The arc begins where Sōma Yukihira started his 489th cooking duel against his father, Jōichirō Yukihira but was once again lost in a decisive defeat when Mayumi Kurase declared that Jōichirō was the winner. Just as the Restaurant Yukihira closed up for the night, an urban planner, Yaeko Minegasaki, entered trying to convince the Yukihiras to sell their shop but Sōma spoke on behalf of the restaurant and refused her offer. The next day, Sōma discovered that someone had trampled and destroyed all of the meat in the restaurant freezer and splattered paint across the awning. Just as Sōma discovered this, Yaeko arrived asking for a meat dish, knowing that her group had destroyed all possible meat.
Undeterred, Sōma cooked a dish using potatoes, mushrooms, and bacon he had planned to use for breakfast as the "meat" which he called Roast Pork, Just Kidding. To her surprise, the dish was unlike anything she had tasted from the restaurants she helped develop. Unable to resist the taste of the dish, Yaeko promised to never target the shop again. As Sōma began to clean the awning, Jōichirō returned to announce that he will close down Restaurant Yukihira for three years. Jōichirō told Sōma that it was time to part from Restaurant Yukihira, to go out in the world and measure his ability.
Jōichirō recommended that Sōma attend Tōtsuki Culinary Academy during the three-year closure. A few weeks later, Sōma arrived to take the entrance examination. Then, he received a phone call from Jōichirō who was currently working in New York. He told Sōma that Tōtsuki Academy is a prestigious culinary school and if he could not graduate from there, he had no hope of surpassing him. With his competitive spirit ignited by these words, Sōma hung up his phone before Jōichirō could tell him the secret in becoming a good chef, which is to meet a woman that will make you want to give all the food you make to her.
Meanwhile, inside Tōtsuki Academy, Erina Nakiri appeared and belittled a group of students' dishes, claiming that it was terrible. She then proceeded to scold the whole group for staining her tongue and leaving instantly to her next appointment.
Sōma's Entrance ExamEdit
Sōma eventually arrived at the examination area where a few other applicants were waiting to take the test. He tried to befriend one of the applicants, Yoshiaki Nikaidō and the two began to talk to each other until Sōma told him about Restaurant Yukihira. After their confrontation due to social differences, Sōma entered the hall with the other applicants where two girls were waiting inside. One of the girls introduced herself as Erina Nakiri and decided that their task was to make any dish with eggs as its basis. Any dish that managed to satisfy her would grant them entrance into Tōtsuki, however she also mentioned that they had one minute to withdraw from the examination. Without a moment's hesitation, the room was quickly vacated.
Though Erina had thought that the room was completely vacated, Sōma stayed behind, determined to take the test. He started to prepare a dish from Yukihira's secret menu, the Transforming Furikake Gohan. Though she was initially unamused by the dish's name and the final result, Sōma managed to keep her in the room as he cooked. As he finished the meal, the dish took on a new shape and was presented well enough to entice Erina to take a bite. Much to her disbelief, the simple dish had impressed her, but her pride and Sōma's cockiness immediately caused her to deny him entrance into Tōtsuki. Sōma was speechless as he left the room, unable to comprehend that his dish was not good. Livid from the experience, Erina informed her grandfather that no applicants had passed.
The 92nd Generation Orientation CeremonyEdit
One month after the entrance examination, Senzaemon Nakiri, the director of Tōtsuki, welcomed the 92nd Tōtsuki Generation into Tōtsuki Culinary Academy and gave his entrance speech, declaring that 99% of them would be "sacrificial stepping stones" to polish the remaining 1% "gems" of the academy. To conclude his speech, Senzaemon motivated all students to keep up their best effort and devote their studies to achieve their goal.
Meanwhile, Erina, who was welcomed as the top prospect of the 92nd Tōtsuki Generation from the Middle School section, smugly told herself that she will stand at the top of Tōtsuki while the rest will fight for second place. However, before the ceremony concluded, Senzaemon introduced the only student to transfer into the high school section: Sōma Yukihira. Sōma then gave his speech, declaring that he will be the one to stand at the top of Tōtsuki at the end of their high school life and will use everyone as stepping stones to get there. All of the students at the ceremony did not take his comment well and angrily booed him as he walked off the stage.
