Shokugeki no Souma 2 – 01

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CRY HAVOC, AND LET SLIP THE DOGS OF FOOD WARS.

That’s right, the ridumptuousness (ridiculous sumptuousness) continues right where it left off: the final round of eight/quarterfinals. And as if knowing how much we’ve missed it, the second season gives us a Souma vs. Alice showdown in its entirety: beginning, middle, and end.

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Before the match, we see how hard it is for Erina not to get worked up and start yelling at Souma (who only responds with lighthearted friendliness as usual). Alice is good at “playing” this “game” with Souma, keeping her contempt and condescension below her cool surface. This makes Alice an interesting adversary, because she’s so nice on the surface, but with that killer instinct just below it.

But make no mistake: Alice is on it in this match, and fuly intends to blow the judges and Souma away. Not only does she finish first, but she delivers a veritable jewlery box of amazing, delicate, yet powerful temari sushi flavors.

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Everyone is bowled over, as she intended; even her grandfather goes bare-chested, which is a sure sign you know some god frikkin’ food has just been served. But while the other judges and crowd are intimidated and disheartened by Alice’s culinary might, Souma just keeps grinding, not the slightest bit unfazed.

When he reveals his dish, locked tightly in a multi-layer lunch pail/tiffin, to be an evolution of nori bento, Alice has never actually heard of it; perhaps too beneath her greatness? But at this point, she remains friendly towards Souma, though some say she’s just being condescending because she’s so certain of winning. Akasaki Chinatsu excels in giving Alice just the right tones.

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But as usual, Souma combines his time-tested techniques with fresh ideas from the most random places to shock and delight the judges over and over again. Alice’s dazzling sushi jewels were on display for all to see, but Souma’s is likened to a treasure box, and its inherent thrill of discovery.

His secret weapon in the rice layer seemed at first like he was simply copying one of Alice’s molecular techniques, but it turns out making liquids into solid beads is something he’s done for years, after trying a kid’s candy label that tought him how to do it. Furthermore, he was reminded of the technique while cooking for kids, i.e. working for more than just himself.

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Alice could easily throw Souma’s apparent “Heart over Science” strategy in his face with a scoff, deeming flavor the most important thing, but her grandfather admonishes her: this isn’t about whose dish reminded whom of their childhood. It’s about bento, and Souma’s take on that theme—doing things you could only do with bento—surpassed what could just as easily have been a dish in a sushi battle.

So Alice, who has likely long forgotten what losing is, loses in a HUGE upset. And Souma’s bento’s time-travelling powers send her back to cold Scandanavia where she worked furiously to gain techniques Erina lacked so that Erina wouldn’t be the only young Nakiri people would mention in conversation.

Alice has already achieved that, and taken her place on a near-equal level with her cousin. So it was high time she was brought back down to earth from her cold space station of centrifuges and liquid nitrogen, and brought back into the warmth. Hopefully she’ll take this fair-and-square defeat in stride and not go all Erina on Souma!

Next up: Megumi vs. Ryou. So glad this show is back. Now I wait…until Restaurant Week later this month!

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Author: sesameacrylic

Zane Kalish is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

13 thoughts on “Shokugeki no Souma 2 – 01”

  1. Too bad we only get 13 episodes, meaning they won’t cover the whole Tootsuki academy+the elite ten (particularly Erina) crisis (I won’t spoil any more than this..)

  2. well souma and erina are pretty much tied by red string of fate throughout the series; two people who’re polar opposite to each other being brought together by fate regardless of time, place and circumstances, though i only noticed this thanks to one of the latest cover page in the manga and the high encounter rate between them.

  3. You should read the Shokugeki no Soma oneshot aka chapter 0 which is the pilot chapter of the series itself. It shows us alternate storyline of the series and there’ll be few references from the oneshot in the main storyline.

  4. Shokugeki no Souma went all out for their first episode of season 2. While most of the time first episodes are a bit slow to reintroduce themselves to viewers, SnS just goes full blast straight out of the gates. Even though the fight against Alice was 5 chapters in the manga like most other culinary battles, It was handled in one episode unlike the 2-3 episodes we were used to in the first season. I think this fast pace was a good decision for the first episode as it made viewers feel like the gap between seasons was never there. I just hope that they slow down a bit now to prevent too much content from being skipped from now on.

  5. hmm alice is not near erina’s level though. in fact there’s this one ‘person’ you probably won’t expect to be stronger than alice…

    1. Yup. Even among the autumn election participants, there’re three (or maybe four since the ‘big guy’ is really strong and his ability was pretty OP) people who’re stronger than Alice.

  6. Copypaste from other comment:

    Erina: given the worst personality possible, bare get any screentime and character development in the first 100+ chapters, and she’s ranked 2nd in both official polls. Megumi: given the nicest personality possible, get a lot of screentime and character development in the first 100+ chapters, and despite that, she’s ranked 3rd in the first poll and dropped to 4th place in the second poll. Current rankings: 1.Souma 2.Erina 3.Takumi 4.Megumi 5.Hisako 6.Alice

  7. Just to let you know something, if you pay close attention to breakfast challenge during the hell camp, Erina is basically one of the main reasons Souma passes the task. And nope, Alice is not on her level.

    Erina will get her massive character development and she’s not even need to be defeated for that (the author has been deliberately avoided any matches between Souma and Erina throughout the series). Currently (in the manga), the author makes Souma challenge the 9th, the 8th (albeit not actually fight him) and the 1st seat of E10 (I won’t tell you the result though) and totally skipped Erina, the 10th seat.

    As Gin said during the hell camp, Erina managed to enter the E10 because of her own skills not because of her tongue. When he said that she’ll become Totsuki’s greatest masterpiece, there’s no joke in that.

    One last thing, Souma treats Erina differently than any girls in the series. He really cares on her opinion about his food hence the desire to make her said that his food is “delicious”.

    1. Just for the record, I’m not really interested in the manga or how closely the anime follows it. I’m just watching the show week by week. But thanks for the info!

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