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Sōmei Saitō
Truly, a man of ill fortune... But to show mercy would be boorish. Whenever one stands before a chopping board, only the finest work must be done![1]

— Saitō Sōmei, and his unyielding ideal

Sōmei Saitō (斎藤 綜明(さいとう そうめい), Saitō Sōmei?) is a 90th Generation student Tōtsuki Academy Alumnus, Originally introduced as the 5th seat of the Elite Ten Council, he is also the former 4th seat.

Appearance

Sōmei is the second tallest among the current Elite Ten Council. His hair is styled like a mohawk, with his crest being black, while the rest is gray. He has a horizontal scar starting and ending over both his cheeks and runs over the bridge of his nose. He also typically appears with his eyes closed in both casual and formal moments.

He wears a standard Tōtsuki uniform, but slings the coat over his shoulders like a cape and does not wear the standard tie. He has large earrings and carries a Maguro bōchō blade, a Japanese knife specialized for cutting large fish, named Isanakiri. It is revealed that he is quite muscular and wears bandages across his stomach.[3]

Personality

Sōmei lives by the code of the bushido, the way of the samurai, and incorporates it in his mannerisms. He is extremely honorable and is not above praising his opponents who show true mettle and skill. Conversely, he seems to have a low tolerance for Momo's childish moments.

Somei was often considered a little eccentric with his samurai voracity and persona and was noted as unusual by senior members of Elite Ten.

History

Sōmei's family used to run a small time Sushi restaurant that was busy everyday and had many regulars. Sōmei's mother raised him by herself and worked as the head of the restaurant. At a young age, Sōmei was able to enroll into the middle school division of Tōtsuki Culinary Academy as part of the 90th Generation. He studied diligently so that he could one day help his mother with their restaurant. At the age of 15, after his mother fell ill, he decided to take over as the head of the restaurant. As the head chef and for being so young, he was looked down upon by many Sushi Chefs, the association and the seafood vendors. Using his skills in Sushi, he cut down all those who looked down on him.[4]

As a third year student, Sōmei completed the Tōtsuki Friendship and Rapport Training Camp and Stagiaire events in his first year and all subsequent events afterwards. He would eventually attain the 5th seat of the Elite Ten Council.

Before his debut, he alongside other members of the Elite Ten gathered and selected the participants of the 43rd Annual Tōtsuki Autumn Election.[5][6]

Plot

Moon Banquet Festival

Main article: Moon Banquet Festival Arc

Sōmei, along with Momo, at the Autumn Leaf Viewing

Sōmei, along with Momo, at the Autumn Leaf Viewing

As a member of the Elite Ten, Sōmei and the other Elite Ten Members attended the Autumn Leaf Viewing ceremony, so the first year students who participated in the 43rd Annual Autumn Election Main Tournament could formally meet them. Sōmei remained silent throughout the event and left shortly after to prepare for the Moon Banquet Festival.[7] He was shown later on to have ranked sixth in overall sales for the uptown area.[8]

After the conclusion of the Moon Banquet Festival, Tōtsuki received a shift in leadership as Senzaemon Nakiri was replaced by Azami Nakiri as the new headmaster of the academy. Sōmei and five of the other Elite Ten Council members voted in favor for the move.[9]

Central

Main article: Central Arc

Sōmei and the rest of Elite begun the Survivor's Surge

Sōmei and the rest of Elite begun the Survivor's Surge

After Eizan's defeat by Sōma in a Shokugeki, Sōmei watched as Sōma challenged the Elite Ten Council during the live broadcast.[10]

Sōmei later reappeared at the gathering of Central Soldiers where him and Azami's "hanpicked" students will be participating in Survivor's Purge.[11] While Sōmei was not seen taking part in the Survivor's Purge, it is likely that he competed in some of the Shokugeki's, contributing to the purge of numerous research groups.

