The second cour of the anime Food Wars! The Third Plate has been confirmed for April 8, 2018, (or April 9 at 12:30 a.m.), putting the new episodes back-to-back with My Hero Academia Season 3. What’s more, there is a Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma OVA episode that will focus on the life of Erina.
Unfortunately, some fans are confused by the announcement of a second part to Food Wars! Season 3 since the series’ third season came to a surprising end in December of 2017 after only 12 episodes. Considering the large gap in time, even My Anime List labeled the continuation as Food Wars! Season 4, but technically it’s considered a split-cour anime.
This confusion is largely caused by the differences in how Japanese TV labels seasons. Anime series are divided up into winter anime (January to March), spring anime (April to June), summer anime (July to September), and fall anime (October to December). Each three-month unit of broadcasting is called a “cour.”
Any Japanese anime season that runs continuously for more than these 10 to 13 episode units is referred to as having multiple cours for a single season. For example, Dragon Ball Super is one ongoing season that lasts years, while the English dub of DBS is considered to be multiple seasons already (Vegeta voice actor Chris Sabat already has ideas for Dragon Ball Super Season 2).
In the case of Food Wars! Season 3, it’s a rare example of a split-cour anime. By Western standards, the new episodes should be called Food Wars! Season 4 since there was a large break in the broadcast, but a split-cour is when a single season takes a break for a single three-month unit of time. For example, the Fate/Zero anime started its broadcast in the fall of 2011, took a break for the winter anime season, and then resumed and finished in the spring. That’s the same release schedule as Food Wars! The Third Plate.
The other reason that the new season is definitely the second cour of Food Wars! Season 3 is because of the name. The Food Wars! announcement labels the new season as Shokugeki no Soma: San no Sara (Third Plate) instead of Shi no Sara or No Yon no Sara (The Fourth Plate). In fact, the anime’s full title translated into English is Food Wars! The Third Plate: Totsuki Express Arc.
In related news, a Food Wars! OVA episode will be bundled with Shokugeki no Soma Volume 29 of the manga series, which is scheduled to come out in Japan on May 2, 2018. Called Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma: The Third Plate: Erina’s New Life, the OVA shows Erina as she adjusts to living in the Polar Star Dormitory after she ran away from her father.