Did Food Wars' Anime Make the Manga Worse?

As Food Wars' final season continues, one major question that keeps popping up is did the anime actually make the manga worse? Yuto Tsukuda and Shun Saeki's Food Wars: Shokugeki no Soma manga officially came to an end last year and the final arc of the series is one of the most divisive among fans. It reflected many of the long running issues of the series overall, and the anime most likely would have been better off had it decided to just skip over this final arc completely in favor of a natural stopping point with the end of the Central arc.

It almost as if the team behind the anime adaptation agreed with this sentiment as well as the fourth season of the series completely skipped over one of the final arcs in favor of getting to the BLUE even faster. Food Wars: The Fifth Plate only seems to exacerbate this problem by speeding through its events at such a rate that it's making the original story even worse than it is.

Food Wars is currently eight episodes into its fifth and final season, and with it tackles the BLUE arc. This serves as the final arc of the series overall, and caused a divide among fans. The final arc not only abandoned many of the fan favorites in favor of focusing on a few core characters, but also introduced two brand new villains along with a huge new group of enemies. The anime has reshuffled some of this for the adaptation, and in doing so, has made all of these new additions feel that much more hollow than the original series.

Food Wars Season 5 Soma Anime
(Photo: Shueisha)

There was already an inherent issue with introducing a faction of underworld chefs so late into the new series, but at least the respective shokugeki with each of them was given their due process. But it's like the anime made a speedy arc even speedier, and thus is lacking when it comes to truly establishing these new threats. All that remains for the Noir are the caricatures that were already paper thin in the manga.

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This problem is most reflected through Asahi. The anime skipped over his initial debut scene where he challenges Erina, and changed up a few other moments so his obsession with her makes less sense. This goes double for his special ability to "cross knives" and use the techniques of chefs whose cutlery he acquires. It was already an unbelievable, game breaking skill in the manga, but comes across as far less believable in the anime because we know so little about him. Thus his defeating the former first seat (which is a blink and you'll miss it battle in the anime), and eventual showdown with Soma less appealing overall since neither the build or established skill is there.

But at the rate the final season is going, it's going to hit a pretty significant wall with the final villain of the series. The Bookmaster of WGO has been teased through the final season, and the manga establishes them as the final villain with a quick defeat in the original run. If the anime tries to cram it all in (not to mention the actual epilogue ending), we're in for some big trouble! But what do you think? Is Food Wars' anime making the manga's story worse? Does it matter since you're not watching for the story? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or you can even reach out to me directly about all things animated and other cool stuff @Valdezology on Twitter!