Shokugeki no Soma 4×01 Review: “What We Want to Protect”

What We Want to Protect Shokugeki no Soma

Shokugeki no Soma is back for its fourth and final season. I loved the show (and the manga) so much but I’ve made no secret of the fact that I really didn’t like this arc (but it’s SO MUCH BETTER than the final one). Still, it’s great to see everyone back at it in “What We Want to Protect”.

“What We Want to Protect” focuses mainly on the shokugeki bout between Rindo and Megishima while also flashing back to show how the rebels were able to recruit Megishima in the first place. Basically, it boils down to Yukihira being a force of nature, and everything is just as over-the-top as I remember, perhaps even more so. (MORE SPICY.) Watching this after having read the manga (and been disappointed by both the final arc and the ending) just reminds me of how good this series can be, and how much of a letdown it was that it couldn’t realize its full potential before ending.

All your favorites are back, making you wonder just why the hell a series with such great secondary characters sidelines them all later to focus on a new antagonist that really adds nothing to the story. (I’m sorry, I swear I’ll eventually stop complaining about the manga. Maybe.) Especially because Yukihira’s entire reason for entering into this ridiculous team competition is to save his friends from expulsion. Anyway, Kuga is fantastic, and I really miss the dynamic between Hayama, Kurokiba, and Yukihira that was so important to the second season. It’s frustrating to see great characters literally trapped in a cage with nothing to do but give commentary on the match. This series was at its best when it was about the random stuff the kids got up to at school, not dealing with Machiavellian villains with convoluted evil plots.

What We Want to Protect Shokugeki no Soma

But, I mean, honestly, aren’t most people here for the foodgasms anyway? I’ll do my best to take the season for what it is and try not to let my bitterness infest these reviews. Starting now. It still brings the hype and injects a lot of energy into a show about cooking, which you wouldn’t think was possible yet this series always manages to do. It’s just so much fun to watch, even though the story doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

Also, I’m once again reminded that I shouldn’t watch Shokugeki no Soma when I’m hungry. Now I really want ramen.

As for “What We Want to Protect”, was it just me, or did this episode seem abnormally fast? It seemed like everyone was talking much more quickly than usual. Their voices sounded normal, so it was less Chipmunks and more Micro Machines guy. Also, the requisite panning shots were speedier than in previous episodes. Whereas before reaction shots would linger too long, now they’re almost gone in a blink. It’s like we went from one extreme to the other without attempting to find a middle ground.

One thing this show still has going for it (aside from the great characters and yummy food) is the music! The OP and ED for this cour are fantastic and do a great job of showcasing both sides.

Have you seen “What We Want to Protect”? What did you think?

Author: Jamie Sugah

Jamie has a BA in English with a focus in creative writing from The Ohio State University. She self-published her first novel, The Perils of Long Hair on a Windy Day, which is available through Amazon. She is currently an archivist and lives in New York City with her demon ninja vampire cat. She covers television, books, movies, anime, and conventions in the NYC area.

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