|“||"Megumi-chan, you're looking cute as always..." "Eh... our gazes are meeting...? From this distance?"||”|
Hinako Inui (
Hinako is a woman of average height who has a curvaceous body, dark brown hair, dark purple eyes, and an ample bust. Her bangs cover her forehead and has tresses framing her face. Her hair is secured by a ponytail which passes her right shoulder and is slung on the side. Her eyes are usually seen closed and has a smiling face. Her choice of attire is a kosode with a white hemline, which is topped with a sleeved apron; it has a large collar and has two rectangular hemlines, with the inner one having a dark color. The sleeves are puffed up which reveals a fair amount of her arms. The apron itself is a French apron, which has a round shape and ruffles on the edges. For footwear, Hinako finishes it by wearing socks and wears an okobo.
During the 43rd Annual Tōtsuki Autumn Election, Hinako wore a dress that has thin hemlines, with the chest covered by a cloth that has ruffles on the edges, and is fastened by a ribbon on the left side. She adorned her left wrist with a bracelet.
During her days at Tōtsuki, her bangs and tresses were much shorter, with some sections of the former having straight edges, but nevertheless retained her ponytail. She also wore a standard Tōtsuki uniform, which consists of a white long sleeve, a striped ribbon that is topped with a blazer that has white trimmings, with the sleeves rolled back, a pleated dress and light-colored socks that almost reaches down to her knees.
Hinako projects an image of a mature, serene, and calm individual. However, she actually has several childlike tendencies. At times she is childish and carefree, shown by her comical distress when Sōma took her Kaki Seed snack or causing her class to be late to return to the resort. Upon meeting her for the first time, Hinako instantly resonated with Megumi Tadokoro, because of their similar personalities. However, her brand of care towards her is borderline obsessive rather than caring. Despite this though, behind her serene personality, she can be just as ruthless as her fellow Tōtsuki Alumni, showing that she has high standards for the students and is not afraid to deem a dish unworthy. Hinako also believes that chefs who stumble and make the wrong choices when faced with an unknown situation are not needed in Tōtsuki Culinary Academy.
Hinako is close to her fellow 80th generation alumnus Donato Gotōda and 79th generation alumni Kojirō Shinomiya and Fuyumi Mizuhara. She tends to make fun of Kojirō in particular, to which Kojirō will respond with hitting her on the head, grabbing her face, or tying her up.
Hinako attended Tōtsuki Culinary Academy as a part of the 80th generation. During her time at Tōtsuki, she became known as the "Mist Empress", and held the 2nd Seat of the Elite Ten Council by the end of her enrollment.
At the end of her 2nd year, she attended the graduation ceremony for the 79th Generation. Among them were Fuyumi Mizuhara and Kojirō Shinomiya, whom she had befriended during her first two years at the academy. She shed tears, worried that Kojirō would outcast himself due to his abrasive personality as he prepared to depart to France. Hinako was told by Donato Gotōda to see Kojirō off with a smile and happy thoughts instead. However, she became angry at him about his sudden announcement. Later that evening, Hinako and Donato attended the grand opening of Hitoshi Sekimori's restaurant. However, she unexpectedly ran into Kojirō, who was with Fuyumi, as part of a ruse to amend their relationship. As the night went on, Hinako was offered a job by Hitoshi, but respectfully declined. She eventually became fed up with Kojirō and ran to a nearby park, where she challenged Kojirō to an unofficial Shokugeki. In a decisive and one-sided result, Hinako lost the match before saying that she could have won if the theme was washoku. She then made a promise with Kojirō that he will become prominent in France. On the day of his departure, Hinako, Fuyumi, and Donato wished Kojirō well as he left Japan to achieve his dream.Hinako then continued into her third year and was one of the few students to graduate. After leaving Tōtsuki, Hinako moved on and became the head chef and owner of the Japanese restaurant, Kirinoya.
