Soma and Mimasaka are preparing for their Shokugeki.
Soma even tells Mimasaka the dish he will be preparing, which is beef stew. Everyone tells Soma that he shouldn’t do that, but he knows Mimasaka will predict whatever he does. With the stakes set, both men accept the terms of the Shokugeki and begin their preparation.
Soma knows that his dish is good because he’s spent so much time working on it, but he wants to figure out a way to enhance it. He uses white miso to mellow the sometimes acidic broth which isn’t popular with Japanese tastes. He tries everything he can think of, but nothing seems to stick out to him. He decides to enlist the help of Erina, the chef with the God Tongue.
Erina tries his stew and tells him that he will never be able to win with that dish. She says that his diner standards are never going to stand up in a shokugeki. He continues to work hard on his dish and his friends give him a care package to see if it can help him at all. He looks at the ingredients they gave him and thinks they’re too good.
And then he remembers what Erina told him.
On the day of the shokugeki, Soma seems to have a solid plan. He finds a higher quality meat than what he would normally use in addition to many other layers he’s including with the dish. Even the vegetables he’s using provide the same kind of tastes but giving the dish even more flavors to complement the food.
However, Mimasaka’s reputation certainly speaks for itself. He has completely copied everything that Soma has brought to the battle along with a final trick up his sleeve.
It’s difficult to enjoy an episode like this because it feels like all of Soma’s work is for nothing. Nothing he did was even a bit of a surprise to Mimasaka. More than likely, Soma is going to have something up his sleeve as well, but it’s irritating to watch a protagonist work hard on something only to have the angagonist pull a “I predicted your predictions and changed to benefit myself”. It would be one thing if he predicted almost everything Soma did but then over looked something. Soma is not a predictable character so it should be more difficult to descern his cooking style.
This is a shounen, however, so there will probably be a way Soma can turn this all around.