scoring good grades now that she no longer considers herself completely incompetent.
  • Harsh Word Impact: Twice by Soma, and once by a little girl who she was teaching cooking.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: As hospitality is key in her dishes, she also works under a mentality of "cook for someone you love, and it will be tastier". This comes to a head with her budding affections for Soma, as she recalls the events of the preliminaries in the Autumn Election. As the series moves on, she continues to evolve with this, not only through her Comfort Food style of cooking, but also by focusing and training on how to properly treat customers beyond just serving them good food, meaning that she's also adding the skills of a hostess and a waitress (roles just as crucial in a restaurant as that of a good cook) on top of her cooking skills to best make her customers happy, as shown during the fourth day of the Full Moon Festival.
  • A Hero To Her Hometown: Megumi gets little respect at Totsuki prior to the 43rd Autumn Election due to her timid nature and almost flunking out, but basically everyone in her hometown is proud of her. The fishermen travel to the election's prelim to cheer her on, and they call her the town's "shining star".
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Before enrolling into Totsuki, Megumi was a national-level table tennis player. A few chapters focuses on her playing when not cooking, and everyone else gets so worked up in the sport the narration has to remind the audience that Food Wars! is still a cooking manga.
    • Her cooking abilities are first given a look during Chapter 14 when she makes onigiri. Soma immediately lampshades this.
    • During the Autumn Election, Megumi's cooking made Senzaemon's fundoshi come undone without his realizing. According to Senzaemon, this means Megumi's potential is limitless.
  • Hospitality for Heroes: At the end of Chapter 137 she offers Erina, Hisako, Alice and Ryou shelter in Polaris after the former was sprung out of the Nakiri mansion.
  • Informed Ability: Her first scene is a flashback showing her family and neighbors saying how amazing she is at cooking but, we, the audience, do not see this in the present. In fact, she's on the verge of flunking out of Totsuki. When she makes snacks for her dormmates prior to the Training Camp arc, Soma asks why she can't cook food this great during class. This turns out to be a function of her character development. Once she builds up confidence and an ability to focus through high-stress situations, she demonstrates her ability to truly be an excellent cook with unlimited potential, if perhaps slightly sloppy and lacking in impact.
    • Her "food war" against Shinomiya was not remotely winnable but the judges definitely liked her dish.
    • During the breakfast buffet trial, one of the staff judges asked her to marry his grandson after one bite of her egg dish.
    • She reaches the top section of her block during the 43rd Autumn Election preliminaries.
    • When facing-off against Ryou, she loses but, again, the judges greatly enjoyed her dish and their decision was not easy.
    • She scores her first shokugeki victory During the Hunt for Survivors in the Central arc, saving her Regional Cuisine RS in the process. In fact, she shut-out one of Central's elite.
  • Irony: She was at the bottom of her class and was nearly expelled by Kojirō Shinomiya during the Training Camp. Months later, she ended up training under Shinomiya and became the 10th Seat of the prestigious Council of Ten Masters.
    • At the beginning of her first year, Megumi had wanted to avoid Soma after his Badass Boast speech and was distraught when she was partnered with him during a class. Soma gains her trust by proving his competence and since then they have been best of friends.
  • Know Your Vines: She can easily recognize and get herbs and other plants in the forest section of the training camp.
  • The Lancer: She has served as Soma's cooking partner through a number of assignments as well as offered constructive feedback on his cooking. While Soma is naturally sociable, Megumi is arguably his closest friend at Totsuki.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Anytime she's about to play table tennis and when she strategizes for the Autumn Election (though she relapses into Nervous Wreck occasionally).
  • Logical Weakness: Like Soma, she comes from a small-town family village and specializes in Comfort Food. As a result, she struggles to put out food with impact since she prefers to make comforting, everyday dishes. This ultimately results in her defeat against Ryou 3-0, but all of the judges admitted that they didn't expect her food to be so powerful. Heck, the only reason why Senzaemon didn't strip was because of the fact that her food made his underwear come off!
  • Motherly Side Plait: By the time they pass to their Second Year, and she reaches the Tenth Seat of the Council, Megumi starts to wear just one braid to the right side, resembling more Hinako Inui. It suits her since her cooking style is compared to a mother's cooking and this is the anime mom hair style.
  • Nervous Wreck: In her earlier days at Totsuki, she was constantly overwhelmed by the pressure of grades and stage fright, which prompted her to make a lot of mistakes and, therefore, failing her classes. Soma notes that she became more confident once she stopped staring at the pot while counting every minute, but she still panics whenever she's around more talented people or whenever Soma does something reckless.
  • Nice Girl: Unlike the other students, she's not competitive at all and is more concerned about making people happy than doing well herself. She's eventually advised that she should probably focus on this hospitality aspect rather than obsessing over small details. While she may not be able to make a terrine nearly as good as Shinomiya's, her version does contain a thoughtfulness that his lacks, such as including allspice to help the judges' digestion after a full day of sampling hundreds of dishes.
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: Megumi is the best cook in her hometown, but in Totsuki she was on the verge of expulsion before Soma bailed her out. Totsuki emphasizes technical perfection, calm under pressure, and a certain emotional distance in the preparation, but Megumi is easily intimidated and specializes in adapting her cooking to suit the particular needs of whoever she’s cooking for. She's still within the top ten of her year, but Totsuki's competitive and demanding nature came as a shock to her.
  • Odd Friendship: To both Erina and Soma, given their stronger personalities compared to her humble and shy character. She actually lampshades this once, saying she never thought she would be able to be friends with Erina when talking to her.
  • Offscreen Moment of Awesome:
    • She defeats Shigemichi Kumai 3-0 in the Shokugeki to defend the Regional Cooking RS, making her one of the four First Years to defeat Central.
    • She also crushes the Noir Huang Zuiwang 3-0 in a match at BLUE.
  • Only Sane Woman: She's apparently the only normal resident of the Polaris Dormitory, as most of the other students can, and frequently do, behave like rowdy party animals. This is lampshaded when she says Soma will "fit right in" with the wacky residents.
