|“||By this time tomorrow, all shall be complete. This is Japan's gourmet food kingdom and I am its new king.||”|
—Azami Nakiri to Senzaemon Nakiri.
Azami Nakiri (
Azami was a Tōtsuki Academy Alumni and a former member of the Golden Age of the Polar Star Dormitory who started out as a 3rd seat of the Elite Ten Council as a freshman before being promoted to 1st seat during his second year.
Azami is a handsome pale-skinned man with slick black hair that has a single streak of white hair swept into the back, empty black eyes and a notably grim looking face. In his high school days, his white streak was a long bang that went down on the left side of his face.
Upon his introduction, Azami’s outfit is predominantly black, consisting of a trench coat, vest, undershirt, leather gloves, slacks, shoes and his tie is silver in color.
Azami is an egocentric, autocratic and elitist snob who is morbidly obsessed with culinary perfection and he is disdainful of almost everyone, even many wealthy owners of eminent culinary businesses as in his view, they cannot appreciate "True Gourmet", Azami's term for his absolute culinary perfection. To Azami, "True Gourmet" is only meant for the select few who can appreciate its perfection: anything that does not meet his standard is pig's food, and is unworthy of being called cuisine.
His calm and collected exterior only serves to bely his near psychopathic tendencies where he treated Erina Nakiri's "God Tongue" as a mere tool to achieve his selfish goals, using both physical and psychological abuse to shape her to his ideals. Azami's manipulative and controlling behavior was a defining trait of his administration, allowing and employing corrupt tactics to eliminate resistance.
Much of Azami's mindset stems from his idolization of Jōichirō Saiba (Azami's senpai) and what happened to Mana Nakiri. Seeing Jōichirō as the ideal of a perfect chef, Azami was deeply affected when Jōichirō prematurely left Tōtsuki Culinary Academy. Believing that Jōichirō had been broken by his pursuit of culinary innovation, Azami came to deem all forms of culinary creativity as impurities. After seeing his wife suffer a similar fate, along with his high standards for cooking, it led him to view the culinary world as rotten, and he started a revolution by establishing Central to ensure that no other chef would share the same fate.
After the events of the Promotion Exams, Azami has since reevaluated his outlook on cuisine, the culinary world, and his family. And upon learning that Asahi is his son, Azami realized how horrible of a father and human being he has been and thus sought to reform and repent as both.
During his high school years, Azami attended Tōtsuki and was a member of the Polar Star Dormitory Golden Era. It is mentioned that Azami had won the Tōtsuki Autumn Election for first-years. In his first year at Tōtsuki, he obtained the 3rd Seat of the Elite Ten Council under the third-years Gin Dōjima and Jōichirō Saiba, becoming the first student in Tōtsuki's history to join the Council as a first-year. Saiba inspired Azami due to his unique talent and natural genius.
However, the departure of Jōichirō from Tōtsuki plunged Azami into a long depression and made him lose his passion for cooking for a while. In this state, he went to America, started drinking and entered into a casual relationship with an unnamed gold-digger, who later abandoned, but he managed to conceive a son with her. Later, Azami met Mana Nakiri, who insulted his cooking. Initially bent on forcing her to remove her insults, her skills as a chef and her God's Tongue eventually inspired Azami to reignite his passion for cooking. After much effort, Azami managed to impress Mana with one of his dishes, much to the surprise of both of them. After that, they started dating and developing their romantic relationship.
In his second year of Tōtsuki, Azami obtained the 1st seat of the Elite Ten.
At some point, Azami and Mana got married where she gave him her honorable surname "Nakiri" and they had a daughter named Erina Nakiri, whose latent abilities which she inherited from her mother manifested when she was as young as 3 years old. For several years they lived together as a happy family, but when Mana fell ill after her God Tongue ability rendered her incapable of eating food normally, and realizing that those with gifts in the culinary world would suffer despair from their own talents, Azami determined that the culinary industry was rotten and needed to change. Azami began subjecting Erina to a brutal training regimen, forcing her to compare dishes and throw away all the contents of the dishes that were inferior. If Erina showed any sort of resistance, he was not above using physical force to ingrain his doctrine of food into his daughter. To ensure that Erina would comply, Azami cut off her contact with the rest of the world, including Alice Nakiri (Erina's cousin and only friend). Eventually, Senzaemon Nakiri caught wind of Azami's abuse and promptly exiled him from the Nakiri Family and the Tōtsuki Culinary Academy. Save a few newspaper articles and word-of-mouth knowledge, Azami's entire presence in Tōtsuki was effectively erased, leaving no trace of his history.
