The next round of the fall elections is underway as a new season of Shokugeki No Soma kicks off!For this round, the opponents will be drawn by lottery. Soma is selected for the first round of sokugeki with the theme being “bento”. While he’s surprised to see such a common theme, Erina is quick to put him in his place. Bento are considered an important part of Japanese cuisine and are something the even well known chefs know about, but a B-grade chef like Soma will never be able to compete with the others at the academy.
And who should be Soma’s first opponent? None other than Erina’s cousin, Alice Nakiri.
As has been demonstrated in the past, these two have incredibly different and dynamic cooking styles. Alice focuses more on how the molecular structure of the flavors compliment each other. Where as Soma enjoys finding new ways to compliment flavors in way people never would have thought. Even as they are preparing their dishes, Alice demonstrates her dedication to the literally science of cooking as she breaks down flavors into different chemical compounds as Soma seems to focusing on a more traditional bento.
Alice is the first to complete dish. She shows off a chilled bento of several different sushi, all complimented with the finest manufactured compounds that cooking has to offer. Each judge is blown away by immaculate each dish is. Her reputation certainly speaks for itself as each dish is prepared to perfect with even hints of flavors that are no where to be found on the dish.
But Soma isn’t dissuaded in the least.
His dish comes in a bento box which is served in several different compartments, each
designed to keep the dished warm until the eater can enjoy it. He serves it to the judges and each container has one more surprise than the last one did. From hot miso soup to small roe balls he uses for an extra burst of flavor, Soma seems to have perfectly captured what it means to make a perfect bento.
Alice is unimpressed by his rather lack luster dish, but she is immediately put in her place when her grandfather tells her how far she missed the mark. He tells her that bento is meant to be warm, that’s what makes the dish so good. It’s the warm food and the warm memories that a bento creates which makes it such an important part of Japanese cuisine. With that final judgement, Soma is declared the winner.
While this episode was excited and the match up was fantastic, it was kind of more than what should have been in a first episode. By starting the second season with Soma, it seems like a bit of a let down to go into the next few rounds. They’re good characters and the match ups will be great, but it almost seems like the series should have built up to Soma’s match similar to how it did in season one. It also seemed a little soon to have Soma be the first one in the next round since he finished off the first group. It’s not a bad match up, but putting him against someone who was made out to be so formidable in the very first episode of the season seems a little premature.
Hopefully the other matches prove to be just as exciting as the Autumn Elections continue!
Follow all the tasty dishes by watching Shokugeki No Soma on Crunchyroll.