I wasn’t really expecting ‘Food Wars’ to get any better with its last two episodes, but surprisingly, Episode 11 is easily the best one of this season. The decline of this season began somewhere from its third episode. Like most viewers of this show, as much as I love the intense Shokugeki between the two teams, my biggest concern was the tedious format and pace of this season.
Episode 11, if we solely consider its pace and premise, does not stand out from the rest in any way. However, what makes it one of the most entertaining episodes of this season is how it comes off as culmination of everything that has happened since Azami showed up in this arc.
Shokugeki no Souma Season 4 Episode 11 Recap:
Episode 11 kicks off with the final bout between the Rebels and the Elites wherein two of the best chefs from both the opposing teams are now facing each other. In the previous episode, Soma was able to prepare an epic dish that would’ve been a great competitor for the appetizer that Rindo and Tsukasa had prepared. Unfortunately, his dish was dismissed because it was not an appetizer. Soma now decides to challenge Nakiri and asks her to prepare something that’s better than his dish. Claiming that it’s the only way they can win against their strong opponents, he forces Nakiri to take up his challenge.
Nakiri realizes that Soma does have a point and decides to debunk all of her previous notions of the main course meal that she was thinking of preparing. She now starts off afresh and by using her “God’s Tongue”, she stirs up a whole new meal. While she’s at it, since she had helped Soma with her dish, she now asks him to help her. Once she’s done, she walks up to the judges’ table and finally serves her main course to her father. However, to everyone’s surprise, her meal turns out to be a very generic chicken and egg rice bowl. Her father stares at her dish with a disgusted look on his face and tells her that he’s embarrassed by what she has prepared. With this, he refuses to even taste her dish and almost announces the opposing team as winners.
Nakiri, not willing to give up now, asks Rindo and Tsukasa to give her dish a shot and they unanimously agree. One bite into her dish and they’re both blown away by the inventive flavors that she brings to the table. This even convinces her father to taste it. But even after giving it a try, being in a state of denial, he still refuses to acknowledge the brilliance of what she has prepared. Meanwhile, the other two judges can’t help but fall in love with her rice bowl. And that’s when the magical charm of her mastery kicks in. Though Azami still denies that his daughter has created something great, his “Gifting” ability gets subconsciously activated and he’s not able to hide his admiration for his daughter generic rice bowl. With this, the Rebels win the final bout.
Shokugeki no Souma Season 4 Episode 11 Review:
As disappointing as Season 4 might have been overall, it manages to bring in a pretty solid ending. Episode 11 starts off by presenting some great insights into Nakiri’s character by reflecting on her relationship with her father, instead of heavily focusing on how she’s preparing her dish. Even when it comes to visuals, this episode had far more real animation than still imagery of character reactions.
Moreover, even Nakiri’s final confrontation with her father reflects on why she’s always so uptight and gravely passionate about what she does. The episode also highlights how Nakiri, as a character, has always been too much of a perfectionist with her cooking. But that itself is her biggest flaw as it forces her to confine herself into the tried and tested methods of her art and unlike Soma, she’s never open to taking risks. However, in this final bout, she finally breaks free from her chains and outperforms her opponents by wisely using her freedom.
Sho Hayami, the voice actor for Azami, also deserves a special mention here as he perfectly brings out the cool and composed villainous personality of the character. Sure, the pacing and the “quintessential Shokugeki” experience that this episode brings out is not different from all of its predecessors. But what makes it really enjoyable is how it perfectly captures the gravity of the final bout and allows Nakiri’s character to shine. Now that the final bout has also come to an end, I wonder what the last finale would be about. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.