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  • Alternate Character Interpretation
    • Is Hisako Arato truly just an Undying Loyal Sidekick who only wishes to stand alongside her friend Erina Nakiri or does she hold some form of romantic affections for her (such as this reaction)? What about the few times she attempted to downplay Soma Yukihira for giving Erina a rough time? By the "Fall Classic", a third camp believes Hisako might be a Yandere towards Erina.
      • This changed once Hisako received Character Development/expansion during the "Stagiaire Period Arc" when she admitted to Soma she wants to be friends with Erina, but the social distance between them, as well as Erina being the "God Tongue", makes her hesitate to be overly familiar. The most frequent question about Hisako is whether she is friendly and grateful towards Soma or has Hisako herself developed a crush on him post-Stagiaire Period Arc?
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    • Eishi Tsukasa's vote for Azami Nakiri as the new director: did he really sympathize with his ideals of standardizing the student body or was Eishi merely playing along while hiding his true colors? Another question arose after his impromptu match with Soma: did he believe Soma was too troublesome for him to keep on as an assistant or did Eishi have an ulterior motive to either help or hurt Soma in the long run?
      • The former would be answered via Flashback: Azami befriended Eishi several months prior to the "Totsuki Reformation Arc" and slowly Brainwashed him into accepting his ideals.
    • Is Akira Hayama devoted to Jun Shiomi because she is his surrogate mother and savior or are his affections for her deeper via a romantic way? It's not helped by Yuuki Yoshino's reaction to their spontaneous hug at the end of the Fall Classic.
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    • Leonora Nakiri's broken Japanese and her subsequent "disrobing" in the Fall Classic: was she shy until she tasted good food or was she putting on this act to surprise the audience?
    • Asahi Saiba and his past regarding Joichiro Saiba abandoning him to fend for his own: Sympathy for the Devil or Unreliable Narrator at best? Supporting this train of thought is Erina suspecting In-Universe the former isn't being fully truthful.
    • Senzaemon Nakiri's "Jewel Generation" plan: was its purpose to further Totsuki's glory or simply a means to turn Erina into its greatest chef? Despite his preaching throughout the narrative about how chefs must prove their worth by their own merit, he plays favorites when it comes to his granddaughter - kept her sheltered within Totsuki's institutions, handpicked her batchmates to serve as her stepping stones and promotes Erina to the Council of Ten Masters at a young age. What doesn't help Senzaemon's case is an admittance of such a selfish scheme or how he doesn't care about what happens to other students, so long as it's in the name of saving Erina from the God Tongue's curse.
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  • Anti-Climax: The final chapters of the Manga repeatedly stresses that satisfying Mana Nakiri's God Tongue is an exceedingly difficult task, not just for professional chefs, but also other Nakiri members. Soma and Asahi's best efforts aren't enough to warrant praise from Mana, while Erina believes is downtrodden with the revelation, yet continues to compete into the BLUE's final round. After tasting Soma's dish, she regains her confidence and effortlessly produces a dish to her mother's expectations, winning the tournament. Unfortuately, Erina's dish and its presentation to Mana is handled off-screen, with the issue of the God Tongue's curse on Mana only implied to have been resolved.
  • Anti-Climax Boss
    • The four Central recruits during the "Elite Ten Invasion Arc" were built up as a new group of students facing off against Soma and company, but they're cast aside rather quickly by the end of it - while Rentarou Kusunoki got his own on-screen Shokugeki against Ryou Kurokiba, fellow members Mea Yanai and Shigemichi Kumai were defeated by Megumi Tadakoro and Ikumi Mito through a one-chapter Montage; fourth member Rui Kofuru turned into an afterthought for the Manga and it's only through Adaptation Expansion for the Anime that it's revealed she lost to Zenji Marui during the same Montage. For a group who is seen as The Proud Elite, they don't have the skills to back their claims up.
    • Megumi and Takumi Aldini escape the Curb-Stomp Battle the Council of Ten Masters gave to the "Rebels" during the "Hokkaido Promotion Exam Arc" because they were assigned Rindou Kobayashi, who simply asked them to make a delicious dish to pass rather than challenge them to a Shokugeki they would most likely lose. Justified when the latter is seen as a Wild Card among the antagonists.
    • The Le Cuisiner Noir chefs are touted as the cream of the crop and the top candidates at the prestigious BLUE competition such that the "light chefs" are overwhelmed by their respective skills, yet none who are named Asahi are easily trounced by Soma, Takumi and Megumi.
  • Arc Fatigue
    • The Fall Classic got hit hard with this.
      • The exhaustion came about during its preliminary challenge where ten or so chapters are devoted to showcasing every curry dish made by major AND side-characters introduced from the first-year students. Fans agree this is to invoke Character Development, but some wanted the plot to move along and re-focus on Soma.
      • The second exhaustion is the tournament itself due to dragging on for over 40 chapters, with each match requiring culinary explanations and fine details; the result is three to five chapters each. By the time of the finals, readers were wishing for the story to just move on from this Tournament Arc.
    • The bear meat duel between Soma and Akira in the Promotion Exam Arc: readers were already groaning in exhaustion when they realized that not only was the meat getting tested but the accompanying sauce, as well. It still took several chapters just to announce who the winner is.
    • Dethroning the Fall Classic as the longest arc of the series is the fight against Central, though this becomes a mixed case: it's more of a saga due to smaller Story Arcs surrounding Central's involvement, which helps break up the fatigue. For perspective, however, Azami made his debut at Chapter 131; one-hundred thirty one chapters later, the conflict against Central finally reaches its conclusion - two and a half years of in Real Life.
  • Ass Pull
    • Subaru Mimasaka coming out-of-nowhere to take one of the eight finalist spots for the Fall Classic was seen as this for readers who would rather see someone they'd gotten to know over the course of the manga to battle in the finals, the largest one being Shun Ibusaki getting the shaft. Subaru becoming a huge Base-Breaking Character later on did not help matters.
