Enter the Battlefield is the 12th Chapter of the Shokugeki no Soma series.
The chapter opens with members of the Tōtsuki student body gossiping about how unfortunate the Don Society is to be targeted by Erina and how the "transfer student" would be participating.
Mean while Konishi Kanichi, Soma Yukihira and Megumi Tadokoro are preparing their supplies for the Shokugeki. Megumi is panicking at the sight of the large crowd, encouraging and offering advice to Soma on how to stay calm. Soma explains how he is not at all scared as the tension of the shokugeki pales in comparison to serving customers with the weight of his diner's name on his back.
In a dramatic reveal, Urara Kawashima appears on the stage and announces that the Shokugeki Administration has declared this an official Shokugeki. She does so in an intentionally "cute" manner, much to the pleasure and chagrin of the men and women in the crowd, respectively. She then calls the contenders to the stage amidst huge cheer from the crowd. In a reveal reminiscent of a boxing alley, Ikumi Mito takes her place on the stage revealing her chosen attire of a flame print bikini and cut off jean shorts, much to the pleasure and chagrin of the men of the crowd and Urara, respectively.
When the Don society takes the stage is it amidst intense boo-ing and jeering from the crowd, mostly aimed at Soma for his remarks during the entrance ceremony. Konishi makes note of how large the crowd is and compares it to the non-existent crowd of his previous shokugeki versus the Noodle Stand society. Soma seems bewildered by the hate he is receiving and Megumi is panicking too much to respond.
The conditions of the shokugeki are laid out and Ikumi and Soma exchange some trash talk. Before the shokugeki can begin the crowd and contestants both take notice that Nakiri Erina, accompanied by Hisako Arato, has arrived to personally watch the competition. The crowd surmises that her attendance is due to Ikumi belonging to her faction. Erina gives Ikumi a smile and Ikumi relishes that she'll have the opportunity to prove herself in front of Erina personally.
With the Shokugeki finally underway, Ikumi starts off by showing off her primary ingredient, an entire flank of A5 beef. Brandishing a large meat cleaver, she energetically begins slicing up the beef. Her chosen slice of beef has a thick layer of fat on the back and very thorough marbling, per the amazed reactions of the crowd. By the faintly sweet scent of the beef, she declares the beef perfectly aged with the optimum amount of savory enzymes, such as glutamic acid. She begins by searing and basting the beef in butter, to ensure that the juices of the meat do not escape before placing it in the oven to cook through.
The announcer draws attention to Soma who has finished mincing a large pile of onions. He then pulls out the cheap, grocery wrapped steak cuts, mentioning happily that he was able to get them on sale. This shocks everyone in attendance and prompts the crowd to begin throwing random trash at the stage, to the dismay of Urara.
Ikumi, now certain of her victory, returns to her meat to ensure that it is cooked through. Rather than using a thermometer she is able to use a simple needle and her lips to determine the exact temperature of the meat. Erina goes on to describe how Ikumi's greatest asset as a chef is her sensitivity, likening her to a pianst and describing the dish as "a sonata of meat."
With her meat sliced, Ikumi again tries to goad Soma with trash talk, only for him to ignore her initial jab out right. When she grows irritated with Soma's silence, he goes on to explain that his dish will do the talking for him and how the skills of chefs to talk too much can't be trusted. Ikumi grows angry but suddenly the smell of his dish finally reaches her, triggering a mild foodgasm.
Shortly thereafter, the time for the shokugeki ends and the contestants are called to prepare their dishes with Soma looking relaxed and confident while Ikumi looking notably more perturbed. On the final page we are introduced to Urara Kawashima and given privy to her thoughts about Ikumi, which are not at all flattering and illustrate her jealousy over the more flashy chef.
Characters in Order of AppearanceEdit
- Kanichi Konishi
- Sōma Yukihira
- Megumi Tadokoro
- Urara Kawashima (Debut)
- Ikumi Mito
- Erina Nakiri
- Hisako Arato