So it begins, the battle to determine the chef who ends up facing Souma in the Autumn Election final. Both Ryou and Akira have shown themselves to be incredibly talented chefs who have different styles of cooking and ways of approaching challenges, so whoever wins, the battle they will have with Souma in the Autumn Election final should certainly be grand and epic.
So the theme is the same as the first semi-final match – ‘western-style main dish’. This should be interesting to see what kind of dishes Akira and Ryou present to the judges who have just been taken to the amusement park.
I have been looking forward to this match, in specific Akira, but I have to admit, Akira was quite cocky this chapter, placing pretty much all of his fate on his innate sense of smell. While I accept that Akira’s ability to smell is inhuman and it does give him an edge, I find it quite presumptuous of him to expect not to lose because of it. Not even Erina, from what we’ve seen, places that much reliance on her “God-like” palette, she understands that what makes her a great chef is not just the unique ability she has but her ability and skill she developed over the years that can utilise her sensitivity to taste.
Akira’s battle with Ryou may serve to humble him and bring him to the realisation that relying so much on his sense of smell can be unproductive when it comes to cooking. Hopefully Akira can realise that his sense of smell shouldn’t be what makes his dish, it should instead be his cooking skills that drive the dishes he creates. His sense of smell should compliment his cooking and be used to help bring out and highlight his skills.
Seeing Ryou’s flashback made me quite sad, to think those adults around him treated him like such an animal, I guess now we can see why Ryou ended up the way he is and why his perception of cooking is the way it is – cooking only involving wining or losing.
Still the way Akira and Ryou contrast against each other is quite fascinating – cold vs hot, calm vs intense, talent vs skill, aroma vs flavour, heart vs will. However, this battle develops, it will exciting to see how they end up overcoming the other and what ends up making the difference for their dishes when judged against the other. Will Akira’s feelings for his mentor serve to give him the edge, or will Ryou’s will to not lose be what makes the difference for him?
Ultimately I feel both Akira and Ryou could do with some lessons from Yukihira Souma, so whoever makes it through to the final, I expect Souma to smash the perception of cooking they have and show them what a real chef is like. Until that moment comes, I look forward to seeing how this battle develops and concludes.