    • A portion of the fans were less than happy about how the Shokugeki between Subaru and Takumi went, not necessarily due to the results, but from the former's dish — in the words of some, it's a "Deus ex Machina it-has-everything" dish.
    • The Reveal of Asahi in Chapter 271: whereas Azami was hinted at, this character had no prior Foreshadowing and is instantly dropped onto the audience with little build up to the on-going Le Cuisiner Noir plot. That this character effortlessly defeats Jouichirou just to establish the next Arc Villain is seen as a divisive narrative choice.
    • As if fans weren't angry enough about Asahi's introduction, Chapter 296 introduces a "superpower" called "Cross Knives", where the character copies fellow Le Cuisiner Noir chefs' cooking styles and implements effortlessly. Superhuman abilities were Downplayed in prior arcs since they had a logical basis with regards to culinary skills, a keen sense of smell or a refined palate; this includes Subaru's methods (see Base-Breaking Character). However, Cross Knives' utility is too fantastical for a grounded Shounen series and more comparable to an ability from a Naruto or Hunter × Hunter villain. This trope applies not because of its use, but rather in the same chapter Cross Knives is revealed, Asahi defeats Eishi without any struggles.
    • The God Tongue, a talent Erina possessed since the beginning of the series, is actually a genetic curse that eventually leaves its user with the inability to eat normal food, is a baffling revelation. Up until late into the last Story Arc, the God Tongue was consistently treated as a "blessing" by all parties, including the Nakiri family and, most glaringly, Erina herself.
    • The final Arc Villain being Azami's illegitimate son and Erina's older half-brother in Le Dessert: once again, there was no Foreshadowing in the series proper about this relation, and since this comes up in the penultimate chapter before the Grand Finale, it has no relevance to the overall plot other than a way of resolving this character's arc.
  • Author's Saving Throw
    • Introducing Erina's abusive father Azami was this for some readers who had always viewed Erina as a Jerkass with little-to-no redeeming qualities to her character apart from being a loose Tsundere. That this revelation humanizes her character to a certain degree justified why she's such a huge Academic Alpha Bitch.
    • Fans of the Animated Adaptation praise how Erina's role is expanded in proportion to the amount of time given to her in the manga (before Azami enters the picture), possibly as a response from readers joking about what exactly is her role in the story.
    • One could argue the anime also attempted to be this by powering through the Fall Classic Tournament Arc, which suffered high Arc Fatigue for some fans when it was first done in the manga. As a result though, it ended up suffering major criticism for Compressed Adaptation.
    • A criticism of Azami during the "Central saga" was unclear motivations and cartoonish supervillain behavior. The BLUE Tournament Arc digs deeper into his back-story by filling in the gap between Jouichiro leaving and Azami's abuse of Erina: while Azami's Start To Darkness began during his time at Totsuki, he briefly regained his passion for cooking when he met Mana. Believing he could support her in the way he couldn't for Jouichiro, Mana's God Tongue eventually took its toll on her and she left her family. Afraid Erina will eventually suffer the same fate as her mother, he crossed the Moral Horizon out of the belief he could prevent it from happening again, like it did to his Senpai and wife.
    • Due to the poor reception of Asahi defeating Joichiro off-screen, it's implied by Soma, after his rematch and victory against Asahi in the BLUE, that Jouichiro let him win, as Soma is unconvinced his father would lose so easily. It's further hinted that Joichiro may have planned this from the beginning in order to give Asahi a piece of Humble Pie.
  • Awesome Art: Fans agree Shun "tosh" Saeki's drawings are very beautiful and awesome. The character designs, whether female or male, are excellent, the great details of the dishes make them look very delicious, the "foodgasm" reactions (or any form of reception to the dishes) are illustrated well, and the badass auras of the chefs are very entertaining, including the creative Imagine Spots.
  • Base-Breaking Character
    • Although he's the person the series is named after, Soma is either a well-written, confident character having a level of Determinator atypical of the standard Shounen protagonist, or a character who keeps winning with a few losses to his name (Soma never faces the consequences of his losses), and is constantly promoted over an ensemble cast of characters who garner little characterization or development of their own. That he has achieved the first seat in the Council of Ten Masters, despite not directly defeating Eishi one-on-one when it was primarily due to Erina, adds ammunition to the accusations.
      • Another point of contention is whether Soma's character has become static post-Central: while many still enjoy seeing his level of confidence and feel he's earned his position as the first seat, others feel Soma hasn't received enough Character Development and his cooking has stagnated, particularly when the later Story Arcs are putting less emphasis on him learning new techniques. His goal of surpassing his father to succeed him as proprietor of their diner has been undermined by Jouichiro losing to Asahi, which hasn't helped readers since this zigzags his motivations elsewhere.
    • Either Erina is an excellent rival and heroine to the series or she doesn't deserve the spotlight because of her Jerkass qualities and rarely appears in the plot despite receiving top billing in promotional materials. However, she's more universally popular with Japanese readers and placed runner-up in the first character poll and top spot in the second.
      • Despite the subtle Character Development, while some readers appreciated how her flaws and personal history were being revealed, others pointed out Erina had been reduced to a Neutral Female during the Totsuki Reformation Arc; Averted after the latter concluded. However, the last Story Arc in the BLUE tournament has reignited debate about Erina reverting back to an Ice Queen personality in an effort to prove Mana's low expectations about her wrong. Some fans feel this makes Erina more interesting by delving into her relationship with the latter, but others are frustrated this renders Erina into Aesop Amnesia, who has forgotten what she had learned from the Central saga by escaping Azami's toxic influence over her.
