How fascinating it is to see how Souma goes about approaching the challenge he has against Kuga and in particular, how Souma goes about deciding on the exact flavours to feature in his dishes that can stand up to and even outshine any of the dishes Kuga produces. The spiciness which Kuga drowns his dishes in ends up highlighting the deliciousness of the dish and creating an addiction inside the customer. Can Souma directly oppose such a flavor impact or does he plan on utilising the addiction Kuga’s dishes produces to attract customers to his stall. What ever Souma decides to do, he definitely does have a lot of cuisine variety to choose from to base his dishes around with Chinese cuisine as his cooking genre for this years Moon Banquet Festival. Can Souma do the unthinkable and actually defeat Kuga and the Chinese Research Society?
To be able to delve into the world of cooking with such a fearless approach and yet be able to understand the complexities of cooking in such a simple way, Souma really is incredible. Souma was able to arrange his thought process for this challenge in such a reflective way to the challenge that every move he made at each stage seemed so simple to understand, yet trying to get your mind structured in such a way first is one of the hardest things to do. To be like water and mold yourself and abilities to the situation and challenge you are facing, such a feat requires immense openness and confidence. Alice may have been too comfortable in the “way” and methods she used to cook that she ended up structuring the challenge around her abilities as opposed to Souma who structured his abilities around the challenge.
This match between Souma and Alice has been so intense and engrossing I actually had forgotten that there were other contestants left to cook in the following Autumn Election battles. But because of that, right from the start, this round of the Autumn Election has been immensely exciting and entertaining. Souma being the complete underdog makes it even more so, especially when 99% of the audience have already written him off as losing. Souma’s Nori Bento’s initial appearance may not have caused the same wonder as Alice’s bento, but what Souma is doing so well is utilising the ingredients and flavours he is incorporating inside his bento to the fullest. The judges reactions (and imagination) is an expression of how successful Souma has been in evolving his Nori Bento.
Alice’s dish was spectacular and the fact that she incorporated a sequence in how her dish was to be eaten to deepen the level of flavour and satisfaction of the meal was incredibly well thought out. Not only did Alice bring forward a fantastical and elegant presentation, she utilised her flavours in such a unique and wondrous way, you can’t help but admire the level of thinking that went into creating the dish. Such a complex and technical dish that sings on so many levels had me wondering intensely throughout the chapter how exactly Souma would go about combating such an overwhelming dish…then I seen his back and my worries disappeared.
The world of cooking really is vast, not just cuisine styles become relevant in creating memorable dishes but the form of the dish also ends up playing a major part in how satisfying a person perceives the dish to be. On top of Souma challenging different cuisine styles in the manga so far, he is now faced with having to utilise the form of the dish to create an impact overwhelming the judges before they even end up being engrossed in the flavours. Alice being his opponent may just end up being the most advantageous event he has concerning the Autumn Election. If Souma can surpass the “hurdle” called Alice, his cooking really will be taken to another dimension, one that can express the different layers of skills he has acquired so far.
That was surprising, I was expecting another chapter to be dedicated to the two weeks before the main Autumn Election matches, but to be fast-forwarded right to the start of the Autumn Election main tournament and the first match, it was an exciting surprise. And the chapter didn’t stop with the surprises there, to think that we would have this match-up from the get-go, how shocking, two of the strongest competitors in the tournament, Souma and Alice, now kick-start the main matches of the Autumn Election first round. This is going to be incredibly interesting, seeing how these two battle each other with their culinary skills and cuisine.
I love how these dishes of Isami, Takumi, Alice and Megumi were presented and the emotion and meaning those dishes embodied. The Aldini brother rivalry was a charming quality Isami and Takumi share between each other, they go hard at each other inside the kitchen and outside trying to out do the other, but the emotion driving them is the love they have for each other and the hopes that they will continually keep challenging the other and consequently keep moving forward when it comes to cooking. Alice’s dish was a spectacle to look at and the innovative design, presentation and preparation of the dish was completely phenomenal. I can’t wait for Akira and Souma’s dishes to be judged next issue =D.
If you read my 999: Nine Hours Nine Persons Nine Doors post on my blog before, you’ll know just how much I loved that game and now Extreme Escape Adventure: Good People Die, the second game in the series, is coming out on the Nintendo 3DS and PS Vita (so glad I got a 3DS). I’m beyond excited and estatic, it felt so great when I found out about this game (and I doubt I was the only one).