There is one name that is synonymous with the fine dining industry in Shokugeki no Souma; Nakiri. As a family, they seek to enhance food to new heights and each member takes their own steps towards this goal. Sadly, due to COVID-19, Food Wars! The Fifth Plate has been delayed. However, this gives us a perfect time to delve deeper into the characters and critically analyze them before it returns. The characters listed below are the most prominent members of the Nakiri family and how they not only contribute to the plot of the anime, but to the food world as a whole.
The following characters are the main characters that stand out in the Nakiri family. They contribute to food culture and despite their family drama, hold a high standard for food and aim to elevate fine dining to higher levels. These are characters that advance the plot and allow us to still care about the inner workings of their family.
Erina Nakiri, is one of the protagonists of Food Wars! and is known as the “God Tongue.” Her ability to taste is unparalleled and due to her ability, she has been accelerated to the top of the food world. While her pedigree is impressive, she uses her own talents to gain entry to Tootsuki and earn her place on the Council of Ten. As the daughter of Azami Nakiri, she has maintained a hard exterior that was forcibly put into place by years of abuse. After custody being transferred to her grandfather, Senzaemon Nakiri, Erina was able to expand her world and enter into a better and brighter future. Though she upheld her bad attitude, she was able to meet Souma Yukihira and the others at the Polar Star Dormitory who would start to break down her barriers. Erina is a strong leading character that gives us all hope about a better future despite her dark past.
Senzaemon is the director of Tootsuki Academy and Erina’s grandfather. He focuses on teaching his students in order to elevate the food world. Despite his hard and buff image, he wants his students to succeed and gives them honest feedback. Although we do not see many scenes of Erina as a child, it is clear that he tried to give her a good upbringing. He allowed her to use her gift as the “God Tongue”, but he never supervised her. It seems as though he was too busy to give Erina the attention she needed to move past her trauma but did his best with the limited time that he had. Due to him being gone often, this allowed Erina to grow closer to her cousin Alice before she went abroad with her family.
Azami is the closest character that we can equate to a villain in Food Wars! He has a twisted sense of righteousness when it comes to food and after taking the title of director from Senzaemon Nakiri, he wants the students to learn to copy the great chefs rather than become better on their own merit. As Erina’s father, Azami has a profound impact when he enters the same room as her. We know Erina to be a strong character but under her father’s gaze, she becomes quiet and meek. This is due to the trauma that Azami had instilled in Erina from a young age. Azami seeks to use the Council of 10 to change everything that Tootsuki stands for and eliminate all that stand in his path. Azami holds a grudge due to Souma Yukihira’s father, Jouichirou Yukihira never getting the praise that he deserves. Azami says that he doesn’t want to live in a world where any chef should have to wander but by instilling this lesson, he takes the freedom and creativity away from budding chefs.
Last but not least, we have Alice. This feisty chef has learned her techniques from her parents who are seeking to accelerate molecular gastronomy. This has led Alice to excel in newfound cooking techniques that are a combination of cooking and science. Alice holds a grudge against Erina due to her always telling Alice that her cooking was terrible when they were young. Despite this, they were good friends up until Azami decided to throw away Alice’s letters after she left for Scandinavia. This led to a long resentment in Alice whose sole purpose is now to surpass her cousin in her cooking ability. Alice was a well-loved child and is shown through her spoiled behavior, usually aimed at her friend, Kurokiba Ryo. Alice hates Azami for how he treated Erina and despite their differences, Alice always comes to her cousin’s defense when it comes to her father.
The Nakiri family is a difficult family with many internal politics. Despite this family’s distinguished lineage, they bring their problems into the food world and when they choose to act, it tends to impact the entirety of Tootsuki. This influential family is incredibly important to the plot of all 5 seasons of Food Wars! and generally, is what drives the plot forward in romance, intrigue, and conflict. While they are all incredible chefs, they each have a personality that causes strife between the others. This conflict between family members can either enhance or destroy the future of the food world.
We hope that you have enjoyed this in-depth look into the Nakiri family. As always, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.