      • With the conclusion of Le Dessert, Shokugeki no Soma seems to be have been written to always favor Erina over everyone else, including the main protagonist, Soma: sheltered by her grandfather within Totsuki's elitist environment, effortlessly sweeps all honors, constantly praised as a Child Prodigy and worshipped by her peers with the Popularity Power to back it up. Despite No Social Skills, Erina is viewed as a good friend and is never held accountable for her Jerkass tendencies, while her God Tongue guarantees effortless victories irrespective of the opponentnote . Many members of the 92nd generation are retroactively revealed to be handpicked by Senzaemon for the purpose of grooming Erina as the best chef of her generation, and in the BLUE's final round, despite being an emotional wreck over pleasing her mother, she instantly gains a Heroic Second Wind by performing an impossible task, winning the championship yet the narrative never shows how she earns it.
    • Megumi has quite a few vocal detractors on Japanese anime/manga forums. Despite being in the primary cast and being thought of as a chef with great potential, the number of on-screen losses outnumbering her on-screen wins and her increasing lack of focus makes it feel like she hasn't properly grown as a chef. On the other hand, her sweet demeanor, early series plots, and her making great strides to grow from one of the weaker chefs to a talented chef in her own right has endeared her to a lot of fans.
    • Subaru quickly became despised after his "perfect" win over fan-favorite Takumi. It doesn't help he's established to be a great cooking competitor, yet comes out from nowhere to take the eighth spot in the Fall Classic finals. Additionally, he doesn't follow usual culinary methods others find to be biased and unfairnote , nor does Subaru have a food-based Signature Style like the rest of the students. However, others state that this simply propels Subaru into Magnificent Bastardry: he thrives on the fact a Shokugeki is simply, at its core, "which dish tastes better" and runs with it. Beating Takumi wasn't entirely an Ass Pull when the judges stated Subaru goes above and beyond with the recipe to surpass and outstrip Takumi's own. Effectively, the win was Subaru's Establishing Character Moment, setting him up as a top contender and rival to the rest of the first-years.
    • Akira used to have a large fanbase earning him the ninth spot in the first popularity poll, even though he had only appeared for a few panels at that point in the manga. While many still like him for his looks and cool, helpful attitude, a fair share of detractors thought his overconfidence in his sense of smell was obnoxious, or find the way his specialty in aromas and spices seem to give him almost effortless victories boring. Having him win the Fall Classic to wrap up the infuriatingly long arc was too much for many readers, causing them to drop the series altogether. In fact, when he made his reappearance as a member of Central, the manga's ratings began decreasing, hitting dangerous lows during his painfully drawn-out rematch with Soma only to snap back up to the top quarter again once Akira was defeated and shunted back Out of Focus.
    • Terunori Kuga, the eighth seat on the Council of Ten Masters, became this due to haughty personality, short temper and sadist fixation for Sichuan cuisine. Some readers hate him because of this, while others think he is a good rival for Soma.
    • Azami, especially when he's pretty much the reason Erina is the way she is. Some fans find this as a cheap, cliched Freudian Excuse to give a previously unpleasant character sympathy by showing her as an abuse victim, but others state this was a natural outcome and the series was going to deal with/justify Erina's attitude eventually. On the other hand, Azami's motivations stemming from his idol Joichiro dropping out of school, which kicked off his Start of Darkness to end the cutthroat practices of Totsuki, lessened some of this trope for the character.
    • Urara Kawashima is this In-Universe and for the fandom: similar to how male students consider her adorable, yet girls hate her Attention Whore status, parts of the fandom like her for being a cute Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, while others find her fake, annoying and useless. This intensified during the Hokkaido Promotion Exam Arc, where she's Brainwashed into siding with Central and is openly hostile towards the Rebels instead of being a neutral host. It's no surprise a lot of fans have expressed her naughtiness has crossed the line, making her awful to watch.
    • The World Gourmet Organization judges in the "Régiment de Cuisine", considering they are just as much a part of the arc as the chefs due to it running for so long: in particular, Anne has fans due to her appearance and reactions, yet detractors claim because her vote for Megumi is based on her "potential", when she previously considered Momo Akanegakubo's dish the superior choice, thus decrying the act as a "pity vote", made some lose respect for her as an unbiased examiner. Meanwhile, Anne's fellow judges Historie and Charme are similarly liked for their reactions to the competitors' dishes or not thought of otherwise.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: To the uninitiated, the series is best recognized for its "foodgasm" scenes. Shonen Jump even ran a popularity contest where voters got to rank their favorite reactions. It's inevitable though, given the head artist was a former hentai artist before starting on this series.
  • Bishōnen Jump Syndrome: Many of the male characters are drawn very prettily, such as Takumi, Satoshi Isshiki and Akira. In the Fall Classic, Isami Aldini not only slims down, but turns into Tall, Dark, and Handsome; even Zenji Marui, the resident Butt-Monkey Extreme Doormat, is drawn nicely.
  • Crack Pairing: A number of people had jokingly shipped Soma with Fumio Daimidou after Chapter 96 where, in a moment of excitement, the former declares "I love you, Fumio-san!" while hugging the latter.
  • Creepy Awesome: Subaru, the "King of Stalkers", who often has the expression of a devil, but the fact he's so adept at stalking it rivals or surpasses the level of Yuno Gasai.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse
    • Weekly Shonen Jump ran a few popularity polls for the characters, which made for a handy gauge.
      • Takumi reached fourth place in the first poll and third in the second, placing behind Soma and Erina (and Megumi in the first poll, switching places with her later in the second), despite his minor contributions: one impromptu match against Soma during the "Training Camp Arc" and his loss in the first match of the main tournament to show how good Subaru is.
      • As of the first popularity poll, Shun was placed tenth despite having few lines of dialogue and scenes. Likewise, Akira was placed ninth, even though he's one of the last first-year students to be introduced; he rose to eighth by the second poll.
      • Jerkass alumnus Koujirou Shinomiya was ranked fifth in the first poll and seventh in the second even though he has appeared briefly during the Training Camp and the "Stagiaire Period Arc", which might have come too late for the second poll! Western fans seem to be more receptive to him, to wit his "Chou Farci" dish was placed second in the dish poll. Above all else, he's the first character to receive the Spin-Off series Shokugeki no Soma: Etoile.
