That was a great conclusion to the Souma and Akira “battle” in these preliminaries. I was curious to see if Souma would already outscore Akira in the first round of the Autumn Election or whether their rivalry would extend further into the competition. I was expecting Souma and Akira to tie with their dishes, but that didn’t happen, Souma was a point short, yet that didn’t matter because the way in which Souma achieved his score created a situation in which his dish may have well tied with Akira’s. Three of the five judges scored Souma’s dish higher than they did Akira’s, so there must be something Souma is doing that resonates with those judges. Whatever happens from here on, I am glad to see that Souma and Akira still have something to compete for in the following rounds of the Autumn Election. That surprise final contestant in block A who knocked Zenji and Shun out with his score of 91 was quite the shock, I was not expecting such an ominous twist at the conclusion of the preliminaries.
Souma’s dishes really are incredibly unusual and intriguing, and the way in which his dish “impacts” the person/people tasting it, I find that amusingly fascinating. The way the male judges described the intensity of Souma’s dish, how hilarious it was, I’m glad Natsume wasn’t included in that reaction shot, it would have been quite startling =P.
The level of understanding Souma has acquired on spices over the course of a month is impressive, both the judges and Akira’s commentary (on his dish and how he blended the spices with other ingredients) illustrated that clearly. I love how Souma used the dishes from his past “failures” and incorporated them into his curry dish, he really does consider a failure a useful experience, what an awesome guy. Souma utilised his style of cooking and constantly tempted the judges with the blend of aroma he created through the omelette and the risotto and moved/pleasured them through the use of the many different ingredients he utilised to achieve the deep flavour of his dish. It may not have been the same level of “curry dish” as Akira’s when looking at it from the perspective of a “curry dish” but as a dish using the theme of “curry dish” it sounded and looked quite phenomenal.
I suppose this is also where the division between the judges cropped out from, the interpretation of a “curry dish”. Natsume and Makito were of the view that Akira’s dish represented an artistry of modern curry, whereas the other three judges looked past Souma’s dish being just a “curry dish” and judged it as a dish underlined with the theme of “curry dish”. The judges were of different opinions in whether the judging should be made with the spices in mind or whether that should extend to how other ingredients worked with the spices. Well given how the judges were given freedom in how they base their vote, none of the judges are in the wrong here, but it was amusing to see Makito and Shigenoshin argue with one another.
That final contestant in these block A preliminaries came out of nowhere, I honestly didn’t expect that. I was still wondering who of Zenji or Shun would get through but the twist at the end of the chapter made that quite redundant as that mysterious character scored a shocking 91 points. He has such a big frame and yet he still managed to score a 91? What style of cooking does this character utilise and how can someone seemingly so “rough” and crude have such mastery over the art of cooking? I really am curious.
Eizan seems to be familiar with that mysterious character given the way he let a smirk slip at the end of the chapter, it could also be that Eizan had personally sent that character to the Autumn Election to test/terrorize Souma. And here I was thinking the Souma and Akira rivalry would continue being the highlight of the next round, but with the addition of this seemingly antagonistic character, the next round in the Autumn Election should be very interesting and suspenseful (it will cool to see Souma direct his attention to this new character in the next round and shock Eizan). Looking forward to the next chapter.