We have finally arrived to the final three match in Food Wars between Akira, Ryou, and Soma! Who ended up making the better pacific saury?
This episode did move very fast as anticipated, which can be good or bad. The sexual innuendo with Leonora was very strong compared to past ones, and that’s saying something. The episode gives a chance to learn more about Alice and Ryou’s past, which is a good way to create more character development for the two of them. Lastly, the sword comparisons made in regards to their fish dishes were very clever and made even more anime references to add to the list. Despite all that though, this episode felt very formulaic.
Slow Down Food Wars & Childhood Memories
With this being episode nine and it being a final three, you would think they would take time to show each character cooking their dish. I mentioned earlier that it’s a good thing because the show isn’t wasting the audience’s time. Food Wars gets right to the point. The emotional aspect however wasn’t as strong in this episode than in past ones. Food Wars is normally good at balancing the cooking action while raising the emotional risks for each character. For example, the Subaru vs Soma battle was only so intense because Soma was fighting for so many people. He was fighting for the honor of both Takumi and past losers of Subaru. Here, it’s just a normal final match for the Autumn Election.
This episode also gives us more insight on the kind of relationship Alice and Ryou had when they first met. It’s nice to see that Ryou only became more docile because he knew he could respect Alice. He knows that after many food matches, Alice is a strong cook, even as a child. It’s kind of sweet to see the two of them duke it out in cooking matches. It shows that they like to improve their cooking no matter what. Even though we got a quick insight on Akira’s past, it would be nice to see more of it like the audience has seen of Ryou’s.
Women are Food Harlots!
In the previous episode, Leonora Nakiri was introduced as the third judge for the final three match. Since she is a foreigner, she spoke this broken Japanese that other foreigners I’m sure can relate to. She also has Alice’s easy-going attitude and her beautiful looks. Since she is a Food Wars female character, naturally her food reactions are extremely orgasmic and erotic. That being said, she seemed way more eager and sexual about the food than past female characters.
Sure, they talk about the temperature, texture, and appearance like the best lay of their life. With Leonora though, she reacts to the food as if she’s been around the block of “food tasting” a couple of times if you catch my drift. She says things like “don’t tease me” or “I can’t wait” which can be taken innocently. How it’s said though, is nearly the same way that it would be said in the bedroom. All the women in Food Wars exhibit this behavior and are way more sexy about it than the men. Sure they get naked as much as the girls do, but the girls come off as if they are in the middle of a session. As skillful and purposeful as it is for Food Wars to sneak in female fan-service, this time around it felt a tad heavy-handed.
Cool Swords But Still Predictable
Now that we’ve reached the end of the elections, this episode hit a lot of obvious beats. Soma reveals his fish strategy and we see how Akira and Ryou are preparing their dish. One finishes, judges evaluate, something about umami, praise, and repeat with the second and third contestant. Of course, it ends with the protagonist seeming as though he is about to fail until a secret weapon is revealed as a teaser for the next episode.
This was more entertaining in the first season when we were learning if Soma could handle his own at the academy. Now we know he’s so over-powered, that it’s hard to imagine him failing at this point. On the flip-side though, this season has been filled with many anime homages. There was Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, Yu-Gi-Oh, and currently a Berserk reference. The show compares the fish and their dish preparation to the likeness of swords. Ryou has a large, hefty sword since his dishes assault the senses. Akira meanwhile is so precise and particular with his preparation and which spices he uses they compare his style to a rapier. When Soma finally completes his dish, the judges compare him to a blacksmith that can craft swords that are unique and new.
We are approaching the tenth episode. This means if the conclusion of the Autumn Election happens in that episode, there are still three episodes leftover. I don’t read the manga, so it’s hard to say for me personally how this arc will end. Maybe we learn the relationship between Erina and Soma’s dad. Will Soma become part of the Elite Ten? What’s creepy Eizan planning? And more importantly, who will win Soma’s heart!? Till the next episode, “A New Genius.”