      • Alice Nakiri and Ikumi Mito have gained a noticeable fanbase too, largely from the former being The Ace and The Tease, the latter being Ms. Fanservice, and having occasional Ship Tease with Soma. Both placed among the top ten in each of the character polls to date, with Alice managing third in the latest poll, beating both Soma and Takumi.
      • Hisako got a boost in popularity post-Stagiaire Period Arc where she and Soma worked well as a team, placing fifth in the second poll higher than Alice by a single vote, ascending from fourteenth in the first. To readers' surprise, she was voted runner-up in the third poll behind Erina, placing two spots higher than Soma, the main character.
      • Honorable mention goes to Ryou, who placed eleventh in the second after barely reaching the top twenty in the first one.
    • The introduction of the remaining Council of Ten Masters for a "meet-and-greet" drove fans crazy with excitement, particularly with regards to first seat Eishi, a very handsome, yet charmingly Adorkable character, and second seat Rindou who gives off a large presence that is mysterious, intimidating and sexy all-in-one packagenote . Reinforced with the "Moon Banquet Festival Arc" where the two get more of the spotlight: Eishi is a supremely confident chef despite being timid otherwise, while Rindou is the friendly mentor-type senior who gives off a Distaff Counterpart vibe to Soma or Joichironote . Rindou even came in at seventh place on the third popularity poll despite being a relatively new addition to the series, beating out previou previous holder Takumi.
    • While Subaru had a rough start due to his villainous role during the Fall Classic, him turning into a supporting character in the Moon Banquet Festival Arc and assisting the Rebels in the Hokkaido Promotion Exam Arc has fans warmly receive his prescence, with his part in the former being called one of the highlights of the arc.
    • Fifth seat Soumei Saitou on the Council quickly turned popular in the Régiment de Cuisine, thanks to being one of least antagonistic members of the Ten Masters, even lending his sword to Subaru to aid in the latter's "Perfect Trace" during their match-up, alongside a sympathetic back-story and motivation.
  • Epileptic Trees: The identity and importance of Rindou in the story had people guessing all over the place about her abilities and origins. Based on her color palette's similarities to Soma and Joichiro, but also due to personality and behavior similarities, a lot of people speculated she's related to them in some way - the same cheerful Trolling demeanor, is often likened to a cat while Joichiro is compared to a stray dog and ate from every booth during the Moon Banquet Festival Arc akin to Joichiro traveling the world to try and cook its diverse cuisine. As the Story Arcs continued, so did the parallels - Rindou only holds the second seat on the Council of Ten Masters due to laziness and self-imposed limitations, just like Joichiro, with her specialty being rare ingredients, such as alligator. She's also traveled the world looking for new exotic tastes. What's odd is no one In-Universe ever picks up on these similarities. At this point, it seems as if Rindou's either related to Soma and Joichiro in one form or another, or a case can be made about a Trolling Creator in the works.
  • Fanon Discontinuity: Due to the numerous entries surrounding the Le Cuisiner Noir chefs and the last Arc Villain that are listed on this page, expect many readers proclaiming the final Story Arc and Le Dessert doesn't exist - that the series ended when the Central saga was complete.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple
    • Though Soma's shipped with many of the cast, his biggest ships include Megumi and Erina, as they get the lion's share of Ship Tease and are extremely popular. Meanwhile, Soma/Takumi is the most popular between the Yaoi Fangirls for loads of Foe Yay, Ho Yay, both being handsome, extremely talented and having excellent chemistry.
    • Satoshi and sixth seat Nene Kinokuni exploded during the Régiment de Cuisine, not only for the fact that they're Childhood Friends, but also because of Satoshi's confession of how he deeply respects Nene, as she was the one who inspired his love of cooking through her hard work and beautiful profile.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Some fans (such as this podcast episode of Weekly Manga Recap) have pointed out Central soldier Rentarou's character design to feature this - a headband, orange messy hair, face-tattoos, eyebrow piercing, another tattoo around the wrist, an inverted cross-pendant on the ear that looks too heavy to wear in Real Life, a red chef suit with cross-motifs and Capri pants. Due to his looks, readers on forums have nicknamed him "Hisoka" or "Visual Kei Reject". While some argue it's normal for this genre to feature villains with over-the-top appearances, others point out Ikumi, who's allowed to walk around in a bikini top and short shorts, isn't called out for her appearance.
  • Foe Yay
    • Erina/Soma, fueled by the Irony Erina has a crush on Soma's father Joichiro.
    • Takumi/Soma, to the point Takumi can't stand Soma having other rivals but him.
    • By the Fall Classic, Akira/Soma; worth mentioning is in their bear meat duel during the Hokkaido Promotion Exam Arc, Soma made his dish specifically with Akira in mind.
    • Given they had an unsanctioned Shokugeki during Training Camp, Koujirou/Megumi; Downplayed when the former returns to mentor the latter for the Hokkaido Promotion Exam Arc.
    • Before the Fall Classic final, shippers also started to do art of Ryou/Akira: both developed a fierce rivalry during their match and, once they make it to the finale against Soma, they dismissed the latter's relevance as a rival to focus on each other, instead.
    • Similar to the Koujirou/Megumi example, Soma/Tsukasa due to an impromptu duel upon the former discovering what Central's modus operandi really is.
    • In Chapter 194, Azami is eager to force Joichiro to adopt his ideology and become his servant.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: If this poll is any indication, western viewers rank Megumi higher than Takumi. This is more-or-less thanks to her being one of the most well-written Shrinking Violet Nice Girls thanks to her Character Development during Training Camp.
  • Harsher in Hindsight
    • Everything about Erina's personality becomes a lot worse because she was basically corrupted by her father into being like this from the start.