  • Otaku: Megumi is a fan of manga (specifically romance and sports). It’s later revealed that Soma borrowed from her an entire collection of a shoujo manga Erina got hooked on. And to get over her trauma of having Shinomiya as her personal trainer, she reimagines the situation as her favorite ping pong manga, to the point she starts calling him “coach” from then.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Megumi is a great chef in her own right and people constantly praise her inherent potential. Sadly, she's surrounded by the likes of Soma and Erina, who have much more experience and knowledge as well as a more active competetive drive to win than she does. So she comes off as lacking compared to her peers.
  • Performance Anxiety: Prone to stage fright.
  • The Power of Friendship: In Chapter 69, Megumi believes that she's gotten stronger because of the support of her friends.
  • Red Baron: Aside from the nicknames some of the legendary alumni were proposing for her, Megumi is also known as "Tohoku's Hopping Hare" as a table tennis player.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: She's trapped in a negative loop at the start of the story. Her grades are bad, which stress her out. When she's stressed, she loses confidence. Without confidence, she makes mistakes. When she makes mistakes, she gets bad grades. Simply hearing she's at risk of failing made her all the more likely to fail. She manages to break out of her loop when Soma gives her a chance to breathe and then helped her avoid thinking of the consequences of failure, allowing her to do her best without worrying.
  • Ship Tease: In Chapter 61, she recalls her mother's advice to think of someone dear to cook for, and only thinks of Soma, blushing noticeably while doing so. She also becomes flustered at the thought of staying in the same hotel room as Soma in Chapter 265.
  • Shower of Awkward: Soma walks in on her bathing on his first night at the Polaris Dormitory. Megumi was greatly mortified by it, but Soma seemed to forget all about it rather quickly.
  • Shrinking Violet: She has no confidence at the start of the story and is on the verge of failing out as a result. This has given her a very poor reputation. During the Autumn Election, when she shows that she's regained her confidence and really can cook, she starts earning the respect of the other students.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: To Ryou during their duel in the Autumn Election. Seeing that she's supported by her friends, he tells her that the kitchen is battlefield where cooks, regardless if they are working together, are fighting "eating" each other and that her cooking is a "trashy game" because she thinks that cooperation is important and that she doesn't fight with fellow cooks. Her response:
    "At the very least the things I've seen aren't trash at all!" (a short break to cook her dish) "All the people who pushed me forward, don't speak badly of them!"
  • Shy Blue-Haired Girl: She has blue hair and is notable within Totsuki for her incredible passiveness.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: She starts off really silky - looking soft, acting gentle and her cooking is often inspired by comfort food, and thus lacking in impact. However, she develops the steel over time, learning to stay calm under pressure and her cooking creates a powerful effect through its ability to quietly sooth and satisfy those who eat it.
  • Skilled, but Naïve: She's no doubt a skilled cook, but initially struggled with Totsuki due to her lack of confidence.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To Mayumi Kurase, Soma's old high-school classmate. Both share yellow eyes and love for his dishes.
  • Tareme Eyes: Whenever people notice that she is The Cutie and how her personality reflects on her cooking, her round eyes are prominent.
  • Tender Tears: Being incredibly shy and weak-willed, she breaks down crying a few times, such as when she bottomed out after her and Soma's dish was sabotaged, and throughout her harrowing experience under Kojirou's boot camp (where she was nearly expelled and Soma had to challenge the latter to a Shokugeki in her defense). It turns to Tears of Joy at the end of Episode 23 after she narrowly qualifies for the Autumn Election playoffs.
  • The Three Faces of Eve: Among the Polaris girls, she is the Wife to Yuuki's Child and Ryoko's Seductress, being the sweet, humble one of the trio with a talent for home cooking.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Begins the series with failing grades due to stage fright and was one mark away from expulsion. After partnering with Soma, her cooking skills improved, becoming more refined and brave. This culminates in the Autumn Election, where she makes it into the quarterfinals, losing only to super specialist Ryou.
    • In Chapter 166, she beats Shigemichi in a Shokugeki while representing the Regional Cooking RS, and becomes one of the only two cooks to have saved her research society during the second day of purge.
    • As of Chapter 193 (the end of the third day of the Survivors' Purge), she is the only other remaining member of the original Polaris crew besides Soma still in the game, alongside fellow rebels Erina and Takumi.
    • After the Time Skip, she's managed to hold onto a position as Tenth Seat on the Council of Ten Masters for four months. When confronted with a chef who works with the underworld, she challenges him all by herself with her own cooking and does so without ever losing her composure and like a traditional Japanesse hotel hostess. And the dish itself proves that she put her time on the Council of Ten to good use, as she's able to determine where the chef was born and use that knowledge to make something that reminds him of his home.
    • By the time of BLUE, Megumi is one of the few light chefs along with Soma and Takumi to clear all three gates and enter the final round. Senzaemon himself points out that she has drastically improved. Mind you, more experienced light chefs had struggled a lot in clearing each gate.
  • Tranquil Fury: She maintains a pleasant attitude when facing the midnight chef, but is visibly offended by his twisted understanding of the concept of hospitality, which happens to be her specialty.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: Since the Central Arc, Megumi is often grouped with Soma and Takumi. Even in the BLUE arc, the three had to start from the first gate and cleared all three trials, entering the final tournament round. Coincidentally the three of them represent the three primary colors because of their hair. Megumi is blue, Soma is red and Takumi is yellow.
  • Underestimating Badassery: Megumi's history of failure and low rank lead people to underestimate her, forgetting she is indeed a skilled cook.
  • Undying Loyalty: She develops this towards Soma, as she would go out of her way to help him. In the Autumn Festival arc, she declines helping at the Polaris and her Regional Cooking RS booths because she puts Soma's need as top priority.
  • World Tour: After becoming an Council of Ten, she uses her privilege to travel to all parts of the world to experience the many different forms of home cooking and hospitality.
  • Worthy Opponent: Considered this by Ryou. During the Stagiaire Period Arc, Erina reveals to also think highly of her.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: So kind and humble, and the others often comment Megumi will be a great wife when they taste her cooking. She has the family-loyalty trait solid as well since she wants to inherit her family's ryokan (traditional Japanese inn). The "inner iron" of the trope takes a little longer to develop.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Her hair is blue.

