「肉の侵略者」 (Niku no Shinryakusha)
“The Meat Invader”
Souma’s first battle… and he’s actually unprepared! Up until this episode, Souma has always been winning and serving up the perfect dish without much hesitation or struggle. This time he’s actually at a loss for words and needs help. Konishi Kanichi (Kawada Shinji) is the only member of the Don Research Society (RS) and Mito Ikumi (Ishigami Shizuka), under Erina’s orders, is threatening him to shut it down. Souma (being the great guy that he is), jumps in to challenge Ikumi to a battle to save the Don RS in Kanichi’s place. However, the terms are if Souma loses, he will leave Toutsuki Academy and if Ikumi loses, she will join the Don RS. There’s no doubt in my mind that Souma is going to knock this out of the park… but I never thought I’d see him actually at a loss for words. Typically he has a winning dish in his mind already and this time, he jumps into this challenge and has no idea what he’s up against…
The second half of this episode was more fun to watch with all the actual food and cooking. The first half that expanded on the other “hobbies” and interests of the dorm mates, and I thought this was a bit slow for my taste. To me, seeing these students devote so much of their lives to their culinary expertise is just too intense for me and almost unbelievable. Perhaps it’s because I’m not an actual chef (even though I work in foodservice), but do people actually do this at a young age? I can imagine folks growing their own crop and being “local” and “organic” in their cooking choices… but I can’t imagine sourcing your own wood for smoking and eating your own livestock. Farmers and owners of butcher shops may eat their own livestock, but it seems very inhumane for me to breed my own chickens and take care of them… only to chop them up because they taste good. I have a soft heart so I think I would turn vegan very quickly if I ever worked with livestock or you know… in a slaughter house. Anyway, obviously this is an anime and there will be exaggerations, especially in a shounen series. It makes a good point of showing the hard work that chefs go through just to create a stunning plate. Although a lot of chefs may not be this hands on, sourcing good ingredients and spending years to perfect a dish can take a lot of work.
As for the amazing dishes that Souma prepared – man, my mouth was watering. I normally don’t eat rice (at all, even though a lot of people are surprised to hear that) but seeing all the different types of don is terribly appetizing. There’s all that juicy delicious meat, the perfect sauce and when you put an egg on top? Oh dear, I’m in love. My favorite don are usually chirashi don and unagi don, but hey! Shokugeki no Souma is all about experimenting with different foods and trying different things. I don’t think Souma’s techniques are 100% accurate or timely, but it’s definitely an interesting way to marinate and tenderize meat with the onions. I learn so much about different cuisines and terminologies every time. I’ve had many opportunities to make onigiri though and that’s one thing that isn’t too difficult as long as you get the right rice and seasoning. The fillings are where the dish shines because the possibilities are endless as long as you have a creative mind. I think this confirms that Megumi isn’t necessarily a bad chef, but she does let the pressure and nerves get to her. I hope to see more of her actual cooking skills later on – perhaps she has her own areas of expertise.
Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: Mmmm… ~ I don’t even like rice but I can’t resist how these don look =3 First time I’ve seen Souma struggle to create an astounding dish the first time. This is much more realistic ^^