Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara – Totsuki Ressha-hen Episode 12 [Final Episode]
Well there we have it, the end of Shokugeki The Third Plate! We’ve come a long way from Nakiri’s lessons and the rigged examinations, and it did not disappoint. It got a bit predictable along the way, but nevertheless it was enjoyable.
But first, Souma’s victory over Kinokuni! It was quite the Shokugeki to watch and perhaps against the most formidable opponent we’ve seen Souma face (besides Tsukasa of course). Kinokuni’s superiority in the field of Soba was stressed constantly throughout the match, not only by herself but by the characters watching from the sidelines. It was obvious that Souma was at a huge disadvantage, and no amount of genius improvisation could overcome years of diligent work.
However, Souma manages to prevail because Kinokuni essentially shoots herself in the foot as she is blinded by her own arrogance. She’s so confident in her technique to the point that she fails to take into consideration the environmental conditions of the arena. Souma on the other hand notices immediately because of his experience from working at Yukihira Diner. It almost seems like a bit of a Mary Sue moment as Souma defeats Kinokuni, but I believe her loss was well justified and foreshadowed quite heavily during the actual cooking process itself. Her arrogance was made very apparent, and it showed most when she warned Isshiki to prepare for their match before her first bout was even over. She wasn’t necessarily underestimating Souma, but rather overestimating her own technique.
As for Souma’s reason for noticing the environmental conditions, the show explains it by bringing up his past at the diner. He was in fact always catering to the needs of his customers, it was almost like playing in his home field while simultaneously playing in Kinokuni’s home field of soba. Yukihira’s history at the diner and the result of years of customer service is something that has long differentiated him from the other students at Totsuki. Although I find it difficult to believe there are no other students that possess similar attributes as a result of diner work, as of now Souma is unique. As a protagonist should be!
Another notable highlight of the episode was Isshiki revealing that he does in fact respect Kinokuni at a very high level. His flashback reveals that he too was admiring Kinokuni’s dedication to honing her crafts, similarly to how she was admiring his brilliance as well. I’m not sure if the author intended this, but I’m secretly shipping them a bit. Kinokuni is quite great of an antagonist, and I’m glad she was humanized rather than completely villainized.
Speaking of ships, Erina went full tsundere after Souma’s victory! It was adorable to watch, and as expected, our airheaded Souma goes to the bathroom as Nakiri compliments his execution of the soba dish. Don’t worry Nakiri, there’s more seasons for you to bust into his dense head! It’s a bit sad to see the Megumi ship completely dead this season though, I’m curious as to whether there’s another potential ship for her past Aldini because I don’t really feel the chemistry there.
This season of Shokugeki was a mix of things. It started a bit weak with bland judges with weak motivations, but it had great, emotional moments as the season continued on. From Hayama’s Shokugeki with Souma, to the dramatic expulsion of the Polar Star residents. We even got blessed with Joichiro’s backstory which was extremely interesting! Furthermore, we got to meet the entire cast all over again, but their humorous character interactions were pushed to the side in favor of the overarching conflict. I also can’t help but feel that the cast has grown so large that many characters are completely mute, with occasional insight to explain the Shokugeki.
It was not without its problems, but it was still enjoyable. I thought watching Souma wow crowds and create amazing dishes would get bland by now, but it’s still as enjoyable as ever. The stakes are only getting higher and have high hopes for the upcoming season, especially for Rindo and Tsukasa’s matches! I really do pity whoever has to face those two.
If I had any wishes for the next season, I’d like to see a bit more of the intercast mingling and banter. Also more progression on the ships!
Overall a 7/10!