After it had been decided that it will be a three-way final for the Autumn Election, it’s discovered in this episode of Food Wars: The Second Plate how Akira, Ryou, and Soma pick the perfect Pacific saury for their seasonal dish.
Food Wars Episode Overview: That’s a lot of fish!
The final match theme, according to the show, is always an ingredient that is in season. For this match, they are using Pacific saury. Isshiki mentions that this ingredient can be anyones game, which is very true! Ryou is a seafood expert, Akira can use unique spices for fish, and Soma has used this fish in his restaurant before.
With that being said, I assumed the next episode would be sort of relaxed since they have ten days to test their dishes. It gives more time on how each opponent is approaching the challenge. The episode even gives us a mini match between Soma and Ryou when they meet up at the fish market.
The whole episode revolves around how to pick the best fish for a dish. Soma and Ryou both have confidence on how to choose the best Pacific saury at the market. They end up having a mini duel making a sashimi to prove which fish pick was better. This seemed like a good way to sneak in some friendly competition between some of the rivals before the match so it wouldn’t be just food research the whole episode.
Once Soma figures out a way to combat Akira and Ryou’s fish expertise, it flash forwards to the day of the match once more. The judges are introduced, the first two being Dojima and Senzaemon again. The third one on the other hand is someone brand new! The third judge is Leonora Nakiri. That last name sound familiar? That’s because it’s Alice Nakiri’s mother!
New Judge & Random Underwear
Alice’s mother is the one that runs the Gastronomy Research Division in Denmark that Alice grew up learning her cooking expertise. She comes out looking very beautiful and elegant. When asked to say a few words, you find out that she only knows very broken Japanese. She is from Denmark, so it only makes sense that she doesn’t know Japanese very well, which is funny! It’s even funnier when she tries to intimidate Soma with her broken Japanese, but still looks quite serious. I’m excited to see what they do with her in the next couple of episodes.
In the last article, I praised the manservice in Food Wars. In this episode, it goes back to the anime basics of female fanservice. When Soma is trying to find friends to help him with his fish challenge, one of the people he hunts for is Ryoko Sakaki. Soma bangs on her door asking for her help while she is still in her underwear getting dressed. I understand that Food Wars is known for it’s fanservice, but it normally happens during the food tasting. Here, it just seemed like an excuse to show Sakaki in her underwear. Other non-eating-nudity scenes are usually the typical bath scenes, which make more sense. It was probably thrown in because there weren’t any other fanservice scenes in that episode till that point. Minor complaint, but still felt a tad forced.
Fast Moving Plot & Headband Symbolism
Just a reminder, we are at episode eight, and this current episode ended with the final match about to take place. It’s been mentioned many other times that these episodes seem to be happening very fast. There are still five episodes left, which can’t be all for the final match. On the upside, Food Wars doesn’t want to waste your time and wants the plot to keep moving forward no matter what. On the other hand, there hasn’t been an episode this season that lets the audience just breath and enjoy the cooking casually. This could be because the Autumn Elections is a serious force to be reckon with. Food Wars wants the audience to feel just as stressed but involved in the match as the characters do. It is great immersion.
Lastly, I liked the part with Ryou and Soma in the beginning where they show them standing side by side with their headbands tied on their wrists. It’s subtle symbolism that these two sort of parallel each other in one sense. They both put on headbands to get themselves in the zone when they cook. The colors can even be questioned. Ryou has a red headband and Soma has a white one. Red symbolizes passion and anger while white resembles good and purity. It’s a good way to show a connection between Soma and Ryou, even if it is small.
In the end, the show did leave on an interesting cliffhanger about Soma’s fish preparation method. Why is it brown and so large? Did he scrap the three methods of aging fish? What inspiration did Fumio give Soma at the last minute? Also what kind of judge will Leonora be? Will The Autumn Election finish before we know it!? Till next time, “A Sword That Signals Autumn.”