Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara – Ep. 4

You’d think three seasons in, everyone in Totsuki would unanimously agree to stop underestimating Souma. Then again, without cocky jackasses like Kuga, there wouldn’t really be a plot in this show. Surprisingly, this shtick hasn’t felt old in the slightest (at least for me, it hasn’t). As much as I had expected Souma to bounce back, I still found myself wishing I could high five him and his crew like they do at the end of this episode.

So what worked this time around? Well, from the get go, Souma’s menu certainly improved. One of Shokugeki no Souma‘s biggest strengths is how good it is at making its food the most tantalizing stuff possible (with or without fanservice). Seriously, I really want to eat Souma’s new noodle recipe in real life. I like meatballs, curry, and mapo tofu so seeing all three combined in one dish had my mouth watering. And not only does it look more versatile than Kuga’s dish, it also makes Souma’s pepper buns look more tempting as an appetizer.

But cooking isn’t Souma’s only skill. Even though Kuga is a behemoth in the Totsuki community, he still can’t satisfy every customer. People get impatient and when they get fed up enough, they naturally consider the alternatives. That leads to people flocking over Souma’s booth and with that, we see Souma utilize the restaurant skills he’s developed for over a decade. I’ll admit that it’s a little presumptuous for Souma call in some favors and transform his little cart into an outdoor diner but he ended up being right on the money that he’d need to accommodate for a larger influx of customers. And I can’t deny that all the tables and lanterns really do make the place look so much more welcoming.

The only thing Souma would have to worry about is perhaps the workload but luckily, Souma thought this through by having Megumi take on a more active and, to my surprise, enlist the help of Subaru. While I do prefer seeing Megumi work as a chef, I do love seeing her make full use of her hospitality in any way possible. Seeing her approach customers and find good seats for them was a pleasant sight. Meanwhile, Subaru proves to be invaluable to Souma’s plan to meet the increasing demand. I’ll admit…I don’t think I’ll be forgetting the horror that was Subaru method acting as Souma anytime soon. But I can’t deny that this was a brilliant tactic on Souma’s part. If anyone could easily match Souma’s style and speed, it was certainly Subaru.

Yes, this plan does start to show some cracks towards the episode’s climax but in perfect shounen fashion, just when Souma almost risks his entire strategy, Nikumi, Takumi, and Isami all show up to lend a helping hand. Is that extremely convenient? Absolutely. Does that ruin the moment? HELL NO. If anything, this scene brings to light another one of Souma’s best qualities, how easily he befriends people. That Souma gets help from some many people who trust and care about him really speaks volumes about him as a chef and a decent human being, especially compared to the likes of Kuga who stand solely on their own or only have the army of lackeys backing them up. Honestly, I couldn’t think of a more satisfying push to the finish line than that.

And as you may expect, all of this planning and effort does land Souma at first place for Day 4 of the Moon Festival. It’s still a tall order to expect Souma can beat Kuga. Remember, he was in the red on Day One and very slowly recovered the next two days. But even for just one day, this comeback was mic drop levels of awesomeness.

Other Thoughts: 

  • Alice still does her own thing but at least she and Akira worked something out and got out of the red during the Moon Festival.
  • Tomita meeting Konishi was like Major Armstrong and Sig Curtis meeting for the first time in Fullmetal Alchemist. You wouldn’t imagine these two meeting but when they do, it just makes sense.

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