Shokugeki no Souma – 10

Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -18 Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -28 Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -32

Goodness me – can this season really be in double-digits already?

The elephant in the room as far as the plot of Shokugeki no Souma is concerned is Tootsuki Academy itself.  Like so much with this series I’m never quite sure just how far into conscious parody this is intended – I mean, this school is just crazy.  Expelling someone for their shampoo choice when they were never instructed on what not to use?  Expelling two people over one line of exchanged conversation?  Yeah, they broke the rules but come on – this place is ridiculous.  I get that it’s supposed to be cutthroat, but Tootsuki left “cutthroat” broken and dead by the side of the road a long ways back.

The point man for the absurdity this week is Shinomiya Kojirou (Nakamura Yuuichi), the torturer de jour and one of the most decorated Tootsuki alumnus.  His task for the students is to make his recette (being the pompous A-hole he is, he could never just say “recipe”) for terrine of nine vegetables.  Shinomiya is pretty over-the-top, right in that nebulous “is it parody or not?” zone where Shokugeki no Souma lives most of the time.  He’s the one who expels two students for violating his dictum that no one can help each other, and he even plants some subpar cauliflower to limit the number of students who are able to survive his assignment.

The plus side here is that Shinomiya’s “no partners” rule forces Megumi to function on her own, which is an immaculate display of narrative timing.  As I mentioned last week, that episode was when Megumi’s constant deferral to Souma was starting to grate a little bit.  Sooner or later she has to start functioning on her own if she’s going to survive as a character, either inside the narrative or out.  Obviously she’s not going to drop her timidity overnight, but even if she’s not the loudest or the fastest she has to have enough confidence to be more than Souma’s sous chef to survive this hell.

Even if he didn’t have main character armor it would be obvious Souma isn’t going to fail – he’s alarmingly overpowered as a chef.  Thus the episode wisely focuses on Megumi, who because of her slow start has ended up with one of the shabby chou-fleur.  Her solution: blanche it in wine vinegar to revitalize its color and sweeten its taste.  A pretty good idea, and it produces a delicious result – but Shinomiya flunks her anyway, based on the fact that she broke the rules by improvising off his recette.

Here’s where things go off the rails for me a bit, because in the end it’s Souma who stands up for Megumi, arguing her case, and Souma who ends up challenging Shinomiya-sensei to a shokugeki with Megumi’s reinstatement on the line.  It was a nice GAR move for him – but he’s already established as a GAR bomb.  If the point of the ep was to show Megumi standing on her own two oven mitts, doesn’t Souma being her knight in shining armor sort of invalidate her development?  I already know the answer – the real point of the episode is to set up that shokugeki battle royale, and Souma being GAR is a higher priority than Megumi’s development.  So the latter will have to simmer on the back burner for the time being.

Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -6 Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -7 Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -8
Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -9 Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -10 Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -11
Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -12 Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -13 Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -14
Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -15 Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -16 Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -17
Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -19 Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -20 Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -21
Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -22 Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -23 Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -24
Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -25 Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -26 Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -27
Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -29 Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -30 Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -31
Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -33 Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -34 Shokugeki no Souma - 10 -35
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12 comments

  1. g

    "I already know the answer – the real point of the episode is to set up that shokugeki battle royale, and Souma being GAR is a higher priority than Megumi's development."

    Yup, I think it was after the 2nd or 3rd episode that I realized, although this is a manga adaptation, it reads more like a light novel adaptation, with how Souma is stronger than everyone else, ridiculously so and (though yes, they're trying to sometimes sell us that he's not the strongest, but in the end) he just blows through everyone else. There's no real suspense either. It's "competency porn" but the "competency" is sold via everything being over the top.

    P.S. I think you accidentally dropped a word here:
    "As I mentioned last week, that episode was when Megumi's constant deferral to Souma was starting to grate a little bit. "

  2. g

    Yeah, I've discovered I've felt the most emotions about a match between two people, who are neither Souma, because only then I'm not sure, who will win.

  3. G

    Err, ignore that P.S. Guess I was tired or thought of another line I can't find right now >.>

    (It's still me, but blogspot is being a pain as usual about replying with my wordpress account…)

  4. No, no dropped word there – that sentence was as intended!

  5. E

    Tootsuki Academy (and most anime 'elite' schools) don't seem to understand what education is or what elite schools actually do. Seems like they haven't actually taught their students shit. It would be nice if Souma actually learnt something there for a change.

  6. e

    It's not a school at all lol. It's more entering a world cup or an olympic qualification.

  7. g

    Enzo, have you read this far into the manga?

    Trying to be as nonspoilery as possible…you should remember the settings for the upcoming shokugeki,and how that plays into Megumi's advancement. The manga is pretty well written in terms of giving people moments to stand on their own.

    As for people complaining about the academy….the whole point is that everything is over the top. It's more or less a cooking Hunter Exam. If the anime/manga let it's foot off the competitive gas for a second, the illusion would fall apart…

  8. Yes, I know what happens in the shokugeki. But I'm not getting into details for obvious reasons, and I still think my point regarding this ep holds.

    As to the second point, as I said in the post, it gets into that satirical grey area SnS is so comfortable in. Just making the observation that this place is nuts.

  9. g

    Gotcha. I wasn't really referring to you as "people complaining about the academy" – a lot of people online seem to be taking this whole thing way too seriously…

    Maybe it's because a lot of anime viewers are students, so it's easy to empathize?

  10. E

    Unlike HxH, SnS is set in the 'real world' and the school serves a real life occupation.

    I mean sure, a crazy school like Tootsuki can exist in theory, but when you say that its a highly regarded top-of-the-line school in spite of not teaching its students shit you lose my suspension of disbelief right there. Hell the very idea that a top class school doesn't teach its students is a huge logic flaw if it isn't lampshaded.

    Sounds to me like Souma and all the better students are better off apprenticing in a real restaurant. They'd be as successful in the long run and actually learn things.

  11. Z

    Not to mention the huge conflict of interests involved that would lose such a school any accreditation if anyone found out.

  12. C

    Still can't believe JC staff is doing such a great job, even the anime-original scenes like the girls' bath and the "Erina wants to play cards scene" were decent enough and in-character.

    Koyasu is pretty good for Dojima, I'm pleasantly surprised.

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