    • The motivations of the Big Bad in the Central saga become clearer and easier to understand post-Flashback: Azami Used to Be a Sweet Kid who idolized Joichiro, to the point where he hated Totsuki's high standards because of the emotional trauma resulting in the latter's mental breakdown and drop out from the school. While it's clear his actions are radical and tyrannical, it's understandable the cutthroat rhythm at Totsuki is what Azami feels has ruined his idol's brilliant future as a gourmet chef.
    • To win Erina over in the Central saga from joining the Arc Villain, Soma makes her an inventive dish using low-quality eggs. Hisako has a Freak Out!, worried that Erina's God Tongue will trigger an adverse reaction to consuming such an ingredient, but it's Played for Laughs when she enjoys the meal. Fast foward to the last Story Arc and Mana's God Tongue has become so sensitive, she hardly consumes food except via intravenous nutrients. It's indicated this is the fate of any Nakiri born with the God Tongue, including Erina, making Hisako's panic attack less comedic when there's legitimate concern about Erina's culinary future.
    • Asahi's plan to convince Erina to marry him in the last Story Arc earns a degree of Squick when Le Dessert reveals they are half-siblings.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight
    • At the end of the Training Camp Arc, the Legendary Alumni accused Koujirou of attempting to recruit Soma and Megumi to work as interns for his restaurant. Cut to the Stagiaire Period Arc and Soma has to work at Koujirou's restaurant SHINO's as the second part of the Stagiaire challenge. Additional Hilarity Ensues when he personally trains Megumi for the Régiment de Cuisine.
    • The fact that Hisako Kanemoto took over for Risa Taneda as the voice of Erina in the third season of the Animated Adaptation; even in Real Life, there is a Hisako supporting Erina.
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: For the longest time, Joichiro was the undisputed best chef in the series, but Chapter 271 of the Manga introduces Asahi, who instigated the invasion of Le Cuisiner Noir. Shortly after Soma calls his father for details, Asahi defeats Jouichiro in a Shokugeki by unanimous decision.
  • Ho Yay: Has its own page.
  • Incest Yay Shipping: The most popular ones are the inevitable Twincest between Takumi/Isami and Kissing Cousins between Alice/Erina.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!:
    • As the series continues, the repetitive nature of how cooking matches go down, be they a Shokugeki or not, become predictable by readers. Between two competing chefs, the formula is as follows.
      • Two or three chapters of the cooks making their respective dishes
      • One chapter dedicated to revealing one chef's dish
      • A follow-up chapter showing the opponent's dish
      • The battle ends with the judges declaring a winner; this repeating formula is part of the reason why Arc Fatigue started kicking in during certain Story Arcs.
    • The Le Cuisiner Noir Story Arc putting Erina through another situation where she has to overcome, or be saved, from an abusive parent, this time being her mother, isn't sitting well with a lot of readers. This is due to it making her character arc from the previous Central saga feel like it amounted to nothing since she's in the same position again, and has to break out of her Ice Queen persona once more.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships
  • Love to Hate
    • Right from his introduction, Azami garnered a lot of hate because of his elitist views of the culinary world and parental abuse towards Erina. On the other hand, his motivations and personality make him more than just a petty, simplistic Big Bad, given The Reveal he has a history with Soma's father Joichiro. Additionally, it's always interesting to see how he fills the series' Nightmare Fuel with his absolutely chilling demeanor.
    • Pre-Character Development, Subaru was a creepy, unpleasant stalker whose means of winning leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth, leading to a Heroic BSoD for Takumi. Despite that, his sheer attention to detail and everyone's Imagine Spots of him as a maiden are hilarious, not to mention that as a Jack-of-All-Trades, he was presented as an interesting roadblock to Soma, who is also incredibly versatile and adaptive.
    • Etsuya slowly built a hated reputation: while he was already an unpleasant person, following Azami's takeover, he shows his true nature as a blatant cheat who manipulated judges just to establish that challenging him to a Shokugeki was useless. Naturally, fans anticipated how and when his downfall took place; furthermore, that Etsuya falls into a similar predicament against Takumi in the Régiment de Cuisine renders him into a pitiable antagonist.
    • The new Central soldiers immediately irked fans as soon as they are introduced due to loads of Jerkass behavior, to wit Soma and Takumi In-Universe confront them right away. Even though Ryou is the one who faces Rentarou first, fans collectively celebrated when he wins; the same applies when Ikumi and Megumi defeat Mea and Shigemichi, respectively (though off-screen). While Rentarou at least gets to display his cooking prowess, the others are unfortunately given little to none of the limelight.
  • Memetic Badass: Megumi as a hilariously out-of-character Japanese Delinquent, seen during Satoshi's dream sequence in the Training Camp Arc, resulting in a second appearance for a chapter cover art and in an Imagine Spot during her match against Ryou in the Tournament Arc. Since then, the fanbase has been doing fanworks of her as this.
  • Memetic Molester
    • Subaru was instantly pegged a "creepy stalker" by fans long before it was confirmed he was one.
    • Nao stalking Erina and Hisako: whereas Subaru does it as part of his strategy for a Shokugeki, Nao's obsession is treated in a more comedic tone, never mind she harrasses the girls with countless letters, follows their every move with binoculars and tries to cast curses on whoever approaches them (initially towards Hisako for being closer to Erina, then intended to do so to Soma for working with Hisako until they bonded).
    • Azami has been labeled the "Pervert Parent" when Erina's attitude is a by-product of him Brainwashing her by putting her into a dark room with him and hurting her if she refused to do as he says; not helped by the fact he wants to isolate Erina so "he can be the only person she can rely on", stating all this in the creepiest way imaginable. Clearly father of the year material; meanwhile, fan reaction got worse with Flashbacks to how he recruited Eishi to Central, where Azami came across as creepily seductive towards a vulnerable teenager.
