With the autumn elections reaching it’s end in the last episode of Food Wars, it’s time to see our chef heroes out in their element. It is time for them to be back in the field for the first step of the stagiaire!
Mentioned in the previous article of Food Wars, the stagiaire is just students working in different kitchens that can either be high-end or basic. The goal for the first location is to make a mark on the location that wasn’t there previously. In real life, this would be a lot of responsibility for a high school student. Attempting to change something about an already established restaurant would be very daunting. Although, Totsuki Academy students are so well established in their own right already, they are the real celebrities. It even shows when the restaurant owner asks for their autograph when Soma and Arato first arrive!
Hisako Arato Makes a Comeback in Food Wars!
The last time Arato made an appearance this season of Food Wars, she had lost against Hayama during the final eight matches of the autumn election. She thought a loser like her couldn’t be with flawless Erina anymore, so she vanished right after the match. Since then, her struggle was put on the back burner so that the show could finish up the elections.
Now, Soma and Arato end up being paired up for the first portion of the Stagiaire when they both get sent to a small family restaurant. Obviously Arato still believes she is well above Soma’s skill level, but that doesn’t last long. Which is good, because if they aren’t doing their part and make the restaurant worst, they can get expelled. So Arato swallows her pride and begins to warm up to the restaurant and helping Soma improve it.
This was a good idea to have an episode dedicated to Arato trying to figure out what to do with her situation. Arato has always been in the background and was normally just a yes man for Erina. We’ve learned since her battle that she sees Erina more than just her master, but a best friend. Thus, the show took the opportunity to flesh out Arato more and coming to terms to fixing things with herself. This character could’ve easily been put in the background and just mindlessly follow Erina like some puppy. But Arato has a personality and skill set. She’s a master of medical food preparation, she’s sure of herself, hardworking, and sets out to complete any tasks. She’s also loyal.
Obvious Lesson Learned & Stagiaire Action!
When Soma gives her that pep talk at the end, it felt great to see her want to go back to Erina finally. The lesson may have been very obvious at that point, but no one was telling Arato want to do. Soma with his blunt advice just told her upfront that she needed to be worthy of walking next to Erina, not behind. The parallel made between Soma and Arato was also really clever. One of the reasons why Soma may have lost the elections was that he was fighting purely to catch up to his father. He wasn’t really winning for himself. Hayama on the other hand was winning to show that he was good enough and in dedication for the life that was given to him.
As for the stagiaire, it was very realistic! Master Chef does field work challenges all the time in diners, and this is exactly how they go about. Chefs who work in fancier settings aren’t used to customers coming in one after another and wanting their food immediately. Certain chefs get overwhelmed by crowd control and time management. The solution that the family restaurant came to about doing reservations was also realistic. In Jiro Dreams Sushi, his sushi bar is in a train station where crowds could’ve destroyed his business. Since the sushi his highly regarded and pricey, they do reservation only one month in advance. Reservations were a good idea for that family restaurant because than the old regulars can set up times to go and control how busy it gets. Food Wars really does drop pearls of wisdom on the food business on top of food preparation.
Shinomiya Is Relevant Finally & Conclusion
I kept noticing in the ending theme that Soma would be next to Shinomiya from season one. He wasn’t hinted at all, until the very end of this last episode! In case you’ve forgotten, Shinomiya was an alumni that was known for expelling chefs constantly during the camp arc. After Soma saved Megumi from being expelled by Shinomiya, Shinomiya joined Team Soma! This teaser was probably showing that Soma may be going to his restaurant for the next step of the stagiaire.
Will Shinomiya go back to his evil ways of discipline? Is Arato going to be back to Erina’s side? Will Megumi continue to prevail in small ways? How is everyone else doing? Till the next episode, “The Magician Once More.”