|“||If you fight him, you're essentially going up against multiple chefs at once! Who in the world could ever defeat something like that?!||”|
— Osaji Kita to Asahi Saiba and his Cross Knives
Asahi Nakiri (
He was also the main antagonist of the BLUE Arc alongside the members of the Crossed Knives.
Asahi is a handsome young man in his early twenties with messy black hair, grey eyes and a slim build. In his casual attire, Asahi is usually seen wearing a striped dress shirt under a sweater vest. When cooking, Asahi wears a dark chief uniform, a dark-colored bandanna around his neck and a newsboy cap.
Asahi has a carefree demeanor at casual instances, treating his first class lecture as more of a get together party rather than a traditional lesson. He is considered very charming and charismatic by most people, making him quite popular with women. He even managed to earn the loyalty of a few highly capable Noir chefs as well. However, Asahi is also presumptuous, especially about his immense cooking abilities. He firmly believes that he's the only person who can satisfy Erina and Mana's God Tongue. Before he faces someone, he would usually taunt them into wagering their prized cooking implement so he can add them to his collection.
Asahi was conceived during a brief fling between an American woman and Azami Nakamura, the latter of whom he did not meet until his adulthood. He grew up in a poor neighborhood in northern America. His only family was his alcoholic and abusive mother. When he was seven, his mother died, leaving him in an orphanage.
Jōichirō Yukihira treated Asahi, whom he happened to meet on his travels, like his owculinary, and helped him enter the culinary industry. Asahi would then subsequently meet with Jōichirō every time the latter visited America, coming to see Jōichirō as a surrogate father. When Asahi was 15, Jōichirō's wife died, forcing Jōichirō to return to Japan to raise his biological son, Sōma.
In the following years, Asahi would become a part of Les Cuisiniers Noirs, taking Jōichirō's last name as his own. Developing the Cross Knives ability, he defeated countless chefs across the globe, seizing their knives to bolster his cooking.
Asahi was present at giant banquet orchestrated by various mafia families where he conquered the entire party and blew out guests and fellow Noirs alike. After that, he introduced the concept of Shokugeki to them.
Few days later, he faced Jōichirō Yukihira in a battle where he defeats him, 5-0, shocking all of the foreign audience in disbelief. Thanking his foster father for everything, he sets his goal next on meeting someone on Japan.
Thanks to his subordinates works, Asahi managed to infiltrate Tōtsuki Academy and posed as a temporary lecturer under the alias, Suzuki, where he easily got along with his students thanks to his attractiveness and cheerful attitude. On the same day, he meets his target, Yukihira Sōma, the current First Seat of the Tōtsuki Elite Ten, mistaking him for a late student. After the class, Asahi, had a talk with both Sōma and Megumi where he reveals a "secret" about becoming a real chef, to meet a special someone to whom one can dedicate all his cooking.
He then challenged the First Seat to a Shokugeki, as an exchange for the secret he just told. Though, he settled for a normal match later on after Megumi decided against it, saying Shokugeki are only between students, Asahi also considered it to be enough for his ambitions already. Following that, he reveals to Sōma that what he needs is not his seat, but the right to claim that he defeated the First Seat so he can move to the second step of his goal, to take Erina Nakiri as his wife.
Upon mentioning that he is the only one to be able to satisfy her tounge in the world, Sōma didn't take it well starting from his claim that he will beat him up to satisfy Erina causing both to argue on the matter, which Erina overheard just in time causing her to be flustered and seemingly lose consciousness. Asahi and Sōma then begins their match.
After agreeing to Sōma's condition to tell his secret when he wins, Asahi then claims that he'll take Sōma's knife if he won which made Sōma give him a cold glare. As the fight progressed, Asahi revealed to have a made a dish almost similar to Sōma's Cheese Fondue Pork Loin Katsu Combo Meal, the main difference being a white sauce.
