Shokugeki no Soma Ep. 9 & 10: Oeuf…

Shokugeki no Soma - 0916

Time for Soma to deliver the goods.

— That’s a pretty sorry-looking sign. Anyway, we get some backstory on the blond kid from Italy. Nothing too interesting, though.

Shokugeki no Soma - 0902

He needs a rival, he needs something to push him over the edge, blah blah blah. So he’s here, picking fights with Soma because main characters need foils in their lives.

Shokugeki no Soma - 0906

— Sure, you should always look and see what your competitors are doing, but it turns out Soma and Megumi haven’t even gotten all the ingredients for their dish. And they just wasted valuable time watching the judge rave over the blond kid’s food. But it’s okay, because the judge lady just happened to be munching on the right snack for the occasion. Pretty fortuitous, isn’t it?

Shokugeki no Soma - 0904

— Likewise, Megumi just happens to have a ton of experiencing foraging in mountains, so she’ll be sure to find the exact ingredients that Soma needs. Such luck.

Shokugeki no Soma - 0910

— And even though Soma and Megumi return with just fifteen minutes left on the clock, it’s fine. Soma isn’t going to make anything complicated anyway. You’ll see. And he’s all like “I can’t keep my customers waiting.” Sure, but in restaurants, you also spend hours prepping before the doors actually open. Here, we go from scratch to a great meal in just those fifteen minutes. It’s not really the same thing.

Shokugeki no Soma - 0912

— In the end, this is what he ends up making. It’s deep-fried fish with the tea snacks for breading. And some vegetables.

— So I’m not sure exactly what fish Soma used. The subs merely say river fish. Maybe in Japanese, they specify what fish it was, but I wouldn’t know. So there’s one ingredient down.

— Likewise, I have no clue what the tea snacks taste like. Never had’em. All that I get from the show, however, is that they have an assertive taste. That’s pretty vague. You can be assertive in a lot of different directions. Plus, fish is generally pretty delicate in flavor, and assertiveness in the breading might just detract from that. But who knows? Maybe the fish Soma used can stand up to the tea snacks. All I can do is give the show the benefit of the doubt.

Shokugeki no Soma - 0913

Finally, he pretty much made a Japanese mayonnaise. But that’s not exactly a bad thing. An aioli sounds all foreign and fancy, but it, too, is just an emulsion of egg and oil. You just throw in garlic. And olive oil tastes better than vegetable oil. Here, we don’t have garlic. We have kinome, which is an herb that (I believe) comes from the same plant that Szechuan peppercorns come from. So it’s Japanese mayonnaise or aioli.

Shokugeki no Soma - 0914

Finally, there are some vegetables.

Shokugeki no Soma - 0915

— Of course, the lady is blown away by the dish. It just so happens that she’s sick of eating grilled fish all day, so she’s more than pleased to have the crunchiness of fish and chips veggies. Again, Soma lucks out in that the judge’s mood was in the right place. Nevertheless…

Shokugeki no Soma - 0919

— Who should win? Not surprisingly, the anime goes the blue-balls route, and as such, the lady is unable to decide on a winner. As a viewer, we can’t taste any of the food so we can’t really judge the competition either. But if I really had to lean one way or another, I would say…

Shokugeki no Soma - 0917

…that the blond kid’s dish looks more composed (inedible garnish aside).

Shokugeki no Soma - 0918

On the other hand, Soma’s dish has some whole vegetables sitting next to some chunks of deep-fried fish… and dipping sauce. It just doesn’t feel put together. It also strikes me more as an appetizer than a dish… So with the inability to actually taste the dishes myself, I’d give the win to our rival. But we can’t have the shounen hero actually lose. Main characters nowadays rarely ever start from the bottom or even have to pick themselves up from a bad loss. It’s too bad, really. Sometimes, the journey from the bottom is what makes these stories so special, but I suppose specials aren’t on the menu tonight.

Shokugeki no Soma - 0920

— After that, we get a bunch of scenes that I just plain don’t care about. I’m only here for the cooking.

Shokugeki no Soma - 0921

— It turns out that there’s no rest for the weary: those who haven’t been expelled must now each cook 50 steak set meals for a bunch of burly, hungry athletes and bodybuilders.

Shokugeki no Soma - 0922

— But we don’t actually get to see any of the cooking itself, so I’m just going to move on.

Shokugeki no Soma - 0923

— Naturally, Soma finishes first. After all, he’s actually had professional experience in a kitchen before. So his reward is that he gets to bump into Erina and stare at her massive cleavage.

Shokugeki no Soma - 0924

— She acts tsuntsun and water is still wet. This is some pretty boring stuff.

Shokugeki no Soma - 0925

— Finally, Soma gets into the bath, and who should happen to be there? That famous chef who’s in charge of… a bunch of resort restaurants. Snickers all around.

Shokugeki no Soma - 0926

— I hate people like this. Everyone’s human. No one’s a god. No one deserves your respect until they actually earn it from you.