In the meantime, Azami began to create a culinary business and community solely for the wealthy in America where he began to expand his business into the East, Middle East, and southern Asia. Despite his excommunication from Tōtsuki, Azami managed to contact the Elite Ten Council shortly before the Moon Banquet Festival and proposed to them to make himself the director of Tōtsuki.
Moon Banquet Festival
Main Article: Moon Banquet Festival Arc
After many years, Azami finally returned to Tōtsuki Culinary Academy on the fifth day of the Moon Banquet Festival. At the time, Erina Nakiri was running a booth which Azami paid a visit to. Upon arrival, he greeted his daughter and walked into the main dining room. In a matter of seconds, Azami insulted the patrons, claiming that they were unworthy to eat her food. Even when confronted by Shingo Andō and Natsume Sendawara, Azami coldly continued to insult and reject their accomplishments. He explained his view of cuisine to that of appreciation of fine arts, something that requires an artistic sense, quality of character, and proper education. Eager to see how much his daughter has grown in skills since his excommunication, Azami promptly sat down at an open table that Erina had left open for Jōichirō Saiba in case he came, despite her attempts to protest. Just as Erina nearly began to serve Azami, Sōma Yukihira paid the booth an unexpected visit as well. Not knowing who he was, Sōma asked Azami if he could share the table with him, prompting Azami to lose interest and leave the establishment. As he left the booth, he was stopped by a posse of cars lead by Senzaemon Nakiri himself. The father- and son-in-law got into a heated argument about their respective visions of what Tōtsuki should be for the culinary industry. Although Senzaemon was nearly able to force him to leave, Azami brandished an official document signed by the Elite Ten Council. In it, six of the ten members including Eishi Tsukasa and Rindō Kobayashi, the current first and second seats, voted to have Azami appointed as the new director of Tōtsuki. The only 4 who did not vote in favor were Satoshi Isshiki, Terunori Kuga, Tōsuke Megishima, and Erina. With the majority of the Elite Ten backing him up, Azami walked away, declaring himself the new "King" of Tōtsuki.
Main article: Central Arc
News of Azami's replacement of Senzaemon quickly spread across campus and was officiated within a few days. At his appointment speech, Azami stated that he was honored to now carry the reins of Tōtsuki and was eager to set the Academy forward on a "better" path. Though his friendly and caring facade was welcomed warmly by some of the attendees, some of the more notable guests were uncertain to the true sincerity of his words and his impending actions. Azami quickly went to work pulling Erina back under his wing, first by relieving Hisako of her duties as Erina's Secretary, opting to take that role for himself. Despite Erina's clear upset feelings over his decision, she was ultimately unable to stop Azami. Later, Azami received word from his aide, Shawn Aida that Erina was missing from her room. Without showing any form of concern, he figured that Alice smuggled her out, but was fine with the news, even canceling the plans he had for her the next day. At his first meeting with the Academy board, Azami introduced his new education method for Tōtsuki, much to the shock of the board members. His new format for the Academy requires all students to cook dishes selected by a Central group. Ultimately, all students will be able to learn to cook Elite Ten Council-worthy dishes. Although most of the board members opposed, Roland Chapelle especially, his format was nonetheless put into immediate effect. Additionally, he officially disbanded all seminars and Research Societies on campus. Finally, he targeted the Polar Star Dormitory, forcing them to close down.
After the Yukihira Vs. Eizan Shokugeki ended, Central announced that the seminars and Research Societies could avoid their disbandment with a Shokugeki with the promise of neutral judging. That night, Azami paid Polar Star Dormitory a visit here he was greeted at the entrance by Sōma. Azami let himself into the dormitory and immediately headed to the dining hall where he found Erina and the other Polar Star residents. Immediately the residents rushed forward to block him from Erina, but after beckoning her to come, Erina walked to him. However, instead of taking her back to the mansion, Azami merely petted her head and assured the residents that she could stay in Polar Star as long as she wanted. After Fumio greeted him, Azami revealed that he was once a Polar Star resident himself back in his heyday, much to their shock. However, Azami warned them that their short lived victory is but a prelude for an impending "checkmate". As he prepared to head back to the Nakiri Mansion, he was confronted by Sōma who was curious as to why Azami was targeting a place that he possibly could have had an emotional attachment to. Azami brushed him off, saying that it does not belong in his world, albeit in it's current state. However, he reminisced the Golden Days when he spent it with a respected senpai of his, stating that Jōichirō Saiba and his dishes "shone with a brilliance" that still remained in him over 20 years later. Upon hearing this, Sōma informed him that Jōichirō was his father. Taken aback slightly, Azami wondered what he meant and Sōma restated that Jōichirō was his father. Just then he noticed Erina, who was experiencing a heavy amount of shock herself, and the two wondered how the other knew Jōichirō. After Sōma's claims were confirmed with a picture of him and Jōichirō, Azami pondered on this news for a bit, he realized that there was more to the story than just mere coincidences of the age of their children and Erina's exposure to Jōichirō. As he prepared to depart, he told Sōma that his revolution was all for the sake of correcting the "rotten culinary world" that "tainted his dear Saiba-senpai."
