Alright finally! We are back with another episode of Food Wars, and we’ll finally know the conclusion to the neck and neck race between Megumi and Ryou’s ramen!
The last of Food Wars episode ended with a (Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure-style ramen fight) cliffhanger of who was going to be announced the winner, the chairman bringing out his large calligraphy brush to name the winner! Who will it be?! The loveable Megumi who uses the power of friendship to give her the strength to cook, or the hardcore Ryou, who since childhood has been a head chef and got second place in the preliminaries.
After a week of waiting, we find out the winner of the ramen match was Ryou Kurokiba. Even though Megumi’s skill wasn’t enough to beat Ryou’s lobster ramen, the power of friendship still prevailed! After the match is over, Megumi keels over in exhaustion, mostly because she was terrified being up against the terrifying Ryou. On the upside though, as she is gathering herself, the audience still applauds her for standing her own against someone as skilled and frightening as Ryou, which has it’s own reward.
Honestly, it is refreshing to see that Megumi lose in this case, just like when Soma couldn’t beat Akira in the curry challenge. It may sound like a teacher thing to say, but it gives them room for improvement and inspiration to do better! It wouldn’t have felt earned if Megumi won just because she’s part of Soma’s clique, because animes want all the main characters that the audience is rooting for all to win! In this case though, cooking will always trump anime cliches.
There is a lot to learn in this episode of Food Wars! For instance, the episode is called “The Generation of Prodigies” which simply means that the chairperson mentions that it seems like cooking prodigies are the ones rising to the top this year. We also see the next three competitors talk about who they are fighting for in their match, which all have very sweet sentiments! It’s hard to choose who you’re fighting for in this show, because the manage to give everyone backstory, and you can’t help but root for them all for how dedicated and talented they are! Lastly, we have a new character who is fighting in the finals!
Now, when I was doing research for this upcoming season of Food Wars, I saw on a wiki that there was this character that competed in the final eight, but hasn’t been introduced yet in the anime. He isn’t introduced until after the preliminaries. Soma is running late, sleeping in because he was practicing so hard for his next match, to catch the next match when he runs into someone. A large, scary, muscular student who Soma apparently met during the preliminaries. He scored 91 and got the last spot in the final four in Soma’s group. His name is Subaru Mimasaka. His motorcycle riding, dreadlock wearing cook is apparently on his way to the competition as well, and offers to go with Soma to the arena.
Meanwhile, the next match starts with Akira versus Hisako. Just like the anime says, it should be an intense match since Akira is a master of spices while Hisako is a master of medicinal herbs, so it’s within the same range of expertise. The theme for this challenge is hamburgers. You would think that a theme that would have meat as one of the main aspects of the dish, you would see someone like Miku doing a challenge like this. Although the anime has disappointed us yet with it’s food creativity!
For instance, Akira is using a doner kebab to grill his meat in a way that the fat fuses with the spices very well, as Marui explains. This perplexes me as to how it will be made into a burger, since doner kebabs normally break off into pieces of meat to my knowledge.
That pales in comparison though with Hisako’s way of preparing the dish! We see container holding one of her main ingredients, and it starts to move. It’s a pot that you would use to make pasta in, so it isn’t anything extremely large. Hisako opens it to reveal it’s a suppon, otherwise known as A SOFT-SHELLED TURTLE. Which makes the audience at the match conclude that she is making a suppon burger? WHAT?! It’s one thing when butchering a chicken, pig, or a cow, but a little turtle!? It’s very ruthless! She butchers it with no hesitation, pours in sake where the head was and drains it out, and cuts the shell open! Apparently, she keeps some of the drainage so she can use the blood in her burger. Eerie. Butchering is part of cooking though, even at the high-level. It’s just personally hard for me to see such a cute, docile turtle die so brutally.
Meanwhile we see Soma finally arrive to the arena and Megumi leading him back to the group, while Mimasaka runs down in very excruciating detail Soma’s stats as if it was a baseball card. Not only does he go over his cooking history that we’ve seen already, but talks about his height, weight, shoe size, and even the class numbers he was in middle school. And then says “down to the last detail.” He tells Soma this earlier when they met up on the way to the arena, saying that part of his cooking skill is being very detailed. I find it strange that he just likes to announce it to everyone he meets and to the audience, as if we couldn’t pick up on that. We get it, he likes to be super detailed, which is why he is such a good cook. He does this again with Takumi, but has weird details he notes, like the kind of underwear Takumi wears, that he has a mole on his shoulder, and how he likes to take showers. Creepy. Safe to assume where he was when collecting information on Takumi.
