After the four matches have ended, some with our heroes winning, some ending in surprising but skilled defeat, things are finally slowing down in the fifth episode of Food Wars!
Where we last left in Food Wars! our chef heroes, Takumi had just lost against a new character that was introduced, Subaru Mimasaka. Since this was a shokugeki, Subaru took Takumi’s mezzaluna knife as part of his win to further take away Takumi’s pride as a chef. This is a much harder loss in the series because of the methods used compared to Megumi’s loss. At least when Megumi loss, it was because Ryou’s dish was completely different but still better than hers. Here, Subaru was just a straight dick and masochist, wanting to beat Takumi at his own game. Needless to say, he hasn’t been taking the loss well.
Thankfully, things are slowing down and this episode of Food Wars! will be taking a break from the heated tournament episodes with Soma simply trying out his beef stew recipes with a third year junior high student, Mitsuru Sotsuda, wanting to write about Soma and his methods.
Meanwhile, Erina is reading shojo manga after she had a conversation with Alice about how she’s never had a boyfriend yet, and that she should read shojou manga since that’s considered “the bible for romance.” If only that were true. It makes sense that Erina would take shojou manga seriously because she’s been this rich girl where everything is done for her, and lives this life a luxury where she hasn’t experienced school romance. Or even romance in general. All she’s concentrated on, similar to Soma, is food and being high class. It’s always good to bring high class girls like this back down to earth when we see them do cute stuff like this. It also makes Erina less threatening and take a break from her scary hair-wooshing.
Elsewhere, Subaru is being a creep again, and is literally pretending to be Soma as he practices his dishes for the match. This is so that he can get into the headspace of Soma presumably so he can not only copy his beef stew, but figure out how to elevate it. At first it was so vague what he meant by that he was super detailed, but after learning about it last episode, it is very creepy. It’s like having a twin who even though you look alike, they do things ten times better than you. But I agree with Soma where there is no pride in this method. He doesn’t have his own voice in the cooking world, and can’t exactly put himself on a plate. He’s putting someone else’s work on a plate. How is that going to work in a professional environment? Sure he can replicate dishes no problem, but forget him opening his own restaurant. It adds to the creepiness factor of him being so dead on of the others cooking style. This is definitely the shows version of having a villain that’s extremely unlikable. Although we still have the one member of the Elite Ten, Etsuya Eizan, who all we’ve learned about in the anime is that he’s a sneaky business man in the food business with thug lackeys.
As the competition begins, Soma has a realization after receiving Nikumi’s meat. It’s that he is known for making dishes that taste so good, that you want to keep eating more and more. The show explains that food from diners start to taste good by the third bite, while food from elite restaurants taste good on the very first bite. Soma didn’t understand this with his diner cooking upbringing, but then realizes that he needs to make a dish that taste good on the very first bite, and not make something that’s subtly good that it makes you eat more and more like Sotsuda kept doing with his taste testing. Hence why Erina was so hard on Soma when she said that his dish tasted so basic.
Soma finally has a reason to use fancier ways of cooking his dishes rather than sticking to his diner roots. Everyone else in the show prior that he’s gone up against keep telling him that his cooking methods are too average. Even though he has clever execution, he still likes to cook for the people rather than for the wealthy. He wants to make dishes that anyone could make if they put their mind to it, instead of using expensive ingredients or equipment. It’s a great lesson to teach people that there is always room to improve, and that you never stop learning.
When Soma was about to go in for the match, Sotsuda asks him if he’s found a way to be Subaru, and he says no. Soma just says he’ll cook like he always does. Obviously, this is just a way to not only psych out the audience, but psych out Subaru since he is a massive stalker. We know Soma is just as confident as the other big dogs at the school, so we know that he’ll have something up his sleeve.
Personally, I felt as though they could’ve waited to the next episode of Food Wars! to introduce the match between Soma and Subaru instead of squeezing it in at the end of the episode. I suppose that was there to create more hype and anticipation for when the next episode of Food Wars! comes out, and I felt it succeeded in that for sure.
Will Soma impress the returning and new alumni judges? Will Subaru get the drop on Soma, or will Soma get the drop on Subaru? Will Takumi get his mezzaluna back along with the 99 other kitchen tools? OR WILL SOMA END UP HAVING TO QUIT COOKING FOREVER?! Well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Until the next episode of Food Wars!, “Dawn Will Come Again.”