I was a little unsure how to count this episode; this is actually the first split-cour anime my blog has run into. Since Crunchyroll is continuing the episode count with the second cour, I guess I’ll just follow suit until Shokugeki no Souma greenlits a Shi no Sara or something.
Dare I risk fitting in a second anime to cover in this stressful Spring season? I do like talking about Shokugeki no Souma a lot, even when the show has frustrated me from time to time. It’s hard to say right now but I am at least giving the new episode its own post because there was some juicy stuff going on here (no, not like that…I think?).
I’ll admit that I wasn’t too hyped to see the 2nd cour of San no Sara because the 1st cour was a step backwards from Seasons 1 and 2. I really should write reviews for those seasons but one thing I want make crystal clear is that I preferred the lack of a central antagonist in those seasons. Any rival pitted against Souma was just that, a rival. Even the most cartoonish of those characters weren’t evildoers bent on taking the world. With Azami, the Elite Ten, and their plan to mold the culinary world to their ideals, it just feels so black and white now. On top of that, there’s just stuff that’s too dumb to accept like threatening to close down Polar Star because, apparently, it counts as a club and NO, I’M NOT LETTING THAT GO, THAT WAS STUPID.
And call me a skeptic but I doubt that this upcoming arc will make that much sense either. Why exactly are the advancement tests taking place on a bunch of trains? Who knows! Maybe Azami had a crap ton of money to burn and he wanted a fancy setpiece for expelling more students. Maybe it’ll get elaborate next episode but it just sounds too strange to justify.
This all aside, I must admit that Episode 13 is probably one of the better episodes San no Sara has dished out. The big reason is that it’s solely dedicated to advancing Souma and Erina’s relationship. I’d say now was a great time to finally do so since the 1st cour ended with the big scene where Azami and Erina finds out Souma is Joichiro’s son. That kind of revelation naturally has Erina look at Souma very differently now. She still butt heads with him, I doubt that trait will truly go away, but Erina clearly is more willing to talk and listen to Souma now that she knows his creativity and cooking style is a result of Joichiro’s own teachings.
Like almost every other meal presented in Shokugeki no Souma, that tempura looked mighty tantalizing. Its appeal is further accentuated by having all the other girls crave for it (they happen to be eavesdropping on Souma cooking for Erina) and, of course, the foodgasm scene in all its gratuitous and silly splendor. You know, looking back, I think San no Sara has had pretty mild reaction scenes up until this point. I wouldn’t call Souma chickens pecking at Erina that finest of the foodgasms but I’m glad that the show went a little ecchi again.
Thematically, the egg that Souma includes in his tempura bowl ties nicely with his and Erina’s characters. To begin with, the detail is a nice callback to the egg-based recipe Erina tasked Souma to make when they first met. Furthermore, because of Azami’s strict and narrow tutelage, Erina has been raised to view any food that’s made of cheap ingredients as inferior to anything that’s made with the highest quality ingredients. However, the fact that the eggs Souma uses is of lower quality is what actually augments the tempura even further. It has to be cheap so that it can freeze and taste better. Realizing this invalidates Azami’s teachings and helps Erina realizes that she should think more freely about cooking and that such attention to detail and creativity deserves to be kept in Totsuki.
Unfortunately for Souma, Erina doesn’t admit that the food is delicious; not because she still hates him but because she’s now motivated to rally everyone into opposing Central. It seemed inevitable she’d become one of her father’s biggest opponents though its nevertheless satisfying that she’s finally gotten her head above the water. Come to think about it, Souma ultimately does fulfill Senzaemon’s request to save Erina from her father. I get why Souma was confused as to why he was asked to do such a thing but now that everyone’s aware of Erina’s chance encounter with Joichiro, it makes sense that he got picked. If anyone could save Erina, it’d either be the man she greatly admires or the son who shares that same principle. Granted, I have to wonder why Senzaemon didn’t just tell Souma the truth…
All this is very exciting…but I still don’t get why we’re going to have our heroes on freaking trains. I’m sure the character development will pull through (especially if it’s as good as what we got in this episode) but I really can’t get over how silly that setpiece sounds on paper. Who knows, maybe this will be the most amazing arc ever. And while I may have doubts, I do prefer it when something proves me wrong in the best ways possible.
OP: “Symbol” by Luck Life
ED: “Atoria” by Fo’xTails