As he entered the backstage area, Sōma encountered Erina, who was surprised that he was in the academy despite the fact that she personally denied him. Unbeknownst to both, after the Examination Kitchen was vacated, Senzaemon himself sampled Sōma's dish and immediately sent an acceptance letter to Sōma. Trying to put Sōma in his place, Erina told him that their fellow classmates had formal Tōtsuki culinary education for the past three years while he has not. Sōma responded that he has twelve years of personal kitchen and customer service experience while they have not. Sōma then vowed to make Erina admit his food is good at the end of their high school life. As Senzaemon observed the confrontation between Erina and Sōma, he knew he made the right choice to accept Sōma into his academy.
First Day at Tōtsuki Culinary AcademyEdit
Megumi Tadokoro, still alone in the ceremony location, feared that she will be the first to drop out from the high school section, decided to avoid Sōma, to not draw attention. Ironically, Megumi was paired up with Sōma for the first assignment of the year. She also told him she must pass the assignment to stay in the academy. At that moment, the lecturer arrived. Megumi identifies him as Roland Chapelle, a stern professor known as "The Chef that Doesn't Smile" due to his strict grading standards. Roland tasked his students to make a Boeuf Bourguignon and added that any dish that does not get an "A" will get an "E" even if they deserved a middle grade.
Though they were nearly finished with the dish, when Megumi left the pot unattended, two students sabotaged their dish using salt. However, Sōma came up with a solution and the two set off to work. Sōma and Megumi managed to save their dish and served it to Roland. To his surprise, their Boeuf Bourguignon was soft and tender. Sōma revealed that he had used honey because the enzymes in it helped to speed up the softening process. Roland finally took a bite of the dish and smiled for the first time on record. Roland awarded Sōma and Megumi with an "A", but he regretted not being able to give them a grade higher than that. Megumi thanked Sōma for saving their dish and accepted his offer to try his newest test dish. However, she would later regret this, as his Grilled Squid Tentacles Dressed in Honey comically gave her deep emotional trauma from the experience.
Polar Star's Newest ResidentEdit
After a good first day, Sōma searched for the Polar Star Dormitory, the only on-campus lodging. After an extensive hike, Sōma arrived at the dorm. Inside, chaos unfolded as wild animals ran rampant in the halls while copious amounts of smoke emerged from a resident's room. Sōma then met the dormitory mother, Fumio Daimidō, who told Sōma that he would need to cook a dish in order to enter the dorm. Sōma had no ingredients to make a dish but he asked to see the kitchen. Inside, Sōma saw nothing but leftover ingredients. Though Fumio believed that Sōma could not prepare a dish from the scraps, Sōma devised a full course meal and quickly began to cook an Improvised Mackerel Burger Meal. To Fumio's surprise, from mere leftover ingredients, Sōma made a fantastic meal. Impressed by his ingenuity and creativity, Fumio awarded him lodging in room 303 however she forgot to inform Sōma about the dormitory's bathing rules.
As Sōma settled in his room, he decided to take a bath. Meanwhile, Megumi took a bath to recover from the trauma from Sōma's test dish. Unfortunately, Sōma walked in on her naked as he prepared to take a bath himself. Later that night, Satoshi Isshiki made a sudden appearance in Sōma's room through the ceiling panel. Satoshi invited him to Room 205 for his welcoming party. There he met his fellow 92nd Generation students Megumi, Yūki Yoshino, Ryōko Sakaki, Shun Ibusaki, Zenji Marui, Daigo Aoki and Shōji Satō. During the party, Yūki informed Sōma about the Elite Ten Council and his welcoming party picked up. After a few hours, most of the residents at the party either left or had fallen asleep. Only Satoshi, Sōma, and Shun remained awake. Satoshi offered to cook a dish for Sōma, which he accepted. Handing him his Pepper Mackerel with a Purée Garnish, Sōma was left impressed by the dish as Satoshi revealed that he is the current 7th seat of the Elite Ten.
