「一口目の秘密」 (Hitokuchime no Himitsu)
“The Secret in the First Bite”
At the rate Shokugeki no Souma is going, I’m surprised there are any gaps between competitions in this tournament. Nevertheless, the show continues to try and cram as much content as possible without giving up some of the slice-of-life elements that make up the story. Albeit, it’s still rushed and comes off a bit like a sidetracked story, but at least the writers don’t try and skim through complete chapters of the manga. I know we’re on a budget and a time schedule but given that we’re only halfway through the season and there’s not that many contestents left in the tournament, we might make it to the next arc – or at least a teasing of the material. I did feel like the episode was a bit disoriented at times (telling so many side stories and involving side characters), but it’s true to the source material and that’s better than chopping it all off.
With a nice break before we head back into the kitchen, this week brings back a lot of familiar faces we might have forgotten. This includes Souma’s father’s friend (and most respected graduate from the school), Doujima Gin (Koyasu Takehito); fellow graduate and mentor/teacher, Inui Hinako (Noto Mamiko) and another former alumni that was a judge for another shokugeki, Mizuhara Fuyumi (Kawasumi Ayako). We see some new characters as well that were also part of the Elite Ten in their respective years. Gin makes a call to Shinomiya Kojirou (Nakamura Yuuichi) halfway through the episode but we don’t get to actually see him judge which is a shame. Kojirou has his own story in a spinoff manga though and it focuses on him as the main character so I would love to see that animated or told one way or another one day. Seeing as half the judges on this panel already know of Souma and his capabilities, I wonder if this is advantageous for him or only gives them more expectations for his dish. I hope they don’t give him too much leeway because of their connections with him already. However! Gin might have high expectations of Jouichirou’s son… maybe to the point of being disappointed if Souma doesn’t produce an excellent dish.
Newbie Soutsuda Mitsuru (Yamashita Daiki) is a new character to the series and he’s a journalist at the school, literally following Souma around begging to write the article on his triumph. As a student in this school, you’d think he’d be more focused on the cooking… Anyway! His appearance was a bit random for me as I’m not sure what purpose is for adding a new character this late in the game. I thought that he might be spying on Souma for Subuaru but I don’t really see why Subaru would need someone to do the job for him. It was wise of Souma to keep his recipes to himself – kicking Mitsuru out of the kitchen – but seeing as Subaru has almost an identical dish with the same secret ingredient… what if his twist on this beef stew is better than Souma’s? No way Subaru can win, I think that’s obvious enough but there’s always that underlying doubt because Souma isn’t undefeatedable. Has anyone ever tried oxtail before by the way? It’s not that common here unless you go to a specific grocery store to buy and even then, I don’t know many people that prepare it. There is meat around the tail bone but can be fatty and people often use it in stews because it takes a long time to braise it and cook. You also get the most flavour from the bone when prepared in soup/stock (similar to pork bone and turkey bones). I would think that since they’re making “beef stew”, oxtail isn’t something totally out of the box, but we’ll see how they actually differ in taste.
Finally Erina has more actual lines this episode! So far she’s been a side character, watching Hisako compete and just being a member of the Elite Ten. Her tongue comes to good use for Souma when he asks for her help (don’t think dirty now!) but not without asking for some shoujo manga in return. Her character seems like a very typical tsundere to me and not in a good way. I generally like tsunderes but some reason, I can’t find myself to like Erina at all, especially when there’s no memorable scene featuring her and any kind of character development and depth. Maybe the flashback with Souma’s father, but that’s it. She’s good for some fanservice I suppose, but I’d need a lot more from her to be on that ship.
Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: #Shokugeki_anime slows down this week with a new character and more Erina. I can’t wait to see who has more surprises for #beefstew! This is me. Before and after every great meal. #foodcoma #foodie
Author’s Note: Despite the fact that it was a long weekend where I am, I still had a much busier weekend than anticipated. Sorry for the delay in posts everyone! If it’s any consolation, I was drunk and then hungover so it’s not like my mind was in the right place =(