  • Memetic Mutation
    • Foodgasmnote 
    • Shokugeki no Soma is a cooking manganote 
      • Shokugeki no Soma is a (blank) manga.note 
      • (blank) is a (blank) manga.note 
    • Poor turtlenote 
      • Poor alligatornote 
    • Sonzonednote 
    • Shokugeki no Soma: Civil War note 
    • Inadequate Servicenote 
    • HERE'S AZAMI note 
    • Notice me, Senpainote 
    • Food Nazis note 
    • Where the hell is Akira?!note 
    • Asahi is All For Onenote 
  • Moe
  • Narm
    • It becomes hard to take the story seriously when almost everyone who treats Soma and his allies like crap breaks out their own little Psychotic Smirk.
    • The Nakiri clan's "stripping" normally qualifies for Narm Charm because its over-the-top nature is Played for Laughs as one of the family's oddities. The one time it's Played for Drama is during Azami's Villainous Breakdown in the Régiment de Cuisine finale - the ridiculousness hits the audience full force and the climax of the story features Azami indirectly stripping students around him of their clothes, as he's in denial of Erina's dish, before finally succumbing himself.
    • The Le Cuisiner Noir Story Arc take its food preparation methods Up to Eleven, with one cook using a chainsaw and dynamite to prepare a dish. That the audience In-Universe treat such meticulous skills as a superhuman feat is laughable and hard to take seriously when prior arcs, despite being just as over-the-top visually, didn't resort to such showmanship within context.
  • Narm Charm: Whenever Soma or his friends shows up their opponents, it's almost always a Moment of Awesome; in fact, the entire series runs off of this. Its self-aware nature combined with extremely detailed art makes readers forget that Shokugeki no Soma is a cooking manga.
  • Never Live It Down
    • Takumi is consistently shown to be among the strongest of Soma's year and has only one major loss to Subaru, in spite of his chances being stacked against him from the start. However, in the eyes of many fans, that loss was enough to cement him as the series' resident Memetic Loser. Part of this stems from Takumi barely having any major appearances from his loss in the Tournament Arc up to the conflict against Central. Downplayed by the Hokkaido Promotion Exam Arc: pre-Régiment de Cuisine, he is one of four "surviving" Rebels, while the rest were defeated by the Council of Ten Masters, and ultimately shattered during the Régiment de Cuisine when he won against Etsuya.
    • Those who dislike Erina mostly do so because they can't forgive her refusal to let Soma into Totsuki at the very beginning, despite all the Character Development she's gone through since.
    • After Takumi finally managed to shake the label off with a big win, Megumi became the fandom's premier Memetic Loser because of having her "potential" constantly praised despite three on-screen losses and one off-screen win.
    • Name one thing about the final Arc Villain and most people will state it's this character kidnapping Erina, despite it never being addressed after the event into the series' end nor were there ever any repercussions for the act.
  • No Yay
    • Erina's relationship with her father Azami has extremely uncomfortable overtones; the fact the cover art for Volume 16 of the manga shows her in chains while being held in a suggestive pose highlights this.
    • On a minor scale, while Akira/Jun has a considerable following, people who don't ship them still take into consideration that Jun is basically Akira's surrogate mother. While Akira's loyalty towards her is open to interpretation, all of Jun's interactions with him have been consistently familial.
  • Older Than They Think: An obscure Japanese television show named Delicious Gakuin had a similar premise. The main character is enrolled into a super school of chefs along with two other characters while living at the school dorms, teachers are experts in a particular style of cuisine, cooking duels are big in scale and the protagonist ends up in a match against his father. There are aesthetic differences, the primary one being that Delicious Gakuin is more of a Cast Full of Pretty Boys, while Shokugeki no Soma has Fanservice for both genders, with the latter arguably doing a better job of developing "foodgasms" and explaining insight into general cuisine for casual viewers.
  • One True Threesome
    • Soma/Takumi/Isami is, by far, the most supported one; Soma/Ikumi/Megumi is a runner-up.
    • Ryou/Akira/Soma post-Fall Classic when Ryou and Soma start frequenting Akira's place.
    • By the Moon Banquet Festival Arc, Akira/Alice/Ryou: cemented in one panel where Alice drags and bosses the two around.
    • Post-Stagiaire Period Arc, Erina/Soma/Hisako due to the latter's Character Development towards her view of Soma.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap
    • Koujirou garnered plenty of hate in his introduction for being portrayed as a Bad Boss Jerkass who deliberately set up students to fail during Training Camp, but became more likable as the series progressed once Character Development kicked in. He's become so popular he consistently ranks in the top ten for favorite character polls, even garnering a Spin-Off series detailing on his culinary career post-graduation from Totsuki.
    • Many of Erina's haters started to find her more sympathetic thanks to Character Development from Defrosting Ice Queen, her friendship with Hisako, the Anime showing more of her Adorkable moments and her Up to Eleven Jerkass father Azami returning to Totsuki, which shows her being genuinely fearful, and revealing she and Alice truly love each other, despite their differences. She regained a portion of fans once her Neutral Female phase is averted, turning into a more pro-active heroine.
    • Subaru upon helping Soma with his booth in the Moon Banquet Festival Arc, recognizing he owed Soma for not letting him quit cooking after their match in the Tournament Arc; if that wasn't convincing enough, he joins to help the Rebels in the Régiment de Cuisine.
    • While Terunori started as a haughty big-mouth who looked down on the first-years, a sympathetic light was shone when he's Not So Different than Soma during his first-year, acting cocky when in reality he wanted an opportunity to challenge Eishi and win. The fact he's part of the minority who didn't vote for Azami as the new director indicated he's not an antagonist. He gained more sympathy points when he expressed his disgust at this, to the point of skipping Council meetings out of pure indignation. Ultimately, like Subaru, Terunori returns to assist in the Régiment de Cuisine, cementing this trope.
