Soma Yukihira has never gone to culinary school, an Idiot Hero and isn't taken seriously by other students because he's a first-year and a "commoner", yet his twelve years of working in his family restaurant proves he's the real deal.
In spite of his eccentric Bunny-Ears Lawyer approach, it's hard to believe Satoshi Isshiki is one of Tootsuki's Elite Ten.
Everyone belives Megumi is a dunce because of her failing grades. Following the preliminaries of the Autumn Election, the student body realizes she always had the talent when Megumi reveals she knows how to work with monkfish since she was a child.
With the exception of his school club, Zenji Marui proves you don't need to have physical skills to be a great chef when you're one of the smartest students in the first-year.
During the first week at Tootsuki, Soma notices the smugness of other students and instant deduces they sabotaged his and Megumi's beef bourguignon during a cooking lecture with Roland Chapelle.
Not only is Satoshi aware of hidden talents at Tootsuki that has yet to bloom, he tests Soma's potential as a Wild Card and deduces his prescence will likely shuffle the balance of power in the student body.
After an impromptu cook-off between Soma and Satoshi at the dorm during Soma's welcoming party, Shun Ibusaki is the only one to acknowledge the latter wasn't really giving his best. He's also one of the students who knows Zenji Marui's level of expertise beforehand.
Soma, unlike most of the student body, comes from a small "special-of-the-day" shop, which causes his peers, except his roommates, to look down on him. He tends to make amazingly bad experiments and feed them to his roommates.
Megumi is from a small port town in the Tōhoku region and widely known to have the worst grades of the first-years, but compensates by cooking dishes that mentally and physically sooth her roommates.
Satoshi walks around the dorm in a Fundoshi or Naked Apron and often ditches class to tend to the garden in the back of the dormitory. He's also the only person in the dorm who can evenly match Megumi at table tennis.
Shun tends to transform a room in the dorm into a smoker every once in a while.
Ryoko's speciality is Shiokouji (salt water preserves), and has a personal workshop in the basement, occasionally making "rice juice".
Yuuki raises animals of all kinds and sometimes has them near her room. The others often complain about the smell.
Zenji is the dorm Butt Monkey, whose room always get trashed for parties and gatherings - after which he has to clean up the mess.
Megumi explained to some precocious kids that the best way to get a great dish to think of someone you hold dear. It's heavily implied that the person she was thinking of was Soma.
Also in the after-prelims party, we have a scene where Megumi and Soma were alone in the balcony, praising each other's cooking, with Megumi developing a Luminescent Blush as Soma said her cooking is good.
Supreme Chefs: The current residents are more talented than most students. The (named) first-years reach six of the top 16 scores during the preliminaries of the Autumn Election, with Soma and Megumi moving to the main tourmanent.
Those Two Guys: Aside from the two unnamed male dorm members, Ryoko and Yuuki are these for the girls.
True Companions: The Polar Star Dormitory has chefs of varying levels all with a great respect for each other, which contrasts with many of the Jerkass rivals in the student body. They support each other and celebrate together all the good moments whenever they happen.
Big Brother Instinct: During the Autumn Election, while many in the audience are insulting Megumi, Those Two Guys were ready to beat them up if they don't stop the mockery.
Big Brother Mentor: As the senpai to all the other residents, Isshiki cares about his roomates and believes in their potentials as the future of the Polar Star Dorms Miracles.
Platonic Life Partners: Soma and Megumi develop a very close friendship, confiding each other their feelings, hopes and insecurities. Megumi eventually realizes she maybe has deeper feelings for Soma, while he places Megumi as his most trusted friend in Tootsuki.
Many people look down on Soma, thinking he's a simple chef from a simple special-of-the-day store. They get blindsided when he shows he can match their three years worth of high-level education with twelve years of experimenting in a kitchen.
Megumi's history of failure and low rank lead people to underestimate her, forgetting she is indeed a skilled cook.
The protagonist of the series, Soma is a 16-year old first-year high school student, having transferred to the elite Tootsuki culinary school after this father Jouichirou Yukihira leaves their family restaurant Yukihira to work overseas.
Tropes associated with Soma Yukihira:
All of the Other Reindeer: Soma gets this reception before he is enrolled into Tootsuki. Everyone figures he's a small fry since he comes from a simple family restaurant.
Badass: Possesses uncanny culinary skills and techniques, backed by an indomitable aura, who hows how impress the audience, judges and opponents.
Badass Boast: When Erina Nakiri states how most Tootsuki applicants had received gifted education in ultra-fine gastronomy in their middle school years, Soma declares he's lived in a kitchen for twelve years, to wit he adds the first time he held a kitchen knife was when he was three years-old.
Book Dumb: Soma lacks the knowledge of some of the finer aspects of cooking, but makes up for it with his willingness to experiment. It's emphasized despite not having attended culinary school before, he's had enough hands-on experience in the Yukihira kitchen to be more than a match for his peers.
Captain Oblivious: Zigzagged, such as being unaware about his father and status as a world-famous chef, despite seeing photos of him with foreigners and taking phone calls from people who speak different languages.
Challenge Seeker: If he encounters someone that can do what he wants to learn, Soma is ready to give them the fight in that field.
Character Title: The series is called Shokugeki no Soma, but his name is either written as "Sōma" or "Souma". The word "soma" means "spirit", thus the title means "cooking spirit", a direct pun on his official localized name "Soma".
Chaste Hero: As he is Oblivious to Love, he also shows no interest at all in love. He thinks Ikumi and Mayumi's reactions to each other are just "they not getting along", is amazed at the new concept of "cooking for the loved person" when Megumi tells this and treats everyone with the same friendly attitude regardless of the gender, not showing reaction to all the blatant Male Gaze around.
The Determinator: Soma will cook anything the customer asks for, even if he doesn't have the necessary ingredients in stock. For example, when Yukihira is harassed by loan sharks, he emulates roasted pork using bacon wrapped with smashed potatoes.
Despite having lost 490 consecutive times against his father in cooking duels, Soma makes it a point to one day beat him.
During the breakfast buffet trial, everyone makes a huge deal of the Nakiri cousins serving 400 dishes in the span of 2 hours, ignoring the fact Soma serves 190 — half of the meals — in a quarter of the time, a much harder task.
Friendly Rivalry: It's almost impossible to make enemies with Soma, since he always ends up befriending or geting along with his oponents: Ikumi ended up having a crush on him, Takumi also became a friendly rival to him, Soma frequently talks casually to Erina (even if she doesn't want to), gets orientation from Akira, talks friendly with Alice during the match, and even compliments Subaru's motorcycle.
Generation Xerox: Soma is practically his father when he was his age. In fact, a lot of Soma's quirks are carried over from him. Visually Lampshaded by Gin Doujima.
Graceful Loser: Even though he lost 490 consecutive duels against his father or a Worthy Opponent, Soma will remain friendly towards his competitor.
Subverted during the Autumn Election, when Satoshi points out his latest dish is a combination of his last two defeats (the omelette from the breakfast buffet trial and the apple risotto from his 490th duel with his father), refusing to let those moments pass as "failures". Fumio even names him "The Ultimate Sore Loser". Granted, Soma never becomes bitter, but he is very focused on surpassing himself.
Hard Work Hardly Works: Subverted; Soma's twelve years of hands-on experience in the kitchen proves to be a great asset.
The Hero: Guess why he's on the cover of the very first chapter...
Insult Backfire: When the loan shark claims the Yukihira is nothing but a failure, Soma presents her with an extremely delicious dish, explaining it was inspired by an accident, i.e. from a failure.
Last Name Basis: Soma calls almost everyone by their surname, except Takumi Aldini, Fumio ("Fumio-san") and Ikumi Mito (he uses Nikumi and is the only one who gets away with calling her that), and Alice Nakiri (who he labels as "Nakiri's cousin").
MacGyvering: Soma can make any dish taste incredible, even when the barest of ingredients are available. For example, in Fumio's entry test to the Polar Star Dormitory, he makes a hamburger with only one gram of ground meat left in the kitchen, mixed with a can of sardines.
Missing Mom: His mother, an indirect Plot Point, as he took his mother's surname "Yukihira" instead of his father's "Saiba"
Mundane Made Awesome: While his competitors will use financially expensive ingredients, yet rich in flavor, Soma can pull off the same result by buying affordable items from the local supermarket and any leftovers.
When Soma is matched to go agains Alice Nakiri (who is expected to do a very elaborated entry), Soma opts for a Nori bento, which is considered the most basic kind, with Ryoko lampshading it by "It's so typical of you". Soma then makes this bento "evolve".