Promotion Exams Arc

Main article: Promotion Exams Arc

Sōmei learned that a Regimental Shokugeki is happening

Sōmei learned that a Regimental Shokugeki is happening

Sōmei, along with the rest of Central's members, was brought to Hōkkaido to deal with the last of the rebels. Sōmei also literally dragged Momo along to the plane because of her fear of flying.[12]

As part of his duties in Central, Sōmei came to Hōkkaido to deal with the last remaining Rebels during the Promotion Exams. In the third bout, Sōmei was paired against Hisako Arato, and his victory resulted in Hisako's expulsion.[13]

Sōmei putting expelled student's handbook in Momo's stuffed doll

Sōmei putting expelled student's handbook in Momo's stuffed doll

Sōmei's group then got a call from Eishi which he revealed to them that a Regimental Shokugeki, Sōmei is amused at the the turn of events but considered it as a good opportunity to get rid of the Rebels.[14]

Few days later, Sōmei and the Elite Ten accompany Azami in his negotiation against the rebels, Sōmei is mostly silent at the duration of the discussion. He begun to speak later as he explained the essence of the Tōtsuki student booklets. Sōmei then proceed to collect the student booklets and put them all inside Momo's stuffed doll, making Momo sob.[15]

Régiment de Cuisine

Central Elite Ten

Sōmei and the rest of Elite Ten at Regimental Shokugeki

At the specifically-built Regiment de Cuisine Arena, Sōmei and the seven other Elite Ten members appears as the representative of Central facing the eight chefs representing the Rebels, Sōmei decided not to take part in the First and Second Bout and remain only on the sideline.[16]

Witnessing Julio Shiratsu's defeat at his match against Satoshi Isshiki, Sōmei commented on Satoshi not holding back to save his juniors, he also commend on the former 7th Seat's resolve. The last match then ended with Shōko Kaburagi losing against Tōsuke Megishima, Sōmei reacted to the situation of losing their three chefs at the First Bout and hoped that it won't happen again or they'll suffer at the Third Bout.[17]

Second Round

Sōmei begun cooking

Sōmei begun cooking

In the second round, Sōmei is selected as one of the three chefs to face the Rebels, his opponent is the first-year Subaru Mimasaka whom he finds amusing,[18]

As the lottery for theme starts, Sōmei has a conversation with the former Third Seat, Tōsuke Megishima, Sōmei talks to him about their past where they are still both members of the Elite Ten but now are facing each other as opponents, Sōmei also speaks up his shock at learning that Tōsuke joins the Rebel Alliance.[19]

After the draw, the theme is for Sōmei and Subaru was revealed to be tuna.[20]

Sōmei begin his cooking by carrying a bringing the large tuna to his kitchen, unsheathing his Maguro bōchō while commenting on Subaru's misfortune of pulling a tuna against him, the best sushi chef of his generation. He then quickly fillet the large tuna impressing the crowd due to his power and technique.[21]

After that, he noticed that his opponent is also done with his filleting, at the same time as he is. Sōmei continues his cooking and pick a small knife remove the fat on Kamatoro and brushing Chūtoro with Nikiri Reduction. After finishing, Sōmei and the crowd are stunned at Subaru completely mimicking the process without falling behind which Subaru later explain as his new technique, Perfect Trace: Flash.[22]

Sōmei offered his Maguro bōchō to Subaru

Sōmei offered his Maguro bōchō to Subaru

Sōmei is impressed at Subaru's copying techniques but he also considers his imitation lacking as he never called himself using sessha, though his third year colleagues call him out on this and revealed that he indeed refer to it periodically. Sōmei returned to his filleting the tuna using his Maguro bōchō in one swing, cleaned it, return it to its sheath and give it Subaru for him to use.[23]

Because Sōmei sees Subaru's Maguro bōchō inferior compared to his own, named Isanakiri, it will not totally copy his cooking at all. In addition, it will violate his bushido code to ensure fairness in battle, Subaru gratefully accepted the blade and fillet his tuna using Sōmei's blade. After that, Sōmei ordered Subaru to follow his lead using his Perfect Trace: Flash.[24]

Sōmei ordered Subaru to follow him

Sōmei ordered Subaru to follow him

Later on, Sōmei finished his cooking first and served his dish, Ten Pieces of Tuna Ruby Orbs Sushi With Gunkan Maki.[25]

As Sōmei presents his dish, Subaru also finished his own version of the dish. This enrages the MC, Urara Kawashima, but Subaru served her his sushi and managed to prove that his dish is just as delicious as an Elite Ten's food. At this time, the other chefs from both sides finished their dish resulting in tasting six dishes all at once.[26]

