Nikku is an indie game developer, a freelance translator, and an avid anime viewer.
This week’s match didn’t end as I wanted, but it at least didn’t end in Takumi leaving Totsuki Academy as I feared might happen. It does, however, lead into an even more dangerous situation for Soma going into his next match.
This week’s episode spends a majority of its time on Takumi and Subaru’s match. It starts out with an announcement that their match has turned into a shokugeki, and its subsequent approval by officials from the academy. The theme of their matchup is dessert.
Throughout this episode we learn about what kind of person Subaru is and his motives from comments by various people and from Subaru himself. Turning the match into a shokugeki is just a game that he plays, and it’s one that he’s done 99 times already. Subaru’s won each of those matches, and after winning, he takes his opponent’s most prized cooking tool, and indirectly, their pride as a chef as well. This time, he’s after Takumi’s mezzaluna. Takumi accepts the duel (or more accurately, is taunted into challenging Subaru to a duel), and demands that Subaru apologize for insulting his younger brother and mezzaluna if he wins.
Another part of Subaru’s game is that he prepares the same dish as his opponent. Through his extensive info gathering (also known as stalking), he’s able to accurately predict what ingredients his opponents will use and what dish they’ll make. He has the necessary skill to make something just as good as his opponent, but he then adds several twists to spice up his dish and give it an edge. That’s how Subaru has won all of his shokugeki duels so far.
For this match, both Takumi and Subaru make a semifreddo. This dessert has a crusted top layer made of almonds, a middle layer of semi-frozen cream, and a bottom layer of sponge cake. Both of them make heavy use of lemons in their dish, and as someone who loves lemon flavored food, I would really like to try eating what they made. It looked delicious. (Although, just like the judge, Oizumi, I would be reluctant to eat Subaru’s dish due to how bad his personality is.)
Subaru’s cooking style of copying and improving puts Takumi under a lot of pressure this match, but he manages to come up with a last-minute change to his dish. He adds a fourth layer of lemon curd to his semifreddo, which gives it an even more powerful lemon flavor. However, it also helps the judges notice the secret ingredient of preserved lemons that Subaru spread throughout his dish. This gives it a deep flavor and helps Subaru win the match by a very slight margin.
The last scene before the episode ends shows Soma and everyone else return to their dorm, only to find Subaru waiting in Soma’s room (with a spare key… Someone should call the police). He’s come to tell Soma that they’ll be facing off in the semi-finals and, to no surprise, to taunt Soma into another shokugeki. Subaru offers to wager Takumi’s mezzaluna in exchange for Soma putting up his main knife, but after Soma denounces Subaru’s approach to cooking, things quickly escalate. Soma demands that Subaru return all 100 of the cooking tools he’s taken so far, and in exchange, he’ll wager his life as a chef. If Soma loses their next match, he says he’ll quit being a chef.
I was happy to see this episode spend a good amount of time on the cooking match. There was even some last-minute improvisations from Takumi during it. However, there’s still a lot of room for improvement. First off, although this episode did spend a majority of its time on the match, a large portion of that was simply comprised of Subaru taunting Takumi and various people explaining about Subaru’s character.
Another issue, and I touched on this last week as well, is that the anime is still glossing over the actual cooking portions. In this match we got some whisking action, some putting-stuff-into-the-oven action, and some taking-stuff-out-of-the-oven action. That’s essentially it. I know they want to keep some parts of each dish secret until they’re revealed during the tasting/judging, but it should be just those parts that are glossed over, and not the majority of the actual cooking.
I don’t think there was any indication of which match will come first, but the semi-finals will be Akira vs. Ryo and Soma vs. Subaru. Both of these should be very interesting matches to watch, especially Soma and Subaru’s match. Although I can’t imagine Soma losing, the stakes are going to be really high for their match. I wonder if Subaru will be able to predict what Soma will make as accurately as he’s done with other opponents before, since Soma can be extremely creative and spontaneous under pressure. I’m looking forward to see how these matches will play out.
Anime official site : http://shokugekinosoma.com/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/shokugeki_anime
©Yuto Tsukuda, Shun Saeki/ Shueisha,Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Committee 2