Naïve Newcomer: Subverted; he's impressed with every new fact he discovers from Tootsuki or his roommates, but he gets used to it in less than three panels.
Nerves of Steel: Due to cooking in an actual restaurant for much of his life, Soma never loses his cool even in high pressure or completely unexpected situations and can quickly formulate exactly what he needs to do to overturn a bad situation. Dojima Gin even notes during the breakfast buffet that Soma has a splendid ability to deal with "real situations."
A flashback reveals this wasn't always the case when he was younger and that it was his father who taught him how to stay calm under pressure (including the same technique used to dispel nervousness that Soma used on Megumi).
New Transfer Student: Soma transfered to Tootsuki at the beginning of his first-year in high school. Not unusual, except Tootsuki also has a middle school campus, and the majority of the first-years come from there to the academy.
Non-Uniform Uniform: Soma wears his shirts open with a dark t-shirt inside (long-sleeved when getting colder) and no tie.
Transfer Student Uniforms: Also his jacket seems to be the black gakuran from his previous school, while the Tootsuki highschool jacket is navy blue with white borders on the collar, with pleaded brown pants and tie.
Oblivious to Love: As of the Autumn Election, at least two girls have a crush on him, yet he can't tell.
Showy Invincible Hero: Played with; there are many opportunities for students to get expelled at Tootsuki, thus Soma has to put his cooking experience to the test and improvise when he can to win, yet there are a few moments where he doesn't "entirely succeed".
Spell My Name with an S: Phoentically, the "o" in his name is written as "ō", which equates to "ou". Both are correct, but the series' title uses the word "soma" for "spirit", a pun on his name. The English localization uses the latter.
Taught by Experience: The crux of his skills; however, even though he's worked in a kitchen for twelve years, he has much to learn, but Soma's a very quick learner and knows how to make his mistakes curb in his favor.
Technician Versus Performer: Most of the time he's the performer against his competitors, who are highly skilled in their respective specialties. Subverted for big showdowns like Shokugeki, where Soma builds strategies before the match by experimenting, applying a more technical approach.
Underdogs Never Lose: Played with, as Soma hardly qualifies as an underdog once his skill is highlighted, yet averted in the unofficial Shokugeki against Koujirou and scoring lower than Akira in the Autumn Election preliminaries.
Undying Loyalty: He will defend the name of Yukihira at any cost; this extends to his neighborhood and classmates from his old school.
When All You Have Is a Hammer: While his cooking is very versatile, Soma still comes from a "special-of-the-day" family restaurant. This briefly becomes a negative during the breakfast buffet trial, as he's used to serving food immediately. The solution? Put on a show to attract customers.
One of two heroines of the series, the clumsy and shy Megumi is a first-year student at Tootsuki from Hokkaido. A much more skilled chef than she believes herself to be, her specialty is creating a dish that sooth one's body and mind of stress.
Tropes associated with Megumi Tadokoro:
Adorkable: Particulary during training camp, where she reaches nearly Accidental Pornomancer levels with two of the Legendary Alumni. In the breakfast buffet trial, when a customer tries her dish, he asks if she would marry his grandson.
Angel Unaware: Gin states her strongest asset lies in hospitality, which she focuses on caring the diners during the breakfast buffet trial.
Animal Motifs: She has been compared to a rabbit twice: Her nickname as "The Tohoku Hopping Hare" in Table Tennis, and also after her match against Ryou Kurokiba, being described as "A bunny going against a wolf".
Birds of a Feather: With Soma - both come from a humble background (Soma likes serving people from his neighbourhood, Megumi works in an inn with a close relationship with the townsfolk) and suffer from bullying by the other student chefs, yet are better cooks than the average lot. When given the oportunity, they can make friends easily.
Book Dumb: Megumi has had a history of failing and poor performance in cooking school, but is actually a talented cook who just doesn't do well under pressure.
Boring, but Practical: She's not the flashiest cook in the series, but clearly puts a great deal of thought into her cooking.
Character Development: She started out as having a low selfsteem because of her bad performance at school. Once she gets paired with Soma, her confidence starts to bloom by showing her real talent to everyone, even to have recognition from The Legendary Ten. By the Autumn Election, Megumi can stand out by herself without depending on Soma, and even wanting to compete having fun cooking instead of succumbing under the pressure like she used to be.
The Determinator: Even though most of Tootsuki calls her a "dunce" and has a bad case of stage fright, Megumi wants to cook her best, primarily inspired by Soma.
Also seen in her flashbacks, she learned as a child to cut hanging goosefish (which is a very hard task, specially for a little girl) to keep up with the tradition of her Ryokan, once their chef had to retire. The fishermen admired her determination so much that they still regard her very high.
To Miyoko Hojou: the humble Megumi is shy Nice Girl who garners support from Soma, their roommates and her hometown residents, but Miyoko Does Not Like Men and can't trust them because of their sexist beliefs in the kitchen.
Harsh Word Impact: Twice by Souma, and once by a little girl who she was teaching cooking.
Heart Is an Awesome Power: As her hospitality is key in her dishes, she also works under a mentality of "cook for someone you love, and it will be tastier". This comes to a head with her budding affections for Soma, as she recalls the events of the preliminaries in the Autumn Election.
Hidden Depths: Before enrolling into Tootsuki, Megumi was a national-level table tennis player.
I Feel Angry: Although soft-spoken and polite, Megumi isn't incapable of anger.
Know Your Vines: She can easily recognize and get herbs and other plants in the forest section of the training camp.
Let's Get Dangerous: Anytime she's about to play table tennis and when she strategizes for the Autumn Election (though she relapses into Nervous Wreck occasionally).
The Power of Friendship: In chapter 69, Megumi believes that she's gotten stronger because of the support of her friends.
Red Baron: Aside from the nicknames the Legendary 10 were proposing for her, Megumi is also known as "The Tohoku Hopping Hare" in Table Tennis.
Shrinking Violet: Especially in the beginning of the series. She's still one, but not as bad as before.
Shut Up, Hannibal!: To Ryou during their duel in the Autumn Election. Seeing that she's supported by her friends, he tells her that the kitchen is battlefield where cooks, regardless if they are working together, are fighting "eating" each other and that her cooking is a "trashy game" because she thinks that cooperation is important and that she doesn't fight with fellow cooks. Her response:
"At the very least, the things I've seen aren't trash at all!" (a short break to cook her dish) "All the people who pushed me forward, don't speak badly of them!"
Suspiciously Similar Substitute: In the first chapter, Mayumi Kurase is Soma's classmate, shy girl who likes his dishes and has yellow eyes. When Soma goes to Tootsuki, he becomes friends with Megumi, a shy girl from Hokkaido who admires Soma's cooking and has yellow eyes.
Took a Level in Badass: Begins the series with failing grades due to stage fright and is one mark away from explusion. After partnering with Soma, her cooking skills improve, becoming more refined and brave. This culminates in the Autumn Election, where she passes into the final eight.
Chick Magnet: One of judges at the Autumn Festival offers him financial aid to support him forever if he would become hers. He's also very popular with older women at the DEF Kitchen.
Life of the Party: Everytime there's a party, Satoshi will appear wearing nothing but an apron or a speedo underneath that, prompting cheers from his roommates.
Manly Tears: His reaction to Soma's dish, "Revamped Mackerel Onigiri Chazuke", following the welcoming party.
Mr. Fanservice: Is rarely seen in proper attire (see below), and when he puts on a nice suit, older women are gushing over him.
Female Gaze: There are plenty of times when readers will see his naked butt.
Naked Apron: His standard attire in the dormitory, although he'd change into a Fundoshi (a traditional Japanese undergarment) while working in his garden.
Sharp-Dressed Man: Soma and Megumi get shocked seeing him in a business suit, admitting he looked super-cool. Later they question if it was really necesary to get dressed for a community cooking school.
Sore Loser: Subverted. As Yuuki notes, Shun was so upset for losing the spot in the tournament, that he initially didn't want to party with the others and locked himself in the smoking room. Yuuki eventually dragged him out to join the celebrations.
Ryouko and Yuuki theorize Shun did research on Subaru Mimasaka out of spite for losing the spot to him. While he denies it and addresses it as a recorded fact, they still know that's true.
The Stoic: Shun has only one expression; when Jouichiro comes to visit the dorm, he is the only one unfazed by the latter's strange dishes.
As Yuuki notes, Shun tries to appear cool, but they all know he is upset for not passing to the finals because he isolated himself in his smoking room before the dorm party. Yuuki eventually drags him out to celebrate with the others.
Subverted when Yuuki hands him the cheering paper fan with Megumi's name. He is seen embarrased with a light blush, mouthing that the fans are only going to distract Megumi. He still agrees to use it.
