With the 24 rule off, let's now discuss Senzaemon's Long Con: He handpicked err'body.
Really? All 1000 students? Or just the crown Jewels aka the
I'm new here but I've been reading this manga since it started so I think I have a theory on Senzaemon choosing this generation.
My theory is two fold so I'll start with Part 1 - Preparing for Azami. As we know, Azami was banished for being Worst Dad of the Year but he quickly established a culinary empire in the US, Europe and Asia. It was becoming so large that Senzaemon had to know something was coming. Also, he couldn't rely on the Totsuki students he currently had, especially the Elite Ten, because most of them are, as we have seen, problematic to put it lightly. And on top of that, none of the current 1,000 students beforehand had the same level of skill and tenacity that could stand up to Azami should he make a move. Remember the rich kid who picked on Soma at the start and ran away from Erina or the student who made that first curry in the Autumn Elections and despite the praise, he was given only a 33. You really think Senzaemon could rely on them to help with Azami should it come about? After all, Azami was part of a generation that really thought outside the box when it came to cooking with Joichiro and Gin. Now, that's it for the first part but the 2nd Part is the main reason I think Senzaemon "chose" this generation:
The 2nd Part of this theory is this - Senzaemon is sending a message & trying to change Totsuki's Elitism Culture. Most, if not all, of the Totsuki population are all elite wealthy people from what we have seen or people that have gained positions of power through manipulation or cooking. And even if they are not wealthy, they have this attitude that only fine ingredients and fine dishes are the only way to succeed in cooking and anything else is a failure. Even making one mistake is a failure in the eyes of some people, like Erina at first. Senzaemon probably also realized that to beat Azami and further Totsuki from just being an elite school - he had to bring back some level of cooking that comes from the masses and cooking for the people, not just the elite. Hence, why he chose to ask people like Megumi, Takumi and Soma to attend Totsuki. These are people who have been involved with food all their lives from a ground level perspective. They have been in restaurants cooking, improving their skills on the spot, learning new techniques from those that actually handle it themselves (like Megumi's fisherman friends with the monkfish and Soma with the hunters). And it's not just those three - Subaru, Ryou, Hojo and Isami also are from restaurant atmospheres. And even though Hayama, Mito, Ryoko and Alice weren't born and raised in restaurant atmospheres like the others - there were extremely hands on in what they specialized in: Hayama with spices at the Shiomi Lab, Mito with her family's meat company and Alice working at a young age studying and practicing gastronomy techniques. We don't know much about the others but it's probably expected that for people like Yuki, Shun, Nao, Hisako the Buttbros (I used your joke) and Marui - they also have practical hands on experience underneath their belt for them to be as good as they are such as Yuki with animals and Shun with smoking. Hands on will always win in anything.
In the story, there is a reoccurring gag to me that every time Soma makes a dish - the majority of Totsuki all think that he is going to fail, it's going to be terrible, etc. But then, they act surprised when it's better than the dish made by somebody who has all this elite training and education. An example of this is Soma's battle with Nene - she was highly specialized in soba while Soma made something the masses eat - yakisoba. But because he has been in the mix and has that experience that Nene didn't have because she was sheltered and taught one way, she couldn't win. I believe Senzaemon is trying to send a message that Totsuki needed to adapt and instead of looking just at the elite, you have to look for talent elsewhere and in the most unlikely of places. And it's those people from unlikely places that are going to further succeed than those that are sheltered and trained in a certain way. And that may be also a slight message that Senzaemon is sending to Erina if not already - Erina was sheltered and taught in certain ways by both Azami and Senzaemon. Hence why she believed failure isn't an option and only the best should be used. But when she tried that egg dish Soma made for his entrance exam at the start of the series - she couldn't comprehend a dish from the masses because she didn't know and wasn't taught that way.
So, in short - Senzaemon "chose" this Jewel Generation for two reasons. 1. To prepare for Azami's plan should it take place and 2. To send a message and change Totsuki for the better by not just bringing those that are from the elite.
P.S. This is just a side note but when I was typing, it would freeze up at times and each time, an image of Subaru would be behind the paragraph peeking at me. I see he is still the weirdo as ever but I like him still.
We know Soma was deliberately picked, as does Azami (which will be discussed), but what about the others?
Megumi - Yes, she's technically a japanese haute cuisine chef but from a more "hidden" Ryokan than the famous ones in Kyoto. As far as we know, she just run of the mill normal student. But if she was handpicked, does that she has a family connection? Chekhov's gun says yes (slight glimpse of her mother), but that's open to debate. If she's a foil to Erina, then possible.
Takumi - Seemingly the most likely to be a Shinomiya chef aka Skill without background. Then again, he's akin to a blonde Soma but without the crazy streak. And because Chekhov's Gin (minor father appearance with the oil), he might be in the same ballpark as Soma with a badass probably father raise mainly by two uncles with isami
As this is happening in the Soma/Takumi/Megumi bout, this will likely be the focus discussion. But Let's move on.
Alice and Ryou: Self-Explanatory
Hayama: Was adopted by Jun, but since his birthday is unknown and was just assigned, Senzaemon might had a hand on that.
Subaru: His story was explained and why he was allowed to act like he did is also explained if he was handpicked.
Ikumi: Daughter of a major meat corps, kind of makes sense.
Hojo: Famous Chinese Restaurant Heiress that is ambitious.
Nao: I don't know about this one. Probably wanted help her out via her open lesbianism
Isami: I hated the condition from mothers side of the family Same as Takumi.
Yuki: yuki mother and alumni her dad badass American tier zero special forces operative like Sanzaman who serve with American in WWII did approve what his country doing awarded Medal of Honor and has duel citizenship minor that father her father also Medal of Honor winner and mother wealthy and her father also from wealthy family her mother owns a lot of meat cooking restrunt she has younger siblings her birth and parents marrage was result of a one night stand father wanted to make right marrage worked in the end
Ryoko: Famous minor up and coming Fermenting Company Heiress.
Shun: had a trmatic childhood same issue as probably soma and has duel citizenship adopted by American solider that save him raised
in northern Texas where he worked at his adopted fathers family bbq bussnuiss with yuki rippeing and dominating bbq circuit and bbq restrunt bussnuiss childhood friends with yuki
Marui: ???, but probably because he's a bookworm
Buttbros: talented family's and childhood friends come from a rough lot sanzaman used them to fight agienst eliteism
What do you guys think?