Sōma made a comment about his cooking style comparing him to Subaru Mimasaka's Perfect Trace, though he denied it and claims that his knife just happened to choose the same dish as his, but he also boasts it to be even better, claiming it's in " a different dimension of deliciousness" and asked both Sōma and Megumi to try it out. As both chefs are overwhelmed by his dish's immense power, Asahi declared himself as the winner of the match. Afterwards he proceed to take Sōma's knife only to return it straight away as he considered it inferior to his own knife, shocking Sōma as his knife is very similar to his dad.
He then left the kitchen and brought the unconscious Erina to the infirmary, but was stopped by Sōma who was asking for a rematch, only to pass out due to exhaustion. He then walked away with Erina in his arms, greeting her as soon she woke up.
After a few days, Asahi continuously visited Erina in her office to give her flowers and snacks as a form of courtship. At the same time, Sōma is following him asking for a rematch, with Asahi stating that it'd be no fun fighting an opponent he already defeated. Though Sōma didn't back down and claimed that he will make Erina "wow" with his cooking and fight him again. Erina's reaction to Sōma's statement was noticed by Asahi.
2nd Year End-of-Term Exams
Asahi appears in Sōma and the rest of the 2nd Year Elite Ten's stall where told him that Erina will leave him soon, to the place where he cannot reach her. He then left the store leaving Sōma confused. Later on, he welcomed the abducted Erina to his place, where his subordinates also gathered.
Revealing his true identity as Asahi Saiba, he challenges Erina to a cooking contest where if he won, she'll have to marry him. Asahi also answered a few questions from Erina where he admited that he was behind the sudden appearances of Noirs in Japan carrying out Shokugekis. Furthermore, he brings up the place where he and Erina will face off, the BLUE which will be held in summer. In addition, he reveals that the year's BLUE will be different as Noirs are invited to the tournament. He also added that they will be married on the very same stage, he then gives her a smirk while commenting that this summer is gonna be wonderful.
As the BLUE finally started, Asahi Saiba's appearance was taken noticed by both Light Chefs and independent Noirs, with all the Noirs after his head. He meets Sōma who still wants revenge, but Asahi just walks over him and revealed that he has a "free pass" until the Third Gate. Asahi then mockingly said if he wants to fight him again, he needs to make it to Heaven's Keep, continuing his way inside leaving Sōma determined.
At the Inner Citadel, Asahi is with Erina and looking at a number of magazines, picking for a place as a good honeymoon spot, annoying Erina. As Erina commented on how he doesn't know her, Asahi told her his history.
At the some point while the BLUE is happening, Asahi picks a fight with three Noirs where he effortlessly defeats them and takes their tools, he then takes Sarge's cooking utensil after the Noir's defeat to Sōma.
A match between Asahi and Eishi Tsukasa is being held at the Grand Chamber on the First Floor of Castle Inner Citadel, where Asahi mentioned how honored he is to fight the man who once stood at the top of Tōtsuki Academy. In addition, he asked him to bet his blade on the match in case he won.
Using his ability, Cross Knives, he combined Sarge and Claude Ville's superhuman abilities allowing him to create a dish surpassing even the First Seat's resulting in his victory. After winning, he takes Eishi's cooking utensil and leaves the Grand Chamber.
He later appeared behind Erina's match after the latter finished her match against Takumi, questioning her coldness towards him and proclaimed that he is the only one who can make her wish come true. Even after Erina dismissed his claim, he told her that she'll understand eventually. Noticing Megumi eavesdropping on their conversation, he calls her out, though he gives her a prideful smirk after she challenged him to a Shokugeki, if she won her next fight against Kou Shiō, one of Asahi's subordinates. Knowing that her opponent before him is his subordinate, he asked him to bring out his weapon, Ink Claw, to be used against her.
However, Megumi easily defeats Kou which amazed Asahi. As the fight between them started, he decided to give a demonstration on how powerful his Cross Knives truly is by using two cooking utensils which are both owned by two weaker chefs than Megumi, Monarch's knife and the newly-received Ink Claw from Kou.
