This page contains spoilers for the Food Wars! anime series.
Season 1 – The First Plate
Episode 1: The Vast Wasteland
Joichiro Yukihira (Jōichirō) is Soma Yukihira’s (Sōma) father, the plucky, valiant hero of the Food Wars! series.
He is first introduced as the owner of Yukihira Japanese Eatery (Restaurant Yukihira), age 38, right at the cusp of an unofficial Food War with Soma. Located over at Sumire Town’s ‘Sumiredori Shopping District’ (Sumiredōri) in Japan, the duel attracts a large crowd to the Eatery.
The premiere instantly throws you into the father/son showdown from the opening bell, utilizing two patrons to informally bring viewers up to speed. The two young locals ponder if Soma will finally be able to defeat his father.
Both Joichiro & Soma prepare exquisite, mouthwatering savory fried rice dishes. Their judge?
Mayumi Kurase, Soma’s classmate and close friend. Who couldn’t be more thrilled for the honor.
For Mayumi, the taste test makes her feel like the true winner of the competition no matter who’s victorious.
Soma grins confidently, believing this will finally be the time his dish manages to defeat his father’s work. In Soma’s world, it’s become the ‘climbing Mount Everest’ of the kitchen. Meanwhile, Mayumi is deep in thought on which fried rice dish should come out on top.
Mayumi chooses Joichiro’s fried rice dish without much hesitation. However, Mayumi appears guilty about the decision, feeling she hurt Soma. Soon afterwards, Mayumi attempts to comfort him, telling Soma his dish was great too. You can tell Mayumi’s compliment comes from a genuine place and not feel-good platitudes.
Joichiro raises his arm in victory, eyes closed nonchalantly, like a boxer emerging the winner with a TKO in the first round. Soma tries to play down the loss, telling his father he won this time.
Neither shy or overly humble, Joichiro takes great pleasure in bragging that he now has 500 wins against him. Just to throw some salt in for the laughs.
Soma responds that it’s just “489 losses!” Doing essentially nothing to hurt the credibility of father Joichiro’s brag.
Soma sits post-loss temporarily deflated, as an introduction graphic is shown to viewers. He’s still but a third-year student in middle school at age 15 going up against a potential master-cook.
Though Joichiro obviously enjoys the humor & bragging rights of the situation, you can tell he is simultaneously an encouraging father to Soma. Rather, then letting his son just have a win, Joichiro wants Soma to continue working hard and reach his maximum potential as a chef… With a friendly reminder to Soma that he’s still never beating him in the kitchen!
Joichiro arrives at Yukihira Japanese Eatery (Restaurant Yukihira) to find Soma cleaning some corporate-based vandalism off the Eatery’s logo.
You can tell Joichiro is swelling up with pride in his eyes, watching his son take 110% care of his establishment in his absence. Maintaining the Yukihira name and business on his own without any pushing or prodding from his father to do so.
Joichiro interrupts his young cub for an important 1-on-1 meeting about the restaurant’s future, catching Soma completely off-guard.
In a shocking moment for Soma, Joichiro tells his son Yukihira Japanese Eatery (Restaurant Yukihira) is closing its doors for the time being… And that he’ll be taking an extended leave of absence. Soma had just placed all his efforts to protect the restaurant from the corporate vulture, business interests of one Yaeko Minegasaki.
Joichiro would then drop the biggest bombshell of the day on Soma, not only would he be leaving… But Soma would be as well. Feeling it’s time for Soma to spread his wings and master the craft outside the restaurant.
Soma was beside himself, trying to contemplate a daily life without the restaurant at center focus. Joichiro would get serious, telling young Soma about Totsuki Culinary Academy (Tōtsuki), where the world’s best would guide him. How Soma’s future lies beyond these walls, and his hometown.
Joichiro handed Soma a Totsuki Culinary Academy packet, giving him a glimpse of the pages that will define the next years of his life. A landmark moment.
As Soma headed towards Totsuki, he would reflect on never really getting to know his father Joichiro’s outside of the kitchen.
Soma lamented never learning about his father’s past at this major life turning point. He never heard much about what his father did prior to the restaurant, what kind of life he led. Now, Joichiro would be walking away from it all, everything put on hold. Yukihira Japanese Eatery (Restaurant Yukihira) caught in a snow globe stasis, self-evicted.
Joichiro would check-in with Soma, giving him a call during Soma’s trek down memory lane. He wished Soma the best in Japan’s world renowned, greatest culinary school. Where the elite advance and those that falter against their peers are sent home, expelled. Survival of the fittest in the halls of Totsuki Culinary Academy.
Joichiro Yukihira Debut Time: 00:41
Watch Food Wars! Episode 1:
|wdt_ID||Episode #||Episode Title||Season||Dub Air Date||Appears|
|1||The Vast Wasteland||The First Plate (#1)||July 6, 2019||Yes|
* Episode list is in-progress, Joichiro Yukihira appears in all five seasons of Food Wars!
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Be sure to read:
– Food Wars! Season 3 Episode 7 Dub Review: Central vs State Allegory
– Food Wars! The Third Plate – English Dub Episode 7: Watch online stream
– Anime NYC 2019: ‘Food Wars!’ Screening packs house
– Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma Episode 5 preview – The Ice Queen and the Spring Storm
Regarding Food Wars! 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.