    Satoshi Isshiki 

Satoshi Isshiki

Voiced by: Takahiro Sakurai (Japanese), Scott Gibbs (English), Federico Llambi (Latin Spanish)

Oldest student in the Polaris Dormitory, eleventh-grade Satoshi, from the 91st Generation, is also the Seventh Seat of the Council of Ten, an assembly of Totsuki's best student-chefs from all years and its highest policy board besides headmaster Senzaemon himself. Satoshi hails from a famous clan of cooks from Kyoto, who specialize in traditional Japanese cuisine. Unlike most of his peers, however, he knows great talent and tells them like he sees it, in particular taking a keen interest in Soma and Megumi, encouraging them to hone their skills even further.

  • The Ace: Besides being the oldest Polaris tenant, Satoshi is also the only one in the Council of Ten Masters. Within the latter group itself, almost everyone is aware he is very likely the best cook among the 91st Generation, and is only below Nene because he doesn't take his responsibilities as seriously as her. Whether it's cooking, music, dancing or other things like table tennis, he excels at it and especially his superior cooking makes the people around him envious and resentful.
  • Air Vent Escape: Has a habit of visiting Soma by his ceiling panel.
  • All Your Powers Combined: In Chapter 216, he uses ingredients from his fellow dorm residents in his eel dish.
  • Always Someone Better: As Nene, the highest-ranking eleventh-grader in the Council of Ten admits, she's only above Satoshi in the Council of Ten because he never gets serious; when he does, however, he can surpass her skills, culinary or otherwise, which only added to her resentment towards him.
  • Berserk Button: Satoshi is nigh unflappable and will simply brush off any insults and the like with a smile on his face. But as shown in Chapter 209, insulting his fellow Polaris Dorm members is the one thing that will genuinely piss off Satoshi, and the fact that he displays it in a Tranquil Fury kind of way just makes him come across as even more intimidating.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Being the eldest and most experienced resident in the dorm, he looks after his kouhais and heads to Hokkaido to participate in the Regiment de Cuisine so he can get back his seat in the Council of Ten and force Azami to rescind the expulsion of his friends.
  • Bishie Sparkle: Happens every time he is shown working on the garden, since he gets sweaty and sparkly at the sunlight.
  • Bishōnen: Among the Polaris residents he's the most handsome of the boys.
  • Black Sheep: Whatever happened, Satoshi is this to his family, which is said to be a prestigious family of Japan's cooking world.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Despite everyone in the Council of Ten acknowledging his skills to be superior to those of Nene, they are also aware that he is at a lower ranking than her due to dismotivation issues. Downplayed in the Blue arc where he's revealed to finally take up the second seat but still allows Soma to take the first seat.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: He's the best cook in Polaris and is also the only one in the Council of Ten, as well as a consummate politician who often supports his kouhai with behind-the-scenes manipulation and an organic gardener of growing repute. He's also known among his dorm-mates as a shameless nudist, to the point that the sight of him putting clothes on means OOC Is Serious Business. He is also perceived to be the best cook of his batch, and was only placed on a lower seat than Nene because he never took things as seriously as her.
  • Call to Agriculture: He manages the Polaris gardens, to the point that he skipped many classes to take care of the vegetables. The organic produce is so good he even managed to commercialize them.
  • Chekhov's Skill: For much of the early arcs, Satoshi's culinary style is never shown, so it's hard to say what kind of cook he is, except for that one time when he tested Soma's skills at the start of the story. Soma deduces from his dish that his family must have run a wasshoku (a high-quality traditional Japanese restaurant), and it took another 200 chapters to confirm that Soma was spot-on.
  • Chick Magnet: Orie offers him financial aid to support him forever if he would become hers. He's also very popular with older women at the DEF Kitchen.
  • Childhood Friends: Shared a past with Nene, as he trained at her house when he became four. However, Nene doesn't see themselves as friends.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Played for Laughs during a table tennis match against Megumi. Though he’s just barely managing to hold his own, he knows he’s going to lose eventually, so he distracts her during a serve by telling her that she’ll be in the Autumn Election. Everyone gets so wrapped up in the announcement they forgot about the match, allowing him to leave without losing.