He then challenged Sōma to make him a dish of his own just as Ryōko and Yūki had awoken. Sōma responded with his own mackerel dish, a Revamped Mackerel Onigiri Chazuke which left the three impressed. Satoshi was impressed by Sōma's dish and the two shook hands as they decided that the duel was a draw. As Satoshi closed up the party, Sōma asked how someone could become a member of the Elite Ten and asked if he had won the duel, would Satoshi had lost his seat to Sōma. Satoshi ignored his comment and told him that they could discuss it later. The next morning, the Polar Star residents entered the dinning room where Sōma had been waiting all morning to challenge Satoshi for his Elite Ten seat. Satoshi, however, declined the challenge and informed Sōma about the formal cooking duels at Tōtsuki: the Shokugeki. Satoshi informed him that because he was not willing to accept the duel and the fact that a loss against him would cost Sōma more than his place in Tōtsuki, the duel was not feasible. Sōma accepted that his goal to enter the Elite Ten would have to wait.
During this time, Erina challenged the Chan RS president, Kiyoshi Gōdabayashi to a Shokugeki to move forward with her project. Kiyoshi accepts her challenge for the right to keep the Chan RS alive however he added another condition: Erina must relinquish her 10th Seat if she lost the duel. Erina accepted his terms and the Shokugeki began. In the end, Erina effortlessly won and called a demolition crew to tear down the Chan RS clubroom. Shortly after, Erina is greeted by Hisako who informs her about Sōma's high grade in Roland's class, causing her demeanor to instantly snap. Thinking that Sōma is the greatest threat to her "sanctuary", Erina vowed to remove Sōma from Tōtsuki as soon as possible, by any means necessary.
After departing from the Polar Star Dormitory, Sōma decided to look for a club with Megumi who suggested that he look for one. Eventually he found the Don RS, a club devoted to making Donburi dishes. However the president of the club, Kanichi Konishi told them that the club was targeted by Erina for her expansion project and was going to be disbanded soon. As Kanichi finished explaining his plight, a contractor crew burst into the club room with one of Erina's enforcers, Ikumi Mito, who had arrived to move Erina's project forward. She intimidate Kanichi, saying that no matter what kind of dish he makes, he cannot beat her A5 quality beef. Sōma saw this event unfold and volunteered to take the Shokugeki in the name of the Don RS, much to everyone's surprise. For stipulations for both parties, Sōma would leave Tōtsuki if he lost. However, he added that the Don RS cannot be targeted by Erina's project and Ikumi must join the Don RS if he won and she accepted the terms. With a Donburi dish as the theme and meat as the basis, Ikumi left the room to prepare.
With three days to prepare for the Shokugeki, Sōma began to make numerous Don dishes, Megumi assisted him by researching Donburi books from the club's notebook library. Though they were good, Kanichi felt that they were not enough to beat Ikumi who was most likely to bring an A5 grade beef as her meat basis. Given the Don RS measly remaining budget and the limited funds Jōichirō had given to him, Sōma was given a huge handicap as his cooking materials were limited by his financial shortcomings. Just as Sōma had exhausted all of his ideas and nearly all of his funds, Megumi gave him some encouragement to persevere but Sōma noticed that Megumi had a recipe book with Japanese steak don recipes. Sōma quickly prepared a Chaliapin Steak which Kanichi deemed worthy enough to challenge an A5 meat prepared by Ikumi. However Sōma spent the rest of the night modifying his recipe to perfection. During the preparation period, Ikumi contacted her family to deliver the best A5 grade beef for her Shokugeki. With her weapon now ready, Ikumi assured Erina that she will win the Shokugeki, much to Erina's pleasure.
