Shokugeki no Soma Episode 4: Madonna of the Polar Star

“I’m one of the Tootsuki Elite Ten.” 

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Impression

Shokugeki 4 Img005Everyone at the Polar Star are complete weirdos. And Soma fits right in! Megumi must have had quite an experience when she first moved in – although the three months she spent trying to get in to begin with must have been testing in its own way. I liked seeing both Yuuki (the game animal bitch) and Ryouko (the girl with the ‘rice juice’), and along with Isshiki I’m slowly ticking off names on the list of characters I’m looking forward to seeing animated. But I honestly don’t remember the two muscular guys who kept having a fight in Marui’s room – did they always live at Polar Star?

Shokugeki 4 Img008I suppose the main point of interest from this episode was Isshiki! Putting aside his nightly whispers to poor Megumi and his naked apron (he’s pretty much dressed like that all the time, by the way) he, like Erina-sama, is one of the Elite Ten. He acts like a harmless if slightly creepy guy most of the time, but underneath that (although it’s not to the level of an Oregairu mask) there’s a ruthless, competitive cook. It was first mentioned a couple of weeks ago when Hishoko introduced Erina, but only now has its true significance been made clear – it’s essentially an absurdly powerful student council, and it’s completely in line with the idea that cooking really is everything at Tootsuki (and the full implication of that will reveal itself next week). Isshiki is the Seventh Seat, and in comparison Erina is slightly lower down as the Tenth Seat, which has always been a bit strange to me given that they spend a lot of time describing just how wonderful Erina-sama is. It’s true that she is still a first-year, and it really is already an incredible feat to make it onto the Elite Ten this early on. Soma wonders whether being a second-year makes that much of a difference in someone’s cooking. And the answer is yes – yes it does. The first-years at Tootsuki have to go through a hell of a lot, and the culling that goes on cuts the number of students in a year group by 90% by the time they hit their second year, as was mentioned in the opening ceremony. If you survive all that, then you’re not only good enough naturally but are likely to have picked up a lot of experience and skills along the way. So as amazing as Erina-sama is, it’s not that odd to have nine other students deemed better than she is – in fact, it’s amazing in itself that she can grab a place on the Elite Ten amongst second and third years, with only nine other students exceeding her despite their vast level of experience.

Of course, with Shokugeki no Soma being what it is, it hasn’t let up on the fanservice one bit. I would honestly hesitate to call the time they spent on animating Isshiki’s bare ass ‘fanservice’, but there was enough to go around nonetheless! It’s as non-gender discriminatory as ever. That lengthy foodgasm scene with a younger Fumio was as hilarious as I remember. And are those hands where I think they are, Tadokoro-chan?

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Vantage

I love cute things.

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5 Responses

  1. I have to say I do enjoy how passionate the school is about cooking, but it’s amusing to see how set in their ways they are. I’m glad Soma will take on challenges, but not without complaint. He’s like the Ichigo of this series somehow. I seriously get those vibes from him at least comparing Soma’s will to cook and Ichigo’s will to fight. Plus there’s the black and white blade, bandage unwrapping, spiky hair.

    You were right (not that I doubted you) about things becoming more and more realistic in terms of the reactions, which really sells the impact of the dish better. The fact that it connected Fumio to a memory was unique among the reactions thus far. I wonder if that was her husband she was with. If so, I hope he’s not dead. I hope we see him. The explanations of the dishes are truly awesome and always have been though!

    More Megumi! :D How precious she is! Her hands were just in her lap, Vantage! Poor thing, having to remember her mother’s words like that. Ashigara- Erina, the hungry wolf as ever, is now sicking one of her packmates on Soma. Neat. Rider- I mean Ryoko joins the fray, too! Wonderful developments all around.

    • Tenshi says:

      Ah, you beat me to it, I was just about to call Vantage out about that Megumi part. She would never, she’s way too pure and downright adorable~ That’s why she’s the best girl in my eyes, I just love her so much! And that one quote, “I can’t get married now!” that was just so cuteeee, (And in my head I was totally thinking, “It’s okay, it wasn’t your fault, and it’ll be fine if you get married to Souma~”) Haha, I don’t know if my ship will turn out though, I mean this is a harem and things aren’t really too canon yet in the manga. Clearly it’s either Megumi or Erina, and I really hope that Megumi will win! I promise you though that we’ll be seeing a lot more of Megumi, she’s a very important character. Even though most consider Erina the main female lead, Megumi has maybe triple the amount of screen time and development than Erina does. At least in the manga.

      And sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s doubtful that Fumio husband will show up. I don’t think he has in the manga and Fumio herself doesn’t make too many appearances. Calling Soma Ichigo is a bit of a stretch though, one starts off with plenty of confidence to share with the whole cast of Soma and the other has almost none. In a sense though, I can see what you mean. A̶n̶d̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶y̶ ̶b̶o̶t̶h̶ ̶h̶a̶v̶e̶ ̶h̶a̶r̶e̶m̶s̶ ̶t̶o̶o̶.̶

      • On the part of Megumi – excellent, thanks for the heads-up! As for the part of Fumio – that’s a shame but she isn’t the focus of the show after all. Thanks for the insight!

      • Vantage says:

        Awww, the rational part of my brain is forced to agree with you both.

        Is it a harem? I’ve never felt that romance was ever a thing in this series… apart from Megumi, the only girls who have shown that sort of interest in Soma would probably be Nikumi and maybe Alice, and they never plaster themselves all over him like you would expect to see in a standard harem romcom.

        You are right on Megumi. It’s certain that she is the female protagonist. It’s why I was a bit dubious about how much Erina there was in the promotional material, because Erina’s appearances only diminish from now on while Megumi is with Soma practically all the time. Even in terms of Erina as a competitor, she’s more like a last boss than a proper rival to Soma like Hayama or Takumi – she’s never come into direct conflict with Soma as a fellow first-year as I’m sure you know. The first time that’ll happen is probably when they select the successors to the Elite Ten, and we know next to nothing about that so far even in the manga.

        • I’m inclined to agree with you on the lack of a harem, or rather I never felt that Ichigo had a harem. There was Orihime and Rukia, but do two really make a harem? I don’t recall Rukia really thinking about Ichigo like Orihime did. Of course, it’s been a while since I’ve touched Bleach.

          As for Soma, on FB I expressed that I felt Megumi would be with Soma eventually and fans who knew the series began teasing me about there being something between the two, no mention of Erina or any other girl. As for Alice, I’ve seen lots of fan art of her with Ryo. I didn’t go reading up on the wiki, but all that art made me believe they had potential to be together.

          Both shows simply feel like they take their true premise too seriously for a harem element to develop, I guess.

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