  • Cool Big Bro: He sees himself as the one guiding his Polaris underclassmen as the oldest tenant, and encourages them to enjoy their youth together as a big family. Even Joichiro approved of his role.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Knowing well ahead that Azami will dismiss him (as well as Terunori and Tosuke) from the Council of Ten for declining to support him, Satoshi spends what little time he had in power writing up the rules of the Survivor's Purge, in which Research Societies and Seminars would have to challenge key Central supporters for a chance to have their dissolutions revoked. In particular, the fourth clause requires all judges to be outsiders who had no prior contact with the competitors, presumably to avoid another incident like Etsuya hiring Central loyalists to rig shokugekis in his favor.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: It's not exactly well-hidden, given that he is the Seventh Seat of the Council of Ten ( Second Seat as of recent events), but his laid-back attitude, goofy smile, tendency to casually walk around in the dorm wearing as little as possible, and him easily being distracted in his thoughts—even in the middle of a Shokugeki—makes people underestimate him, despite his ranking. Anyone who actually watched him cook, however, have an awareness as to how much of a culinary monster he really is.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: His family pushed him to excel constantly and never gave him any praise for any accomplishment. This destroyed any passion he had for cooking, or anything really. Living with Nene and watching her work diligently to master recipes was what saved him.
  • Death Glare: Push his Berserk Button and you will see it. He will then proceed to kick your ass.
  • Dream Sequence: Isshiki has this while worrying if the rest of the dormitory will come back complete from the Training Camp. He imagines Soma as a Kenshiro Expy, Megumi, Daigo, Shoji, Ryoko, and Yuuki as Japanese Delinquents, and Shun as a malnourished, barely clothed barbarian; the only remains of Zenji were his glasses.
  • The Face: Later at the Maple Leaf meeting, Eishi reveals that Satoshi was appointed as host and spokesman for the Autumn Election because he is too shy to be in public.
  • Female Gaze: There are plenty of times when readers will see his naked ass.
  • First-Name Basis: In the past with Nene. Their relationship quickly became frosty, though, and both address each other by their family names in the present.
  • Foil: To his childhood friend Nene Kinokuni, the Sixth Seat of the Council of Ten Masters. Both hail from clans specializing in washoku (traditional Japanese cuisine). While the Isshiki family is based in the West (Kyoto), the Kinokuni family is based in the East (Tokyo). Nene appears to be stern, aloof and cold, Satoshi is cheerful, social and warm.
    • It's revealed that this extends to his cooking as well. Like Nene, Isshiki was raised to cook traditional Japanese cuisine. However, he has become known for experimenting with absurd modifications and additions so long as it will produce something new, to the point that Isshiki proudly admits that he does not adhere to any particular tradition, but is willing to try just about anything so long as it creates a flavor that is unique to him.
  • Graceful Loser: Satoshi loses to Eishi in the fourth bout of the Regiment de Cuisine, but he isn't bothered in the very least, even turning down Eishi's offer to join Central and have his expulsion revoked.
  • Home Nudist: He habitually walks around the dorm with very little clothes on. He can be seen wearing a Naked Apron when cooking or a Fundoshi while tending the garden. In fact, his dormmates note that it is difficult to recognize Isshiki when he is wearing clothes outside the dorm.
  • The Host: He had this role for the semifinals and final of the Autumn Election.
  • Hyper-Awareness: Not only is he aware of the 92nd Generation's dormant talents, he also gauges Soma's potential to become a Wild Card and deduces that his presence will likely shuffle the balance of power in the student body, as well as identifying the roots of the resentment of majority of the student body towards him. He also pretty much knew well beforehand that Soma would defeat Etsuya in their shokugeki, and that Azami would kick him, Terunori and Tousuke out of the Council of Ten Masters.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Julio thinks Isshiki is messing around too much during their match and has it in the bag, and then goes on to mock the Polaris dorm as nothing more than dregs holding him down. Isshiki promptly demonstrates a Death Glare that spooks everyone, before gutting an eel so fast and efficiently that the blood vessels take several seconds to bleed, showing how much of a skilled chef he was in an instant. It's at this moment that Julio realizes Isshiki was no longer holding back.
  • Icy Blue Eyes: His eye color is light blue, which gives chills to Soma once Isshiki reveals himself as a member of the Council. He also shows them when Julio Shiratsu pushes his Berserk Button by insulting his friends.
  • Instant Expert: At least from Nene's perspective, since he took much easier to the arts and crafts that she spent years and hard practice to master.
  • Large Ham: On occasion, especially in the anime.
  • Life of the Party: Every time there's a party, Satoshi will appear wearing nothing but an apron or a speedo underneath that, prompting cheers from his roommates.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Career-wise, Nene Kinokuni. Isshiki outright admits that if it hadn't been for her, he would've given up on cooking, having never seen the appeal in it. This is why he's visibly displeased when it seems Nene is close to giving up on cooking herself after her loss to Soma.
