Publisher: Viz Media
Publication Date: December 5, 2017
There was a large amount of character development in volume 20 that we don’t see here, which I don’t mind because volume 20 was an overload. We finally saw Erina’s develop into an independent, thoughtful, and self-sufficient human. Within just a few volumes she has transformed from a cold and distant snob to an honorary member of Polaris. Volume 21 focuses on the bond between all of the people Soma Yukihira has touched and we can watch that bond get them through the first two tests that are designed to crush their spirits. Had Soma not spent the previous volumes bringing people together through his rash decisions and determination to cook the best dish, it’s possible the resisters would A) not exist, B) fail the advancement exam early. We saw a lot of teamwork in this volume on both the group and independent projects.
The world in this volume feels much smaller than the Totsuki campus. Hokkaido is snowy and the students are in unfamiliar territory. If it weren’t for the advancement exams, Hokkaido could have been a lovely Winter wonderland vacation. I liked the scenery of this volume because the snow, the private resorts, and the private train really shows how the Azami Administration is trying to isolate and pick off those who oppose him. The weather conditions limit their ability to search for ingredients and the proctors are using this restriction to their advantage. I’m looking forward to seeing how Soma defeats the next challenge as it snowballs into something much bigger.
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**This item was provided for review.