Food Wars! The Third Plate Episode 2 Review: Ma and La

I hope you all like spicy food, because if you don’t, you are in risk of being traumatized during this episode… The food looked so spicy, I actually started sweating.

Japanese Original Episode Title: 麻と辣


Yukihira is trying out recipes to prepare for competing against the 8th seat, Kuga Terunori, who specializes in dramatically spicy Chinese food. He seeks all his friends and connections for help, including Erina-sama’s precious tongue, who once again tastes Yukihira’s food (despite her hating him and wanting him to fail – that makes perfect sense). Erina explains to Souma-kun the structure of Chinese spicy cuisine and the philosophy around the ma-la combination it takes to give your dish a real boom-bam-boom. Hisako and Alice join in, providing him with food facts related to their respective expertise that is medicine and science. Souma goes back to experimenting, and with Tadokoro’s help, he comes up with some really damn spicy dishes that unfortunately still lack umami-ness, something that Kuga achieves in his cooking by his custom-made sauces. Last (but not least), Yukihira works on how to attract customers to his booth (that is a tiny wooden carriage, by the way) and gets himself a couple of stone ovens with Hojo’s help that he uses to make pepper buns. I am literally starving right now.

Episode Highlights

Souma looks very different: I noticed that in the previous episode as well, but Souma’s character design changes are even more obvious in this one. He looks almost sexy. And I’m saying ‘almost’ cause it’s still Souma-kun we’re talking about. He’s more oblivious to sexiness than a three-year-old child.

School anthem?!: What a hilarious addition to the episode. It’s great how they’ve never mentioned anything about a school anthem before, so the viewer remains completely unaware of its existence, just like Yukihira – it was a real pleasure to watch him freak out over that sound of a thousands students singing. How many kids does this high school have anyway?!

Alice patronizing Akira: Not cool, dude. The hottest character and my personal favorite of the bunch being ordered around by a brat like Alice? WHY YOU DO THIS? Watching him and Ryo exhausted was pretty funny, though.

Spicy tasting: Tadokoro and Yukihira’s mouth after eating the spicy dishes was such an inventive illustration of how the mouth feels after being subjected to violently spicy food. Made me laugh too.

The elite ten controversy: What promise is Tsukassan supposed to keep to Kuga and why? Will it be affected by the Moon Festival’s outcome? What is the deal with this guy anyway? What is the meaning of life? Why are we all here?

Themes & Trivia

Riceborg Saitama: Doesn’t the first riceborg carrying the iron rods for Kuga’s booth look a little bit like Saitama? No? Any takers?

Pepper buns: Hujiao bing is Taiwanese street food, usually filled with meat. Made my mouth water so bad.

Stone Oven: Those eye-catching stone kilns used to cook bread (among other things) are also quite popular in India, where they’re used to make naan.

Ma and La: This is rather hard to explain unless you’ve had some serious spicy Chinese food (and I have, WHAT UP). Basically, it refers to two different spicy sensations in the mouth, with ‘la’ being the one we are more familiar in the west, the type of spicy chili peppers that make you sweat and cry, and its counterpart, ‘ma’, being the aftertaste of Sichuanese peppercorn, that literally makes you numb and feels like you’ve ruined your tongue.

*intense mouth watering*

Episode 2 was very entertaining, and I regret to say I watched it in the library trying to keep my giggling to a minimum. I think I should go for some Mala hotpot soon.

How did you find Food Wars’ new episode? Let us know in the comment section below! And don’t forget to check the rest of the Fall 2017 anime reviews here on MANGA.TOKYO!

NEXT TIME: Moon Festival (月饗祭)

Food Wars! The Third Plate

Fall 2017 | Anime Info Page

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