  • Lucky Seven: He is the 7th seat of the Council of Ten, and on the first day of the Moon Banquet Festival, his booth placed 7th.
  • Manly Tears: His reaction to Soma's dish, "Revamped Mackerel Onigiri Chazuke", following the welcoming party.
  • Mr. Fanservice: In a series where most of the Fanservice is provided by the female characters (mostly as dream/foodgasm sequences), Satoshi stands out as an example who appears in universe more so than any other character. Not only is he very handsome, but he's also a blatant nudist who is rarely seen wearing anything other than a Naked Apron (with many close-ups of him shaking his ass), a Fundoshi, or a speedo. Even when fully clothed, he still provides plenty of eye candy as a Sharp-Dressed Man.
  • Naked People Are Funny: His tendency to go around naked in the dorms are mostly Played for Laughs, with his fellow dorm mates even cheering him on while he shakes his ass.
  • Nice Guy: Although he is on the prestigious Council of Ten, he is very humble and caring towards his underclassmen, acting like a big brother to them. Insulting them is Satoshi's Berserk Button.
  • No Sense of Personal Space: Satoshi freely uses the intercom and the air ducts to get into his roommates' bedrooms in the most unexpected moments. Don't even try to ignore him, because he will get persistent. He also wanders around almost naked without a care in the world.
  • Perpetual Smiler: He is always in a good mood, even when both Kuga and Eizan are fighting and get him in the middle. Even in the most dire of situations, he meets everything with a smile and never loses his cool.
  • Rank Up: After the Rebels overthrow Central, Isshiki becomes the Second Seat of the Council of Ten Masters.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Unlike most of his Council of Ten peers at the start of the story, he's more professional in dealing with the rest of the student body and acknowledges great talent when he sees it, especially if it has the ability to shake the status quo at Totsuki.
  • Rousing Speech: To Nene, who had been wallowing in self-pity after her loss to Soma.
  • Shaking the Rump: Satoshi seems to be fond of doing this as part of his Naked Apron routine, strutting around and wiggling his butt in front of his dorm mates.
  • Shameless Fanservice Guy: He's a proud Home Nudist who happily lets his dormmates see him in a Naked Apron or a Fundoshi every day.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Soma and Megumi get shocked seeing him in a business suit, admitting he looked super-cool. Later they question if it was really necessary to get dressed for a community cooking school.
  • Sixth Ranger: In order to rescind the expulsions of his underclassmen, he joins Soma, Erina, Megumi, and Takumi in their Team Shokugeki against Central.
  • Sleeps in the Nude: Unsurprisingly because of how much of a Home Nudist he is, Isshiki sleeps in his birthday suit.
  • Supreme Chef: As a member of the Council of Ten, Isshiki is this to the Polaris dorm, though we don't get to see just how good he is until the Regiment de Cuisine. He's so ridiculously fast and skilled that he was able to gut an eel before anyone could process what he was doing, to the point that the eel's body took a few seconds to start bleeding after it had already been dismembered. He then adapts the specialties of all of his dorm mates into a dish that turns the individual flaws in each of the ingredients into strengths, utterly crushing the competition in the process.
  • Tranquil Fury:
    • It's very easy to miss, but during Chapter 102, when he's talking with Eizan, Isshiki comes to the conclusion that the reason the rest of the school looks down on Soma is because most of the students don't want to acknowledge him, because it would also mean they would have to acknowledge their own lack of effort. Through the use of this series' particular variant of Glowing Eyes of Doom, you can see just how much that pisses him off.
    • Another instance happens in Chapter 209 after Julio makes the mistake of insulting his dorm mates. That's the moment Satoshi drops his cheery demeanor and goes all-out, with the full intent to crush his opponent.
    • This is even reflected in his cooking style. Washoku (traditional Japanese cooking) is normally prized for its balanced, simple, and distinct flavors that harmonize with each other gently. Isshiki's variation uses unconventional techniques that amp up the flavors to mind-boggling levels while retaining that incredible balance and clarity, leading it to be described as "extremely aggressive Washoku", with Isshiki himself being portrayed as having a multi-headed dragon at his back.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Played Straight and later subverted. None of the Polaris residents ever question his nudist antics since they're all used to it, but during the post-Fall Selection party at the dorm, non-resident Ikumi immediately questions why no one finds this strange.
  • Worthy Opponent: He's very sure of his dorm-mates' potential (especially Soma and Megumi's), backing their names in the list of Autumn Election candidates, hoping to face them once they're ready.