One of the three first-year girls from the dorm, Ryoko's specialty is Shiokouji (preservatives and fermented ingredients) and spends months preparing them in the dorm basement.
Tropes associated with Ryoko Sakaki:
Audience Surrogate: When Soma is researching for his strategy for the first round of the Autumn Election Finals, Ryoko helps him and also facilitates the exposition about what is a Nori Bento and how Soma plans to perfect it.
Buxom Is Better: Has the largest breasts of the Polar Star girls, and the biggest fanbase of the first-years.
Another of the three first-year girls at the Polar Star Dormitory, Yuuki's forte is poultry and wild game (specifically special bred animals) and frequently uses a combination of different fat and meat.
Genki Girl: Cheerful, energetic, and apparently have hunter associates. Lampshaded by one of the judges in the Autumn Election
Andou: "Birds and animals are hard to obtain as it is... in order to get some for the Election, she must be well-connected with hunters. I guess her cheerfulness makes that possible..."
Fangirl: She is the first to organize a cheerleading group for Megumi's Shokugeki. When she made fans with Megumi's name, nobody could refuse, agreeing to use them with embarrasment, while a happy Yuuki was encouraging them.
Later on to Ikumi. Both are meat specialists (Ikumi works with A5 meat, while Yuuki raises special breeds and applies "Wild Game") and both of them are very supportive of their new circle of friends. While Ikumi has trouble expressing friendship towards others (even thought she does like them all), Yuuki is more outgoing and cheerful (to the point that even Ikumi herself can't refuse to participate).
Odango: Her usual hairstyle. We only see her with her hair down once.
Plucky Girl: Even when the competition and the pressure is heavy, she will find a moment to be quirky and cheer the others.
Tsurime Eyes: To emphasize her more aggressive nature, especially compared to Megumi and Ryouko.
Another Polar Star resident who comes off as physically weak and pathetic, first-year student Zenji happens to be the most educated of the freshman class, coming up with unique, yet unorthodox dishes thanks to his extensive novel research.
Tropes associated with Zenji Marui:
Adorkable: We can see signs of this whenever he gets embarrased for not knowing some technique during a Shokugeki, as the others asume he should know everything because of his glasses.
Bookworm: Frequently seen studying for the theory/written exams
Badass Bookworm: When he uses his knowledge in the Autumn Election, Zenji scores higher than Ikumi.
Butt Monkey: Among the Polar Star residents. Besides having his room commandeered by the other residents for parties, Zenji has bad luck with eating dishes - during the end of training camp, he swallows his food badly and is the first to try Jouichirou's snake dish.
Extreme Doormat: His roommates always pick his room to have hangouts, reunions and welcoming parties and leaves him to do the cleaning.
The Smart Guy: Uses his knowledge to make excellent dishes. Subverted, when even he can't tell what Alice is cooking in her match with Soma.
Teen Genius: Is The Ace of the Miyazato Seminar, which specializes in research and analysis of classical literature about gourmet food, despite being only a first-year.
The Strategist: Nicknamed "The Walking Flavor Dictionary" by those in his club.
Weak, but Skilled: Zenji barely passed training camp, as it was a test of endurance and stamina. Having a month to prepare and research for a strategy in the Autumn Election granted him an excellent score in the preliminaries with Shun.
Elite Ten Council
Tropes common to the Elite Ten Council members
Absurdly Powerful Student Council: The Elite Ten, who makes the most important decisions in Tootsuki and holds higher authority than the teachers. If a student were to challenge a member for a spot on the council, yet lose in a Shokugeki, expulsion does not equate to the value of an Elite Ten seat.
The Ace: As indicated, they're the best students from all the current generations of Tootsuki.
The Faceless: So far, the only members revealed are Erina Nakiri, Satoshi Isshiki and Etsuya Eizan.
Reasonable Authority Figure: With the exception of Erina, so far. The rest of the council outruled Erina by allowing Soma to compete at the Autumn Election, and also recognized Megumi's potential despite of her grades, basing all the names of the list on talent, potential and performance at the training camp.
Supreme Chefs: All of them, which makes virtually impossible for a common student to defeat an Elite Ten, as demonstrated by Erina, who has closed many clubs by easily crushing the club presidents.
Erina Nakiri - Tenth Seat
The other heroine of the series, first-year student Erina is the grandaughter of Tootsuki's headmaster Senzaemon Nakiri. Holding the tenth seat of the Elite Ten, she is known for having the "God's Tongue", due to her having an incredible palate and sense of taste, being able to discern what constitutes food as bad or good. Erina is determined to get Soma expelled from Tootsuki at any cost.
Tropes associated with Erina Nakiri:
The Ace: An incredible cook with a godly palate when it comes to taste in Japan. Erina also has the distinction of being the only 1st year with an Elite Ten seat.
Advertised Extra: Erina is billed as the female lead. However, she rarely appears, and usually not in a significant way, indirectly ascending Megumi into a Deuteragonist by the time the Autumn Election begins.
Erina's perfectly fine with challenging rival clubs she doesn't like to a Shokugeki just to get rid of their building space for another of her cooking labs.
She abuses her power as a member of the Elite Ten and since she's the headmaster's granddaughter, she can deny admission of any person she dislikes, while putting professionalism aside. Narrowly averted in Soma's case.
She considers anyone who isn't rich or as talented as her culinary skills as a "commoner" or "plebeian".
Berserk Button: After their encounter at the admission test, Erina can't stand to hear the name "Soma Yukihira".
Also whenever she tries to intimidate Soma, she ends getting pissed off as Soma never loses his good mood around her.
Dude Magnet: Subverted - although one of the most attractive girls to the male student body, she's simultaneously feared because of her reputation.
The Dreaded: During the High School division admission test, with only the mention of her name, all the applicants (except for Soma) preferred to flee instead of taking the trial. Erina is very aware of this, as she gives them the option to run away rather than face humiliation.
Foil: As one of Souma's most prominent rivals(if not his most important), she embodies the complete opposite approach to cooking as he does. While she is an exceptionally picky eater who values only the most regal cuisine, Souma is someone who has a fascination with all flavors and styles good or bad.
Ice Queen: After Alice lost her match against Soma, Erina admits she is actually jealous of her, because Alice can cry openly.
Insufferable Genius: Erina is likely the best cook at Tootsuki, the headmaster's granddaughter, has perfect sense of taste and everyone in school (except for Soma) fears and respects her. This gave her a thick pride and elitist view of others.
Irony: Idolizes Joichirou, Soma's father; however, it's possible she only knows of his professional side, given his style of learning from failure, which Erina detests.
When students are recommended for the Autumn Festival and Soma was picked to participant, Erina naturally objects. The other Elite Ten members call her out on it, noticing how she gets apprehensive whenever his name comes up.
Ojou: Beautiful, rich, arrogant, and worshipped by pretty much everyone (other than Soma and Alice). She is very new to lower class medium like public pools or "casual dating".
Out of Focus: Even lampshaded in an Omake, where Alice informs Erina she is not going to have many scenes, since the Elite 10 members don't get to participate at the Autumn Election.
Picky Eater: Accordingly, her first words when she was an infant were to criticize her mother's breast milk. Naturally, this has led to her reputation of having the "God's Tongue".
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: Erina tries to give one to Soma after he makes his Badass Boast at the opening ceremonies. Turns into Insult Backfire upon her boasting how most applicants received gifted education in ultra-fine gastronomy in middle school, Soma declares he's been living in a kitchen for twelve years.
Running Gag: Every time she attempts to give him this, it either sails over his head or he shrugs it off.
Soma: "Wait for it. I'll make you clearly say, 'It's good' with that mouth of yours! I'll exhaust my cooking to its limits!"
Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training: Despite being a great chef, Erina has little sense in social skills. Having never taken an off day to enjoy her surroundings (Alice had to coax her to go to a public pool, a place she's never set foot in; case in point, she complains it doesn't have hair dryers), she also finds the concept of romance beneath her, which Alice calls her out on considering she's now in high school.
In the pilot, while everyone in school has put Erina on a pedestal, Soma is the only one unimpressed by her skills, as he deems her as "boring".
For the actual series, Erina expects to intimidate Soma and treats him as a "commoner", she instead ends up irritated at his relaxed view of Tootsuki or cooking in general. While Soma still admires her skills from the Breakfast Buffet Trial, instead of feel threatened, this excites him and motivates him to try and surpass her.
Etsuya Eizan - Ninth Seat
The ninth seat of the Elite Ten and second year student, Etsuya Eizan forms a grudge on Soma after his plan to take over the Sumire District through Mozuya, a store based on karaage (food deep-fried in oil, similar to tempura), fails when Soma intervenes.
