Shinomiya and Soma have re-united at last to work side by side during the stagiaire in episode 12 of Food Wars. Soma is assigned to help Shinomiya open his second restaurant in Tokyo for the pre-open. Can Soma stand his own in a fancy restaurant environment while finding his speciality?
It seemed interesting that the season of Food Wars didn’t end with the autumn elections. It would’ve been a good way to to end a season that has been hyping this competition. This episode on the other hand, explains why they put the autumn election and the stagiaire together in one season.
Soma Falling Behind?
Unlike the last episode where Soma was in familiar territory and worked in a family restaurant, he is now put in a fancy restaurant. That wouldn’t be such a huge deal, until he finds out he’s working for his past rival, Shinomiya. Shinomiya was a judge during the camping arc and is a past alumni from Totsuki. They teased him in the opening and ending theme of this season like crazy. It wasn’t until the post credit scene from the last episode revealed why he is relevant.
It’s good to see Soma struggling again in this new environment. It’s not like a diner where you order one dish and serve it immediately. Soma has to deal with making appetizers, entrees, and desserts in order for the customer so that they don’t have to wait in between. Not to mention they throw around french cooking and ingredient terms that Soma barely understands.
Soma doesn’t fall into tv trope stereotypes of failing and feeling dejected when he messes up. Soma freaks out at first when he falls behind on the first day. To make up for it, he stays up late like usual and manages to study on all the terms and dishes. Soma is more engrossed on learning new ways of cooking and doesn’t waste time feeling sorry for himself as he puts it.
Not Alone & Not So Fictional
Food Wars has focused on Soma’s experience in the stagiaire, which is good. As much as we’d like to see how everyone else it doing, the show is named after Soma. The only reason why we saw Megumi and Erina in the last episode is because of the inner battle Arato was having with Erina. This time around, the audience only see snapshots of everyones progress in the stagiaire. It’s pretty realistic. It shows while some people are succeeding, others are struggling just as much as Soma.
This internship challenge, like the other arcs from previous seasons are amazing ways to be a better chef. Sure, they are extreme and dramatic like a reality show, but it’s the real world. Cooks have to be quick, resourceful, and be able to adapt to any situation. This isn’t being a home cook where amateur chefs cook for fun, this is the professional cooking industry. Just like in any professional field, students have to be tested and pushed to their limits sometimes to prepare themselves for the real world. Obviously schools shouldn’t try to copy the teaching methods of Totsuki, but very well emulates how hard both schooling and work experience can be. If these teenagers can’t handle it in these situations, maybe they aren’t cut out for the cooking industry.
The Specialty Finale & Conclusion
I mentioned earlier that the reason why these two arcs were put together for season two, is because Soma hasn’t reached his goal for this season of Food Wars. He didn’t win the autumn election, because they didn’t consider his dish a specialty. A specialty is a dish that when eaten, you know it’s a dish thought of by only Soma. Which is why Akira won the election. His dish was so unique and new, it is considered a Akira original.
With that being said, it is revealed that there is a competition after the pre-open. After the test the waters of this new restaurant, there is a competition between the staff to have one of their items on the menu permanently. This is Soma’s chance to redeem himself from the election. The only way he can make his mark on such a high-end restaurant, is to make his specialty dish be part of Shinomiya’s menu. This would be a great conclusion to the season and very satisfying.
Whe Soma was struggling to learn all the terms, he flashbacks to all the times he dominated at the school among his peers, till he remembers the times he failed recently. It’s Soma’s realization that he’s going to have to fail every so often if he wants to get better. Which Soma totally embraces. He doesn’t gloom about it, thinking maybe he isn’t cut out after all since starting schooling. Instead, he’s inspired to just get better so he can prove everyone wrong while still cooking his own way.
What will the specialty be? Will Soma be able to impress Shinomiya a second time? Will this feel like the true end of this season? Until next episode, “Pomp and Circumstance.”