The Unknown Known is the twenty-first episode of the Shokugeki no Soma anime.
Much to Akira Hayama's chagrin, Sōma Yukihira is sleeping while perched precariously on his stool. As Sōma's pot boils, the fragrance envelopes the arena and wakes him up. Akira identifies the scent as rice risotto with a paste consisting of apples, bananas, and carrots. Sōma confirms this, but Akira knows there is another secret behind it.
In Hall B, some students are criticizing Megumi when her dorm mates come to her defense. Fumio Daimidō admonishes them, but Megumi didn't hear a word. Instead, she is laser-focused on her prepwork. In her haste, she bumps into Miyoko Hōjō, who chastises her for her clumsiness. After apologizing, Megumi wheels in a covered trolley, unveiling a freshly-caught monkfish hanging on a butcher's hook. As Megumi readies herself to butcher it while it is hanging, the audience voice skepticism of her ability to do so.
Megumi brings her hands together as she draws inspiration from Sōma's optimism and can-do attitude. Asking to borrow his courage, Megumi visualizes Sōma slapping her hands together, which he did during her unofficial training camp Shokugeki. Slipping on her gloves, Megumi takes a knife and effortlessly butchers the monkfish, much to the crowd's amazement. It turns out that nine years ago, Megumi learned to do this in order to help out her restaurant. Despite having a disbelieving fisherman for a teacher, she persisted until she mastered the technique so her restaurant can continue to have live demonstrations to draw a crowd.
Time passes, and the preparation time is over. The first student to present, Takumi Ishiwatari, receives praise from the judges, but was chagrined to learn that his score was only 33 out of 100. The judges were all discriminating gourmands, and considered 50 as a laudable score for a student. Succeeding dishes received similarly low scores: 28 points, 31 points, and even 6 points. The arena is hushed by the harsh scores when a horrible stench envelopes the entire area.
Nao Sadatsuka unveils her Jet Black Curry Laksa, which has an aroma so horrible that the judges refused to eat it. Nao had used kusaya, a fish brining solution, on flying fish and mahi-mahi as the main flavor of her dish. Out of a sense of obligation, Orie Sendawara bravely takes a bite, only to find it... delicious; she can't stop eating it. The judges are mesmerized by her dish, finding themselves in bondage to the cooking of Tōtsuki's Boiling Witch. Nao receives a score of 84, catapulting her to first place.
Hisako Arato, the next student to present, remains non-plussed. Nao bears a grudge against Hisako, even challenging her to a Shokugeki two years ago to usurp her position as Erina Nakiri's aide. When Hisako won the match, Nao was forced to comply with a restraining order limiting her to 50 meters from Erina. Nao was relegated to spying from afar with binoculars, and sending 30 letters to Erina daily. She reasons that if she defeats Hisako on this big stage, Erina will reconsider her decision.
The judges evaluate Hisako's mutton curry soup unenthusiastically at first, their senses having been overwhelmed by Nao's strong dish. With a single sip however, they regain their vigor. Hisako had used the essence of four medicinal plants, which are also spices used in curry, to leverage her specialty of medicinal cuisine. After eating Hisako's curry, the judges deemed Nao's dish as crude and offensive.
To drive home the difference between their cooking, Hisako offers Nao a portion of her dish. After trying it, Nao is cleansed, although the effect was only temporary, which brings Nao to her knees. Hisako has harsh words for Nao: her family has practised oriental medicine for generations, and she has converted that knowledge into cooking. Hisako likens herself as a dietetic doctor in Imperial China, serving her Empress Erina.
Hisako dislodges Nao from first place with 92 points, and the arena erupts in cheer. However, instead of being put off, Nao instead gains admiration for Hisako as well. Meanwhile, the Aldini brothers await their turn, with Isami Aldini telling Takumi Aldini that he would really like to beat him today...
Characters in Order of Appearance
- Takumi Ishiwatari's Boneless Achari Murgh
- Nao Sadatsuka's Jet Black Curry Laksa
- Hisako Arato's Mutton Meat Shimotsu-to Curry
Featured Cooking Duels
- Sadatsuka vs. Arato Shokugeki (Flashback)
Manga and Anime Differences
- Some scenes were switched in the anime.
- Part of Megumi Tadokoro's backstory with the monkfish is shown in this episode, but was not featured in the manga until chapter 57, only after several other students had presented their dish.
- In the anime, Miyoko Hōjō's backstory was revealed in Episode 20 instead of during the Preliminaries. As such, her interaction with Megumi in this episode is shortened.
- Takumi Ishiwatari, the first student to be evaluated in Group B, was not named in the manga.
- The scene where Orie Sendawara wanted to examine Megumi's dish more closely while she was preparing it was cut from the anime.
- In the manga, Osaji Kita and Shingo Andō were introduced to the audience via Takumi Aldini's thoughts. This was changed to a monologue by Fumio Daimidō in the anime.
- The score distributions for Takumi Ishiwatari (8, 7, 2, 7, and 9) and Nao Sadatsuka (17, 16, 17, 17, and 17) were not shown in the manga.
- The episode shares its title with Chapter 48 of the manga. Interestingly, the events in that particular manga chapter were depicted in the previous episode instead.
- The title is a reference to the capabilities of the contestants which are hitherto unknown, but are made known during in the tournament. In the context of the episode, this applies to Megumi's knowledge of how to butcher a monkfish, Nao's cooking, and Hisako's medicinal cuisine.
|Introduction Arc||1 • 2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 6 • 7|
|Training Camp Arc||8 • 9 • 10 • 11 • 12 • 13 • 14|
|Tōtsuki Autumn Election Arc||15 • 16 • 17 • 18 • 19 • 20 • 21 • 22 • 23 • 24|
25 • 26 • 27 • 28 • 29 • 30 • 31 • 32 • 33 • 34
|Stagiaire Arc||35 • 36 • 37|
|Moon Banquet Festival Arc||37 • 38 • 39 • 40 • 41 • 42|
|Central Arc||43 • 44 • 45 • 46 • 47 • 48 • 49 • 50|
|Promotion Exams Arc||51 • 52 • 53 • 54 • 55 • 56 • 57 • 58 • 59 • 60 • 61 • 62 |
63 • 64 • 65 • 66 • 67 • 68 • 69 • 70 • 71 • 72 • 73
|Beach Exam Arc||74|
|BLUE Arc||75 • 76 • 77 • 78 • 79 • 80 • 81 • 82 • 83 • 84 • 85 • 86|
|OVA||OVA 1 • OVA 2 • OVA 3 • OVA 4 • OVA 5|