    • Despite being a member of Central and supporting the Big Bad, readers have warmed up to Momo due to her Not Good with People personality and social awkwardness, making for funny, Adorkable moments.
    • While Rindou didn't earn much sympathy points since it was initially presented she only supported the Big Bad For the Evulz, later chapters imply she only went along with the Evil Plan in order to stay close to Eishi, as she doesn't particularly like the villain or the motivations behind Central.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Courage and Decora, the two World Gourmet Organization examiners whom the Big Bad brings in to serve as judges for the final bouts of the Régiment de Cuisine: not only do they replace the better-liked judges Historie and Charme, despite being members of a prestigious organization, they are completely wrapped around the villain. The fact they are more visually sexualized than any other judge preceding them makes the two come across as nothing but Fanservice without offering any particularly new insight.
    • Asahi wasn't particularly well liked among the fanbase upon introduction and had steadily received less popularity as the story progressed. Many sticking points readers had was how this character had yet to experience hardships or setbacks in the present outside of Flashbacks, with the Ass Pull Cross Knives ability a reason why this character did nothing to warrant a position as the Arc Villain.
    • Mana, the Bookmaster of the World Gourmet Organization and overseer of the BLUE tournament: similar to the final Arc Villain, this character had a bland, neurotic personality, whose relationship with Erina elevated her already Spotlight-Stealing Squad status since the Central saga, thereby pushing the latter a head above Soma, whom the narrative was originally focused on. The fact that the Bookmaster was introduced into the last Story Arc a few chapters before the series' climax didn't sit well with readers.
  • Seasonal Rot
    • Manga fans find the second season of the Anime to be not quite as good as the first, mainly because it only has half as many episodes while powering through two major Story Arcs, which can give a Compressed Adaptation vibe. This turned unfortunate when the third season repeated the same schtick.
    • While the Central saga was divisive among fans due to complaints of Arc Fatigue and a jarring tonal shift among other things, the final Story Arc is widely seen as a downgrade. Chief among complaints is the new Arc Villain, who was instantly hated for being incredibly overpowered, lacking personality with a nonsensical backstory and motivation. Meanwhile, the ensemble cast outside of the quartet of Soma, Erina, Takumi and Megumi are Demoted to Extra, with attempts at Serial Escalation leading to increasingly outlandish plot points. Additionally, despite being a cooking manga, there's less emphasis on the cooking process and details of the dishes compared to previous arcsnote , with many matches handled off-screen or wrapped up quickly. These sentiments are exacerbated thanks to the BLUE tournament, an anticipated event which many fans felt was being soured due to these prior reasons. This decline is also reflected in sales, which have seen a decrease since the new saga begannote . This deterioration would lead to an abrupt ending of the manga on a tentative note, without a fitting conclusion.
    • Readers had hoped Le Dessert could rectify the shortcomings from the final Story Arc of the Manga; unfortunately, the results are of the No Ending variety - Soma loses to Erina in the BLUE, while Asahi suffers no consequences by being Erina's half-sibling and is rewarded with what he wishes for. Although Soma does succeed where Joichiro didn't (attaining the First Seat, graduating from Totsuki, defeating Asahi), his original goal of wanting to beat his father to inherit the family diner is never showcased in the narrative nor do readers ever hear of Erina's compliment about his dishes. Furthermore, any Ship Tease between Soma and Erina is merely implied as Le Dessert deliberately leaves it as a Maybe Ever After.
  • Ship Mates:
    • Soma/Takumi fans also like pairing Isami/Megumi.
    • Soma/Megumi and Soma/Erina shippers also pair up Ikumi/Kanachi Konishi, Ryou/Alice and Akira/Jun
    • Soma/Erina shippers also ship Takumi/Megumi, while simultaneously shipping Isami/Ikumi post-Chapter 178.
    • Soma/Megumi fans also ship Erina/Hisako.
    • The headlining yaoi pairs are Soma/Takumi, Ryou/Akira, Satoshi/Shun
    • Expect Soma/Alice and Soma/Erina shippers to apply Pair the Spares with Ryou/Megumi.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: Some viewers were turned off by the anime's first episode featuring a foodgasm with tentacle imagery (due to the medium, it feels more pronounced compared to the manga). The actual story with Soma going to Totsuki doesn't start until the next episode.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Once the Central saga begins, Shokugeki no Soma switches focus from the growth of Soma and his friends to the Nakiri family exclusively. The Arc Villain of the Central and Regiment de Cuisine arcs meddles with the Japanese culinary sector by forcing Central's ideals upon them, but concludes with Erina effortlessly defeating Central's best from the Council of Ten Masters. In the last Story Arc, Erina's complicated relationship with her estranged mother Mana is at the forefront, including the God Tongue's curse, which was viewed as a blessing by all until this point. Towards the final chapters, Senzaemon admits the 92nd generation of Totsuki's students were explicitly chosen to make Erina the best of the lot, while Le Dessert showcases Erina winning the BLUE, earning widespread approval by all parties. Despite being the eponymous protagonist, Soma starting from the Central saga appears to simply exist to make Erina better.
  • Subbing vs. Dubbing: While fans had been hoping for an English dub for a while, some were less than thrilled upon finding out that Sentai Filmworks had picked up the rights to dub it, due to the company's known practice of casting relatively unknown and newer talent; fortunately, the dub has been well received, with particular praise going to Blake Shepard and his enthusiastic performance as Soma and Jad Saxton as Shrinking Violet Megumi. However, the voice most fans are split with is Stephanie Wittels as Erina, not helped by the character's dialogue being rewritten to sound more like a Valley Girl, which viewers agree doesn't fit the character. Others believed her performance is fine and noticed Wittels seemed to get more comfortable with the role as the episodes rolled on, but dislike the Valley Girl accent, while other fans dislike both.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!