Tōtsuki Friendship and Rapport Training Camp
Main article: Training Camp Arc
Hinako was recruited as an instructor for the 92nd Tōtsuki Generation's Tōtsuki Friendship and Rapport Training Camp at the Tōtsuki Resort. Hinako was reunited with Fuyumi, Kojirō, and Donato, who also had been recruited. After Roland Chapelle introduced Hinako and the rest of the Tōtsuki Academy Alumni, Hinako watched as Donato asked Megumi Tadokoro to join him for a date. Hinako scolded him and apologized that Megumi had such a scary first experience. However, Hinako became smitten by Megumi's cute appearance, but was summoned back to the stage before Roland became mad at her. Shortly after, the training camp began.
The First Day
For her first assignment, Hinako told her students to pair up in the groups assigned to them in Roland's class and to create a Japanese cuisine dish. However as there were no ingredients in the kitchen, Hinako informed them that their ingredients will have to come from anywhere in the outside area. She also added that they had two hours to gather their ingredients and present a dish that would meet her approval. Shortly after, Hinako was asked by Takumi Aldini alongside his twin brother, Isami Aldini, to become the judge of their competition he started with Sōma Yukihira and Megumi, but she refused, saying that it had nothing to do with the assignment.
As the students began to search for their ingredients, Hinako monologued that when a person is in an unknown and uncertain situation, the human vision narrows leading to mistakes. Her assignment shows who has the ability to overcome this uncertainty and come out on top. The first pair to present her a dish were the Aldini twins after less than an hour had transpired. Their Aigamo Grilled with Spices amazed her with its deep flavor. Though most of the class believed that they used salsa verde, Hinako informed them that they made an improvised salsa verde using uruka, a type of shirokara. Hinako passed the Aldini twins and recalled Takumi's earlier statement for her to judge their dish against Sōma's and Megumi's dish. She accepted Takumi's request to judge which dish would be better. However, she added that the loser must bow before the winner and call themselves a dejected loser three times. However, she exempted Megumi from this condition if she lost.
Hinako was then asked by Sōma if he could use anything in the kitchen area. As she told him that every ingredient within the boundaries was allowed, Sōma snatched her Kaki seeds, much to her dismay. Meanwhile, Hinako had been eating almost nothing but fish dishes from the students, however Sōma and Megumi presented their Char Okakiage. Unlike any of the previous dishes, the improvised usage of her Kaki seeds on the fish created an interesting consistency. Thus, Hinako passed Sōma and Megumi just before the time expired. After the class ended, Takumi asked her to finally determine which dish was superior. Unfortunately, Hinako was conflicted as each of the dishes' uniqueness made it hard for her to determine a clear winner. Suddenly, she was called by Kojirō to hurry up and send the students back. Hinako determined that the duel was a draw as she quickly left the room to return to the Resort.
Main article: Yukihira-Tadokoro Vs. Shinomiya Shokugeki
The following day, Hinako and Gin Dōjima arrived just as Sōma declared a Shokugeki to Kojirō. In Gin's office, Hinako tried Megumi's altered dish. Though Hinako found it delicious and tried to convince Kojirō to reverse her explusion, Kojirō grabbed her head to silence her after her attempts to persuade him became annoying. Hinako and Gin then forced Kojirō to accept Sōma's challenge, thus making it into an unofficial Shokugeki.
Later that afternoon, Hinako came to the Tōtsuki Resort's basement kitchen, but was tied to a chair and denied a position as a judge for the Shokugeki due to her blatant favoritism for Megumi. As the match began, Hinako somehow managed to escape the ropes and rallied the judges against Kojirō for his hateful comments against Megumi. Afterwards, she was surprised when Sōma clapped on Megumi's hands to rid of her fears. Throughout the battle, Hinako continued to cheer for Megumi. As Kojirō waited for his dish to finish cooking, Hinako tried once more to sway Kojirō, but she got on his nerves and was tied to her chair once more.
