The dramatic conclusion of the Autumn Elections in Food Wars has finally come to a close! Soma whipped out the final component of his dish and the judges announced a winner.
Normally with a show that’s named after the main character, it would be safe to assume that Soma would win. Despite it being a close three-person final match, the audience would want Soma to win. Even though Soma’s dish got a lot of high praise, it wasn’t extremely over the top. The chairperson bared his chest, Leonora compared it to meeting her husband, but it was all very basic. It didn’t show that Soma was the clear winner. In the end, he wasn’t.
A Well-Deserved Win in Food Wars
Akira Hayama triumphantly wins the Autumn Election with his Scorched Pacific Saury Carpaccio. Normally during tournament arcs, it would be upsetting to see a rival character win over the protagonist. In Akira’s case though, he wasn’t a villain, but just a rival. A villain wants to destroy the protagonist through evil methods while a rival is just an opponent that has a similar goal. As much as the audience wanted Soma to win through his non-conventional ways, Akira sincerely was the stronger chef in this election.
It’s not like Soma was destroying everyone in sight during the preliminaries. In fact, he got the top score during the preliminaries, while Soma only received third. Even though the judges explained that it was a very close match, Akira stood out because he showed himself on a plate. The judges considered his dish to be considered a new speciality. They acknowledged that his dish displayed who he is as a chef.
Right before the verdict was announced, Akira recounts to his childhood in the slums of India (or somewhere in the Middle East). Jun Shiomi, a Totsuki Academy alumni, realizes his spice smelling talent one day and decides to take him away to be her protege. Jun also becomes his legal guardian and raises him. Akira has a drive to be the best that rivals Soma’s. Akira explains that he owes Jun his reason to live, which is why he cooks the best that he can. As a result from all his training, it’s why he was able to put himself on a plate so skillfully.
Soma’s Resolve: Never Gives Up!
It is a great idea for Soma to lose like this. His whole character is about him losing to his father constantly, that he has to learn from his mistakes. This election loss is no different. The show takes time to explain further why Soma is always eager to keep trying, even when he loses on such a large stage. Isshiki recalls the talk he had with Soma’s father back when he visited earlier in the season.
In a nutshell, Soma’s father says that Soma never considers he will lose a battle just because his opponents are more experienced than him. Soma is capable of doubting himself when it comes to cooking. He just adds it to a list of things he wants to improve upon on. When faced with a challenge, he’ll study and experiment as much as he can. Soma considers every possibility and outcome.
Isshiki brings up the reason why everyone hates Soma. They hate that he ignores the stakes and genuinely just tries his very best. It essentially makes them look like they don’t try hard enough. It’s a great life lesson in self-confidence, where you shouldn’t worry how well the people around your are doing. Just focus on what you can do better.
Stagiaire Arc & Conclusion
Now that the Autumn Election has come to the closed in Food Wars, it is revealed at the end of the episode by Jun that there is still more learning to be done. Jun explains that after a small break from the elections, students start their stagiaire. Stagiaire is just a fancy word for on the job internship. Dictionary defines it as “…on-the-job training for white-collar and professional careers.” This should be no problem for Soma since his cooking was taught in a restaurant setting. This also explains what the last three episodes will be about.
Overall, the elections for this season of Food Wars were very suspenseful! Not only that, but the food knowledge is very high par. It’s like the cooking education I get from Gordon Ramsay on Master Chef, but with well-fleshed out characters and story. Anime has gotten skilled at making hobby/sports animes where they show knowledge behind any subject material. Examples include Haikyuu with volleyball and Bakuon!! with motorcycles. Even though Soma has become more well-versed in the cooking profession, it’s going to be even more exciting to learn through his eyes.
Only questions that are left now is what’s to come during Totsuki students’ stagiaires? Until the next episode of Food Wars, “The Stagiaire.”