Due to Don Calma calling him out for his hobbies of collecting knives and storing them with their former owner's faces, he later admits that he considered all of those chefs amazing.
As the battle ensues, the power of Cross Knives proves to be really powerful as Asahi managed to change the quality of the bargain meat itself which Megumi's dish failed to match, resulting in Asahi's victory. Following his victory, he calls out to the Bookmaster, Mana Nakiri, and boasts about his ability and power, asking her as well that if he won, she will approve of the marriage between him and Erina which Mana agreed to. A pissed off Erina, after learning that Asahi is aware of her mother's identity, confronts Asahi and exclaimed her rage in front of him and claimed that she'll win and and that she would make "A dish never that's never existed on this earth" for her, which made Asahi argue that the God Tongue broke her and that she needs a different ability.
Claiming that no one doubted his victories anymore and dared somebody to disagree with him. He pridefully averred that he will be Mana Nakiri's savior and not her. Asahi then noticed as Sōma Yukihira raised his hand, stating that he disagrees with him. Though he dismissed Sōma's notions and leaves the Arena.
Semi-Final Match: Asahi Saiba vs Sōma Yukihira
In his hotel room, Asahi had a talk with his subordinate, Yūnosuke, where they talked about the curse of the God Tongue and the despair it brought to its previous holders. Asahi then stated that if his plan succeeded, both Mana and Erina would get their happy endings.
As the BLUE's climax is in the horizon, the Semi-Final match between Asahi and Sōma starts. With the spectator's rooting for Asahi, the noir stands proud, stating to Sōma that he didn't mean to take over the atmosphere like this. Asahi also managed to reunite with his foster father, Jōichirō, where he dismissed him and picked his cooking weapon, Jōichirō's knife, which he will use to combine with other cooking tools via Cross Knives.
Arrogantly deriding Sōma's goal to his beat his father, he told his opponent to be grateful as he's gonna beat him using the same knife, albeit upgraded. As the Bookmaster announced the theme, Asahi finally started cooking. He begun by combining Jōichirō's knife with a knife resembling a kukri as he minced green onions and ginger, and with the use of a Indian spice grinder (crossed with the same knife), he heats up his ideal spice blend. Jōichirō's knife and Ink Claw's combination was used to cut a shark's fin, and with Eishi's extra-large grater, he shaved a block of butter at immense speed.
Confirming Osaji Kita's hunch on his abilities which is similar to Tōtsuki Academy's learning environment, he claims that with his Cross Knives, he can achieve greater feats, faster than everyone else, without being swallowed up by a storm. Boasting that his ability is able to create a dish that no one has seen before as many times as he wants. Sōma however, argued that if he's ability is just the enhanced-version of his school's teachings, then he will catch up to him which the noir shrugged off, calling his opponent a mere child.
Upon learning that Sōma will make five dishes and combine them into one, Asahi laughed at his absurdity, saying that he will fail spectacularly. Eventually, Asahi finished his dish first and when his opponent also finished on-time, he gave him sarcastic greeting and the judging started.
Asahi's dish, Basuti, proved to be powerful and delicious enough to overpower the high-ranking WGO judges, enough for the Bookmaster, Mana Nakiri, to approve the dish. With numerous approvals, Asahi declared himself as the man who will take the first seat of the gourmet world. He later boasted about this achievement to Erina, which made the latter recollect her memories about her mother.
Sōma's dish surprised him as his opponent's dish is fried rice, which made him dismiss him one more time, boasting about his superiority in every aspect, but the strangeness of Sōma's dish made him think something was up. And with the judges unexpected reaction to the dish, Asahi, along with his squad, were left astonished.
Asahi then commented on his opponent's dish, where he stated that Sōma's dish has no fragrance at all despite the latter using so many spices along with other condiments. After Sōma revealed that "failure" is the true star of his dish, Asahi burst out laughing, dismissing him one more time and boasting that he is the one that defeated Jōichirō and that he doesn't know failure. A few seconds later, Mana's ability exploded on the audience, catching his attention.
