‘Shokugeki no Soma’ Season 4 Release Date: ‘Food Wars! Fourth Plate’ Anime Spoilers Based On The Manga

Shun SaekiJump Comics

The Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Season 4 release date will definitely be on the calendar for any anime fan desiring a visual feast. Called Shokugeki no Soma: San no Sara – Toutsuki Ressha-hen, or Food Wars! The Third Plate – Totsuki Express, the official announcement at Jump Festa 2018 confirmed that the fourth season will continue the story of Soma Yukihira, Erina Nakiri, and other characters during the Promotion Exams story arc.

The plot of the Third Plate started simmering with the introduction of the Elite Council of Ten characters during the Moon Banquet Festival, but events will come to a boil quickly when Erina’s father, Azami Nakiri, enters the scene. Without getting into major spoilers, Totsuki Academy will see many changes and the school will be divided into factions fighting for the soul of the culinary industry.

The one issue that jumped out at fans of the manga is that the Third Plate opened up without providing a lengthy introduction of the Elite Council of Ten members. Yes, Terunori Kuga and Rindo Kobayashi were shown in the initial episodes, but the flashback felt rushed in comparison to how other foes of Soma were handled.

The reason for this is because the Elite Council of Ten was already introduced during the Food Wars! OVA called “Totsuki’s Elite Ten,” which was sold with the limited edition of Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Volume 25. Unfortunately, none of the legal English sub streaming sites like Crunchyroll carry the OVA episode. Anime fans can go read the English translation of Food Wars! Volume 15 to find out what they missed.

Shokugeki no Soma Manga Enough For Food Wars! Season 4?

The story of the Third Plate anime rushed through the available source material with only 12 episodes. The third season covered both the Moon Banquet Festival and the most of the Central story arc from the manga series. At first, Azami’s character was greyed out in the OP for the Third Plate anime, but showed up in Episode 5 and was voiced by Sho Hayami of Assassination Classroom and Bleach fame. The opening sequence even hinted at the Shokugeki between Soma and 7th seat Etsuya Eizan, a story event which takes place in the Central Arc.

The first season covered the first 60 chapters in eight volumes. Season 2 covered chapters 61 through 117 in six volumes and ended with Volume 14. The Moon Banquet Festival story arc is only 17 chapters long, whereas the lengthier Central Arc was the main focus of the third season. All in all, the Third Plate had 54 chapters to work with, so it was wrongly assumed by fans that the anime would be 24 episodes long.

Including the brief flashback to the introduction of the Elite 10, Season 3 started with chapter 118. As of Episode 11 of the Third Plate, the anime has covered up to Chapter 163, although the anime skipped one major manga scene. Episode 12 is named “The One Who Aims for the Summit,” which is the same title as Chapter 163. The ending for Episode 12 mixed up the ordering of events and roughly corresponded with Chapter 150, which is located in Food Wars! Volume 20. (This article will be updated once the second cour for the Third Plate has been released.)

Based on that premise, there is plenty of source material for Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Season 4. As of September 4, 2017, the manga is up to Shokugeki no Soma Volume 26, which ends at chapter 226 in the Promotion Exams story arc. That’s already 54 chapters of source material. The manga releases on a weekly basis, so by the time the Third Plate serves up the first-cour ending in December of 2017, then the second cour will have around 88 chapters to draw upon by the spring of 2018 (assuming the author is up to chapter 260 by then).

Food Wars Volume 26 Manga Cover
The manga cover for 'Food Wars!' Volume 26.Featured image credit: Shun SaekiJump Comics

Will Voice Actress Risa Taneda Return For Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Season 4?

Hisako Kanemoto is doing a good job voicing Erina in the Third Plate but anime fans may be wondering if the original voice actress, Risa Taneda, will return for the third season’s second cour or Food Wars! The Fourth Plate. It was announced in August of 2016 that Taneda would be on hiatus for medical treatment. She had been receiving treatment for some time, but since she was not recovering, doctors decided it was best to focus on complete recovery.

A year later, she announced that she would gradually return to voice acting, but not soon enough for the recording sessions for the Third Plate anime’s first cour. The anime production committee believed the lengthy recording sessions could impact her recovery. Assuming she is deemed healthy enough in 2018, it is possible she could voice Erina again for future seasons and OVA episodes although nothing official has been announced yet.

Food Wars Season 4 Key Visual
The key visual for 'Food Wars!' Season 4.Featured image credit: J.C. Staff'Food Wars!' Anime TV Key Visual

Food Wars! Season 4 Release Date

Starting in the spring of 2015, J.C. Staff aired the first two-cour season from April through September. The single-cour Second Plate aired in July during the summer of 2016. The Third Plate slipped another season and began in October of 2017 only to finish quickly in December with only 12 episodes. Perhaps because of the short season, the fourth season, or the second cour of Shokugeki no Soma: San no Sara, skipped the Winter 2018 anime season and is coming very quickly in the Spring 2018 anime season.

J.C. Staff officially confirmed that the Food Wars! Season 4 release date will be on April 8, 2018 (or April 9 at 12:30 AM) and also released a video trailer. Based on the key visual that was released, Shokugeki no Soma Season 4 will definitely focus on the Promotion Exams story arc, which is up to Chapter 243 as of December 11, 2017. Since this story arc is already 72 chapters long, it seems likely that J.C. Staff will make another 12 episodes for the anime so they don’t catch up with the manga.

