What a fantastic chapter, no matter what the result ends up being, the coverage Megumi has gotten through these last three chapters has been incredible, especially how it highlighted her ability to stand beside the main character as a serious chef who is not afraid to meet her opponent head-on. Just like how Souma has the courage to challenge any style of cooking, Megumi is showcasing herself as being the same, challenging Ryou to a serious flavour match despite knowing that rich flavours are his forte.
Megumi’s timid appearance really does belie the immense talent she holds as a chef and her willingness and openness to want to advance her cooking. Even knowing beforehand that Ryou would use rich flavours in his ramen, she still chose to follow the same route and challenge him front-on. Megumi knew she didn’t have the same level of skills Ryou has in producing a strong flavour dish, but she challenged him and thanks to that courage she found a different way to convey strong flavours which she could follow, one that complimented her own significant talents.
It is one thing to live within the “box” of your own skills and another to smash past it and truly challenge yourself. Souma conveys that perfectly, the way he engages any style of cooking openly and with complete enthusiasm, never seeing the limits of his cooking as restrictions. Because of his willingness and courage to extend himself outside the restrictions of his skills, he is able to advance his cooking beyond his limitations and grow as a chef. Megumi may have unknowingly been inspired by Souma, but whatever it is, right now, she is doing the very same thing as Souma. Rather than restrict herself to the “box” of her skills, she chose to extend herself beyond the comfort of her limitations and challenge Ryou at his own style of cooking.
Megumi meeting Souma had ignited a fire inside her and thanks to the Autumn Election it has begun to blaze intensely through her cooking and the determined look in her eyes. Megumi’s whole outlook on cooking has changed and her view of herself has changed as well. After getting comfortable with herself and cooking, she is now able to believe in the skills she wields and in her own judgement.
The acknowledgement Megumi got from Ryou and the judges was testament to her talents as a chef, she was able to force their attention towards her and make them realise that she is not just some timid chef. The courage and resolve Megumi displayed cements her as being a character to keep an eye out for; with the mindset she is now in, her cooking will begin to evolve rapidly. If Megumi keeps extending herself past her limitations and continues to challenge herself like how she did against Ryou, her abilities and skills will end up growing in a way not so different from Souma – failure is just a stepping stone to success.
The imaginary battle between Megumi and Ryou was immensely entertaining, I love Megumi’s look there (more of that please!) and the reference to Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure =P. As for the result of this culinary battle, I can’t believe the chapter ended just as Senzaemon was about to announce the winner, how agonising. Very much looking forward to the next chapter.