While I did feel either Akira or Ryou would be great opponents for Souma in the final, I honestly did not expect the final to be between the three of them. But thinking about it, the way the scoring was set-up in the preliminaries (Souma drawing with Ryou and losing to Akira by one point), the best course of action to settle the lack of finality in the scoring was to have Souma defeat both them. And seeing how Souma had not met either of them again prior to the final, the three-way final should have been expected. But regardless, that twist was extremely satisfying and I look forward to seeing how this unprecedented event intensifies.
The contrasting dishes between Akira and Ryou were quite fascinating to see, I was curious about how Ryou would combat against Akira’s aroma’s and how Akira would handle Ryou rising up to the challenge he set. Both of them are beasts when it comes to cooking and I am glad the conclusion to their fight was held off until a later date. Because the two of them contrast against each other so perfectly, it was definitely hard to determine who exactly the better chef was. They both excelled in the areas which they specialise in. But now that they know what each other is capable of, it should be extremely interesting to see what each of them does to fill in the gaps they felt they had regarding that battle.
Ryou is now aware that he will have to try even harder and bring forward something with even more impact to convince the judges that his dish is better than his opponents. That fire which wasn’t able to be satisfied with the match against Akira, now blazes even fiercer for the upcoming battle for the Autumn Election final. All that passion and rage, I look forward to seeing how Ryou channels that in his preparation and cooking for the final.
Akira may not have admitted it but he was completely shaken up by the decision that Ryou was capable enough to match the advantage his innate sense of smell granted. Add on top of that the surprise he had during the preliminaries when Souma almost matched his score and he most definitely must be feeling some level of pressure and excitement for the final. Hopefully with this draw and Ryou pointing out Akira’s reliance on spices, Akira is able to realise the need to rely on more than just his sense of smell. I have said it before, but Akira’s sense of smell should compliment his cooking and be used to help bring out and highlight his skills. Rather than his innate sense of smell making the dish, it should be his cooking skills that drive the dishes he creates. With the reason of showing Ryou and Souma the depths of his cooking, his flame has very much ignited for the final and it will be interesting and exciting to see what style of cooking Ryou utilises when he extends himself beyond spices and his reliance on his sense of smell.
Souma pretty much publicly stating that the final against Akira and Ryou will be used as a stepping stone for him to rise higher was gold. This unprecedented event is indeed a “special bargain” for him to express exactly how talented a chef he really is. He may not have the same abilities as Akira or the same intense will as Ryou but what Souma does have is his inhuman ability to adapt and evolve his cooking without restraint and that is in my opinion by far the most dangerous ability. To be able to perceive limitations and boundaries as opportunities to advance oneself. Ryou and Akira facing Souma can also serve to inspire them to evolve their cooking.
Seeing Souma go up against the best of the best in his year group (minus Erina) is exhilarating and thoroughly enjoyable. And more than just playing out as a match, Souma is continually learning from those battles. His opponents as well are educated through their battles with him as they see how Souma is able to evolve his cooking beyond the restrictions other would perceive him limited by.
With the theme of the finals being Pacific Saury and it being an ingredient which compliments each of the three finalist cooking styles, it will definitely be a final filled with exciting twist and developments. I am also curious to see how the judges and gourmet chefs react when they realise the talent filled in the 92nd generation of Tootsuki Academy. Very much looking forward to Souma experimenting with the pacific saury and Megumi suffering as a result of that experimenting =P.