Red Baron: "Alquimista"note "Alchemist" in Spanish or Portugese. There is a book called "El Alquimista" (a Portugese novel by Paulo Coelho), which follows a young Andalusian shepherd named Santiago in his journey to Egypt, after having a recurring dream of finding treasure there.
The Strategist: The best food consultant in the market; in fact, Mozuya initially succeeds because of him. The minute they decided not to notify him about Soma, business for Mozuya starts to derail.
Teen Genius: Already a food consultant in middle school.
We Can Rule Together: He offers Soma a spot on his marketing team, which the latter rejects after realizing he's the one who almost contributed to the economic crisis in his neighbourhood.
Yakuza/Japanese Delinquents: Discussed In-Universe; it's rumored in Tootsuki Eizan is either or because of his influence as a food consultant. He also has the look of a Japanese yankee.
Satoshi Isshiki - Seventh Seat
See Polar Star Dormitory folder.
Don RS Club
A first-year high school student at Tootsuki, Ikumi was tasked by Erina to get rid of the Donburi Research Society (Don RS) Club to make room for another cooking lab, but is challenged and defeated by Soma to a Shokugeki, with the match conditions resulting her in joining the Don RS club. Ikumi's specialty is meat, but she slowly shifts her cooking into donburi (beef bowl) dishes and how meat compliments other ingredients.
Awesome, but Impractical: Originally, Ikumi used expensive grade-A5 wagyu beefnote A grade of "A5" in Japan is the near-equivalent of "prime"-grade beef in North America. Her first idea to use A5 meat for a local karaage business is discarded automatically because it costs too much for a middle-class shopping district. After some advice from Soma, she starts to learn how to use the whole dish as a unit, no matter what kind of meat she is using.
Beleaguered Assistant: Althought she technically isn't this in Don RS, Ikumi is far more skilled than Kanachi, who is the president (and the only other member left) of the club.
Big Breast Pride: Nikumi is certainly confident of her assets, and is constantly wearing tops that reveals her cleavage.
Character Development: An arrogant student cook employed by Erina, after a humbling Shokugeki and being forced to join the same club she was tasked to destroy, Ikumi starts to realize her own desire for approval by simply being herself, turning her talents into donburi.
To Mayumi Kurase in the Karaage arc. While both have a crush on Soma who neither can't confess to him, Ikumi is more imposing, voluptuous and aggressive, while Mayumi is shy, petite, humble and quiet.
Later on to Yuuki Yoshino. Both are meat specialists (Ikumi works with A5 meat, while Yuuki raises special breeds and applies "Wild Game") and both of them are very supportive of their new circle of friends. While Ikumi has trouble expressing friendship towards others (even thought she does like them all), Yuuki is more outgoing and cheerful (to the point that even Ikumi herself can't refuse to participate).
Freudian Excuse: On her ninth birthday, her mother gave her a teddy bear as a gift. Unfortunately, her father destroyed it, telling his wife to never give their daughter another gift such as that, and advising Ikumi to let go of any weaknesses to be the strong successor for the family business. This explains The Lad-ette appearance and attitude.
Humble Pie: She was Erina's henchwoman who liked to bully the clubs she was going to close. Not only did she lost the shokugeki against Soma, but he defeated her A5 wagyu dish with a cheap steak from the market, which made the judges finish their bowls while hers was barely touched. After the defeat, Erina ditched her and she had to join the Don RS.
Knife Nut: Has a knife strappled to her right leg and her favorite is a butcher knife.
Non-Uniform Uniform: Wears her shirt unbuttoned, revealing different bikini tops, and her tie is on her right leg. It's surprising to others when she shows up wearing her uniform properly.
Ojou: Judging from appearance and personality, one wouldn't see this, but the Mito family founded it business by distributing and selling meat across Japan. A flashback reveals Ikumi lives (or used to live) in a Big Fancy House and wore an elegant dress when she was a child.
Oral Fixation: Has to the tendency to lick her lips. It's justified since her lips are the most sensitive part of her body in terms of rating meat temperature and taste.
Save Our Club: One of Soma's first Shougeki involves saving the Don RS Club from becoming another of Erina's cooking labs. Soma not only succeeds, but also increased the club's budget and gets Ikumi to join it, after most of the members left Kanachi by himself.
Sibling Team: They have been cooking together since they were children, and frequently works together when they need to complete their task in pairs. Takumi even declared that Aldini is complete when he and Isami are together.
A first-year student, Takumi Aldini is the eldest son of a Japanese chef from a trattoria in the Tuscan region of Italy. He goes to Tootsuki with his younger twin brother Isami during middle school to demonstrate their skills and honor their family restaurant Trattoria Aldini. When Soma declares his intentions at the opening ceremonies, Takumi finds a Worthy Opponent in Soma, and actively seeks to best his newfound rival and one day surpass him in front of an audience.
Tropes associated with Takumi Aldini:
The Ace: In terms of cooking, the cliente of Trattoria Aldini would ask for Takumi's specials instead of Isami's. His brother admits whenever Takumi puts on the chef's coat, he turns into a completely different person.
Aloof Big Brother: Subverted; Takumi is aware he's the more talented of the twins, but he's still proud of Isami's culinary skills.
Badass: The judges and professors praise his technique, use of a mezzaluna and creativity of ingredients (such as making a three-layered pasta and Italian-Japanese fusion dishes), to the point his skills are akin to a Samurai.
Badass Boast: During his introduction to Soma as a defender of his family trattoria.
Takumi: "Sorry for the tardiness. My name is Takumi Aldini. This is my twin brother Isami Aldini. We worked in a kitchen of a trattoria in our hometown. It's a word in Italian that refers to the so-called 'restaurant of the masses'. I am just like you, Yukihira. I, too, am a chef that's protected his shop from the kitchen. You said that you 'don't plan to lose to some bunch that has never stood in front of clients'? Say that after you have defeated me. Between Aldini and Yukihira, I'll show you which is better."
Berserk Button: Don't dare to insult Isami by calling him "A second rate cook".
Big Brother Instinct: Takumi, who could have rejected the Shokugeki, accepted Subaru Mimasaka's conditions to defend the honor and name of his brother Isami.
Butt Monkey: Everytime he wants to boast, the moment turns awkward.
Chick Magnet: He is said to have a fanclub in Tootsuki, and also older females are seen gushing over him as he enters the arena.
Honor Before Reason: Takumi stated he would hate the idea of Soma getting expelled before they compete officially.
Hyper Awareness: Takumi reveals he was already aware that Subaru Mimasaka had been following him around for the past few days.
A Glass in the Hand: Soma gives Takumi a bag of kaki seeds to hold onto while he goes to search for ingredients during training camp. In frustration, Takumi crushes the bag with his grip, but it was what Soma wanted to do, anyway.
Gratuitous Italian: From the two, Takumi is the one who uses more italian words. Most commonly "grazie" ("thank you").
Glove Slap: Right before their match and in front of the whole school, Takumi throws a glove to Subaru Mimasaka to make the duel official, asking in exchange for his win a public apology to Isami.
Jerkass Façade: In his introduction, Takumi trods on Soma's foot to show his confidence and acts like a jerk. Immediately into the first assignment at training camp, he dislikes the idea his rival could be disqualified. Instead of throwing away the kaki seeds, he holds onto them; when he accidentally crushes the bag, he desperately apologizes for it (though Soma was intending to do it). An extra chapter also reveals Takumi planned to stomp on his foot long before, which most Jerkasses would do arbitrarily.
Not So Different: Soma criticizes most of his peers for their high education without proper experience. However, Takumi comes from a similar background (working at a trattoria for years) despite his seemingly arrogant demeanor. Both of them wear the pride of their respective family restaurants' names on their uniforms. Also Takumi is as resourceful as Soma, since his imagination and range of vision during a challenge is very wide, as seen during the training camp.
The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Unlike Erina who wants Soma to go away, Takumi isn't satisfied to have Soma expelled until he can defeat him in a Shokugeki. He gets jealous if Soma has another rival, since he considers himself the only one.
The Rival: Self-proclaimed towards Soma. He also proclaims himself to be Soma's "only rival".
Left: Isami in his first appearance. Right: Isami during Summer.
Takumi's younger twin brother, Isami always stands alongside his brother to make Italian cuisine, with the same skill set learned from Trattoria Aldini.
Tropes associated with Isami Aldini:
Acrofatic: When chubby, despite his large size, Isami is very quick at cleaning and cutting the ingredients, let alone synchronizing his movements perfectly with Takumi.
Always Someone Better: Isami sees his brother Takumi as the one to beat since they learned to cook. He learned to accept the fact, but he still hopes to surpass him someday.
