Publisher: Viz Media
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Soma has to face off against Mimasaka who defeated all of his opponents thus far with his incredible ability to predict and copy them. Instead of making a carbon copy of his opponent’s dishes, Mimasaka takes the dish a single step further. Although Soma is unpredictable, Mimasaka has successfully researched him and figured out how his brain ticks. This round of the Fall Classic is particularly intense because Soma has bet his future as a chef on winning this match. If Soma wins, Mimasaka has to return all of the knives he acquired from previous shokugeki battles. If Mimasaka wins, Soma has to quit being a chef. The high stakes has attracted everyone to this round and the pressure is on. Can Soma outwit and outcook his newest roadblock and rise to the top of the institute?
There really isn’t much to talk about in ways of character development here, so I’m going to talk about the story. The series has been feeling a bit stale lately. Each volume contains a few cooking battles with very predictable outcomes. After a while, it becomes a bit boring to know that Soma will win regardless of how the deck is stacked against him. In this volume, for the first time, I felt worried about our hero. Mimasaka successfully defeated the elder Aldini which really did surprise me in the last volume; however, that’s Aldini, not Soma. By now I’ve come to expect other characters to win or lose because their losses are not very important to the plot. Aldini’s loss, on the other hand, is important because it prompted Soma to put his own cooking career on the line in order to defend the honor of his rival.
After all of the climatic build-up, we finally get to the highly anticipated Fall Classic match. Even this is extremely exciting – when you think Soma has it in the bag, there are more roadblocks in the way. Mimasaka successfully clones Soma’s attitude and technique so he can replicate the dish and take it one step further. As a reader, I shared the urgency and worry that the audience had. It’s hard to talk further about this without spoiling the volume, so I’m going to end this by saying this is the most intense volume in the series so far.
This volume was amazing and I read it within one sitting. There is an extreme amount of suspense and a wonderful climatic release at the end of the shokugeki between Soma and Mimasaka. Of course Tsukuda throws in another cliff-hanger since the Fall Classic is not over; but that is to be expected. Here’s to hoping the next volume is just as exciting as this one.
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**This item was provided for review.