Food Wars! The Third Plate’s “The Academy Falls” is a sophisticated Orwellian allegory pitting aristocratic centralized government vs independently run, state-like clubs.
In “The Academy Falls” the design of merit-based competition through Food Wars! is put to the test at Tōtsuki Culinary Academy. A process thought to be infallible and sacred is revealed to be two steps removed from corruption at any given moment. A triumvirate of bribed judges presides over Etsuya Eizan and Tetsuji Kabutoyama matchup, with a predetermined outcome. Sans taste test. The President of the Skewer Research Society, Tetsuji Kabutoyama, is shown to be helpless against the Central backed Etsuya Eizan. Tradition holding no weight against Eizan’s consolidated social power at the academy.
Thus, Food Wars! are shown to have more in common with loose gentlemen’s agreements propped up by Tōtsuki, rather than righteous competition. Without Tōtsuki enforcing an honor-based federalist system with checks and balance, the integrity of Food Wars! crumble under the highest bidder.
The message is twofold, it demoralizes Tōtsuki’s populace and discourages future attempts at revolution of any size. Azami Nakiri, father of Erina Nakiri (“The God Tongue”), establishes sovereign control over Tōtsuki on “The Academy Falls”. Intending a Central government made up of aristocrats to declare what is and isn’t true cuisine.
Azami’s overthrow of his father Senzaemon Nakiri as headmaster and director of Tōtsuki with the assistance of the Elite Ten Council places the academy fully at the whims of nobles. Independently-run clubs and dorms at Tōtsuki, resembling classical states relinquish any sort of governing power in Central’s push for campus-wide unification. Their cuisine deemed obsolete amidst an iron-fisted crusade by Azami Nakiri for Central’s vision of what it should encompass.
Professors are forced to reeducate under the principles of Central rather than their own, fearing banishment or loss of status if they should speak up. Non-Elite Ten Council Tōtsuki students are told their previous methods were always incorrect, reprimanded for creativity. ‘States’ are forced into obedience through fear of exile and lack of influence. The votes of the general student populace lack democratic influence against the will their ‘Elite’ position holders. Etsuya Eizan’s Food War was televised across the campus as a showcase of the futility of dissidence, indirectly pointed towards Sōma Yukihira.
However, in typical fashion Sōma Yukihira is undeterred by an insurmountable challenge. Sōma risks expulsion to save Kyokuseiryō/Polar Star Dormitory from being disbanded. Making a statement by challenging Eizan for a Food War regardless of a rigged, fixed outcome. Sōma defies the Central government, potentially jeopardizing his future at Tōtsuki. All for the belief of state-like club freedoms through independent cuisine, rather than on a unified assembly line.
New to the Food Wars! series? Be sure to read an in-depth preview of Food Wars! Season 1 Episode 5 at LiveGameDeals.com! Discover some of the first conversations between Sōma Yukihira and Erina Nakiri.
Check out more Anime coverage on The Natural Aristocrat at the Anime category section featuring articles like Anime NYC 2019: ‘Food Wars!’ Screening packs house. Detailed information on how to watch Food Wars! online is also available.
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Regarding Food Wars! Season 3 Art / Show Screenshots: The Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma Anime was originally made by J.C.Staff and licensed by Sentai Filmworks in the U.S. The Food Wars! The Anime is based on the words illustrated in the manga by Shun Saeki and written by Yūto Tsukuda. Published by Shueisha in Japan and VIZ Media stateside.
Luci Christian spoke to The Natural Aristocrat about FunimationCon 2020, voicing fan favorite Ochaco Uraraka, the strong reception to My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising, and the art of voice acting.
The Natural Aristocrat [Nir Regev]: I feel Funimation took one leap forward with FunimationCon, traditional convention panel schedule and all, just virtual. It’s looking more and more like this will be the wave of the future with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. What are your thoughts about FunimationCon 2020 and the possibility that this could be the only way to hold conventions from now on?
Luci Christian: I’m with you I think it’s really cool they’re doing this. To be honest, I think it’s a bittersweet time. Right? I mean, maybe this is the way of the future, it’s definitely the way of the present. I love that companies are having to be creative in figuring out how to engage with fans in ways that we’re used to. Getting to have something of a personal experience with these properties and with the talent. And with each other!
That’s the point of the convention, getting to talk about the thing we all love! So, I love that Funimation thought of this and went online. They really went creative with it, making different rooms simultaneously of fun stuff. But I will say, for all of us, that it’s a little bleak to not be in the room, to not be taking the road trips, to not be getting to hug each other. It’s a lot. It makes the overtures that the various companies and people are taking to put something together virtually that much sweeter… But it’s also sad! (laughs) It’s both!
How did you feel about the overall reception to the cinema debut of My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising?
So, a couple of thoughts about that… I was at the L.A. premiere for the film and it was one of the most magical & special nights of my professional career! And I’ve been around for a while! (laughs) But there was nobody in that room that wasn’t just ecstatic to be there. It was so freaking fun and lovely!
The reception to the film was as awesome as can be. I heard many people say how anime is so much more mainstream now. And it is because of shows like this (My Hero Academia) that are so accessible. Particularly the English dub of the movie gets so much love, it’s such an honor to be part of it.Luci Christian voices Ochaco Uraraka in My Hero Academia [English Dub] – Screenshot Photo via Funimation / VRV / Crunchyroll
How do you compare recording for the film to dubbing the regular series?