Annoying Younger Sibling: When they're not in the kitchen, Isami enjoys teasing Takumi by reminding him to not cry or how he is more mature than him. He also openly laughs at Takumi whenever his boasts fail.
Isami: (pointing to Takumi, who is babbling alone) "You can just ignore him when he starts talking nonsense like that."
Yuuki: (thinking) That's family for you... He doesn't go easy on him.
Erina's Danish cousin, Alice is a first-year high school student at Tootsuki, with her specialty being able to create very elaborate dishes, both beautiful and complex, using molecular gastronomy techniques.
Tropes associated with Alice Nakiri:
The Ace: A talented cook like her cousin and scores the highest in the Autumn Election preliminaries, even above curry specialist Akira Hayama.
Achilles' Heel: As amazing as her dishes are, they lack "heart" to them as she focuses more on taste and flashiness. This ultimately leads to her downfall in the autumn elections since her bento was delicious, but failed to capture the fun and novelty of the bento culture.
Always Second Best: Considered the nearest to the level of an Elite Ten member, but Erina is still superior.
Break the Haughty: She had a very superior attitude from the beginning towards anyone, until Soma defeated her in the first round of the Autumn Election Finals, to the point she started to cry on the floor, getting lectures from both Erina and Ryou.
To Soma and Erina; while similarly arrogant and haughty like her cousin, Alice enjoys the luxuries of free time, has fun and flirts when possible. However, her arrogance stems from the belief in cutting-edge theories regarding cooking, providing a nice contrast to the more experimenting Soma.
To Megumi: Alice makes a big show of talking about love and such, but clearly doesn't put any stock in it, while Megumi's strength is the thought she puts into not only her cooking, but the people eating it; it's subtle, but it's there. This also contrasts in their cooking styles: Alice uses high-tech equipment and overly-complex dishes, while Megumi's, by admission of her neighbors and roommates, has a more lovely-homely and soothing feel. In the Autumn Election, Alice's superior attitude slips a bit for the first time when the judges state Megumi's cooking has a gentler, kinder feeling to it.
Freudian Excuse: Her arrogance and drive to win stems from her long-seated desire to surpass Erina, as she always stood above her since they were children.
Friendly Rivalry: There is little tension or hostility between her and Soma during their Autumn Election match. They were even chatting together amicably when they finished cooking. On the other hand, Ikumi knows Alice is really looking down on him, as she is confident on her superior skills. By the end after Soma defeats her, she declares to come back and beat him, after she cried and snapped at him.
Full-Name Basis: On the receiving end. With the exception of her family (i.e. Erina and Sanzaemon) and her Sidekick Kurokiba, almost everyone refer to her as "Nakiri Alice".
The Glorious War Of Cousin Rivalry: Erina was mean to her when they were growing up and she still looks down on Alice, preferring to stand as the superior chef. In exchange, Alice teases Erina where she knows her cousin is less experienced - social Life and behaving like a normal teenager.
Unsportsmanlike Gloating: Even if she gets one of the highest scores, she will lecture her opponent about how their efforts weren't enough. Downplayed when Soma isn't the type of person to get frustrated from gloating.
Practical Taunt: Approached Ikumi and Hisako in the middle of the contest to tease them.
Hypocrite: After she loses to Soma and he makes a comment about getting closer to his goal she takes it as a taunt to her and completely chides him for it. She whose done nothing but since they've first met. She won't even take others' comments with grace, seen with Erina and Ryou.
Insufferable Genius: Alice will make sure everyone knows she is the best student (after Erina, of course).
Know-Nothing Know-It-All: Alice declares she made all her research about love and teases Erina for not knowing about it when her knowledge comes from watching romantic-comedies, yet she falls asleep in the middle of them.
Ms. Fanservice: In a bonus chapter, where she visits a local swimming pool with Erina and quite proudly showed off her figure by wearing a skimpy bikini.
Ojou: Ryou treats her as "Milady Alice", she is customed to get everything she wants (from expensive machines to the room of a Research Society Club) and sees going to a public pool like "an adventure". She is also perplexed from seeing "educational cheap candy" for the first time.
Sore Loser: Subverted. After Soma defeats her, she is clearly upset and proceeds to cry and throw a tantrum, but she still thanks him for the match.
Spoiled Brat: As Ryou admits, Alice is very stubborn and will get what she wants no matter what, often pouting and whining whenever she gets upset (like Ryou "ruining her taunting atmosphere" or why he didn't slice her apples like bunnies). She even started crying on the floor and threw a big tantrum lika a child after she was defeated by Soma.
The Tease: Most of her interactions with other characters involve gloating or seductive tones to get a reaction.
We Can Rule Together: In a flashback, Alice delivers a "Join me, and I will complete your training" to Ryou when meeting him in Northern Europe.
Alice's laid-back assistant, the scraggily-looking Ryou follows her everywhere and does what she asks. On occasion, Ryou becomes an entirely different person when he wears his bandana. His speciality is seafood cooking.
Tropes associated with Ryou Kurokiba:
The Ace: Alice recruited him because of his skills, which was demonstrated when he scored the same amount of points as Soma. It's also implied that he is more skilled than Alice.
He was chef in a restaurant when he was just a kid.
Animal Motifs: Alice compares Ryou to a "mad dog" and presents him to Erina saying "I picked him up in Northern Europe".
Erina: "Don't say it like you picked up a dog!"
Beleaguered Assistant: Ryou is shown to be more reasonable and mature than Alice, but he still goes along with every whim from her. It's also implied by their conversation that he is actually better than Alice, as Ryou lectures her and dares her to defeat him.
Bratty Half-Pint: When he was kid, he was really bratty and disrespected even adults.
The Comically Serious: Most of his humor comes from pointing out whenever Alice is being spoiled, with her getting upset at this. He just handwaves her reactions.
Child Prodigy: He was the chef of a restaurant even when he was just a kid, and he commanded the adult sous chefs what they have to do. In his own words, the owner gave the whole responsibility to him.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: The reason why Alice recruited him; this is shown during the Autumn Election, where he's the first student to score high points in the preliminaries from the toughest judge in Block A. Ryou winds up getting the same score as Soma, second only to Akira.
After Alice lost against Soma, Ryou starts lecturing Alice, implying that he maybe is a stronger rival than her.
He wasn't that weird when he was a kid, but still became more badass whenever he put on his bandana.
Early-Bird Cameo: He appeared at the opening ceremonies and training camp, but isn't formally introduced until the Autumn Election.
Evil Counterpart: To Megumi. Both of them used to live in port cities, are skilled in cooking seafood and have (some) experience in business cooking when they were children. Also, both of them have Let's Get Dangerous modes with drastic personality change: Ryou's bandana mode and Megumi's "table tennis mode".
To Megumi. Ryou sees kitchens as battlefields and he believes that cooks have to be enemies to each other, even when they are working together in the same kitchen, and that food equals power. Megumi on the other hand believes that cooperation between cooks is important and she gains the support of her friends and family who pushed her forward to become a great chef.
I Work Alone: He firmly believes every chef is on their own, as it's a constant competition of "eat or be eaten".
Sidekick: To Alice; also fills the role of a personal butler. He slices fruit for her (she complains to him for not shaping them like bunnies), carries her bags and keeps an eye on her stuff while she goes to the pool.
Split Personality: By default, Ryou's mellow and The Stoic, until he puts that bandana on and turns "feral". Note he still cooks without wearing the bandana, while the split isn't exclusively for the kitchen. In the Beach Episode, Ryou puts on a bathing cap and the trope is played straight again.
An assistant of Professor Jun Shiomi, Akira comes from overseas, and met her when he was a kid, warning her about adultered spices in the market. Akira specializes in curry dishes, with a wide knowledge in various spices and aroma.
Tropes associated with Akira Hayama:
The Ace: To curry and spices; since the Autumn Election's preliminaries is themed after curry, Akira uses this to his utmost advantage.
By the Autumn Election, the judges noticed that his advanced sense of smell and instincts can make him a worthy rival to Erina's "God's Tongue".
Ambiguously Brown: Has a Japanese name (possibly given when he enrolled to Tootsuki, as is the custom with foreign students), with flashbacks detailing how he used to live in another country (it's unclear if the market he was nearby was India or Thailand), since he identified Jun as a Japanese tourist.
Badass Boast: He declares to Hisako that he is going to dethrone Erina from her Elite Ten spot.
After beating Hisako, Akira once again reaffirms his intention to be The Ace of Tootsuki, and her downfall was because she only conforms to be Erina's Number Two.
Badass Minds Think Alike: Soma and Hayama make curry dishes for the Autumn Election preliminary using an aroma surprise factor. Also he, like Soma, aims for the Top of the Elite Ten by using every last resource they have.