The judges tasted the Rebels' dishes first and was immensely dumbfounded. However, as Sōmei and his teammates presented their dishes, the result is in an astonishing victory for them, defeating all three chefs from the opposing side.[27]

Sōmei sympathizes with his defeated opponent

Sōmei sympathizes with his defeated opponent

Sōmei's opponent didn't take his defeat well and complain to the judges, asking them how he got defeated when his trace is perfect. Sōmei himself explains the reason that Subaru lost is because he made too many cuts on his sushi resulting in change of flavor. In addition, Sōmei told Subaru to not to blame himself for his lost as the gap in experience is just too much for Subaru right now.[28]

After the deliberation, Sōmei and his teammates who participated in the Second Bout found themselves extremely exhausted, Sōmei even compared his battle against Subaru as dueling against himself. Sōmei then asked Eishi if he will participate in the Third Bout which Eishi responded with no, and seeing Rindō whho's also tired after his bout against Tōsuke. Sōmei had no choice but to participate in the next bout one more time.[29]

Third Round

Before the day is over, the match up between between Central and Rebels has been decided immediately, with Sōmei's opponent being the first year, Sōma Yukihira.[30]

In preparation for his upcoming match, Sōmei performed cold-water ablution to hone his senses.[31]

The following day, Sōmei, along with Momo Akanegakubo and Etsuya Eizan enters the stage and faced the trio of first years in the Third Bout.[32] The theme for Sōmei and Sōma's match was revealed to be butter.[33]

Sōmei then begin on preparing his dish, which is a sashimi rice bowl, Sōma commented on this as he revealed that he will be making a dish with centered rice as well, calling it a coincidence.[34]

Sōmei then started cutting oranges, juiced it, and put it into a small bottle. And at the same time with his opponent, Sōmei and Sōma both throw their butter at the frying pan causing an intense aroma in the arena. While the audience thinks that both are going all out now, Sōmei considered the opposite as he believed that Sōma isn't showing his best. This, of course, fascinates the Fourth Seat of the Elite Ten.[35] Later on in the battle, Sōmei took noticed the Rebel's teamwork.[36]

After witnessing Eizan provoking his opponent, Takumi, Sōmei finds himself amused at Eizan's tactics, but he believes that it didn't affect his opponent and instead, it made him more fired up.[37] And seeing Takumi's victory later on against Eizan, Sōmei is truly impressed at the first-year showing his tenacity and determination at the battlefield.[38]

As the match between Momo Akanegakubo and Megumi Tadokoro ended which resulted in Momo's victory, making the Third Bout's score even, Sōmei started arranging his dish and serve it to the judges.[39]

Sōmei's dish is the Jewel Butter Seafood Bowl which appearance is powerful already to make the audience overwhelmed. As he move towards the judges, Sōmei told Sōma that he wanted to taste his dish as well. The judges then tasted the dish and its deliciousness reveals itself as the judges can't find themselves stopping at eating it. This made the imprisoned rebels impressed as they thought that him being specialized in sushi cannot bring such a dish.[40]

Sōmei answered this question and answered that being a sushi chef is actually the reason he can create it, by understanding the ingredients which is always accompany the fish, he can create a brilliant dish as he truly understand to the handle the potential of the ingredient, butter.[41] His dish proved to be really impeccable that Sōma found himself in a really bad spot.[42]

After his presentation, Sōmei is asked by Sōma on why he joined the Azami Administration which Sōmei answered swiftly; to protect his ideals. Sōma then answered him back that he's doing the same thing, and he'll present those ideals through his dish, as Sōma presented his dish, it's powerful aroma surprised the judges easily, even Sōmei himself. Sōma dish left a very strong impact on the judges which made the Fourth Seat questioned where his strength is coming from.[43]

As the battle between him and Sōma continues, Sōmei finds himself with his one sword being attacked by numerous weapons from all directions. This match made him remembered his conversation with Azami Nakiri where he said that if a samurai like him appears, he would like to test him, and that samurai appears to be Sōma Yukihira, whom he called as a true warrior despite having an opposite ideal than him. Being Sōma as the real warrior between them, Sōmei admits his loss. With his defeat, Sōmei has been eliminated for the remainder of the Régiment de Cuisine. [44]

Cooking Style

Sushi - Sōmei specializes in crafting sushi and is known for his skill in the art, earning him the 4th seat of the Elite Ten Council prior to his removal. Sōmei's mastery of Sushi gives him an extensive and powerful ability to highlight his star ingredients through flavor enhancers such as butter, garlic, orange juice and lemon juice.