As the Shokugeki ended, Hinako escaped her bindings once more and joined the judges as Kojirō presented his dish first. Hinako was disappointed initially by his Chou Farci but her unfounded criticism was refuted by a swift chop to her head from Kojirō. However, once she ate his dish, like the rest of the alumni, she could not help but praise his excellent dish. Megumi presented her Rainbow Terrine next. Despite Megumi's fears, Hinako and the judges told her that her dish was delicious. Her dish reminded Hinako of the zashiki-warashi, calling Megumi the "Legumes Zasiki-Warashi". However, despite Megumi's best efforts, the judges voted in favor of Kojirō's dish.
However, Gin placed a coin on Megumi's dish in recognition of her efforts, much to everyone's surprise. As Kojirō tried the dish as well, he remembered part of his youth, and thus dropped a coin on her dish as well. He then asked if she had used allspice, and Megumi replied that she used it to help the judges' digestion systems since they had been eating all day. Hinako was moved to tears by Megumi's hospitality and kindness, though Fuyumi suspected that her tears were from her favoritism. Finally, Hinako added one last vote, rendering the duel a tie. Leaving the final decision to Kojirō, Megumi was allowed to stay, much to Hinako's delight.
The Final Day
On the evening of the final day, Hinako and the rest of the alumni gathered to prepare a lavish feast for the 628 students who had survived the camp. The next day, Hinako and the others managed to catch Kojirō in the lobby. She took the opportunity to try and recruit Megumi to work for her restaurant alongside Donato and Hitoshi. As Kojirō prepared to leave, Hinako asked him if he needed her assistance to achieve his new dream. However, much to her annoyance, she was told by Kojirō that she can be hired as a servant.
The 43rd Annual Tōtsuki Autumn Election
Main article: Tōtsuki Autumn Election Arc
Main article: Yukihira Vs. Mimasaka Semifinal Shokugeki
A few months later, Hinako was asked to serve as a judge in the 43rd Annual Tōtsuki Autumn Election Semifinal rounds. When the day of the Semifinals arrived, Hinako was introducted by Gin, along with Fuyumi, Taki Tsunozaki, and Sonoka Kikuchi. During the first match between Sōma and Subaru Mimasaka, Hinako immediately spotted Megumi in the crowd even though they were quite a distance apart. When Taki stated that Sōma was at a disadvantage from the data gathered in the Tōtsuki Sports, Hinako told her not to judge him so pre-emptively. However, the two butted heads for a bit until Hinako asked Fuyumi for her assistance. Much to her annoyance, she saw that Taki obeyed Fuyumi's words. When Sōma brought out beef tail as the basis of his stew because of its gelatinous property, Hinako gave Taki a smirked look on her face in response to her initial judgment about Sōma. Hinako kept arguing with Taki but was surprised with each of Sōma's additional surprises.
With his dish done, Subaru presented his dish first, a Beef Stew with Bacon Garnish. As the judges ate his dish, it was well received, noting the exquisite use of bacon and the amount of labor spend to cultivate the flavor of the dish. Afterwards, Sōma presented his dish however, Hinako and the other judges saw that his dish was nothing more than a random assortment of beef parts similar to Yakiniku, but Sōma assured the judges that the beef parts were actually garnishes. After a single bite, the reception was overwhelmingly positive. Hinako felt that she was riding a roller-coaster as she was engrossed by the harmonious flavors of the dish. The judges were impressed by Sōma's tenacity and creativity and were so immersed in the dish, Hinako and the others began their adventure at Yukiheeland. Afterwards, the the judges got out of their seats and held hands in front of the judging table. In a decisive and one-sided result, Sōma was declared the victor of the match. In the aftermath, Hinako was surprised when Sōma hitted Subaru on the head for his lack of conviction and when the latter ate Sōma's dish.
