「食指、動く」 (Shokushi, Ugoku)
“The Forefinger Twitches”

Well, it certainly feels nice knowing I have a handle on just where Genjitsu plans on heading. While inherently devoted to the trials and rigours of nation building and all the fun which results from international political economy run amok, there’s still room for a bit of flair under the reserved surface and this week was all about emphasizing the fact. Call it superficial, call it boring, but damn is it ever tickling the right nerve.

Thankfully as guessed last time, kleine little Tomoe’s special skill is more conversational than outright physically deadly. It’s definitely a nice touch seeing what tropes Genjitsu is bringing to the party – i.e. demihuman girl able to converse with demons – and the spin it’s placing on them – i.e. the inability of anyone else to apparently communicate with said demons – though part of me is a little doubtful of its veracity. Sure, limited communication is a hallmark of any foreign invasion, but you would expect someone somewhere would have encountered suitable circumstances at this point to successfully interpret the language spoken; humanity certainly has through the millennia under even more time constrained and deadly circumstances. Nevertheless it does provide a good pressure point and indication of where things are going, because if Tomoe can understand the enemy rest assured others can too, and it won’t be long before potential betrayers start interfering with Kazuya’s overall plans.

Speaking of plans, damn does it feel nice getting right Poncho’s purpose in the larger picture. Have food problems and issues with potential famine? Just find alternative food sources to help alleviate the issue. I may have my doubts about insects going over so well even with the judicious application of miso and soy sauce (typical fantasy settings are inherently European in practice), but the principle and its publication meshes nicely with the path Genjitsu is following. One way or another Kazuya will convert Elfrieden to the true path of realist greatness, and one way or another it shall find prosperity after dealing with the initial hardships. Doubt after all is a sign of weakness, and if there’s anything this kid has done so far it’s extinguish the possibility of giving up prematurely.

The only thing we haven’t seen yet is what he does once confronted with a legitimate and game-ending threat, though I have a sneaking suspicion we won’t have to wait long to find out on that front.


  1. Hmm, this was probably the last episode for me. Maybe I’ll return to the series at the end of the season if the story gets better.
    Ep.4 starts ok with an introduction about some of the geopolitics on the continent. Finally a somewhat realistic element after the changes in the government their new king made. I’m still a bit stunned about the major plothole everyone seems to ignore. The previously established powers of Elfriede just accepted that they were replaced by some talent show people? Sure.
    After that the episode returns to the shokugeki, sorry, demonstration of new foodstuffs. Starting with the octopus, which almost no one seems to have eaten despite having an enormous coastline. Continuing on to some foods that don’t have the potential to curb an impending food shortage/starvation of an entire nation.
    Nah, too much nonsense for me to keep it entertaining.

    1. The LN is packed with content which explained a lot more about why the king chose to abdicate (anime probably won’t cover that far into the LN), also the the established power in Elfrieden did not just accept that they’re about to lose their influence. You will see soon.

    2. Also, they only explained it a bit but the LN explained a bit more, octopuses are uncommon food because only people on the coastlines eat them, yes it said that some people on the coastline ate them, but people further inland seems to find them disgusting so no one dared to try it. Also, you forgot there’s one more dish that hasn’t been presented yet. This one is actually the dish that will help the most at helping the kingdom survive the food shortage until the nest harvest in fall. I won’t say what it is though, as I don’t know how to use the spoiler tag.

    3. we’ll get back to the other powers later in the story. and no they were not replaced directly by the 5 people here… their roles are completely different… if anything they were simply laid off without replacement (Souma’s taking on all of it)

      have you eaten bugs before? they’re everywhere. they’re plentiful. no? then same reason why some people haven’t eaten octopus… it’s not like they’ve never been eaten before. the foods are only meant to be a short term solution as well… and also why he’s trying to introduce multiple potential sources of food and not just a few…

      1. You are right, the alternative foods are substitutes until food shortage problem is resolved. If I may add will also replenish malnourished residence of Elfrieden with much needed nutrition. Unless the people from this kingdom prefers hardtack—do common folk in this kingdom even eat hardtack?

        My conjecture beyond this point is the consumption of all this oriental food will hopefully launch new food industry and create restaurateurs in Elfrieden. Which will then launch trade between nations then tourism.

    4. IMO you’re probably not wrong, given the manner of storytelling and world building here binge-watching is likely the best way of seeing this series as it lets you see how all the various pieces fit together. The one plus though is that the infodumping and narrative tangents could be worse, there’s clearly a lot already being cut for the sake of keeping things reasonable.

  2. Regarding translation skills, those are amongst most powerful tools in diplomacy and war… just to mention Malinche, the native girl-interpreter (and lover) of Hernan Cortes.
    As for the Poncho, it was ingenious to turn his culinary findings into sort of “cooking with the King” broadcast over magical TV.

    1. They are which is why the first thing any reasonable actor does is obtain the ability to communicate. It’s why I’m doubtful that it took until now to find someone able to communicate with the demons, you don’t live with a threat like this (especially one whose own conquest has apparently stalled) without trying to actively figure out if there’s a path to peace with them.

  3. Didn’t expect this to turn into a foodie show. Actually thought it would be sprinkled along multiple episodes.

    So, that was locust boiled in miso and seasoned with soy sauce and sugar? Is that really good? Doesn’t sound like the usual insect dish. Can’t say it’s very Japanese though. Could still be wrong about that part.

    1. Given insects are effectively pure protein (more or less) I could believe the taste considering how well soy sauce alone can complement various fish. The issue of course is getting past the appearance and texture 😛

  4. “Education is the Key!”

    The Cooking show is some kind of Education for the People. Its cunning, because i bet not everbody can read and write, but seeing how they preparing it Live. Give them the education of “recipe with their own eyes”


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