「うまみの綱渡り」 (Umami no Tsunawatari)
“The Umami Tightrope”
As I suspected, Akira is doing it all for Jun. Whereas others had nothing to lose but their safe spaces, the Shiomi Research Group had corporate partnerships and risk as well, so Azami had more leverage over them. It occurs to me that the story assumes one thing: that staying at Totsuki is desirable. In this case, I don’t think it is. If companies are contracting directly with the Shiomi Research Group, as opposed to Totsuki more generally, then Jun probably has enough clout to strike out on her own, and she’d be a fool to not have backups of her research. (There may be something where the academy owns that research, but I find that hard to believe in the realm of food. If she’s creating new compounds, sure, but her thing is spices. That’s a combining or utilizing game, and I can’t imagine those can be copyrighted.) But it’s just taken for granted that they must stay at Totsuki, so Azami has Akira over a barrel, and he folds.
Not that Souma isn’t right. Akira is still talented, but he’s acting like a pathetic loser. As I said in my last post, he failed to protect his precious place and submitted to the tyrant, leaving himself unmoored. He’s powerful but frail, formidable but vulnerable. Whereas Souma-kun has had to grow from his failures, leaving him with a chance to go over the top.
I loved the new characters, especially the doting father and husband. (Also, the cosplay.) (Alice really won the Nakiri papa competition. Didn’t she? Though then again, that’s a low bar to clear when the alternative is Azami.) I also loved that Akira opted for chicken fried bear, not the least because I’m a Southern boy. (Why did they chop El Paso off the map? Also Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky, though I can understand those. Not just finishing that West-most line is weird, though.) Anything is good if you fry it right! Ditto to Yukihira, them going toe-to-toe with similar techniques is a great way to make the battle have more dramatic weight. It’s a tactic Shokugeki no Souma has made good use of before.
Of course, Souma is going to win. Because it would be nearly beyond the pale for the main protagonist to lose here, yes—though he’s lost in ways that seemed beyond the pale before, like when he challenged Tsukasa—but also because his dish isn’t finished yet. They will taste Akira’s dish, and it will seem like he is going to win, until Souma points out that his dish is not complete yet: the sauce. And that, I suspect, will be what puts him over the top. I haven’t read the source material, but I’d wager that’s how it’s going to go. We’ll find out next week.
We’ll also find out the bigger question: Will everyone else survive this round? With some going up against the second and first seats, it’s looking dire. We could see some heads roll, or maybe we won’t. Like I said, we’ll find out next week (and beyond).
- “I have no idea what you’re planning to prepare, but there’s nothing to compare between us anymore. We are worlds apart.” I have a feeling you’re correct, Akira, but not for the reason you’re assuming.
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Good point, Stilts. Souma does so love turning his food into a two-stage transforming robot, doesn’t he?
And I mean, I don’t exactly mind the end card (woo boy), but it doesn’t say good things for Hisoko’s chances.
It’s Isami that I’m most worried about. He’s going up against the first seat, and (despite the focus/autonomy he’s been given recently—or perhaps because of it) I could see him being a casualty since he’s not main enough of a character to have plot armor. I could also see him getting through, but I feel like he’s the most likely casualty, along with the quarreling Polar Star boys whose names I can never remember.
Honestly, I kind of feel like all of the Polar Dorm cast are a little too weak to roll with the Elite Ten. Heck, even the Aldinis are kind of a B Team, you know?
At this point I’m hoping for some bullshit last minute save from the faculty or the old Chairman or Saiba or somebody, and they have to train like hell and be ready to face the Elite Ten again at the END of the Hokkaido tour.
One thing I can say about this episode: “The Male body is a glorious thing” With Dojima and Alice’s dad shaking hands, there was so much Gar on that screen. Me and my degenerate side that either Akira’s dish or Souma’s finished sauce will get the dudes underwear to blast off. Saying this because 3rd? season Megumi was able to get the chairmans’ fudoshi to slip off. *Sniffs* Leonora, you are one lucky wife!
One thing I have to give credit to this series is that when it comes to fanservice, it strives for equality. This episode has a lot of fanservice for females with generous amount of male nudity (except of course the naughty bits).
Love this show’s derp chibi faces. And do people really eat bear?
Humans’ll eat damn near anything.
Even other humans.
Yes. If I recall correctly, you can sonetimes find small cans of bear meat sold in the local minimarts in Japanese shopping arcades.