Beleaguered Assistant: Even though Professor Jun is a genius, she's still The Ditz and Akira is the mature one of the duo who takes care of her duties like attending guests, shopping, watering the plants or putting her Techno Babble into practical use. He even carries her to the couch when she sleeps on the floor in the middle of research.
Dark-Skinned Blonde: His hair is white rather than blond, but it clearly defines his non-Japanese (presumably Indian) heritage.
Friendly Rivalry: Knowing Soma is selected into the Autumn Election, Hayama helps him in explaining the basics of curry and spices. Like Soma, he also prefers a challenge and both of them are engaged to see who would perform the best in the first round. They even make an extra plate just for the other to compare. It winds up coming to a draw as the judges can't agree which is better. To the point they nearly starting fighting over it.
Foil: To Jun - both are experts in spices, but she uses theoretical knowledge, while he depends on his sense of smell. Unlike the naive, ditzy, easily angered and dependent Jun, Akira is mature, reliable, Street Smart, cool and down-to-earth.
The Nose Knows: His nose is very sharp when it comes to spices. He can identify ingredients and grade of cooking by the first smell.
Street Smart: He knows from early age how the spice market works and how the store owners scam tourists with low-grade spices.
Technician Versus Performer: Subverted. Althought Jun Shiomi is the real Technician, Akira uses a combination of both, since he not only learns and puts in practice Jun's theories, but also relies on his superior sense of smell and spices instinct.
It's played straight in the curry elimination match, though. While Hayama uses a more orthodox way of using his spices, Soma goes the opposite using a more creative combination of ingredients with his spices, such as using Mango Chutney which is considered to be unusual for Indians when it comes to curry.
Undying Loyalty: When Natsume Sendawara, one of the judges who is also known as "The Curry Queen", offers Akira a very high salary in exchange for working exclusively for her company, he rejects it, declaring "I only fight for Jun".
The heir of a Chinese cuisine restaurant in Yokohama, Miyoko's specialty are Chinese techniques and wok maneuvers.
Defrosting Ice Queen: After seeing Megumi's performance in the preliminaries and the support she gets from guys, she starts to question if her Straw Feminist mindset will really take her anywhere.
Does Not Like Men: The restaurant her father owns is full of Straw Misogynists who looked down on her cooking skills because of her gender and had tried to drive her out of the kitchen, causing her to have a low opinion of men in general.
Foil: For Megumi - Miyoko's a man-hater, stern and strong, but an Ineffectual Loner, while Megumi's shy, humble, trusts and gets help from men around her (unlike Miyoko, who is looked down by the male cooks at her family restaurant; Soma, her roomates and the fishermen from Megumi's hometown fully trust and support her).
Qipao: Wears one during the preliminary rounds of the Autumn Election, causing at least one judge to get Nosebleed and most of the guys to go excited.
Straw Feminist: Miyoko starts defending Megumi against anyone questioning how she got into the Autumn Election, but withdraws her statement when she hears about Soma helping Megumi, believing the latter is weak for depending on a guy to help (least by her assumption, she doesn't know the whole story; not helped that Megumi doesn't give a clear answer when Miyoko asks her). A flashback reveals most of the chefs she worked with at her family restaurant were Jerkasses, giving her this mindset.
Weapon of Choice: Her signature dishes are made with a special metal wok, and heavier than regular ones.
A first-year Stalker with a Crush on Erina, Nao is forced to watch her idol from a distance after losing a Shokugeki to Hisako, with the condition she restrains her distance from Erina to 50 meters. Her speciality is boiled dishes, and despite the food being horrifically pungent, they taste unusually phenomenal.
Tropes associated with Nao Sadatsuka:
Ambiguously Gay: Has a crush on Erina and later Hisako, constantly speaking about how much she wants Erina to taste her dish and scold her.
Abhorrent Admirer: To Erina; after being defeated again by scores in the first round of the Autumn Election, Nao starts pulling this on Hisako.
Cordon Bleugh Chef: Averted; her dishes smell horrible, but the quality of flavor is superior than the average Tootsuki student.
Defeat Means Friendship: Averted; being beaten in a Shokugeki by Hisako made Nao hate her even more. Subverted when she's outscored by Hisako in the Autumn Election, whereupon Nao develops a crush on Hisako, to her utter disgust.
Giggling Villain: When alone, Nao tends to do a "Hihihi" laugh out of nowhere, creeping anyone around her.
Hollywood Restraining Order: Back in middle school, Hisako challenged Nao to a Shokugeki so she wouldn't get near Erina from a distance less than 50 meters. away. Too bad it didn't include stalking with binoculars and sending more than 30 letters per day.
Stalker Without A Crush: Wants to take Hisako's spot as Erina's secretary that she challenges her to a Shokugeki; it doesn't work. Since then, Nao attempts to find a way to defeat Hisako. Irony abounds when she turns into a Stalker with a Crush on Hisako after being beat again at the Autumn Election.
Strange Girl: To the point everyone says her cooking looks like "Black Magic". Also, Tootsuki security guards prefer to ignore her while she's stalking Erina from a tree.
Erina's secretary and close friend, Hisako specializes in medicinal-based dishes.
Tropes associated with Hisako Arato:
The Ace: Consider Erina's culinary skills and how she thinks of any student beneath her. Whatever Hisako did to become Erina's assistant, she must have been that competent in cooking. Further supported during training camp, where she finishes the "50 Dishes Challenge" roughly at the same time as Soma (though Erina was the first) and before Takumi. Her score in the preliminaries of the Autumn Election confirms her as this, having the second highest score after Alice in Block B.
Always Someone Better: She wants to be Erina's Number Two on the Elite Ten and will crush anyne who dares to try and surpass Erina. Later Hayama reveals to her that this is her main weakness, as she is not really aiming for the real top to beat him, always living under Erina's shadow.
Ambiguously Gay: To the point it almost looks like a Single-Target SexualityLes Yay relationship, by the way Hisako reacts to Erina's cooking, she is also very jealous and overprotective of Erina. She looses her temper everytime Soma dares to talk casually to her, wanted Nao far away from her, got paranoid when Erina took the day off to a public place and she only lives to follow Erina around.
Badass: If having Erina's seal of approval isn't enough, Chapter 73 has her doing a special dish with a live turtle and beheading it infront of the shocked audience without even batting an eyelash.
Blood-Splattered Chef: Blood is splattering on her face and cooking attire when she cold-heartly beheads a living turtle. It's not that much blood, but it still fits the trope a makes her looking badass.
Characterization Marches On: She was originally just Erina's (uninportant) secretary who looked never intimitating, but sweet and harmless. The Autumn Election arc reveals how cold and ruthless she can be.
Evil Counterpart: Loosely to Megumi - both are overshadowed by a friend in skill (Soma and Erina, respectively) and mild-mannered. Their cooking styles are also similar, with one focused on soothing mental and physical aspects, while the other uses medicinal properties from herbal ingredients. However, Megumi is a Nice Girl, but Hisako has some of Erina' haughtiness rubbed onto her.
This results in her defeat against Hayama, since she lacked of enough ambition to be the very best, just wanting to live under Erina's shadow.
Undying Loyalty: Very loyal to Erina, since it's also tradition in her family, as the Arato line are personal doctors of the Nakiri's.
A heavy built student who is introduced during the Autumn Election. Despite his look, he's smarter than he appears and has a strong sense for details. Apparently Etsuya Eizan's aide. He has no "specialty", but copies the other chefs he faces.
Tropes associated with Subaru Mimasaka:
Awesomeness by Analysis: One of his key strengths, despite having no specialties he can creates dishes that have surpassed chefs at their own specialties solely through analysing their abilities and creating a dish one step ahead of theirs.
Badass: He's won 99 Shokugeki. Make that 100; Takumi Aldini has gone down, losing his Mezzaluna in the process.
Badass Biker: The second time he appears, he's driving a motorbike. And he really loves it.
Battle Trophy: He always bets on Shokugekis the opponent's precious tool, mostly to hurt the loser way beyond the defeat.
Blood Knight: He loves intense cooking duels and is only interested in winning, that's why he challenges so many students he faces into Shokugeki.
Cool Bike: He has an impressive looking bike. But how he protects his bike is more impressive.
Crazy-Prepared: His motto is "Right down to a gnat's eyebrow", a phrase which means "going into the most minute of details". Not only he puts a high standard of security for his motorbike (breaks, chains, raincoat and GPS tracking in case of robery), he knows a lot of details about other cooks, even if some of the details are random or casual. Seriously, who needs to know Soma's shoe size, how many pair of shoes has or what kind of pattern Takumi's underwears have?