Cooking Skills

  • Expert Butcher - Sōmei possesses enough physical strength to effortlessly lift Isanakiri and precisely fillet a large tuna into sashimi.

Dishes

Original Dishes

Ten Pieces of Tuna Ruby Orbs Sushi

Ten Pieces of Tuna Ruby Orbs Sushi

  • Ten Pieces of Tuna Ruby Orbs Sushi- Ten pieces of aesthetically simplistic miniature sushi prepared by Sōmei in the 3rd Bout of Rebels vs. Central Régiment de Cuisine.This sushi consists of differents parts of tuna prepared in different methods, forming together aesthetically simplistic miniature sushi. The sushi is described as beautiful as glittering jewels.
    • Brushing the medium-grade fatty tuna (Chūtoro) over with Nikiri makes the umami flavor bursting out, which then combines with another kind of umami from the marinated lean tuna (Akami). The fat meat from around the collar bone (Kamatoro) is balanced with refreshing vinegared rice. The dish overall perfectly draws out and capitalizes on the deliciousness of each type of tuna. What's more, the special vinegar used in the rice results in more mellow richness, maintaining a soft, fluffy finish.
    • Also, thanks to the scoring method, the moment a person bites into a piece, the tuna topping will melt and mix with the sushi rice, resulting in an overflowing sensation of delicious tuna flavor.
      JewelButterSeafoodBowl

      Jewel Butter Seafood Bowl

  • Jewel Butter Seafood Bowl - A dish made by Sōmei, in the 1st Card of the 3rd Bout of the Rebels Vs. Central Régiment de Cuisine. This Japanese and French dish consists of short-grain rice flavored with orange and lemon juice. Using a salmon steak which is covered with meunière sauce, he skillfully slow roasts it with butter and wheat flour. He also sautes squid liver and innards along with butter, garlic, soy sauce and meunière sauce. The salmon roe was pickled in soy sauce, pomegranate seeds and tonburi seeds, all served in a large bowl.

Clubs

  • Elite Ten Council (formerly) - Sōmei is the former 4th seat of the Elite Ten Council.

Cooking Duel Records

Rebels Vs Central Régiment de Cuisine

Round Rival Culinary
Theme
Dish Results


Misc. Cooking Duels

Rival Culinary
Theme
Dish Stipulation Results


Trivia

  • Sōmei (綜明) contains the kanji for "synthesize" (綜 ) and "bright" (明 Mei). Saitō (斎藤) is made up of the kanji for "Buddhist food" (斎 Sai) and "wisteria" (藤 ).
  • Sōmei's kitchen knife, Isanakiri (いさなきり), means "whale cutter" in English.
  • His surname, Saitō, is possibly a reference of the Japanese sushi chef Takashi Saito, who owns a three Michelin star restaurant called Sushi Saito, located in Minato, Tokyo. 

References

  1. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 224, page 9-10
  2. Shokugeki no Soma volume 27 extras
  3. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 151, page 16
  4. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 241
  5. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 37, page 19
  6. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 40, pages 1-3
  7. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 118-119
  8. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 134
  9. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 134, page 15
  10. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 148, page 13
  11. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 151, 17-19
  12. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 172, 19
  13. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 191, 20
  14. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 202, 6
  15. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 204
  16. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 206
  17. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 217
  18. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 218, page 16-17
  19. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 219, page 4-5
  20. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 220, page 2
  21. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 224, page 8-11
  22. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 224, page 11-15
  23. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 225, page 3-5
  24. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 225, page 6-12
  25. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 225, page 18-19
  26. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 226
  27. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 227
  28. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 228, page 5-6
  29. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 228, page 11-16
  30. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 231, page 7-10
  31. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 229, page 7
  32. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 229, page 11-14
  33. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 230, page 19
  34. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 231, page 17-18
  35. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 232
  36. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 233, page 7
  37. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 234, page 7
  38. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 237, page 17
  39. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 240, page 18
  40. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 241, page 1-7
  41. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 241, page 7-8
  42. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 241, page 16-18
  43. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 242
  44. Shokugeki no Soma chapter 243

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