Shokugeki no Souma – 18

ShokuSouma - Nikumis crush

Nikumi’s really upset that OC left her to go to Japan…

winter15-highwWhen OC put up that picture last week of how she got someone to do this week’s Shokugeki no Souma, she wasn’t kidding. You can thank the conspirator, skylion as well. But here we are, and maybe I lucked out with the best episode of Souma, or at least one that didn’t fall into the usual boring pattern.

Bad Guy vs Good Guy

ShokuSouma - it's on

That’s not to say that it didn’t follow the usual pattern at all. Last week, the ‘showdown’ between Mozuya Karaage and the shoutengai was set up, with your typical hammy villain role played by Mozuya owner Kinu Nakamozu. But it’s up to Souma, Ikumi, and Mayumi to come up with something that will revitalize interest in the shopping district (because they’re our heroes, and all the other business owners are feckless dopes who have to rely on a kid on summer break).

ShokuSouma - Mock Up

Some failures happen

I liked how they moved from trying to make an outright better tasting karaage product to leveraging the unique opportunities presented in the location of the shopping district, and highlighting the differences between buying it in a mall for take-home purposes versus buying it to eat immediately. That’s a far more realistic avenue than the tactic I thought the show would continue with, having them hit upon some magic formula because they’re our heroes. At least this way gives some credit to the folks at Mozuya who undoubtedly worked hard to come up with their recipe and process, and have also worked at spreading their chain outside of their home city (no matter how much the show tries to bring in Etsuya Eizan as yet another corny villain mastermind to be vanquished by Souma).

ShokuSouma - Lame Villain

Come on, really? Come up with something new…

Using Business to Supplement Cooking

ShokuSouma - Try one

They’ve never seen a wrap in Japan?

Coming back to the matter at hand (hah), after realizing that they’re not going to win on taste, they focus instead on making a product that’s good enough and then packaging it in a way that works for the mobile aspect of the shopping district. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem amazingly original to me, since McDonald’s has been selling a very similar product here for a couple years. Not that the one from McDonald’s would taste anywhere near as good, but it just kind of sucked the wonder out of the idea. I also had another slight issue with it, more of a personal taste thing, in that they were using chicken thigh meat as opposed to Mozuya’s breast meat. They’re right that thigh meat is fattier and can be juicier. But it’s also not really an equivalent taste, and I know that I personally don’t like it as much in either taste or texture.

ShokuSouma - Vertical Integration

When you can use the means and keep it profitable, it’s worth the integration

But the real coup for the Sumire district is their branding, and their flexibility in changing directions and bringing the new campaign into effect quickly, realizing the benefits of vertical integration available with the varied businesses. Design, printing, metalwork, advertising, and then capitalizing on the increased traffic for secondary and cumulative effects. Of course, it’s unlikely the show will go back to see how the shopping district is doing later, and even with this kind of flash in the pan success, they’ll need to keep doing things to attract people after they get a little tired of the same karaage (and don’t have Souma around to brainstorm things).


I really did think this was one of the best episodes of Shokugeki no Souma so far, mostly because it moved away from cliched shounen tropes and actually had some thought put into the business and process, rather than just “I’m gonna cook the hell out of this better than everyone else, rawr!” They also took the opportunity to forego most of the by-now old hat reactions, limiting it to just the “final battle”. Unfortunately for poor Megumi-sub2 (aka Mayumi), while she gets some recognition by Souma, ends up with a lot of work rather than closer to him, while he heads back to the real Megumi at Totsuki.


Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
Blinklist BlogMarks Delicious Digg Diigo FaceBook Google MySpace Netvibes Newsvine Reddit StumbleUpon Twitter

8 Responses to “Shokugeki no Souma – 18”

  1. skylion says:

    Nikumi’s really upset that OC left her to go to Japan…

    But, Nikumi is in Japan to start with…

    …and yeah, they have McD’s wraps in Japan…not that I find that a great thing. But then, part of the thrill is also getting something a chain like that makes elsewhere, and with all that smell coming out, it suits the street.

    I like the idea of thigh meat. I’ve never used it, cause there really isn’t a good reason not to buy chicken breast unless you’re going for something different. It was cost effective in the show’s context.

    But, yeah, as you say, a ham-fisted villain approach was just….yeah. At least Mogayu was entertaining.

    Being Megumi-sub is suffering.

    …and you’re welcome!

  2. BlackBriar says:

    I like how the episode basically said everything isn’t absolute when it comes to success and failure. Like the feud between both shopping districts. Some battles are waged on different terms.

Leave a Reply