December 30, 2015

Random Anime Picture #107: Country Cooking

-Shokugeki no Soma, Ep20

After having finished the first series of SnS (the second is airing Summer of 2016), I get the distinct impression that some part of the production staff really wanted to make Shokugeki no Megumi instead.  On the whole, she's a much more interesting character than the lead is, that's for sure.  The titular character is a wizard in the kitchen, able to do just about anything, sometimes effortlessly, sometimes having to work at it.  But it's a fait accompli that he will wind up reaching his ultimate goal: it's that sort of show, after all, and he's the lead!  I find it amusing that he's actually lost substantially more head-to-head cooking battles than he's won thus far.  Even in defeat, he's gained the people's ovation and his opponent's respect and won over the judges to boot. 

But then there's Megumi.  She's literally a hick from a fishing village, attending an elite (some would say THE elite) culinary academy in the world.  Prior to the main character meeting her, she was on the verge of being kicked out in disgrace.  After a couple of pep talks, though, she gained confidence in her abilities and has been surprising people left and right.  To be blunt, she's a lot more interesting than Soma.  I suspect that it's no coincidence that at the end of Series 1, she advances in the big tournament... on the other side of the bracket from Soma.

She's also cute as a button and owns a rubber duck.  That's gotta count for something!

Posted by: Wonderduck at 08:02 PM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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1 When I was going through the series to plunder it, I noticed that too. Megumi is a lot more interesting character in nearly every way. I think it wasn't an accident that Doujima chose Megumi to put Shinomiya in his place. I think eps 11 and 12 are the best ones in the series, and the reason is because it's impossible to not care about Megumi.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at December 30, 2015 09:48 PM (+rSRq)

2 he's gained the people's ovation

I see what you did there...and I still think the intro to the original Iron Chef is totally cool, even after all these years and even with the high cheeze factor.

She's also cute as a button and owns a rubber duck.  That's gotta count for something!

Where do you find these wonderful characters? Actually, I get the impression (rightly or wrongly) that Japanese animated movies and TV shows are, in general, much more character-driven (as opposed to plot-driven) than productions in other genres; this in turn would give more opportunity for writers to create adorable secondary characters like Megumi (and Asuka in Hibike! Euphonium).

Posted by: Peter the Not-so-Great at December 30, 2015 10:35 PM (XC8ds)


I have one huge question: How is it that Souma has a different surname than his father?

The reason the writer did that was so that people like Doujima wouldn't recognize Souma as being that guy's son. But how could it happen?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at December 31, 2015 12:25 AM (+rSRq)

4 Peter, my original idea for this post was to do it as an Iron Chef episode.  It's clear that the production staff / original source material were/was huge fans.  I don't think that Megumi is a secondary character, though... she's not the lead, but she's probably #2 in total screen time and has had entire story arcs about her. 

Steven, my assumption, and I have nothing to base it on, is that he changed his name to avoid attention... he probably kept it real name during his first series of world tours, but when he "settled down" to his own little neighborhood cafe, he just wanted to a local guy.

I have no idea if that's correct, but that's my working hypothesis.

Posted by: Wonderduck at December 31, 2015 08:05 AM (zAcee)

5 Except that when he shows up at the school and cooks for the kids, he's using the same name and the house mother at Souma's dorm knows him by that name.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at December 31, 2015 10:28 AM (+rSRq)

6 No, that's what I mean... when he settled down, he "became Soma's dad", including the different name.  His real name is what the school (and gastrophiles world wide) know him as.

Why this would be the case is beyond knowing at the moment.

Working hypothesis!

Posted by: Wonderduck at December 31, 2015 05:58 PM (zAcee)

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