    Shun Ibusaki 

Shun Ibusaki

Voiced by: Taishi Murata (Japanese), Houston Hayes (English), Martín Gopar (Latin Spanish)

Another freshman resident in the Polaris Dormitory, Shun's specialty is smoked food.

  • Blinding Bangs: His eyes aren't shown for over a hundred chapters, helping to illustrate his quiet attitude. He's actually more fiery than he lets on, however, and gets so worked up during Stagiaire that we finally get a glimpse of his eyes.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Shokugeki no Soma ~à la carte~ has a moment when Satoshi tells him that he basically gives up in spite of being a Sore Loser.
  • Brutal Honesty: He doesn't sugarcoat things, as he can bluntly say how low their chances are, to Yuuki's chagrin.
  • Can't Catch Up: In any other year he probably would have had the top score for the Autumn Election preliminaries, but he fails to make it in at all due to Subaru's intervention. As a result, during Stagiaire Week he's upset that Soma and Megumi seem to be pulling further and further ahead of him. This could be simply a matter of perspective, however, given that he actually scored as high as Megumi did.
  • Covert Pervert: Is hinted at it by Isshiki, who teases him that he wants to hang out with the girls instead of the guys.
  • Chainsaw Good: He uses a chainsaw to cut trees and woods.
  • The Comically Serious: Most of his funny moments come from how he keeps a straight face in front of his more crazy, loud-mouthed roommates.
  • Deadpan Snarker: In the rare moments when he talks, he clearly tells what's on his mind in a condescending manner.
  • Hypocritical Humor: During the Regiment Shokugekis, where Takumi managed to turn the tide on his favor by tracing Eizan's complete record and pull a Batman Gambit on him, Shun comments that he didn't picture Takumi as "the kind to hold grudges". Yuuki is quick to call him out for doing the exact same thing after Mimasaka took the 8th spot from him in the Autumn Election.
  • Messy Hair: Red and messy.
  • No Social Skills: In Shokugeki no Soma ~à la carte~, he sees himself in a kid at the DEF Kitchen who isolated himself from the other children. He tries to help the kid to open up to others.
  • Not So Stoic: On the other hand, this facade is also very prone to breaking. For example, Yuuki notes that he was moping in the smoking room for not making it into the Autumn Election cook-offs, and thus drags him out to celebrate Soma, Megumi and Takumi's qualification. Other incidents include going along with Yuuki cheerleading for Megumi and reacting violently to Ryoko teasing him about how he also wanted to become like Soma, getting worked up during Stagiaire Week because he is still frustrated over his current situation, and is visibly upset at the prospects of Polaris being shut down.
  • Only Sane Man: The most low-key of the dorm residents, but still goes along with whatever the others are planning to do.
  • The Quiet One: Rarely speaks or raises his voice. The only time he speaks loudly is when he gets frustrated at the idea that Soma and Megumi are still ahead of him.
  • Ship Tease: With Ryoko. While he doesn't seem to mind or return, Ryoko likes to tease his emotionless façade, which he denies fiercely. Shokugeki no Soma ~à la carte~ gives a bit more of this, as Ryoko seems to be the only one who can see through his cold exterior.
  • Sore Loser:
    • As Yuuki notes, Shun was so upset at failing to enter the Autumn Election playoffs that he locked himself up in the smoking room while the rest celebrate. Yuuki eventually dragged him out to join the celebrations. She and Ryoko also theorized that he later did extensive research on Subaru as vengeance for losing a slot in the playoffs. While he denies it and addresses it as a recorded fact, they still know that's true.
    • Even though he cleared his Stagiaire Week and even saved a restaurant from bankruptcy, he feels he hasn't done enough yet, frustrated that Soma, Megumi and Satoshi are still way ahead of him.
  • The Stoic: On one hand Shun is very serious and is rarely fazed by anything, let alone Joichiro's weird dishes...
  • Those Two Guys: The anime shows him in most scenes sharing screentime with Zenji. In the ending, his reaction shot is shared with Zenji's.
  • Tsundere: While scolding Isshiki for not being with them defending the dorms, Isshiki compliments their efforts, to which he replied that he couldn't stand letting Soma do all the work. Both Ryoko and Soma are quick to tease him by pointing out his hidden good heart.

    Ryoko Sakaki 

Ryoko Sakaki

Voiced by: Ai Kayano (Japanese), Kelley Peters (English), Rae Bael (Latin Spanish)

One of the three first-year girls from the dorm, Ryoko's specialty is shiokouji (preservatives and fermented ingredients), and spends months preparing them in the dorm basement.

  • Curtains Match the Window: She has reddish hair and red eyes.
  • Dude Magnet: Has a secret fanbase in the student body.
  • The Gadfly: She, along with Yuuki, started to tease Ikumi for her obvious crush on Soma. Also she was teasing Shun for secretly wanting to be as stubborn like Soma, although Shun denied it.
  • Gag Boobs: She has the largest breasts of the Polaris girls, and it's been made fun of on occasion. Yuuki stares at her own chest self-consciously at the sight of her Gainaxing during her table tennis game against Soma, and also complained that her pair have been taking a lot of space in a kiddie pool they and Megumi shared. In one light novel illustration, where she, Yuuki and Shun were also at the DEF Kitchen, one of the kids is grabbing her by the boobs.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Her school fanbase included a number girls fawning over her.
  • Insistent Terminology: It's not illegally brewed sake, it's special fermented rice juice!
  • Military Moonshiner: Played with; she has her own supply of homemade "rice juice" for parties.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She is the girl in the dorm that provides most of the Fanservice (usually focused on her boobs).
  • Onee-sama: Not only does her fanbase call her this, but the judges in the Autumn Election admit her cooking evokes this.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Her hair goes down to her waist, though by her second year she's cut it short.
  • Ship Tease: With Shun. While he doesn't seem to mind or return, Ryoko likes to tease his emotionless façade, which he denies fiercely. Shokugeki no Soma ~à la carte~ gives a bit more of this, as she seems to be the only one who can see through his cold exterior.
  • Straight Man: She is more patient, rational and calm than Yuuki, and also makes a more collected contrast to Megumi when she starts to panic.
  • The Three Faces of Eve: She's the Seductress to Yuuki's Child and Megumi's Wife, being the sexiest and most provocative of the three.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Ryoko is beautiful and graceful, with a secret all-female fanbase in Totsuki.
  • You Gotta Have Blue Hair: She has magenta hair.

    Yuuki Yoshino 

Yuuki Yoshino

Voiced by: Maaya Uchida (Japanese), Luci Christian (English), Micaela Carla Oddera (Latin Spanish)

Another of the three first-year girls at the Polaris Dormitory, Yuuki's forte is poultry and wild game (specifically, specially bred animals) and frequently uses a combination of different fat and meat.