— Yes, the girls also get into the bath, but we’re all anime fans. As such, we’ve seen more than our fair share of that sort of thing. It wouldn’t hurt to skip it this time!

Shokugeki no Soma - 0929

— Our friends hang out and have fun. Snore.

Shokugeki no Soma - 0928

— Megumi gets her groove back. Snore.

Shokugeki no Soma - 0930

— The next day, she and Soma face a new challenge. They must replicate another judge’s vegetable terrine recipe. I gotta say I’ve never been terribly excited about terrines.

terrine

Just nothing really appetizing about squeezing food into a rectangular form. To make it even worse, it’s vegetarian! C’mon! I ain’t no rabbit!

Shokugeki no Soma - 0931

— This time, everyone must work by themselves. Megumi freaks out for a second, but she realizes she must stand on her own two feet. She can’t let Soma carry her through life! Even if they get married, she should be able to assert herself! C-character development? Someone besides the main character stepping up to the plate? So we get to see her angrily stare at some veggies. Assertiveness!

Shokugeki no Soma - 0938

— Unfortunately for the girl, she was too slow, so all the good cauliflower are gone…

Shokugeki no Soma - 0932

— No fanfare this time for Soma’s dish. After all, he’s just duplicating what someone else has done. He’s not adding some twist to some homey dish, so we won’t even bother getting into what the vegetable terrine tastes like.

Shokugeki no Soma - 0939

— When it’s finally Megumi’s turn to be judged, she fails. Why? Because she had used vinegar. You know how you keep vegetables from oxidizing? People usually tell you to stick them in lemon juice. So boiling cauliflower in vinegar works the same way here. But ah, there isn’t vinegar in the original recipe, and how dare the girl deviate!! Therefore, she fails!

Shokugeki no Soma - 0934

The whole thing is hilarious to me, because any professional cook should know that you have to improvise on the spot. Sure, things can go perfectly, and you can produce that perfect dish… but sometimes, an ingredient goes bad, and you just have to make do. So any real chef would be impressed by Megumi’s ingenuity. But no, not this jackass chef over here, because we need a villain!

Shokugeki no Soma - 0933

And it’s also funny how the emphasis at the start was how Megumi had to stand up for herself, but now it’s Soma’s turn to argue in her favor. He rightly points out that the judge had supplied them with less-than-fresh ingredients. The judge admits he did so in order to fail more kids. But whatever. Why couldn’t Megumi have made this argument herself? Why couldn’t the story just allow her to stand up for herself even here?

Shokugeki no Soma - 0936

Because this all leads to a shokugeki. In order to prevent Megumi from being expelled, our hero directly challenges the asshole judge. But so much for Megumi standing up for herself.

Shokugeki no Soma - 0935

She gets to show one tiny bit of resourcefulness, but it’s quickly back to Soma coming to the damsel’s distress. At the end of the day, we’re sorely reminded that cute girls like Megumi can’t really do anything by themselves unless they’re willing to be a mean bitch (see: Erina). Anyway, that’s it for now. I’ll cover the last two weeks of Fate Something or Other tomorrow morning before LCS. It will prepare me for the disappointment from CLG’s eventual loss to TSM.

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11 thoughts on “Shokugeki no Soma Ep. 9 & 10: Oeuf…”

  1. This episode, in particular, made me angry and now I know why. You hit the nail on the head with Megumi’s snuffed out moment for character development…would it kill SnS writers to give a non-bitchy girl some of the spotlight?

      1. Well, yes and no. She’ll get some attention, but it wont stop Soma to butt in and steal all the momentum either and have people polishing his pickle.

  2. I’m not really a big fan of terrines either, but in this case being a vegetarian dish could be a plus. Meat in terrines are always kinda gross.

  3. Hmm, I see your point, though in this case seeing Megumi going from “complete lack of confidence” to “successfully argue with an instructor everyone seems to fear” would be probably too quick and big a change. I was okay with her development for now. I guess if a girl should get more of a spotlight on a short term it could be the hyper one from the dorm, Yoshino.

    And the instructor being a dick… yeah. For being a school, they do awful little teaching and a lot of harsh arbitrary judging. Then again, shounen, and I’m not even sure they’re always too far from reality. Some supposedly élite institutions do seem to live more of their combination of name and connections they can provide than actual formative superiority, at times (dunno about cooking schools, I’m thinking universities).

    1. Hm, yes, it’s unrealistic for her to act brave in this realistic anime about cooking. Let’s just have a dude defend her instead. Top drawer.

  4. “It’s too bad, really. Sometimes, the journey from the bottom is what makes these stories so special, but I suppose specials aren’t on the menu tonight.”
    hehe

    As always, the best part is the food comparison and your commentary on the cooking. I’m glad you’re not skipping the plot and side bits entirely, but hot damn did I laugh hard at that square veggie mess.
    Very good point regarding the vinegar by the way. Have to keep that in mind for when I try on a dish later this week.

    Also, I had to

  5. That screenshot with Soma talking about if he made customers wait – it just looks somewhat off, even if what he is doing isn’t physically impossible. Its an awkward way of holding himself.

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