Anyways, Megumi can’t find her way back to where her friends are in the audience, so Mimasaka offers the two to watch it from his waiting room. We see that after simmering the turtle with certain spices, she is now mixing the suppon meat with pork. I still mourn for that poor turtle. After it flashbacks to show off her allegiance with Erina that shes had since childhood, she finishes her burger!
Her burger has “elasticity that steamed buns are known for,” suppon meat, and stock she made from the suppon. Hisako explains that the meat retains its heat and is hot from the blood she added to her burger pattie. She also mixed in dobekkou, which is dried suppon shell into the mix. At least the reason she used suppon was because in Chinese medicine, it’s suppose to raise vigor. Glad to hear that she didn’t butcher a cute animal just to break my heart.
The pop culture references in Food Wars don’t end where the chairperson imagines himself as a robot, trying to defeat a godzilla-like Hisako that is dressed like a giant suppon, trying to destroy the city. Hey, hows Akira doing by the way?
Food Wars finally remembers that Akira has been cooking this whole time, seducing the audience with his amazing spice combinations. Akira has finished his hamburger, by having kebab meat on top of a burger patty. The bun itself looks more like a half open calzone then a hamburger. I get you have to push the envelope in these matches and make non-traditional items, but this seems like a stretch in terms of hamburgers. Regardless, the judges turn into begging dogs, dying to taste his tasty, well-seasoned meat.
Apparently, his bun of choice was actually pita bread, which makes sense with the kind of meat he chose and his Middle-East heritage. His burger was a combination of lamb and beef, mixing in plenty spices as well along with mixing in yogurt in the kebab meat to get rid of the unneeded grease that comes with such fatty meats.
Akira explains to Hisako why his burger isn’t on the heavier side with all the meat he stashed in his burger. Akira says that there are four key components to making a hamburger; buns, meat patty, sauce, and pickles. Apparently pickles are one of the more under-appreciated components of the burger, and thought Hisako’s ginger wasn’t enough to bring out it’s flavor. Akira’s pickle ingredient he chose was achaar, which is a high-acidy condiment where you brine fruits or vegetables in mustard oil as Marui clarifies. Akira used onion in his case, to bring out the hamburgers “umami” amongst SO many other spices and ingredients.
After Akira’s explanation and the chairman realizing the expertise it took to make the burger not greasy and heavy, one of judges announces that it is clear who the winner is. Geez, that was quick. At least the audience doesn’t have to wait till next week to see who wins this time. After Akira talks down to Hisako about being so basic with her cooking and her goals, it is announced that Akira has won the match!
This episode of Food Wars closes with Takumi’s match about to start against Mimasaka. Of course, Takumi challenges Soma, saying that once he wins, he wants to challenge Soma again for a final battle, with Soma encouraging him to win so they can finally battle it out. Takumi is excited naturally, since his rival crush finally acknowledges him. After that, Takumi goes back to his waiting room to find Mimasaka toying with his tools. He tries to provoke Takumi by insulting his tools, Takumi saying he can look right through him. Mimasaka then starts to insult his brother, Isami, by saying his cooking instincts aren’t good, and will forever be trailing behind the shadow of his older brother. Even though Takumi just said he could look right through him, if you talk shit about his brother, he will get ENRAGED! Which is rightfully so. I guess this results in the reason behind the after credit scene. An announcement is made before the match that this match will now be a shokugeki. OH THE DRAMA! Which leads into the title of the next episode of Food Wars, The Pursuer.
This next episode of Food Wars should bring in a lot of heated emotions and lots of surprises, considering we haven’t seen Mimasaka’s cooking yet. All we know that he considers every single detail in his cooking, which is still kind of vague. It doesn’t entail what kind of cooking he likes to do, with Takumi specializing in Italian food, or what concept of cooking he’s the best at, like Akira with spices and Hisako with medicinal cooking. Every character we’ve met has a kind of cooking they’re best at. Being extremely detailed can be said for all the cooks at the academy. You have to consider all the details when making complicated dishes. It can be said that Soma take attention to detail, as does Takumi with his Italian cooking. It’s hard to say what this punk-like character is best at besides detail.
Will Takumi take the win for his brother and be able to challenge Soma to that Shokugeki, or will Mimasaka’s attention to detail triumph and over power the judges like his appearance does? Until next time!