The Autumn Elections, one of the significant and important events for the Tootsuki Academy first year students has begun and amongst the 60 students competing in this competition, only 8 will move on towards the next round, four from group A and four from group B. An intense grueling challenge ushers in the journey each of those 60 students will take in the competition and marks the beginning of an outstanding legend the 8 who progress can potentially carve for themselves through their cooking. One of the most exciting aspects about this competition is the fact that there are more than 8 named characters, so wondering who exactly will get through to the next round does add an extra layer of intensity and intrigue. The gauntlet has been thrown down and the players have come out to play, who exactly will end up surprising and awing us?
Loved how the students were introduced in chapters 48-49, each working in close intimacy with their trusted styles and at the same time pushing themselves into realms of uncertainty and creativity. The cooking each of the characters practice really does represent the personality of each of those characters really well including the steps they have taken into improving, perfecting and expanding their cooking.
Souma and Megumi are the ones to watch, they came in with hardly any knowledge and experience with cooking curry but still managed to push themselves over the month of preparation they had to familiarise themselves with cooking curry to reach a level in which they are able to have something substantial to showcase this challenge. Megumi showing everyone, including the doubters, how much she has improved her cooking was great, especially after the barrage of insults and snide comments came flying her way. Also got to love how she centered herself through the technique Souma shared with her. She was able to cut up her goosefish as if she were dancing with her blade, it was amazing.
Concerning Miyoko, I was glad she was interested in Megumi but it turns out that she has issues of her own and experiences in her past. Such experiences has caused her to become sensitive to matters involving gender and cooking. Hopefully now that Miyoko is aware that Megumi is a skilled cook, she will back off on the anti nature she has adopted. I do feel like Megumi and Miyoko could end up being real good friends with each other, because they both find themselves lacking in areas where no problems exist, all they need is confidence in themselves, in their decisions and in their cooking. If they have that necessary confidence, the sproblems they believe they have with themselves will end up fading away.
Orie’s sudden interest in Megumi after realising the intriguing and warm quality of Megumi’s cooking was great and a bit surprising, to think Orie would get out of her seat and try to get a closer look at what Megumi is doing. Just like how that Goosefish got a carving of its life by Megumi’s skills so to have the outcries of her uselessness, this girl can cook and when filled with courage and conviction, she is a monster not to be underestimated (Isshiki definitely does realise this).
Seeing the unnamed characters get carved up by the judges scores was intense, I didn’t think good dishes would flop so badly in scoring, but I guess not surprising the judges with an interesting and unique dish didn’t help towards scoring a high mark.
Sadatsuka Nao’s ‘Jet Black Curry Laksa’, oh wow, I was wondering what she would end up conjuring in her pot of inauspiciousness and it turns out it really was something quite menacing and dangerously delicious (I love how Alice had her own gas mask prepared lol). The fact that it created such a jarring reaction with the judges sense of smell on top of the contrasting delciousness of the actual taste, the dish ended up enchanting the judges into a deep state of wonder as to how such a repulsive dish can captivate them so intensely. The bondage-like illustration of the judges reactions illustrated quite boldly how seductive Nao’s dish ended up being and deservedly, it received the adequate score, an 84.
Finally we get the name of Erina’s secretary revealed! Arato Hisako huh? It’s a nice name, I’m glad I can finally put a name to her rather than continue to refer to her as ‘Erina’s secretary’. It turns out Nao and her had some history in the past and when Nao did challenge Hisako to a Shokugeki for the right to be Erina’s aide, Hisako crushed her and prevented her from coming within 50m of Erina. This time, Nao wants to shame Hisako on a massive public scale and show Erina how unfit Hisako is and how fit she is to be her secretary. I was initially rooting for Nao to win because we barely knew much about Hisako (the fact that her name was revealed this chapter illustrates that). But from the moment it was revealed Hisako blended in Chinese medicinal plants and styles into her cooking and that she was Medicinal Cooking Expert, I instantaneously became intrigued by her character.
That girl has skills and being able to combine medicinal components into her cooking was an incredibly exciting move, she can cook in a way no one else can. Now it makes sense why Erina chose Hisako as her secretary. Got to love the judges reactions and how the “curse” (lingering repulsiveness) of Nao’s cooking became cleansed with the first bite of Hisako’s dish. Nao trying Hisako’s dish and having her “darkness” cleansed made the chapter (52) full of win, it is a shame though that Nao clung onto her ‘dark-self’ and reverted back shortly after being cleansed – Nao is really cute as Sadatsuka Nao (white). Hisako has expressed her dedication to serving Erina through her dish and the 92 points she scored and this ultimately on top of a cold and invective comment has resulted in Nao now becoming infatuated with Hisako =P. However insane the dynamics between Nao and Hisako will become from now on, I have to say that this was a great twist – Hisako-onee-sama!!
Nakiri Alice’s aide (do we not know his name yet?) scoring a 93 was a shock, he did a Roronoa Zoro (One Piece) and became serious the moment he tied his bandana around his head, what an interesting fellow. These background characters are really coming out and showing everyone what they are worth. It is going to be interesting to see how the contenders in both block A and B end up surpassing the top scores already set. The fact that only four are going to progress through each block makes the developments about to come more exciting. Really looking forward to coming chapters.