「『玉』[ぎょく]の世代」 (“Gyoku” no Sedai)
“The Generation of Prodigies”
I think that’s the first time Shokugeki no Souma has killed an animal live on-screen. And the butcher wasn’t Ikumi but Hisako! Who would’ve thought that she would use a live turtle in her burger? I think I’m more amazed by the fact that they would even animate that than the actual act of turning a turtle into a burger. Certainly not for the light-hearted viewer, but at least you only see the blood and not the full butchering act. Killing any animal on-screen is upsetting to see, but a lot of chefs will do that as part of the “art” or “performance” of cooking in front of an audience. It’s not common where I live so the only live animal I’ve seen served is seafood (fish and squid) but turtle is different. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten soft-shelled turtle before and the only turtle I’ve had is normally served in soup. Hisako’s dish wasn’t exactly mouth-watering, but I do love the traditional white steamed buns (normally served with pork belly!) and very common when eating dim-sum. Akira’s dish is when the salivating started to happen for me. His “burger” isn’t your traditional Americanized burger either and instead takes influences from the Middle East where I believe kebabs and shawarmas are more common (or originated from). I’m lucky that where I’m from, Akira’s version of a burger is actually easier to find than Hisako’s. It might not be as flavorful or aromatic – but you can find a lot of restaurants here that serve their kebab meat in pitas and wrapped with all the same fillings and toppings. Of course, it’s not in a “patty” form but you get the idea. I love both Akira and Hisako’s take on a traditional “burger” – neither of them made what I expected and definitely went “out-of-the-box” thinking with this theme. It makes me really crave a burger (even if it’s from my McDonald’s) but I appreciate how Shokugeki no Souma never ceases to amaze me in its innovative recipes and takes on food.
Moving along from the topic of this week’s episode – let’s talk about the actual battle between Akira and Hisako. Personally it didn’t surprise me that Akira won by a landslide; and that’s not because I read any spoilers. I always thought that Hisako wasn’t someone that really stood in the spotlight and that’s just her character, always walking a step behind Erina. The only time that her performance surprised me was when she placed second in Group A last season. Her curry sounded alright, but what really impressed me was how she finally came out as a contender. Not exactly Erina’s level (or even Souma’s level) but her character finally had more definition and she’s not just “Erina’s sidekick”. It’s not enough to defeat Akira, but at least we got to see why she’s here and what she stands to prove. I really liked Akira’s line when he said that she’ll never be able to beat him if she only strives to be number 2 – which is so true. Everyone here is aiming to be the best; why settle for second best when you’re capable of more? Respect for Akira just shot through the roof because of this win! I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next. If he ends up facing Souma (again), I think that’d be a bit repetitive or anticlimactic but who knows… maybe he’ll be pitted against Ryou and that’ll be an outstanding battle.
Asides from the main battle this week, there was the conclusion of Ryou vs. Megumi and the introduction of a new character (finally!). Ryou winning against Megumi didn’t come to a surprise either but I think they drew out that conclusion a bit too quickly. There was a huge cliffhanger at the end of last week and it felt a bit anticlimactic at the beginning. Oh well. Not to say that Megumi didn’t deserve to win, but I think she has a longer way to go to catch up to Ryou’s level and it just means more development for her later on. Kudos to her for making it this far though! And finally we see Mimasaka Subaru (Yasumoto Hiroki) show up! I’ve been waiting to see him for a year now (since he never appeared at the end of last season with his curry) although his introduction was rushed a bit. I don’t like how he was never brought up in the prior season and simply gets slotted in against Takumi and now there’s a shokugeki! Say whatttt? I’m definitely cheering on Takumi next week but that’s because Subaru appears to be a crazy manic whom we know nothing about yet. Maybe he has a tragic past that’s made him a psycho with a tough exterior? Who knows! Takumi is a top competitor though and I have high hopes for him; but you never know with new characters introduced.
Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: Burgers! Not your typical American burgers but still juicy and delicious. So hungry now. Not surprised at Akira’s win but I’m more impressed by what he said. You can’t be the best if you’re always aiming to be #2. Finally introduced to Subaru as the last qualifier against Takumi. What an incredibly creepy dude #shokugeki_anime
Full-length images: 35.