Real Men Wear Pink: He's an intimidatingly huge guy with the Face of a Thug, but he's very skilled in embroidery and other delicate works. Megumi also gets surprised by seeing him in a frilly apron. And his precise handwork with desserts lets him look like a maiden, much to the horror of the audience.
Red Baron: According to Eizan, he's called "King of Stalkers".
Foil: To the other host Yua Sasaki in the Autumn Election, her polar opposite in personality.
Genki Girl: She's a very cheerful and energetic host and keeps the male audience very invested.
The Host: Was the MC for the Shokugeki between Soma and Ikumi, and for the Block B of the Autumn Election. She's also the one who announces the details for the Election. It also seems to be her only role, as she is also a Tootsuki student but we never get to see her cooking level.
School Idol: Very popular among the guys due to her role as MC
Legendary Tootsuki Academy Alumni
Tropes common to the Legendary Alumni
The Ace: All of them are considered the best Tootsuki's chefs from their generations. They're called the "Legendary Alumni" with all the merits since only a handful of students can graduate.
Gin and Koujirou held the first seat of the Elite Ten in their respective generations.
Everyone Went to School Together: They all know each other as Tootsuki former alumni. Gin Doujima and Jouichirou Saiba (who did not graduate) are from the 70th generation, Hitoshi Sekimori's year is unknown, Koujirou Shinomiya and Fuyumi Mizuhara are from the 79th generation, while Hinako Inui and Donato Gotouda are from the 80th generation. Also Doujima and Jouichirou are acquitances with Jun Shiomi, who is from the 74th generation.
Koujirou: "The Légumes Magician" (Vegetarian Magician)
Gin: "Living Legend"
Hinako: "Mist Queen"
Donato Gotouda: "The Lady Killer"
Supreme Chefs: Doujima and Shinomiya are later revealed to have been the First Seat in their respective generations; the others hold a reputation of being Tootsuki's best students in a generation and are asked to be the judges during the training camp.
Throw the Dog a Bone: At the end of training camp, and after suffering hard challenges every single day, the students who pass get a special dinner made by the Legendary Alumni.
Owner of a French cuisine restaurant called Shino's, Koujirou was a student of the 79th generation and held the first seat in the Elite Ten Council.
Tropes associated with Koujirou Shinomiya:
Break the Haughty: In his flashbacks, Koujirou was determined to start a restaurant in France. While moderately successful, his staff began dismissing him for being a foreigner, sabotaging his recettes to the point he almost went out of business. This is what makes him the hardened, stern chef he is now.
The Cynic: Considers himself the only reliable person in the kitchen, believing the staff will bring him down.
I Am Not Left-Handed: Discussed by Gin, who wonders why Koujirou didn't prepare one of his special dishes in the unsanctioned Shokugeki against Soma and Megumi. Lampshaded by the other Legendary Alumni.
Koujirou: "My opponents are just students. Did you think I'd be so merciless?"
Hitoshi Sekimori: "He'd do it."
Donato: "He'd defeat them so easily that they can't ever cook again."
Subverted when Gin deduces correctly it was a way for Koujirou to cover his stagnating culinary skills.
Jerkass: Very proud and stubborn. During his assignment, he had the students cook a dish from his stock recipes, and when they seem troubled over the difficulty of the task, he taunted them on how simple the recipe is by his own standards.
Four Eyes, Zero Soul: Is the only examiner in the training camp who wears glasses, and considered the worst of the lot. He immediately expels a student before camp officially begins because the latter uses a strong-smelling shampoo, and "fires" Megumi for altering his recipe even though her reasons are justified and threatens to do the same to Soma for coming to her defense.
French Cuisine Is Haughty: Already a French Cuisine expert as a student, Koujirou was convinced he was going to be successful in France as the best French-Japanese fusion chef. After a long struggle and Break the Haughty process, not only did he succeed, but he became more arrogant, as he refused any slight alterations to the recipes as he considered them already perfect.
Freudian Excuse: Koujirou did his best to ensure Shino's would thrive, but the other French chefs disliked him for being a foreigner and wouldn't follow his recipe to the letter. He barely managed to keep it afloat after emotionally hardening himself, getting rid of anyone who questioned his skills in the kitchen. Unfortunately, being stuck with this mindset meant he refused to make exceptions or try other methods to his dishes after reaching the top, thus allowing his skills and standards to cease increasing over the years, collecting dust, so to speak.
His primary motive was to be the first Japanese chef in France with the Purusuporu Medal. After winning, he lacked a new motivation and kept cooking without improving.
After his Heel Realization with Megumi's dish, Koujirou decides to be the first Japanese chef in France to achieve three stars (likely the Michelin format) for his restaurant.
Gratuitous French: Occasionally uses French phrases, such as saying "recette" instead of recipe, and sarcastically refers to Gin as Monsieur when accepting the unofficial Shokugeki.
Morton's Fork: Inflicted by him on Megumi, without telling her in advance. Produce a substandard dish because you are shoved away from the ingredients until only inferior ones are left? Fail for having a non-tasty dish; change the recipe slightly to improve the taste to compensate for inferior ingredients? Fail, because changing the recipe isn't allowed, and therefore, forbidden (as opposed to most challenges being "anything not forbidden is allowed").
General Head Chef of the Tootsuki Resort and a member of the board of directors, Gin supervises the training camp for the first-year students. A former roommate in the Polar Star Dormitory with Jouichirou and Jun, he held the first seat of the Elite Ten. Like Jouichirou, he was a student of the 70th generation.
Tropes associated with Gin Doujima:
The Ace: Seems to be the head among the alumni. He was the first seat of the Elite Ten Council during his time in Tootsuki, beating out Jouichirou who was only second seat. Jouichirou is currently considered a god in the cooking world.
Heart Is an Awesome Power: Fully supports this way of thinking. He called Megumi's hospitality a powerful weapon, and encouraged her to polish it. Two months later, Megumi is in the top eight of the first year cooks. It's been hinted that Jouichirou himself now cooks with kindness, and did not when he was in school, which is likely where Doujima got this belief from.
Hyper Awareness: Gin is the first to notice Koujirou is preparing one of his basic dishes instead of going full-force against Soma and Megumi in the unofficial Shokugeki. Turns out Gin noticed this was a way for Koujirou to cover his stagnating skills.
Rated M for Manly: Has a really muscular body with a similar masculine aura like Jouichirou.
Reasonable Authority Figure: Although a tough judge as the other alumni, Gin recognizes determination and talent, particularly after Soma and Megumi lost the Shokugeki against Koujirou.
Vitriolic Best Buds: With Koujirou; this comes to a head when Gin specifically orchestrated the Shokugeki between him and Megumi - to give the latter a second chance and to get the former out of his creative rut.
Proprietor of the Japanese cuisine restaurant "Kirinoya" and an alumnus of the 80th generation.
Tropes associated with Hinako Inui:
Ambiguously Bi: Hinako approaches Megumi with predatory eyes and constantly touches her hands.
Cuteness Proximity: She gets easily distracted when Megumi is near, having to be reminded by the other Legendary Alumni to get back to supervising.
Cry Cute: Shown crying during Koujirou's farewell/graduation, as he's leaving to France without telling her.
Fangirl: Of Megumi's following the Shokugeki against Koujirou. When training camp is over, she, Hitoshi and Donato offer Megumi to do internships in their respective restaurants.
Sempai Kohai: The kohai of Gin, Koujirou and Fuyumi during high school
Yamato Nadeshiko: Subverted. She may look gentle, but she's actually quite a tease - she purposely dwindled when asked to judge between Soma's and Takumi's dishes before hastily announcing a draw when her group was ordered to return to the HQ, and she seem to enjoy making fun of Shinomiya.
Owner of the French auberge Tesoro and an alumnus of the 80th generation
Tropes associated with Donato Gotouda:
The Charmer: Immediately flirts with Megumi the moment he is introduced
Reasonable Authority Figure: Even though he's incredibly strict, he does recognize talent. For example, he's the first to notice Ikumi's growth as a meat chef during the Autumn Election.
Stern Teacher: Has very high standards and very few students can get a smile out of him.
When He Smiles: In a rare occasion, Soma and Megumi's beef bourguignon made him smile in front of the class.
Former alumnus of Tootsuki's 74th generation who became a professor at the school, teaching second-year high school classes, Jun is a former roommate at the Polar Star Dormitory with Jouichirou and Gin.
Disproportionate Retribution: No sooner that Soma mentions he's Jouichirou's son, she punches him without warning. If that isn't enough, Jun flat out refuses to help him in his spice studies simply because he is Jouichirou's son.
