The Karaage Wars Arc is the third story arc of the Shokugeki no Soma series. It focuses on Sōma Yukihira's homecoming to the Sumiredōri Shopping District during his summer break and his rivalry against Mozuya in order to retake the popularity of his neighborhood.
Sōma's Homecoming Edit
The arc begins with a few weeks after the Training Camp. The month of June arrived, the students of Tōtsuki Culinary Academy were given a string of holidays and teacher business days, creating a short summer break. With the time given, the residents of Polar Star Dormitory had their holidays planned out and Sōma Yukihira decided to return to Sumiredōri Shopping District to air out Restaurant Yukihira. Meanwhile, over the first two months Sōma spent at Tōtsuki, Mayumi Kurase had stopped by Restaurant Yukihira every day. Aki Koganei chided Mayumi for not confessing her feelings for Sōma before he left for school. However, much to everyone's surprise, Sōma had returned home for a long weekend. Though he did not plan on running the shop, some of Sōma's former classmates and many of the Sumiredōri residents flocked to the restaurant. With his clients hoping to have a Yukihira dish after two months without it, Sōma temporarily opened the restaurant during his vacation.
In the evening, Sōma noticed the barren streets as well as a downtrodden Yūya Tomita who informed Sōma that Mozuya, a Karaage store in the train station has been drawing attention from the shopping district as of late. He further explained that because of the locational advantage, Mozuya can appeal to many customers who were arriving from all directions. As a result, people ignored the shopping district and their number of clients sharply decreased. Hearing the plight of his hometown, Sōma took it upon himself to revive the business in the shopping district. Mayumi was volunteered by Aki to help Sōma out during his task and, more importantly, have her friend spend time with him. While planning his strategy, Sōma decided to directly challenge the threat with a Karaage dish from the district. Needing as much help as possible, Sōma decided to call Ikumi Mito to help him out with his challenge. With free time on her hands, Ikumi arrived to help Sōma during his battle, but was upset to find another girl helping out. Nevertheless, the team was set and their first order of business was to investigate the competition.
Trials and Errors Edit
Arriving at the train station, Sōma, Ikumi, and Mayumi arrived at the shop in question, Mozuya. As they surveyed the shop, Sōma noticed Yūya in disguise standing in line to do some scouting himself, however he was discovered by the owner and manager Kinu Nakamozu. Kinu gave free Karaage samples to Sōma and his friends who were impressed by the strong flavor. When Mayumi asked how it was made, Kinu completely told her how it was made as she knew that the four of them were there to survey the competition, confident that her karaage could not be beat. However, Sōma responded to her cheekiness, saying that if the Shopping District made a better Karaage dish than hers, it would ruin Mozuya's reputation. Hearing that, Kinu belittled their efforts then bid them farewell as she walked back toward her store. Returning to Restaurant Yukihira, Sōma began to create a few Karaage samples like the Cheese and Curry Karaage. Mayumi thought that his first test was delicious, but Sōma still felt that they lacked the impact to challenge Mozuya. Ikumi suggested to challenge Mozuya using other meats rather than chicken, but Sōma felt that they needed to directly face Mozuya's specialty to win back the community. Though Ikumi offered to sell some Mito A5 beef at a discounted price, Sōma turned down the offer when she told him the price.
Mayumi suggested that Sōma should make a dish that would represent the shopping district as a whole. After noticing some middle schoolers passing by the shop, returning from their school club trips, Sōma finally got a solid idea, saying that Karaage is best eaten fresh. Sōma decided that the best solution was to make "a karaage that you could eat while walking". Mayumi came up with the idea to use skewers, but Sōma felt that the idea was a little too common to make a serious impact. When Sōma left to fetch some notebooks from his room, Mayumi was left alone with Ikumi. Mayumi complimented Ikumi, calling her amazing, though Ikumi felt that there were a lot of useless people at Tōtsuki, though Sōma was not bad. Before she could ask further, Sōma had returned. Thanks to some input from Ikumi and a surprising inspiration from a failed idea from Yūya, Sōma finally had a brilliant idea to make a karaage that would involve the entire shopping district. The others resolved themselves to help out Sōma as much as they could.
The next day, Kinu was seen talking to Etsuya Eizan over the phone, reassuring the positive financial situation of her business and her petty encounter with Sōma. However, Estuya warned her about the sporadic market trends and to carefully investigate Sōma as an extra precaution. She hung up her phone and blatantly disregarded his warning as she was confident that none can hinder her business. Shortly after, Etsuya was called by Satoshi alongside Erina Nakiri as the Elite Ten Council was summoned to decide on the participants from the 92nd Tōtsuki Generation for the Tōtsuki Autumn Election Preliminaries.
The Decisive Factor Edit
During the station's rush hour commute, Kinu personally stood outside of her store however she was taunted when a new brand of Karaage rolls appeared out of nowhere. Two days later, Kinu saw the same Karaage rolls bustling through out the entire train station. She then received a sales report from one of her employees which stated that Mozuya's profit has dropped 20% since yesterday. Kinu figured out the location of the newest karaage sensation, the Sumire Karaage Roll and arrived at the Sumiredōri Shopping District to personally investigate the cause of the sudden sharp drop in sales at Mozuya and was noticed by Sōma. Sōma explained to her that the Karaage Roll was just a focal point of the shopping district, but the businesses around built off the attention of the roll, cooperating and harmonizing off its success. Kinu realized that Sōma almost singlehandedly revived the district's business. Though she refused to believe that the roll could beat Mozuya's high quality Karaage, Sōma handed her a roll and she realized the power of the shopping district's unity and admitted defeat.
That night, just before Sōma returned to Tōtsuki, he thanked Ikumi for her assistance during the break and asked Mayumi if she would work with Yūya to make the Karaage Roll in his absence. Sōma told her that he trusts her and thought that she was reliable from what he saw during the primary and middle school years. Mayumi happily accepted and Sōma promised to cook her something when he returns to Restaurant Yukihira. Shortly after, Kinu received a phone call from Etsuya who demanded an explanation of the current financial state of her store.
- Sōma returns to Sumiredōri Shopping District to air out Restaurant Yukihira.
- Sōma temporarily reopens Restaurant Yukihira while he stays.
- Sumiredōri is under a financial crisis due to a Karaage store, Mozuya, in a nearby train station.
- Mayumi Kurase is formally introduced and is revealed to have a crush on Sōma.
- Sōma enlists the aid of Ikumi Mito to solve the crisis.
- The Sumire Karaage Roll is invented to bring attention to the Shopping District, effectively shutting down Mozuya.
- Sōma tasks Mayumi with creating the Karaage Roll in his absence.
- Sōma inadvertently captures the attention of Etsuya Eizan, who was consulting for Mozuya.
Manga and Anime DifferencesEdit
- In the anime, the arc was set after Jōichirō Yukihira's return to the Polar Star Dorm, to see how much his son had improved. He further asks Fumio to tell Sōma to return to their hometown in summer. In the manga, Jōichirō returns only after this arc has finished.
- This is the shortest arc in the series, spanning only 4 chapters and 2 episodes.