Nikku is an indie game developer, a freelance translator, and an avid anime viewer.
I’m enjoying the direction this series is taking. It really does feel much closer to how the first season was, and I hope this continues for the remaining episodes.
Like I mentioned in my last review, the Fall Elections arc had a problem with being too formulaic. It was essentially the same episode each week, with just the people cooking, the people judging, and the dishes made being the only changes each time. Although I was interested in the result of each match, watching them play out was a somewhat boring experience for me.
So I’m glad to see the story move on to something new.
So this week’s episode marks the beginning of the first year students’ on-the-job training program. The students will be training at several different locations, and the first place Soma is assigned to work at is Western Restaurant Mitamura. The first assignment is also conducted in pairs, and Soma ends up paired with Hishoko (or Hisako Arato, Erina’s aide).
The two of them start working at Mitamura, which is in dire need of the extra help. The restaurant is well liked by local customers, but things have changed ever since the closest train station became a stop for the shinkansen (bullet train). The huge influx of new customers, who are often in a hurry, has been problematic as the staff can’t keep up with the orders, resulting in some customers leaving angrily without eating anything.
Due to his experience, Soma is able to instantly adapt to this situation and help the restaurant keep up with its expanded customer base. At first, Hishoko overestimates how much her classes and training have prepared her for this and is quickly overwhelmed. Being a quick learner though, she’s soon able to adapt to the situation. The whole experience gives her a new respect for Soma, who, for most of the beginning of the training week, she wanted nothing to do with.
The requirement for clearing the training program is to contribute something that helps improve the restaurant. Simply accomplishing the jobs you’re assigned isn’t enough to pass. It’s a good thing Jun told Soma about this at the beginning of the episode, as it served as a hint to help him figure out what he needed to do. However, even without this, I’m sure Soma would’ve thought of something on his own.
Soma makes the proposal that Mitamura should switch to reservation only. This would provide a way to deal with the influx of new customers, and also allow the staff to focus on serving food that satisfies their customer base. This contribution, along with their great work throughout the week, allows Soma and Hishoko to pass their first training program.
In the end, Hishoko’s pairing with Soma turns out to be just what she needed to help her sort out her issues and set herself back on track.
I was a bit surprised Soma was paired up with Hishoko, as I wasn’t expecting her to show up for a while. I thought that after she lost her match to Akira, Hishoko went on a self-searching journey to improve her cooking skills. I wasn’t expecting her to return to the story until she completed her journey. I guess she didn’t actually leave the academy though, and was just simply avoiding Erina.
Also, I was hoping we’d be able to catch a glimpse of how all the other students were fairing at each of their training locations, but unfortunately we were only able to see Erina and Megumi. Although it was only for brief moments, it was interesting to watch Erina essentially take over the restaurant she was assigned to, and to see Megumi be able to make a contribution despite being only allowed to wash the dishes.
It looks like Shinomiya Kojirou has opened up a new restaurant in Japan called Shino’s Tokyo. I was thinking Soma would go to his restaurant in Paris for the training, but it appears he won’t need to now. I’m a little disappointed by this because it probably means that the training will take place only within Japan, and none of the students will go to restaurants overseas. This does make more sense though if the training periods will only be a week or so long.
Although I’m excited to see Soma work with Shinomiya (I think it’ll be a very good experience for him), I’m also slightly disappointed that it’s starting so soon. After getting the appetizer of Soma working at Mitamura’s restaurant, I’d like to see him go to one or two more places before Shino’s. It’d be nice to see Soma in different situations and paired up with different students.
So it’s a little unfortunate, but it’s not that bad if next week takes place at Shino’s Tokyo. The anime will probably spend more time with Soma’s experience there, as opposed to ending the whole week of training in one episode. It also looks like Soma will be working there by himself, instead of in a pair, based on what was mentioned near the beginning of this episode. I was hoping he would be paired up with another student again, possibly Erina, but it should still be interesting nonetheless. I’m looking forward to next week’s episode.
Anime official site : http://shokugekinosoma.com/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/shokugeki_anime
©Yuto Tsukuda, Shun Saeki/ Shueisha,Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Committee 2