Shokugeki no Soma Episode 4: Madonna of the Polar Star
“I’m one of the Tootsuki Elite Ten.”
Everyone 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?
I 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?