In order to get Azami to accept the challenge Jouichirou had to bait Azami with a prize he could not refuse, the complete and unquestioned loyalty of himself. Azami obsessed and driven by his memories of Jouichirou’s cooking accepts the Regiment de Cuisine challenge with a gleeful expression unconcerned of the prospect of failure. With the challenge set and the location decided – the final site of the promotion exam, Rebun Island, Souma and Co. begin their special training with Jouichirou.
I was wondering what Jouichirou would bet as Azami was not interested in the least to accept the a challenge that risk all he has worked for recently in preparation for his ultimate goal. Jouichirou bet the one thing Azami could not refuse. Saiba-senpai served as an inspiration for Azami and during their year together when Jouichirou began to pursue the cooking he believed reflected himself, Azami began to despair. The thought of returning his precious Saiba-senpai to the one he remembers excites him beyond measure.
With the match in place, it should be interesting to see what training Jouichirou puts Souma, Erina, Takumi and Megumi through. Most likely the opponents they will be facing will be the Elite Ten Council as they represent the best chefs in Azami’s Central. To get Souma and Co. ready to face members from the Elite Ten Council and defeat them with only a few days to prepare, the training Jouichirou will put them through must be something quite intense. If Eishi is one of their opponent, I don’t believe they will win, so for the plot to progress and for the supporting characters to have their expulsions nullified, Eishi most likely will not be one of the chefs in Central’s team for this match. Rindou has already been banned from participating in the remainder of the Promotion Exam based on her awesome personality (you are too cool for Central Rindou) so she will not be part of the Central team as well. To give Souma and Co. a chance, it does seem likely that the Elite Ten Council members/Central members they will face will be close to their level.
One thing that is still bugging me which has not been clarified, is how do Souma and Co. plan to take a majority of the Elite Ten Council seat if they only have four people? With nine seats currently active, they will need five seats to reach a majority and overturn Azami’s decision. Is there a fifth member that will join the team that has not been defeated yet? Subaru maybe? Personally, I would have loved to have had Akira part of the team as Shiomi-sensei is relevant to the history between Jouichirou and Azami in the past. Having her student there to fight against Azami’s Central would have relevance. A shame Akira was expelled as well, but I wonder if there is a way around that now that Azami is in a state of excitement at the possibility of Jouichirou becoming one of his soldiers.
With the history behind what happened between Azami and Jouichirou about to be revealed, I am curious to see if Azami was always this way or whether it was a certain event/action that served as a catalyst to propel into desiring to upend the Japan cuisine industry. I am also curious to see if Souma’s mother was part of Tootsuki Academy as well and whether she was the reason for Jouichirou’s change in cooking. I find it suspicious that in the 69th generation that we only have the first three Elite Ten Council members revealed, who were seats 4-10? Could Souma’s mother have been part of the Elite Ten Council and quite possibly been the occupant of seat number four?
Nice to finally get confirmation that Jouichirou was the best in their year even though he didn’t hold the first seat. Based on the 121 matches Gin had with Jouichirou, Gin lost 101. I would have expected the result to be a bit more even, but I guess I am not that surprised to see Jouichirou that far ahead given the focus he has had in the recent chapters and throughout the manga as an exceptional cook pushing the boundaries of what is possible. Looking forward to the next chapter.