I am quite excited about the Autumn Election second round match-ups – Akira vs Ryou and Souma vs Subaru. In particular, I am really looking forward to seeing Souma dismantle Subaru with his dish in his match. The theme is a “main dish for a western-style meal” and Souma has agreed to a have a Shokugeki against Subaru with some seriously dire consequences. The fact that Souma, the main character, has bet his future as a chef on the match, it is practically impossible that he is going to lose his match against Subaru, although I suppose regardless of what was bet, it was fated for Subaru to lose to Souma when he challenged him to a Shokugeki.
I don’t think there was much doubt as to whether Souma would lose against Subaru when a Shokugeki was agreed upon, what I love though is the fact that Tsukuda Yuuto-sensei embraced the obvious nature of the match-up and instead pushed forward some serious intensity concerning the match. Souma turning the tables psychologically on Subaru concerning the Shokugeki was fantastic, the look of shock and confusion on Subaru’s face when Souma upped the stakes of the Shokugeki was fantastic. Souma’s brazenly reflecting Subaru’s challenge back at him as well as revealing what dish he chose to cook for their match was completely satisfying. I wonder if Subaru ever came across a chef as bold and crazy as Souma.
Souma is so going to take Subaru apart with his unique way of cooking that only really makes sense in his head. I actually feel sorry for Subaru a little that his cockiness of looking down on his opponent and only focusing on what is in front of his will leave him vulnerable against what he fails to see behind him. It is going to be interesting to see how Subaru attempts to put himself in Souma’s shoes and think/behave like him.
In the other match-up, I feel Akira is going to help convey to Ryou what Megumi tried to illustrate when she faced off against Ryou, about the relation between chefs being a benefit and actually helping expand and push what is possible in the world of cooking. Ryou may try to psychologically prey on Akira, using his relationship with Jun to try to rattle Akira, but given Akira’s attitude and focused state of mind, I doubt Akira would let his emotions get the better of him during the match. Ultimately though, Ryou trying to get under Akira’s skin may just motivate Akira more.
Akira has been presented as an incredibly talent chef comparable to Nakiri Erina and given that, I just don’t see Akira losing to someone like Ryou, who is a far cry from Erina’s level. If Ryou does make it to the final, the result would probably end up being too obvious, with Souma ending up the winning, if Akira were Souma’s opponent on the other hand, the result wouldn’t be as clear-cut and there would still be a good chance that Souma would lose to Akira at the end. That uncertainty as to the conclusion of the Autumn Election leaves me excited and hoping that Souma and Akira meet each other in the final.