Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara – Totsuki Ressha-hen Episode 8
Another week and another step closer to the hyped Team Shokugeki! This episode we got some solid development for Aldini in the form of a flashback to his Stagiaire, our favorite Nakiri standing up to her father, and the wonderfully cheesy resolution to the mock battle.
Considering that he claims himself to be Souma’s rival, Takumi Aldini has not done too much to prove himself worthy of that title. Since the loss of his mezzaluna, Takumi’s fallen behind on Souma’s constant climb on the culinary ladder. In fact, it wouldn’t be too absurd to say Hayama is a better rival for Souma than Aldini is at this point. However, perhaps this episode marks the turning point of his character. The flashback reveals that Takumi was sent to some sort of Japanese tea garden with a fire in his eyes and fierce resolution. I found this development a bit sudden, but nevertheless Takumi needed this growth of character.
Although I find it hard to believe that Takumi is on the same footing as our brilliant Souma, his performance alongside Dojima and Tadokoro has eased by worries. Without saying a single word, he understands Dojima’s intentions and adds his own into the mix through the soffritto, which looked amazing.
But never allowing himself to be one-upped, Souma jumps into his own cooking and clashes his ideas with his father’s. I found it quite amusing how their idea of teamwork during the battle was to jam together ideas that could never harmonize naturally, but somehow create something phenomenal. Nakiri must’ve felt the same hesitance, but I like how she lets herself go and joins into the fray. It’s oddly satisfying to see her free in the kitchen rather than being held back by culinary restrictions and rules. You go Nakiri!
The actual resolution to the mock battle was a bit cheesy, with both sides endlessly complimenting the other. It’s totally in line with how Shokugeki no Souma is as a show, but it was a bit off putting. I really liked the comparisons between the two teams though with the improvisation jazz band of Dojima’s team against the avant-garde art of Joichiro’s team. It was a nice touch and I think it definitely encapsulated each team’s style very well.
The episode ends with the rules of the Team Shokugeki being set on empty train platforms, and boy was it dramatic. Director Azami skis to the platform because he is doing his best to be the next Bond villain, while the rest of the Elite Ten arrive with perfect timing on the train. The stand off between our two teams was a bit underwhelming, but I’m sure that’ll change during the actual Shokugeki. They are all chefs after all, and what better way to talk smack against each other than in the kitchen itself! Personally, I’m super excited to see Tsukasa Eishi and Rindo working together to cook against Souma. I just hope the competition is a tense battle, and not something that’s resolved by something trivial like, “Oh the Elite Ten are too pompous to work together effectively.”
Overall, solid episode and great setup for the upcoming battle! I’m very excited for whatever training episode we get next, and hopefully the final clash is worth it.