Nikku is an indie game developer, a freelance translator, and an avid anime viewer.
My prediction that this week’s match would be close turned out to be true, but the end result was not what I had in mind. Some of you might’ve been able to see this coming if you were paying close attention to the opening credits, but I’ll dive more into that more.
This week’s episode focuses mostly on Akira and Ryo’s semi-final match. The theme for their match is any western-styled main dish, the same as the previous match.
The episode begins by showing both of them preparing for their match. Akira trains his sense of smell by guessing the names of a multitude of spices while being blindfolded and having his hands tied behind his back, while Ryo trains his body (I guess) by doing one-handed push-ups. Although I suppose it fits his personality, I found Ryo’s preparation to be a little strange since it doesn’t directly relate to cooking. However, he does get to challenge Alice to a cooking battle, which serves as more than enough practice for him.
During the match, Akira makes full use of his vast knowledge of spices to prepare his dish, Canard Apicius. The primary piece of this dish is duck meat glazed with honey, oven-baked, and crusted with a variety of spices. It has a somewhat elegant presentation, and, as usual with Akira’s cooking, the wonderful aroma of the dish completely engulfs the arena. Akira’s masterful command of spices for both flavor and smell thoroughly impresses the judges.
Ryo, on the other hand, falls back on his specialty of seafood with his dish, Eel Matelote. This dish, although lacking when compared to the smell and presentation of Akira’s dish, packs Ryo’s usual explosive flavor and impact. The first explosion comes from the plums he hides within the eel. An even bigger explosion comes from the combined flavor of the eel, plums, mashed potatoes, and brioche. The judges are blown away by the powerful flavor of Ryo’s dish, and for a moment, it seems like the tide has completely shifted in his favor. However, when the judges begin to cast their votes, the result starts to head in an unexpected direction.
The judges go silent for a while as they struggle to make their decision. After a short time, the first two votes are cast and Akira takes the lead. The next two votes, however, go to Ryo, making it a 2–2 tie. The match comes down to the last judge, but instead of issuing the tie-breaking decision, she shocks everyone by saying that she can’t choose a winner between the two dishes. After some discussion over the rules regarding ties, this sets up an unprecedented 3-way match between Soma, Akira, and Ryo for the Fall Election’s final match.
Since I predicted that Akira would win this match, this was certainly not the outcome I was expecting. As I mentioned, however, the viewers that paid close attention to the opening credits might have seen this coming. There’s a scene toward the second half of the opening credits where Akira blows everyone away with his cinnamon stick cannons, and then Soma cuts through this beam with his knife. Ryo then blazes toward them on his knife to set up a shot of the three of them facing off. I didn’t think much about this part each time I watched the opening, but I can see now that it was referring to their 3-way match up in the finals.
Also, is it just me, or did the amount of chin touching exponentially increase in this week’s episode? It felt like nearly half the words uttered in this episode were accompanied by some form of hand-on-chin contact, particularly among the couch group of Erina, Soma and Alice.
The ending of this episode had me a bit worried about the next one or two episodes. I’m not worried about the 3-way match up in the finals; I think that’ll make for a very interesting showdown. What has me worried is that there will be a ten-day break before the final match begins. Why does it have to be ten days? This time period seems a bit too long for the anime to just skip over in a quick preparation scene. I can’t shake the feeling that we might be getting a filler-like episode next week, which is weird given how rushed this season has been so far. Given that it’s currently summer, I wouldn’t be shocked if they even tried to squeeze in a beach or swimming pool episode.
But who knows, maybe my worries will all be for naught, and this break before the final match will be handled in a way similar to what happened before Soma and Subaru’s match. We’ll just have to wait and see.
Anime official site : http://shokugekinosoma.com/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/shokugeki_anime
©Yuto Tsukuda, Shun Saeki/ Shueisha,Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Committee 2