On the day of the Shokugeki, Ikumi was welcomed into the arena by unanimous cheers while Sōma garnered unanimous boos. As the cooking commenced, Erina personally came to the Shokugeki Arena to watch what was to be Sōma's first Shokugeki and ensure that the battle would be Sōma's last act in Tōtsuki. Ikumi gathered praise from the audience as she began to work with her A5 meat while Sōma's cheap on-sale market meat was met with even more jeers from the audience. Throughout the cooking time, Ikumi constantly threw insults at Sōma, but he ignored them, stating that loud chefs can't be trusted then the aroma of Sōma's dish hit Ikumi, causing her to shudder. Finally, the preparation time ended and both of them prepared to present their dishes to the judges. Ikumi presented her dish first, an A5 Japanese Beef Roti Don. The judges, Shigenoshin Kōda, Yoshiki Bitō and Katsunori Okamoto were impressed by the presentation of her dish. They complimented her artistry, the fantastic preparation of the meat and the accompanying garlic rice.
Sōma presented next with his Chaliapin Steak Don. Though the judges initially did not want to eat it in the aftermath of Ikumi's dish, after taking a bite, the judges could not stop eating the dish, even saying that the dish overall was better than Ikumi's. Sōma critiqued Ikumi's dish saying that her dish was not a true don, along of the philosophy of making the don. Sōma then handed her a sample of his dish when she refused to believe that his cheap meat could be better than her A5 beef. As Ikumi ate his dish, she realized the difference in the impact of their dishes as a whole rather than just the meat. Sōma was declared the unanimous victor of the match. In the aftermath, Ikumi gazed at Erina in her booth, she coldly walked away and told Hisako to vacate Ikumi's personal kitchen, breaking all ties from her. Frustrated from losing everything, Ikumi lashed out at Sōma when he asked to try her don however after he called her nickname "Nikumi" cute, she fled in embarrassment. Shortly after, Kanichi declared that Sōma would become the next president of Don RS however, he declined his offer since he had only come to the club to develop a new don dish.
The day after the Shokugeki, Ikumi stood in front of the newly refurbished Don RS club room, recalling Sōma's comment about her nickname. She took time to fix her hair before entering the club room. To her surprise, Sōma did not join the club. Kanichi then declared her the next head of the Don RS only for her to lash out at him again when he called her "Nikumi".
- Most of the main cast is introduced with Sōma Yukihira as the main protagonist.
- Jōichirō is revealed to be a world-famous chef and closes down Restaurant Yukihira.
- Sōma meets Erina and becomes her rival.
- Sōma enrolls into Tōtsuki Culinary Academy.
- Sōma gives a speech at the 92nd Generation Spring Orientation ceremony that sparks other future rivalries for him.
- Sōma meets Megumi and she becomes his main cooking partner.
- Sōma becomes a resident of the Polar Star Dormitory and befriends its residents.
- Sōma duels Satoshi and ties. However, Satoshi did not use any of his signature dishes against him.
- Sōma wins his first Shokugeki.
Manga and Anime DifferencesEdit
- Yūya Tomita made an early appearance in Episode 1 of the anime adaption as he did not make his debut in the manga until Chapter 35.
- After Sōma's entrance speech in Episode 3, numerous characters are introduced that were not present in that same scene in the manga. They include Ryōko Sakaki, Yūki Yoshino, Zenji Marui, Shun Ibusaki, Daigo Aoki, Shōji Satō, Urara Kawashima, Alice Nakiri, Ryō Kurokiba, Akira Hayama, Miyoko Hōjō, Nao Sadatsuka, and Yua Sasaki.
- In an anime exclusive scene, the Aldini Twins earn an A in another cooking class test.
- Erina's aggravated response to Hisako's reporting of Sōma occurred at different places; in the manga, this occurred immediately after Erina's Shokugeki against the Chan RS, whereas in the anime it happened almost immediately after the fact.
- Mitsuru Sōtsuda is shown in the audience during Erina's Chan RS Shokugeki.
Cooking Duels Edit
- Sōma Yukihira Vs. Jōichirō Yukihira (489th match)
- Sōma Yukihira Vs. Satoshi Isshiki
- Chan RS Vs. Nakiri Shokugeki
- Mito Vs. Don RS Shokugeki
(To be added)