    • Minor example from the anime: leaving out Subaru's brief introduction to close out the Fall Election preliminaries. Not only were fans hoping to get a glimpse of an important future character, it ended up leaving anime viewers who haven't read the manga confused as to who got the last spot in the A-Block since Shun and Zenji were deadlocked for fourth place.
    • While it's completely justified due to Risa Taneda and her throat problems, there are viewers who can't get used to Hisako Kanemoto taking over as the voice of Erina beginning with season three.
    • Season three of the anime brought some complaints from manga readers:
      • The chapters where Azami pays a visit to the Polaris Dormitory following the Shokugeki between Soma and Etsuya was skipped over until the Central recruits are dealt with in the Totsuki Reformation Arc; it's only until the tail end of the "Ten Masters Invasion Arc" does this Internal Reveal occur. As a result, this throws a slight wrench in Erina's Character Development because her discovery of finding out who Soma's father is results in her going through a Heroic BSoD that lasts throughout the Ten Masters Invasion Arc as she slowly comes to terms with it. Instead, since Azami's visit appears afterwards, she remains hidden away within the Polaris Dormitory for no reason except to simply hide from her father.
      • On a minor scale, some viewers complained about Megumi taking part as a third judge alongside Erina and Hisako for the Soma vs. Eishi impromptu duel, even though she wasn't there in the manga. However, her addition to this event changed nothing other than it being a 3-0 victory for Eishi instead of a 2-0 win.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character
    • Broken Base regarding their role in the story aside, the Central recruits get pushed to the wayside after Rentarou's Shokugeki with Ryou.
    • Similarly, the other two replacement members in the Council of Ten Masters appointed by Azami, Julio Shiratsu and Shoko Kaburagi, end up losing unceremoniously in the first round of the Régiment de Cuisine: Julio gets treated as an afterthought by Satoshi while Shoko jobs off-screen with nary a description of her character. What makes this particularly egregious is this was their first on-screen appearance.
    • Barring Erina (who had relinquished her seat in the middle of the Hokkaido Promotion Exam Arc), Satoshi, Terunori and Tosuke (who were expelled by Azami in the Reformation Arc), the Council of Ten Masters are hailed as the best student chefs, far beyond the skill of any of the protagonists, yet they are each cleanly defeated in the Régiment de Cuisine, losing their positions on the Council. As they are no longer antagonists (the third years graduate, while the second years earn back spots on the Council), it's little wonder fans weren't entirely convinced the Council were a considerable threat.
    • Despite what one may think of the Noir chefs, there's no denying that aside from the Arc Villain, none of them are given time to develop into anything other than one trick gimmicks who are either defeated in a single chapter or off-panel. Not helping this is the final Story Arc was simply rail-roading a re-match between Soma and the Big Bad again.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Becoming the first seat on the Council of Ten Masters is introduced early in the narrative as a goal for Soma, with characters like Satoshi and Erina setting the bar as rivals; Soma is also warned about incumbent members unwilling to put their seats on the line with a shokugeki. While many predicted he would eventually end up as a member, Soma leaping to the top spot post-Régiment de Cuisine not only removed how he could have worked his way up the ranks, but also the need for him to cook against different members of the Council.
    • Post-Hokkaido Promotion Exam Arc, the Council of Ten Masters was shuffled to accommodate its new members to their positions, particularly Soma as first seat. Given how much emphasis is placed on the Council's power and resources available to them, it would've been interesting to see what its members would do with this. Unfortunately, only the tenth seat Megumi explicitly states how such privileges are used in a few panels of the manga. Furthermore, the narrative doesn't go into detail about how ex-Central members Etsuya and Nene regained their seats on the Council.
    • Preparation for the BLUE tournament: prior arcs like the Fall Classic had a longer preparation period for characters to learn about the impending competition and rivals, with suitable time to train. Coming off of the Régiment de Cuisine, this would've been a needed Breather Episode to ease things back before jumping into another Tournament Arc, especially when the series began accentuating how the next Story Arc will be Soma's fiercest challenge yet. Instead, the manga pulls a Time Skip right into the event.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Zigzagged with Joichiro, after the Manga delves into more of his back-story - he spent years abroad mentoring Asahi and thought of him as a surrogate son, yet returns to Japan to raise Soma after his wife's death. Not only was this harsh as Asahi had no one else, but if Joichiro had simply adopted Asahi, the entire Le Cuisiner Noir plot could have been avoided. However, given the (un)trustworthiness of the person telling the story, there may be more to it than the audience knows.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Despite the fact he's clearly wearing a male uniform, more than a few people have mistaken Terunori for a girl due to his delicate facial shape, his large, effeminate-looking eyes and use of a hairclip.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Opinions on the rest of the arc aside, the Flashback to Joichiro's days at Totsuki after his return to confront Azami were well-received for finally delving into the back-story of one of the series' most important supporting characters, particularly how the expectations piled on him by everyone eventually led to a near-mental breakdown, his dropping out from school and becoming the wandering chef fans know today.
  • The Woobie
    • Megumi: there are times where readers just want to give her a hug for all the negativity she's forced to endure, with a prime example being Koujirou setting her up for expulsion during the Training Camp Arc, despite doing the right thing for her test dish, and for the amount of heckling she received throughout the Fall Classic Arc for "being in a position she doesn't belong".
    • The turtle from Chapter 73 butchered without hesitation by Hisako while it was alive. It becomes part of a hamburger; Double Standard ensues as readers had already seen plenty of dishes containing other bizarre animal meat (such as monkfish). Also Justified by the fact she employs medicinal cooking, which bears its roots in Chinese cuisine, where it's customary to kill seafood the day it is used to ensure freshness.
  • Writer Cop Out: Soma's original goals were to defeat Joichiro, his rivals in the 92nd generation and those in the Council of Ten Masters, and to win and be recognized in a competition. After several lengthy Story Arcs, he doesn't truly achieve any of them; while he accomplishes some aspects his father never did, Soma's original motives are abandoned in favor of Erina.
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