  • Alliterative Name: Both her first and last names starts with Y.
  • A-Cup Angst: She was shown looking at her chest self-consciously when she notices Ryoko Gainaxing during the table tennis match against Soma.
  • Character Tics: She's often seen smiling with her tongue sticking out the side of her mouth.
  • Cute Little Fangs: They are visible whenever she is comically screaming before a challenge.
  • Friend to All Living Things: She breeds many types of farm animals, including deer. Subverted, since she uses them as ingredients.
  • Fangirl: She is the first to organize a cheerleading group for Megumi's round against Ryou Kurokiba. When she made fans with Megumi's name, nobody could refuse, agreeing to use them with embarrassment, while a happy Yuuki was encouraging them.
  • Foil: To Ikumi. Both are meat specialists (Ikumi works with A5 meat, while Yuuki raises special breeds and applies wild game) and are very supportive of their circle of friends. But where Ikumi has trouble expressing friendship towards others (even thought she does like them all), Yuuki is more outgoing and cheerful (to the point that even Ikumi herself can't refuse to join in her clique).
  • Genki Girl: Very cheerful and energetic by default. One of the judges bets this is how she manages to have such good ties with the hunters needed to get her all the wild game she has.
    Andou: Birds and animals are hard to obtain as it is... in order to get some for the Classic, she must be well-connected with hunters. I guess her cheerfulness makes that possible...
  • The Heart: She is the one who maintains the Polaris group together, as she is constantly rooting for Megumi, gathering them for reunions (like dragging Shun to the party for being a sore loser) and keep them cheerful. She also is quick to welcome Ikumi and the Aldini brothers as part of the friends circle. When she gets depressed, Ryoko can literally hear her heart breaking. It isn't until she starts crying when the eviction day is close that everyone else also starts crying as well.
  • Little Red Fighting Hood: In the anime, Fumio deems her natural charisma and cooking talent to a "Red Riding Hood of the forest", completed with an Imagine Spot of her dressed as Red Riding Hood with an sparkles gunshot.
  • Mood-Swinger: Very energetic and emotionally volatile. She can easily go from worried to angry to depressed in just a few panels or go from cheering for Megumi to bawling her eyes out.
  • The Nicknamer: She suffixes some people with "-cchi", such as "Nikumicchi", "Takumicchi" and "Erinacchi".
  • OOC Is Serious Business: It's a very distressing sight to see the usually energetic and happy Yuuki breaking down crying over the prospects of Polaris being shut down.
  • Plucky Girl: Even when the competition and the pressure is heavy, she will find a moment to be quirky and cheer the others. This comes to a head when she improvised her second dish for Erina, who notices that it is of a higher quality than her first serving.
  • Shipper on Deck: She, along with Ryoko, teases Ikumi for having a crush on Soma despite her protests to the contrary. After the tournament, Yuuki is the only one in the audience that can feel the romantic subtext between Akira and Jun after the former hugged her upon winning the Autumn Election.
  • Stepford Smiler: After she didn't make it to the next round in the Autumn Election despite scoring very highly, she claims that she's fine and is as cheerful as ever, but quickly starts to cry when Fumio comes to comfort her.
  • Tender Tears: Yuuki breaks down in anguish over the news that Polaris will be shut down as part of Azami's reforms. It later turns to Tears of Joy after Soma defeats Etsuya and forces him to cancel the demolition.
    • When she realises that the Polaris team can't afford to relax for a second during thje promotion exams, in spite of having everything Totsuki Resort has to offer at their fingertips, she cries literal Tears of Blood.
  • The Three Faces of Eve: The Child to Megumi's Wife and Ryoko's Seductress, being the cheerful, energetic mood-maker of Polaris Dormitory.

    Zenji Marui 

Zenji Marui

Voiced by: Yuusuke Kobayashi (Japanese), Greg Ayres (English), Gabriel España (Latin Spanish)

Another Polaris freshman who comes off as physically weak and pathetic, Zenji happens to be the most educated of his batch, coming up with unique yet unorthodox dishes thanks to his extensive research.

  • Adaptation Expansion: In the anime, he successfully defends Miyazato Seminar during the Survivor's Purge by defeating Rui Kofuru 2-1. In the manga, the fate of the seminar is ambiguous.
  • Badass Bookworm: When he uses his knowledge in the Autumn Election, Zenji scores higher than Ikumi.
  • Bookworm: Frequently seen studying for the theory/written exams.
  • Butt-Monkey: Among the Polaris residents. Besides having his room commandeered by the other residents for parties, Zenji has bad luck with eating dishes — during the end of training camp, he swallows his food badly and is the first to try Joichiro's snake dish.
  • Character Tics: He constantly pushes his glasses up his nose with the fingers of his right hand.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Walked all over by even his dorm mates and only fails out during the training camp, but he's actually very knowledgeable about cooking. He just has terrible stamina. During the Autumn Election preliminaries he manages to get an 88, which is higher than or equal to anyone in the dorm apart from Soma.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: After seeing his performance at the Fall Classic and tying in the Fifth Place with Shun in the preliminaries, the others express their newfound respect for him... While still invading his room. Marui just looks resigned.
  • Extreme Doormat: His roommates always pick his room to have hangouts, reunions and welcoming parties and leaves him to do the cleaning. And even after showing his roommates how skilled he is and they declare a newfound respect for him, Zenji notes they're still using his room without asking.
  • Hollywood Nerd: Actually quite handsome when he's drawn nicely (i.e. when he's not in his nervous breakdowns).
  • Nervous Wreck: During training camp, where he's constantly seen exhausted and on edge.
  • Opaque Nerd Glasses: Most of the time.
  • Ship Tease: Gets some with fellow Miyazato Seminar member Madoka Enomoto, when she helps him during the beach exams in the second year.
  • The Smart Guy: While he's physically weak, he is extremely knowledgeable in the science of flavours, and is considered a "walking flavour dictionary" by his classmates.
  • Smart People Wear Glasses: Downplayed. While Marui is very smart, he's not the smartest character, and there are some fields that are just beyond his knowledge. Alice's molecular gastronomy techniques, for instance, is not something he could explain to his peers when they are watching her match against Soma during the Autumn Election quarterfinals.
    Yuuki: Are those glasses just for show?!
    • The entire Miyazato Seminar, the research club he is a part of, all wear glasses.
  • The Strategist: Nicknamed "The Walking Flavor Dictionary" by those in his club.
  • Teen Genius: Is The Ace of the Miyazato Seminar, which specializes in research and analysis of classical literature about gourmet food, despite being only a freshman.
  • Those Two Guys: The anime shows him in most scenes sharing screentime with Shun. In the ending, his reaction shot is shared with Shun's.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Zenji barely passed training camp, as it was a test of endurance and stamina. Having a month to prepare and research for a strategy in the Autumn Election allowed him to cook smoothly, with no signs of the nervousness and fatigue that plagued him during the training camp, and granted him a score of 88 in the preliminaries, tying with Shun. For reference, it's stated that many years nobody has a score above 80 thanks to the harsh judges. Later on, the Stagiaire Period left him extremely drained and looking gaunt, even more than the training camp did, but he stated that his knowledge made it simple for him to give worthy contributions and good results in the places he was assigned to.