Foil: To Akira - both know their spices, but Jun puts it into theory, while Akira takes a hands-on, practical approach. Unlike the mature, reliable, street smart, cool and down-to-earth Akira, Jun is naive, ditzy, easily angered and dependent.
Noodle Incident: Jouichirou used her for his cooking experiments when they were students; whatever he did was something traumatic enough that it makes her hate him and anything to do with him in the present.
Older than They Look: Despite being roughly the same age as Gin and Jouichirou, she still looks like a middle schooler.
When Akira was a child, he thought she was a wandering minor alone in a dangerous market. Naturally, he's surprised when Jun tells him she's 26 years-old.
The Unapologetic: She doesn't apologize to Soma for decking him when he mentions his father; hell, she refuses to aid him because he's his father's son. Subverted when Akira tells her to apologize, reminding her of her duties and manners as a teacher, but also because she accidentally hits Soma later in the stomach with the door knob.
Other Tootsuki Personnel
Housekeeper of the Polar Star Dormitory.
Tropes associated with Fumio Daimidou:
Cool Old Lady: Supports the residents and lets them have parties at night
Glory Days: Fumio constantly talks of a generation of Polar Star residents who were all part of the Elite Ten.
Red Baron: "Polar Star Maria" and "Polar Star Grandma"
Team Mom: Has a good relationship with the residents and roots for them to pass their challenges. She even keeps in touch with previous students like Gin and Jouichirou.
The Town in General
Comfort Food: The store owners when Soma re-opens Yukihira during his time off. They're sad because of the decrease in business; Soma lampshades and asks them why they're buying dinner when they should be having money troubles. Store owder Yuuya Tomita asks for seconds.
Save Our Team: When economy in the neighborhood starts decreasing, Soma lends a hand to revitalize it
Jouichirou Yukihira/Jouichirou Saiba
Soma's father, head chef and proprietor of Yukihira, Jouichirou travels overseas to cook and leaves his son to study and refine his culinary skills at Tootsuki. A former student from the 70th generation at the elite high school, Jouichirou was the second Seat in the Elite Ten, yet he states he never graduated from the program. Despite not being an alumnus, his reputation aboard and among certain circles has established him as a world-class legendary chef.
Tropes associated with Jouichirou Yukihira:
Almighty Janitor: He's spent much of the the series either wandering or running the small "special of the day" shop. Nevertheless, Jouichirou's an extremely talented world-class chef and former member of Tootsuki's Elite Ten.
This indirectly serves as a benefit to Soma, teaching him to cook for all customers, resulting in his son treating every person equally regardless of status.
Animal Motifs: Fumio often compares him to a stray cat - he "always goes his own way to anywhere".
Irony: Erina judges all chefs by the standards of Jouichirou Saiba, the Asura of the cooking world, and despises Soma for being okay with and learning from his mistakes. Soma is a Generation Xerox of his father in terms of cooking style, right down to learning from his mistakes.
Like Father, Like Son: Jouichirou makes it obviously clear to the Polar Star residents where Soma gets his personality quirks from, including how both of them are Cordon Bleugh Chefs/Lethal Chefs. Later emphasized when Jouichirou tells his son the room he is using in the dormitory is the same one he used when he was at Tootsuki.
The Maiden Name Debate: He took the name of his wife, which explains why most people do not recognize Soma as his son.
The Power of Love: Invoked at the end of the first chapter, telling Soma "...the secret to becoming a good chef is meeting a woman that will make you want to give all the food you make her." Unfortunately, his son hangs up the phone call before hearing his advice.
Red Baron: "Asura of Cookery"note Asura has various roles in Asian religions. With the exception of a few, Asura is generally depicted as a god who thirsts for strife and violence. and "Wandering Chef"
Supreme Chef: Jouichirou holds a distinction where doctors, politicians and a priest want a taste of his dishes. He was also the 2nd Seat of the Elite Ten in his generation. And Erina loves his dishes.
Took a Level in Kindness: According to Fumio, Jouichirou has taken this approach in the present with his dishes compared to his days in the past.
Trickster Mentor: For Soma, who gives him a meager allowance once in a while (despite traveling and working around the world).
Walking the Earth: He's constantly travelling around the world, hence his nickname the "Wandering Chef".
Soma's childhood friend and regular client of the Yukihira, Mayumi appears in the pilot chapter, but lacks presence in the story.
Tropes associated with Mayumi Kurase:
Advertised Extra: Judging by her appearance on the Shonen Jump front cover with Soma and Erina, one would think she was meant to be a heroine.. However, Mayumi does not reappear until Soma returns to the Yukihira, and disappears from the story again when Soma returns to Tootsuki. Suspiciously Similar Substitute is in play when Megumi is essentially a replacement of her.
Butt Monkey: Frequently a victim of Soma's experiments before he left for Tootsuki.
Can Not Spit It Out: Her classmate Aki tries to encourage her to confess to Soma before he departs for Tootsuki. Even when Soma returns briefly, she still keeps quiet about her crush on him.
Can't Catch Up: The way she feels when Soma starts attending a super-chef academy, especially reinforced when Ikumi is brought on-board to help him with the district store owners, who is physically stunning and skilled in culinary. Mayumi, however, wants to help Soma in any way possible.
The Reliable One: Soma tells her he always noticed how Mayumi takes care of everything back in elementary school, which is why he trusts her with helping the Sumire shop and their karaage business before he returns to Tootsuki.
Those Two Girls: With her classmate Aki, another regular costumer of Yukihira.
Autumn Election Judges (Preliminary Round)
A selection of ten special guests divided into two blocks, they are the judges for the Autumn Election preliminaries. The most featured of the judging panel are the twin sisters Natsume and Orie Sendawara, former poster-children and current head-owners of the Haubii Foodstuff. They are accompanied by Osaji Kita, sponsor of the "Kita Gastronomy Club", Shingo Andou, essayist of fine cuisine and influential food critic, Makito Miyatozaka, executive protucer of the food-based television Show "Is That A Kitchen?", gourmet Shigenoshin Kouda and four other judges .
Tropes associated with the preliminary Autumn Election Judges:
Broken Base: In-universe, during the preliminaries, the judges are heavily divided over which curry dish is better: Soma's or Akira Hayama's. While the latter "wins" by one point more than the former, the former has three judges awarding him higher individual scores.
Caustic Critic: Although the Election participants are afraid of the Sendawara sisters as judges, the other judges are equally, if not, more stern than the twins.
Sadomasochist: Invoked by three of the judges' reaction after tasting Soma's dish, comparing it to being beaten up.
Defrosting Ice Queen: Little by little, the judges start literally melting away because of how delicious the dishes are becoming from the top competitors.
When the audience begins dishing out Megumi as a "dunce, uninteresting participant", Orie notices Megumi carving a hanging monkfish and tries to get to the arena at any cost for a closer look, a sign she is getting impressed with the competition.
After a while of not giving high points, Natsume starts getting consecutive foodgasms from the skilled participants.
When commenting about Yuuki's "Wild Game" curry, Osaji invites Yuuki to visit his Gourmet Club anyday, while Shingo lightly blushes, attributing the tasty dish to Yuuki's perky personality.
I'm Taking Him Home With Me: Orie offers Satoshi to ditch Tootsuki to work for her, with a salary bonus as an added incentive; he declines. Likewise, Natsume offers Akira a spot in her company, but his refusal makes her want him even more.
Ms. Fanservice: The Sendawara twins, basically their purpose in the preliminaries
Nosebleed: One of the judges has this when watching Miyoko cook
The panel; while the twins are seen as the only dificult ones, competitors discover the other judges are more critical than the sisters.
Osaji, after complimenting one competitor for his work, awards a very low score, reminding the student he cannot serve something meager when each judge expects a world-class gourmet. To that end, Natsume refuses to give a single point or take more than a bite unless it's visually spectacular.
Even when the most talented first-years serve their dishes, the judges can still identity flaws and award a less-than-perfect score, as even a single point is the difference between making it to the next round of the Autumn Election or not.
Ojou: The twins - Orie has to fight against her refusal to eat Nao's pungent dish, while Natsume is similarly reluctant to try Ryou's lobster brain because it's visually unappealing. Both dishes turn out to be delicious.
Picky Eater: Aside from Natsume (who didn't give a single point until Ryou's dish) and Orie, Osaji compliments the first competitor for his techniques, before awarding a meager total of 33 points, arguing while the dish is good, it comes from a mere student.
Spoiled Brat/Rich Bitch: The twins; justified since they're the sponsors for the Autumn Election. This comes to a head when Orie starts asking for the profiles of all the best students in the competition akin to picking pets from the store.