Completely startled, Asahi greatly expressed his disbelief towards the Bookmaster, questioning how his dish could be inferior compared to his opponent, which the Bookmaster answered, hitting Asahi with realization: his dish is delicious but empty contrary to Sōma's dish which has the essence of himself, leading to his defeat, eliminating him from BLUE.
Afterwards, he decided to give Jōichirō's knife to Sōma, which the young chef refused as he said that Asahi earned it fair and square by beating his dad. Sōma's question about what he really wanted, left him thinking if he wanted to be stronger or he wanted something else. On the backstage, his foster father greeted him, assuring him that he will get what he truly wants and that he shouldn't worry about it right now. With no word left to say, he left the arena, thinking about his "personal flavor."
In the months following his defeat, Asahi had his allies look into his past and learned the identity of his father. Seven years later, Asahi is officially welcomed to the Nakiri Family, currently serving as an instructor to both the middle and high school sections of Tōtsuki Culinary Academy.
Similar to Subaru Mimasaka, Asahi cannot be pinned down to a distinct cooking style, as his cooking is based heavily on his "Cross Knives" ability. However, he is considered one of the greatest chefs of his generation, being feared and respected among the Light and Noir chefs. Two of his most noticeable accomplishments are defeating Jōichirō Yukihira, a world class chef and causing Mana Nakiri's stripping pulse reach Bestowing levels, despite her being unable to stomach most food. Senzaemon Nakiri further commented on this, saying that not even he has managed to accomplish this feat before.
However, as stated by Mana, Asahi's cooking is devoid of its own identity, which caused his defeat in the BLUE tournament.
- Cross Knives - Asahi has a superhuman ability to increase his skill by absorbing the essence contained within cooking tools used by other chefs if he wins the tools through competition or if they are willingly given to him to use. While it's unclear whether he retains the abilities of other chefs when he is not using their tools, the Cross Knives ability gives him an exceptional and flexible range of culinary ability. The number of chefs he has defeated only amplifies his natural power.
- Tonkatsu with Creme Chantilly:
- Batter-Fried Chicken with Boudin Noir:
Cooking Duel Records
|First Round||Eishi Tsukasa||Chicken||Batter-fried chicken with Boudin Noir||Win - Asahi gets the Eishi knife and onto next round.|
|Unknown||Megumi Tadokoro||Low Cost Meat||Unknown Meat Dish||Win - Asahi wins, and moves onto next round.|
|Semi-Finals||Sōma Yukihira||5 Dish Fusion||Basuti||Lose - Asahi is eliminated from the BLUE.|
Misc. Cooking Duels
|Asahi Saiba Vs. Jōichirō Yukihira|
|Jōichirō Yukihira||Unknown||Unknown||Win: Asahi will take Jōichirō's knife
|Win - Asahi won unanimously with a 5-0 score and took Jōichirō’s knife|
|Asahi Saiba Vs. Sarge|
|Sarge||Unknown||Unknown||Stipulation: The loser will serve the winner||Win - Sarge joined Asahi Group|
|Asahi Saiba Vs. Sōma Yukihira|
|Sōma Yukihira||Unknown||Tonkatsu with Creme Chantilly||Win: Asahi will take Sōma's knife
Lose: Asahi will reveal his secrets
|Win - Asahi won, but he decided to let Sōma keep his knife.|
- The name Asahi means "morning" (朝) (asa) and "light, sun, male" (陽) (hi).
- Asahi's surname Nakiri means "mow" (薙) (na) and "off" (切) (kiri).
- Nakiri is a name for a Japanese-style vegetable knife.
- His former surname Saiba means "talent" (才) (sai) and "wave, breaker" (波) (ba).
- At the end of Season 4, when Asahi made his debut, he had fair skin.
- However, when Season 5 premiered, he has pale skin instead matching with Azami Nakiri.