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Food Wars! Shokugeki no Soma Episode #12 Anime Review

4 min read

Food Wars Episode 12Within the most pleasurably delicious also lies the bitter taste of defeat.

What They Say:
The Memory of a Dish

Shokugeki no Soma centers on Yukihira Soma, a middle school student who is determined to surpass his father’s culinary skills. One day, his father decides to close down their family restaurant and hone his skills in Europe. Before leaving he enrolls Soma in an elite culinary school that is extremely difficult to enter with a graduation rate of only 10 percent. Will Souma be able to improve his skills, or will the kitchen prove to be too hot?

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
For a few episodes now, we’ve been building up Megumi as a lead chef, someone worthy on continuing down the path of the prestigious Totsuki Academy. It all culminates here, the finale of her very own Shokugeki, and with her victory also necessary to keep Soma in school, the stakes could hardly be higher. Beyond just Megumi’s crippling anxieties keeping her from being able to put herself forward as a confident talent, the opponent is one of the finest chefs in the industry, and one who is sure to give this battle his all. How could Megumi possibly win? Indeed, while it’s essential that Megumi and especially Soma not be kicked out of school, it would seem far too ridiculous to believe that Megumi could simply take down Shinomiya so easily.

Fortunately, the writing is too sophisticated to take that way out, and instead a compromise is reached that means a lot more to the important concepts presented rather than simply showing one side to make a tastier meal than the other, as a result not feeling like any sort of a copout but quite the opposite. Megumi faces utter defeat, but there’s more to this match than a professional five-star chef whipping up a stronger plate than a nervous high school first year, and that’s where Dojima comes in. Dojima is the greatest character in a lot of ways, and he’s really the one who facilitates all of the meaty development filling up these past several episodes, especially this one. Shinomiya is a fine chef, sure. But through a flashback we see how he became the man he is, why he can’t trust anyone else, and how much Megumi’s philosophies are more in-tune with what a chef should be than Shinomiya’s. Megumi cooks for those who will be eating her food, which is perhaps the most important thing for a chef to keep in mind, something that seems the most natural instinct to the innocent Megumi but something that Shinomiya has all but forgotten. The reminders of how he’s changed over the years and how pure Megumi is bring a tear to his eye, and he gives her the respect we might not have expected from the Shinomiya we had known.

There’s one more character for whom Dojima had worked into this grand plan, and that’s our usual star Soma. He may have seemed helpful and supportive throughout all of this, but after the smoke has cleared and he thinks he’s alone, we see what his real reaction to this was: for the first time, Soma has experienced defeat. Even as nothing more than Megumi’s support, even against an opponent of such greater status, he truly thought he would always win, and the fact that, at least initially, they were completely shut down weighs on him as nothing but a loss. That’s exactly what Dojima was hoping for, and it’s the most important missing piece to Soma’s development.

In Summary:
Food Wars! has another fantastic episode in the development of many characters. This is the culmination of Shinomiya’s development and Megumi’s, at least for the moment. Soma also experiences a very important new sensation, and it’s all thanks to the brilliance of Dojima.

Grade: B+

Streamed By: Crunchyroll

Review Equipment:
Roku 3, Sceptre X425BV-FHD 42″ Class LCD HDTV.

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