It wasn’t totally different. It was a little weird because I hadn’t read the manga and there were things in the movie that I didn’t know yet! And when we were recording the movie I was like, “WHAT?!” It was exciting, I really loved that the movie showed how much stronger they’d become. How their training has really paid off. And not to toot my own horn… But I didn’t even know she (Ochaco) was that strong!
You’ve played so many characters throughout the years from My Hero Academia’s Ochaco Uraraka to Yuki Yoshino on Food Wars! How do you craft the personalities and voice inflictions of your roles past what’s on the script?
Well, I’ll tell you… This has all been a happy surprise! I don’t know I’d be in this industry for this long. When I first got into it, I was just an actor. When I approached the characters, I asked the same sort of questions as in traditional acting. “Who are they? How old are they? What are their primary objectives?” And the director will fine tune you. ‘I think he could be played a little older. Or I think we can go a little further with that scene.’
Are there techniques or habits you’ve practiced throughout your career to protect your voice?
There are a couple that I always rely on. One of them, is this sounds like such an old woman thing to say but I try to get enough sleep. It makes a huge difference in how much you can push yourself. When it comes to yelling, there is a way to protect your voice when you yell by kind of making an H sound at the beginning of your scream. It’s kind of a weird thing, a little trick. But it helps protect your voice so you don’t rip it up.Luci Christian voices Ochaco Uraraka in My Hero Academia [English Dub] – Screenshot Photo via Funimation / VRV / Crunchyroll
How much do you enjoy the script writing process in comparison to voicing the character of a preference for one or the other.
I haven’t done anime writing in a while but I loved it! I know how to look at the words now that would best fit the animated mouth flaps and be like ‘Oh, these are the words that could go there.’ I really, really enjoyed it! Obviously, I’m an actor first, and I will always be an actor first. But a lot of us are good at many, many things. I feel I’m lucky to have been blessed with the opportunity to do lots of different things.
Certainly, there’s been times now working from home where they’ll call and tell me, “Hey, I know you know how to change the line a little bit to make it fit!” So, I guess I do still write a little bit. But mostly, we all sort of informally work together to make the best product.Luci Christian voices Ochaco Uraraka in My Hero Academia [English Dub] – Photo Credit: Funimation
Follow Luci Christian on Social Media:
– Check out the panels and highlights of FunimationCon 2020 over at Funimation.com.My Hero One’s Justice 2 Art – Credit: Bandai Namco
Be sure to read The Natural Aristocrat’s ‘FunimationCon 2020’ interviews with AEW’s Kenny Omega on My Hero Academia and fellow My Hero Academia voice actor Christopher Wehkamp on Voice Acting (MHA’s voice of Shota Aizawa)!
Food Wars! fans at Anime NYC 2019 lined up three hours early for Crunchyroll’s Screening of Episodes 6 and 1 of ‘The Fourth Plate’ last Saturday, November 16.
Anime NYC attendees were already lining up as early as 6 p.m. for an advertised 9 p.m. screening of Food Wars! ‘The Fourth Plate’ Episodes 6 and 7 (ended up being 1). Crunchyroll handed out a poster of Nakiri cousins Erina and Alice to tide fans over. The crowd appeared quite delighted with the poster’s ‘fan service’ as a thank you for their patience and support.Food Wars! The Fourth Plate Poster given before Screening at Anime NYC 2019 on Saturday, November 16, 2019
Some fans played back earlier episodes on their phones in anticipation of the Screening. Others discussed the series itself, happy to be among their own, as doors to the screening finally swung open.
At first, a representative for Crunchyroll announced that due to licensing issues over Episode 7 still officially airing next week… They’d show Episodes 1 and 2 instead of 6 and 7. This prompted some disappointed fans to walk out of the full house, despite having waited for hours. They were instantly replaced within seconds! As hungry fans who didn’t make the original cut into the screening, were let in to take their place.
Crunchyroll then decided to play Episode 6 after all! Much to the surprise of Food Wars! fans who’d stayed regardless of the Episode # playing. As one attendee commented, “It was all a test to separate the nonbelievers!” Truly in Sōma Yukihira fashion.
The lights flicked back on after Episode 6 and the Crunchyroll representative made a statement that they still can’t show Episode 7 unfortunately. So that would be it, unless fans wanted to see the first episode of The Fourth Plate. Food Wars! fans cheered that option on, and so Episode 1 was shown. If it wasn’t for time constraints of Javits Center closing… Attendees would have happily stayed for Episode 2 as well. No doubt the truly hardcore, passionate audience just desired to enjoy an evening of Food Wars! with fellow fans. Whether it was an episode they’d seen before or not.Food Wars! The Fourth Plate Crunchyroll Screening – Fans watch at Anime NYC 2019 on Saturday, November 16, 2019 – Photo Credit: Nir Regev
The show’s popularity in the Western market, which has seen an additional boost in the states recently by airing on Cartoon Network’s Toonami block, is clearly as fervent as ever. It’s growing by the day, and at this rate, it won’t be long before Food Wars! possibly fills up the Hulu Theater at MSG next Comic Con for the Dub edition.
Catch the latest Food Wars! subbed episodes over at Crunchyroll as they premiere in Japan.