With no time to spare, the second semifinal round began between Ryō Kurokiba and Akira Hayama with the same culinary theme as the first match. With his dish completed first, Akira presented his Canard Apicius to the judges. With a single bite, Hinako and the others were brought to their knees. Afterwards Ryō presented his Eel Matelote. With a single bite, Ryō's dish enticed the judges, feeling a strong impact from the dish. After the tasting round concluded, unlike the previous matches during the Tournament, the judges were frozen, unable to decisively decide the winner. Hinako and Fuyumi decided to vote for Akira while Gin and Taki voted for Ryō. Sonoka however, was still unable to decide the winner. It was then decided that the final match of the 43rd Autumn Election was to be a three-way battle royale between Ryō, Akira, and Sōma, much to everyone's surprise.
Main article: Stagiaire Arc
Hinako arrived on the last day of Shino's Tokyo's trial run period along with Roland and several other Alumni members thanks to reservations by Kojirō. Hinako was surprised to see Sōma, who told her that he is working there as a Stagiaire. Hinako then scolded Kojirō for not inviting her to help him with his restaurant's opening. After Sōma talked to Roland, Hinako told Sōma that Roland was appointed as a lecturer at Tōtsuki Academy more than 10 years ago, around the same time as the students from the 79th and 80th generation were being enrolled. Afterwards, she proceeded to enjoy her meal alongside the other guests. During the meal, Hinako and the others learned that the Shino's Tokyo staff would be having a cooking contest that night to potentially add a new dish to the Shino's menu. Much to everyone's surprise, Sōma asked to participate. Hinako remembered back to the camp and even said out loud that it was just like the Shokugeki that had happened. Unfortunately, Hinako forgot that the Shokugeki was unofficial and Roland was unaware of it. Before Roland could press on the matter, Hinako was swiftly silenced by the other Alumni there.
As Sōma presented his risotto dish, Hinako wondered if he had figured out the real intention of the Stagiaire system. Once she ate the dish, Hinako found it to be delicious and noted a certain crunchiness. Sōma explained he had tried to combine Japanese and French cuisine, thus creating an original dish. Hinako suddenly realized he had used cabbage to add consistency to the dish, thus emulating Kojirō's Chou Farci made during their Shokugeki. She was however silenced once again by Fuyumi, before revealing this bit of information. Kojirō agreed on helping Sōma improve the dish, thus adding the dish to his menu. As Hinako and Lucie Hugo were gossiping behind Kojirō's back, he grabbed their head to silence them. Hinako enjoyed the rest of the evening, while laughing at Sōma calling Kōjiro his master. The next morning, she said goodbye to Sōma as Kōjiro encouraged him to take the first seat.
- Washoku - Hinako is the owner and head chef of the Japanese restaurant Kirinoya, specializing in washoku or traditional Japanese cuisine.
Cooking Duels Record
|Kojirō Shinomiya||Unknown||Unknown||Win: Kojirō will not move to France.
||*Loss - Hinako has no objections about Kojirō moving to France and gave her blessings.||N/A|
(*) This is Hinako's only known Shokugeki in the academy.
- The name Hinako means "sunny place" (日向) (hina) and "child" (子) (ko), which literally means Sun Child or a child who faces the sun.
- Hinako's surname Inui means "dry, dried, cured" (乾).
- It is also the first trigram of The Eight Trigrams, representing the Sky.
|69th Gen.||Gin Dōjima|
|74th Gen.||Jun Shiomi|
|79th Gen.||Kojirō Shinomiya • Fuyumi Mizuhara|
|80th Gen.||Donato Gotōda • Hinako Inui|
|88th Gen.||Taki Tsunozaki|
|89th Gen.||Sonoka Kikuchi|
|90th Gen.||Eishi Tsukasa • Rindō Kobayashi • Tōsuke Megishima • Momo Akanegakubo • Sōmei Saitō|
|91st Gen.||Satoshi Issiki • Terunori Kuga|
|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.)|