    Daigo Aoki and Shoji Sato 

Daigo voiced by: Junichi Yanagita (Japanese), Andrew Love (English), Alejandro Bono (Latin Spanish)
Shoji voiced by: Kengo Kawanishi (Japanese), Corey Hartzog (English), Mathias Rapisarda (Latin Spanish)
Daigo Aoki
Shoji Sato

The last two members of the Polaris Dormitory. Even though they appeared early in the series, their names were not mentioned in-story until the Stagiaire arc's finale.

  • Ascended Extra: While still very minor characters, their parts in the anime are significantly bigger than in the manga, as they have more scenes, and even their names and rooms are given right away.
  • Bash Brothers: Separated, they are as good as the other Polaris Dorm resident. Working together, they make an even better team, as demonstrated during their Internship week.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Both Daigo and Shouji were very protective of Megumi when other students were badmouthing her.
  • Butt-Monkey: Applies to Daigo. Ikumi beat him up for putting sauce to a wagyuu beef and calling her "Nikumi", completed with an X-Ray camera of his poor vertebrae. Also he is the first one to get a bad feedback from Erina (but it only makes him more determined to get it right) and tries to call her "Erina-chan" with no avail.
  • Hot-Blooded: The two are often in fights with each other. Also during their Internship, their boss said aloud that initially he was going to give them minor chores, to which Daigo almost lost it.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: During one of their Stagiaire internships, their chef compliments them:
    "At first, I thought you were just side characters... but you've got some skills!"
  • No Name Given: Their names are never mentioned in the main story. Supplementary materials reveal them as Daigo Aoki (the black haired guy) and Shoji Sato (the one with light colored hair). Averted in the anime, where their names are given right away along with their roommates'.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: While all their roommates were selected to participate in the Autumn Election, they are still much more talented than the average Totsuki students, as they successfully cleared both the Training Camp and the Stagiaire Periods.
  • Those Two Guys: They only appear together to cheer for their roommates in the tournament. Even during the Stagiaire Period, they got assigned to the same place.
  • Undying Loyalty: The two are very protective of their dorm's name and reputation. Even during their internship, they both exclaimed to not underestimate the Polaris Dorm's abilities.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: They are often bickering with each other at the parties to compare who did the best dish.

    Fumio Daimidou 

Fumio Daimidou

Voiced by: Mari Yokoo (Elderly), Hitomi Nabatame (Teenager) (Japanese), Joanne Bonasso (English), Andrea Sala Rigler (Elderly), Tamara Veppo (Teenager) (Latin Spanish)

Housekeeper of the Polaris Dormitory.

  • Break Out the Museum Piece: When Eizan's goons come to force an eviction, she brings out relics from Polaris Dormitory's golden age. See, they racked up so many victories that raids from resentful students were common. So they had to defend themselves, just like they do now. These relics include hard hats, metal riot shields, pole-like sticks, and a fire hose.
  • Cool Old Lady: Supports the residents and lets them have parties at night.
  • Drop-In Landlord: She's much older than the high school-aged residents and acts as something like a strict mother figure. She's friendly to them, while also the voice of authority in the dorm.
  • Glory Days: Fumio constantly talks of a generation of Polaris residents who were all part of the Council of Ten Masters.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: If her flashback (or at least her foodgasm) is any indication, she was quite beautiful in her youth.
  • Kindly Housekeeper: Played with; Fumio allows anyone to stay, provided they make her a good dish. Supposedly, it took three months for Megumi to please her.
  • Parental Substitute: She's the only adult in the dorm. Even after so many years, her former residents are still in touch with her. Gin sends her cards and gifts at New Years, and Joichiro stops by unannounced and calls her "Ma".
  • Red Baron: "Polaris Maria" and "Polaris Grandma".
  • So Proud of You: During the Autumn Election, she expressed to both Megumi and Yuuki how proud she was of their performances.
  • Team Mom: Has a good relationship with the residents and roots for them to pass their challenges. She even keeps in touch with previous students like Gin and Joichiro.

Alternative Title(s): Shokugeki No Soma Polaris


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: