Shokugeki no Souma: San no Sara – Totsuki Ressha-hen Episode 11

The judges for our final battle have arrived, and they’re actually unbiased! The Marshals of the World Gourmet Organization are a clear shoutout to the Michelin Stars of our reality, and judging from the reactions of all the characters, they’re just as important in the culinary world of Shokugeki as Michelin is to ours. It’s also a breath of fresh air to be met with judges bearing little to no ill will against Souma or Team Polar Star. Now we don’t have to worry about biased judging, and instead we get to focus on the culinary showdowns themselves!

The Rank 1 Marshal, Anne, is an interesting judge harboring both pity and hope for Souma. Voiced by Yui Horie, she teases Souma about the lack of stars for Yukihira Diner, but scolds the audience for bullying him as well. I admire her commitment to the standards of the WGO, looking past all the biases. The other judges are cookie cutter, but that’s not really surprising. I’d rather have one solid judge over three lackluster ones. The introduction of the WGO as an organization however, makes me curious as to whether they’ll be a future antagonistic force. Assuming Souma dominates Totsuki in the future, the only way to achieve even grander things would be to face off against the WGO in the Shokugeki equivalent of the Great Ninja War. We shall see!

Jurio’s battle against Isshiki is above average, with a lot of italian phrases and “Meraviglioso!” being thrown about. I can’t help but feel like Jurio is a less aesthetically pleasing version of Aldini, but at least he’s capable in the kitchen! His Italian eel dish pleases the palette’s of the judges, and impresses much of the crowd. Unfortunately for him, he’s facing off against Isshiki, who is revealed to be an absolute monster with a backstory that runs far deeper than one would’ve originally guessed.

Satoshi’s dish is something we haven’t seen before in Shokugeki, and that alone deserves merit. Not only does he create a dish implementing the ingredients created by his fellow Polar Star members, he does so with absolute brilliance. To be able to combine the ingredients of his peers into an amazing dish is a remarkable feat all in its own, and is a testament to Isshiki’s underlying ability as a chef. His filleting of the eel from last episode was just a sneak peak of his real skill, and this episode reinforces the idea that we’ve had a secret monster hiding away at Polar Star this entire time. More of his talent was revealed through his backstory with Nene, also showing us why Nene bears so much ill will towards Isshiki. She recognizes his abilities to the point that she’s willing to admit that Isshiki could be a much higher seat on the Elite Ten if he truly tried. For someone of her confidence to admit that means that Isshiki really is that good.

The episode ends with Nene challenging Isshiki, but first she’ll have to get past Souma. Let’s see who wins. Souma and his giant wok, or Nene and her elegant soba making?

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