(Please keep in mind that some new reports refer to the continuation of the anime in the spring of 2018 as the fourth season, while others call it a split-cour. Technically, it’s the second part of the third season since the trailer labels it as Shokugeki no Soma: San no Sara instead of Shi no Sara or No Yon no Sara. In English, it’s actually called Shokugeki no Soma The Third Plate: Totsuki Express Arc. Regardless, this article refers to the label by MyAnimeList, which calls it both the fourth season and the second cour of Season 3. Based on this confusing nomenclature, the actual Shokugeki no Soma: Shi no Sara, or Food Wars! The Fourth Plate, will likely be labeled as both Shokugeki no Soma Season 5 and the fourth season in the future.)

According to Moetron, Food Wars! OVA 5 will be included in Volume 29 of the manga. The release date is scheduled for May 2, 2018. The key visual art shows Erina living in the Polar Star Dormitory and the story is focused on what happened to Erina after she ran away from her father.

If English readers want to get ahead of the anime, the English translation of Food Wars! Volume 21 was released on December 5, 2017. Volume 22 is set for February 6, 2018 and Volume 23 will be out on April 3, 2018.

Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Season 4 Spoilers

The core conflict of Food Wars! The Third Plate will continue to be the competing worldviews of the chefs. Azima Nakiri is a villain precisely because Central’s aesthetic of controlled cooking is antithetical to Soma’s ideals of creative cooking. It’s also easy to view Azimi as a villain because of the way he plays dirty when challenging students and because of how he treated his daughter in the past. But it’s precisely the actions of the past which cause the rebels to rally in the present.

After Soma has a duel with Eishi Tsukasa, Erina visits him in the Polar Star Dorm to tell a story from her past. In her childhood, she was a taste tester from the young age of four and she was constantly subjected to countless lackluster dishes. She recalls wandering around the family mansion only to stumble upon her grandfather meeting with a mysterious man.

It turns out this man was Joichiro Yukihara, but he introduced himself as Joichiro Saiba so she does not know it was Soma’s father. Joichiro prepared a special dish just for her and this pleasant memory stayed with her over the years. During her training with Azami, she forgot what cooking really is to her and now she’s uncertain which cooking ideology is right.

In response to this story, Soma offers to cook an original Yukihara style dish for Erina. He baffles her by creating fried Egg Tempura using frozen eggs. But the excitement of trying something new inspires Erina Nakiri to go against her father’s ideals since the dish reminds her of Joichiro. In Chapter 171 of the manga, Erina rallies the Polar Star Dorm students to follow her and use their own style of cooking to pass the Promotion Exams. She also offers to give special lessons to prepare the rebels fighting back against Azami.

Reminiscent of the testing of Classroom Of The Elite, the Promotion Exams take place on Hokkaido, a real island in Japan. Unlike the sunny beach paradise in the other anime, the island of Food Wars! Season 4 is known for its snowy ski areas, volcanoes, and natural hot springs. (And, yes, a previously released OVA episode already featured the anime-requisite hot springs special.)

The Promotions Exam is composed of six trials that are spread out over the icy island. Soma and the other academy students start at the southernmost portion of Hokkaido and work their way north. Students use ingredients available in the area and Soma even competes with beat meat Hamburg steak against a fried bear dish. If any of the trials are failed, the student is yanked back to Tokyo and he or she faces expulsion.

A man named Endo is the supervisor of the exams and he acts ruthlessly to handicap the rebels. All of the rebels are assigned to the same group and Endo ensures they are given poor ingredients for the trial. But when Endo tastes their tasty dish he is forced to pass them.

Similarly, Azami orders the cat-eyed Rindo Kobayashi of the Elite Ten to purge the rebel students from the school by challenging them in some manner. Instead of battling the rebels, Rindo simply tasks them with creating a dish that makes her exclaim, “Yummy!” When Azami realizes that she found a loophole in his orders, he bans her from participating in the exams.

Food Wars Volume 24 Manga Cover
The manga cover for 'Food Wars!' Volume 24.Featured image credit: Shun SaekiJump Comics

But Soma has a plan of his own to fight back against Central. He desires to take over the Elite Ten by challenging its remaining members to Shokugeki, but it’s believed Central won’t allow the Elite Ten to accept the challenge. When Soma, Erina, and the others go to declare war on Azima directly, they are surprised to find him on a venue rooftop with Soma’s father, Joichiro, and Erina’s grandfather, Senzaemon Nakiri. And, with this, a declaration of war is made by Joichiro!

Needless to say, audiences will find out more about the how the past of the previous generations intertwines with each other. What makes this new war interesting is how egotistical, competitive chefs will need to figure out teamwork. But, to find out what happens next, readers will either need to pick up the manga or wait impatiently for the Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Season 4 release date. Stay tuned for news updates!

[Update March 5, 2018] Added final release date.

[Update December 24, 2017] Cleaned up and clarified references to both the fourth season and the second cour of the third season.

[Update December 20, 2017] Added information about new Food Wars! OVA 5 episode coming out in 2018.

[Update December 16, 2017] Added trailer, key visual, and official announcement for Food Wars! Season4.