Shokugeki no Soma S3 Ep. 7: For England, Soma?

Per Azami’s decree, all clubs and societies will be shut down. Any inkling of creativity must be stamped out immediately. Instead, everyone will only be allowed to cook dishes conceived by the Elite 10. You must follow their recipes to the letter, too. It’s okay, because the Elite 10 are the best, right? So why wouldn’t you want to copy the Elite 10? Why would I ever want burgers and fries when I can just eat, uh… I dunno, Columbia river sturgeon confit à la minute, served with potato rissolée or whatever. Yeah. That. I know it’s just anime, and even then, it’s just a stupid shounen, but c’mon, this is such a lazy conflict. But since it’s kinda hard to work power creep into a concept like cooking, we instead have to worry about the never-ending raising of the stakes. We’re not just cooking for the sake of cooking anymore. We’re not even cooking just to save ourselves from expulsion. Y’see, my friends, this is the battle for the entire art and soul of cooking. If assholes like Azami get their way, cooking w…will die!

Poor Erina has now been relegated to houseplant status. In other words, all she’s allowed to do is stand there, be mute, and look sad. She’s a great chef, has a great palette, and should have great influence over how the Academy is ru–… no shut up, she’s traumatized, so only Yukihira can save her! Just accept it! But just so we’re clear, she also doesn’t need therapy or anything. It’s like… her situation is just bad enough to make her a damsel in distress, but not so bad that the power of nakama won’t be enough. It’s called having your cake and eating it too. We’ve already decided on a solution, and we’re sticking to it. Let’s not veer from the course.

Funnily enough, Erina’s situation is mirrored by the rest of the student body. They’re not happy about it, but most of them give in anyway. After all, they don’t want to be expelled. Even the teachers and instructors — adults with tons of experience under their belts and should thus know better — just go along with Azami’s totalitarian regime. And like it was with Erina, don’t even suggest a sensible alternative. Don’t even suggest that they go to a different school. Totsuki is the only option in the world even if it turns to complete shit. If only… if only there was a hero to save us all…

So Eizan comes to shut down Polar Star Dormitory, because autonomy is bad. Yukihira and friends can stop this with a good ol’ shokugeki. There’s only one problem: Eizan’s bought out all the judges. Again, if everyone here is corrupt and bought out, why even continue attending Totsuki Academy? But whatever. We see the head of the Skewer Society go down in flames, and this is supposed to crush everyone’s spirits. But of course, Yukihira is unflappable. Not only that, everyone in Polar Star Dormitory has a good crying session about how they will no longer be able to cook together, so our hero just has to do something. As a result, he challenges Eizan anyway, knowing fully well that the game is rigged.

Eizan is an asshole, though, so he already has his underlings ready outside Polar Star Dormitory to tear it down and evict its inhabitants as the shokugeki rages on. By the time our hero is done losing a fixed match, he won’t even have a home to return to. Or something. In reality, this is just a silly way to amp up the tension. Not only does Yukihira have to win, but his friends have to act like the Spartans at Thermopylae and hold their ground. Exciting, isn’t it? And even though the judges have been bought out, I bet Yukihira’s cooking is so good, they’ll want to taste his food anyway. So he’ll win. He has to win. In the grand scheme of things, Eizan’s just a goon; he’s the first disposable villain of the arc. Yukihira will deliver a beatdown that gives everyone hope to stand up for themselves. He just has to. I bet he even use ideas from his dormmates just to prove that Polar Star Dormitory deserves to exist. If I’m wrong, I’ll eat an entire durian fruit. Trust me, I hate it.

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