Last year, manga fans of Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma were treated with an anime adaptation that wasn't just true to the book, but great in every way. The animation, direction of plot, and voice acting were superb. So when the series aired its 24th episode, the finale of Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma, fans were already clamoring for a second season, unsure if the team behind the anime would even make such. Thankfully for them, they were able to count their lucky stars as a second season was announced titled Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma - The Second Plate.
What we do know about Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma - The Second Plate is it will feature the conclusion of the 43rd Annual Tōtsuki Autumn Election. Last season, the event was initiated with the preliminary rounds in which eight students made it to the quarterfinals including Sōma Yukihira, Megumi Tadokoro, Alice Nakiri, Ryō Kurokiba, Hisako Arato, Takumi Aldini, and Akira Hayama. As for the eighth qualifying student, he was revealed in the manga before the point the first and second seasons of the anime meet, but he was omitted from the Season 1 anime, probably to be a surprise for Season 2.
However, the 43rd Annual Tōtsuki Autumn Election consists of only six matches, enough to fill around four episodes if we are to use Season 1 as an example. So what other events will be included in Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma - The Second Plate? It is being argued among fans that both the Stagiaire And Moon Banquet Festival will also be included too.
For those who do not know exactly what the Stagiaire and Moon Banquet Festival arcs are, the official Shokugeki no Soma Wikia details them as the two story arcs to happen right after the 43rd Annual Tōtsuki Autumn Election and before the Central Arc. In the manga, Stagiaire takes up 11 chapters from Chapter 105 to Chapter 116. The Moon Banquet Festival will probably take up most of the second season as the story arc includes other events such as the Autumn Leaf Viewing. A total of 17 chapters, from Chapter 117 to Chapter 134, consist of the Moon Banquet Festival Arc. So, what are the Stagiaire and Moon Banquet Festival story arcs?
The StagiaireThe Stagiaire Arc is the fifth story arc in the Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma manga. It focuses on the Stagiaire event which is similar to the Tōtsuki Friendship and Rapport Training Camp as it is designed to weed out students that would not cut it in Tōtsuki Culinary Academy. It is also considered the final hurdle students have to pass before they can truly enter the high school section of Tōtsuki Culinary Academy too.Over the course of four weeks, the students are assigned to various cooking locations across Japan, working in both high class and public restaurants. This can range from food processing plants to general cafeterias. Students can also be assigned to work at a location solo or with a partner. In short, they are interns.
As mentioned before, the Stagiaire is meant to weed out more student who would not cut it in Tōtsuki Culinary Academy. Ergo, they have to make a "visual accomplishment" at each location. Both restaurant managers and Tōtsuki staff members are on site to make sure said students pull this off, taking note of all their actions. Creating a new dish, reforming the restaurant, improving workflow are all examples of "visual accomplishment." Despite the harrowing demands of the Stagiaire, it is meant to give students experience working in a "real life" situation, overcoming limits.
Moon Banquet FestivalAfter the Stagiaire, first-year students participate in the first official festival for the Tōtsuki Culinary Academy known as the Moon Banquet Festival. It is an event in which the students set up booths to demonstrate their cooking to customers for a period of five days. Prior to it happening, though, the Autumn Leaf Viewing takes place which is a period of time the first-year students can meet other students of other generations, specifically those in their second-year or higher. It is a way for the first years to learn who they will be competing against because they will now be weeded out through "Food Wars" with them. As for the eight students who participate in the 43rd Tōtsuki Autumn Election, they get to meet with the Elite Ten Council. As for the Moon Banquet Festival itself, it happens about two weeks after the Autumn Leaf Viewing. For first years, the event is voluntary but necessary if they want to be recognized in the culinary world. They ask teachers permission to set a booth at the event, one that attracts over 500,000 visitors per day. They can also work solo or within a group as the booths are limited to 120. Different areas cater to a different aspect of the Moon Banquet Festival. Main Street Area is where the most normal students set up with the cheapest prices. Central Area specializes in various cooking methods specializing in unique ingredients and tools with fair prices. Finally, the Uptown Area is the cream of the crop where the highest paying guests go. It is also in the Uptown Area where the booths set up by the Elite Ten Council are located.
The aforementioned descriptions of the two story arcs are, of course, spoiler-free. There are numerous twists and turns within the plot that make these arcs very entertaining to read. Very soon, anime fans will be able to watch these arcs take place in the second season of Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma known as Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma - The Second Plate. It is reported to start airing sometime in the summer of this year.
[Image via Screen Capture of Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma - The Second Plate Trailer]