A few days later, Azami continued with his plans, next by officially dismissing Satoshi Isshiki, Terunori Kuga, and Tōsuke Megishima from their positions as Elite Ten Council members since they did not agree with his ideas. However, Satoshi had left a little present for him by revising the Shokugeki condition in order to prevent corrupt judging. While most clubs continued to shut down thanks to his Central enforcers, several managed to win thanks to the efforts of some 92nd Generation. Noticing that the 92nd Generation standouts were stronger than past generations, Azami began planning ways to take them down in the upcoming Promotion Exams.
Azami himself has not been shown cooking. However, he has considerable skill considering that he obtained the 3rd Seat of the Elite Ten Council as early as the fall of his first year at Tōtsuki Culinary Academy and later achieved 1st Seat in his second year.
- Persuasion - Azami has great powers in persuasion, skillfully able to convert people into believing his doctrine and vision for the culinary industry. However, the means in which he achieves this can vary, especially in the realm of ethics. He is known for using extortion, fear tactics, and even verbal/mental/emotional torture to achieve this. The effects have had a varied effect on individuals, from Erina Nakiri having a long-time fear of her father or Urara Kawashima having her whole personality flipped.
- The name Azami means "thistle" (薊).
- Thistle is a widely distributed herbaceous plant of the daisy family, which typically has a prickly stem and leaves and rounded heads of purple flowers.
- Azami's surname Nakiri means "mow" (薙) (na) and "off" (切) (kiri).
- His former surname Nakamura means "middle" (中) (naka) and "town, village" (村) (mura), alluding to his role as leader of Central.
- Shokugeki no Soma chapter 131, pages 18-19
- Shokugeki no Soma chapter 133, pages 4-5
- Shokugeki no Soma chapter 133, page 11
- Shokugeki no Soma chapter 133, pages 14-16
- Shokugeki no Soma chapter 133, pages 18-19
- Shokugeki no Soma chapter 134, pages 5-6
- Shokugeki no Soma chapter 134, pages 11-12
- Shokugeki no Soma chapter 134, pages 14-19
|1st Seat||Gin Dōjima (69th Gen.) • Azami Nakamura (71st Gen.) • Kojirō Shinomiya (79th Gen.) |
Eishi Tsukasa (90th Gen.) • Sōma Yukihira (92nd Gen.)
|2nd Seat||Jōichirō Saiba (69th Gen.) • Fuyumi Mizuhara (79th Gen.) • Hinako Inui (80th Gen.)|
Taki Tsunozaki (88th Gen.) • Sonoka Kikuchi (89th Gen.) • Rindō Kobayashi (90th Gen.) • Satoshi Isshiki (91st Gen.)
|3rd Seat||Azami Nakamura (71st Gen.) • Tōsuke Megishima (90th Gen.) • Momo Akanegakubo (90th Gen.)|
Terunori Kuga (91st Gen.)
|4th Seat||Riko Ebisawa (70th Gen.) • Momo Akanegakubo (90th Gen.) • Sōmei Saitō (90th Gen.) • Akira Hayama (92nd Gen.)|
|5th Seat||Sōmei Saitō (90th Gen.) • Shōko Kaburagi (91st Gen.) • Ryō Kurokiba (92nd Gen.)|
|6th Seat||Nene Kinokuni (91st Gen.) • Alice Nakiri (92nd Gen.)|
|7th Seat||Satoshi Isshiki (91st Gen.) • Etsuya Eizan (91st Gen.) • Takumi Aldini (92nd Gen.)|
|8th Seat||Terunori Kuga (91st Gen.) • Julio Shiratsu (91st Gen.) • Etsuya Eizan (91st Gen.)|
|9th Seat||Etsuya Eizan (91st Gen.) • Akira Hayama (92nd Gen.) • Nene Kinokuni (91st Gen.)|
|10th Seat||Erina Nakiri (92nd Gen.) • Megumi Tadokoro (92nd Gen.)|
|Unknown||Jun Shiomi (73rd Gen.)|
|Students||Daigo Aoki • Shun Ibusaki • Satoshi Isshiki • Zenji Marui • Erina Nakiri • Ryōko Sakaki • Shōji Satō • Megumi Tadokoro • Yūki Yoshino • Sōma Yukihira|
|Dormitory Mother||Fumio Daimidō|