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Shokugeki no Soma season 3.1 13 March 2018

2017 cooking story, shounen manga adaptation in 12 episodes: AniDB, vt "Food Wars: The Third Plate". Yukihira Sōma continues to fight cooking duels on his way up the élite Totsuki cooking school.

The chapter divisions of the manga show clearly in the two plot segments here. First there's the Moon Festival, where Yukihira must out-sell the other students, though they have huge industrial organisations and he has just himself and one helper. Once that's done, a Villain takes over the cooking school, with the Élite Ten student council largely on his side, and shuts down all the various student clubs. Instead, everyone will make exact imitations of the villain's idea of the Best Food ever, unless they can beat the Élite Ten in more cooking duels.

There's a huge cast at this point (anidb lists 58 named main and secondary characters), and nobody will bother to remind you who any of them are, or why that shadowy figure is lurking in the background making Ominous Pronouncements. This is definitely not the place to start watching the show.

Mostly this is just more of the same. If you can take the nonsensical food-snobbery seriously there's still fun to be had here, but it's almost entirely divorced from anything a real cook would do with real ingredients, while at the same time there's very little in the way of actual progress. Watch it if you enjoyed the previous lot and want more; I'm more interested in getting away from the stylised cooking duels and into the greater plot.

This is being regarded as the "first half" of this season; the second half is coming in April 2018. So there's even less of a conclusion to than is usual in anime made from long-running manga series.

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