|Effort Rice Cake|
|Arc||Ramen Girl Arc|
A Ramen Called Youth
Effort Rice Cake (努力もち, Doryoku mochi) is the 71st chapter of The World God Only Knows.
The chapter begins with Keima, who is about to taste Sumire Uemoto's personal ramen, while introducing himself. Sumire mumbles to herself saying that after countless hours of research and development, she has finally perfected a ramen that will "blow away her father's plain old ramen". Keima even though able to identify the problems causing Sumire's worries, begin to feels very uneasy cause his progress with Sumire has gone too well. Keima predicts that Sumire's ramen is bad, but with that opportunity he will help Sumire create the ramen together, thus, gaining more love points. As Keima's thinking more, Sumire's ramen was done.
As Sumire begins to state that this is the first time someone tried her food, Keima began to look at the peculiar ingredient that looks like melon to which Sumire confirmed it, he then continue to look at another ingredient that looks like an orange and Sumire again confirmed his words. After realizing what kind of ramen he is about to eat, Keima is shocked while Sumire was urging him eat her ramen. Left with no other choice Keima begin to taste it while his insides were begging that the ramen just have a normal disgusting taste. But after tasting one piece of the ramen, Keima realizes that it's too disgusting and too avant-garde than he expected. He also mention the ramen is fatty, sour and most of all, sweet enough to melt his brain (Keima doesn't like sweet things).
Sumire then begin to explain to Keima that the other ramen had all kind of familiar favor: from cold, thick, meaty, fishy to spicy kinds, thus the other ramen stores don't have anything special about their ramen. And she realizes that in order to defeat the other store, she needs to come up with her unexpected signature ramen - her sweet ramen. Keima terrified about her ramen and angrily try to stop her by stated that's her "special ramen" isn't ramen anymore, and he especially hates sweet foods. Suddenly Sumire's father entered and realizes what's going on. He then poured away the ramen broth before Sumire's shocking eyes. He then forbid her to use the kitchen however she wants because she can't cook ramen. Sumire becomes angry and said that she will not lose to him so she desperately asks Keima to be her food sampler and in return, she will acknowledge Keima working here. It's goes exactly what Keima expected but he does not wish to continue to the route cause he doesn't like it. But ultimately, he had to accepted Sumire's request.
At the Katsuragi household, Elsie comments on Keima's willingness in which he replied that he has no choice but to do this. As Elsie somehow gets entangled by her own Hell ingredient (a large snake). Keima begins to think how hapless he is.
The next day, Sumire in her home clothes, went up her apartment along with Keima to test for her sweet ramen. But when Sumire begins to take out all of the sweet ingredients (ex: coke, chocolate, vanilla.....), Keima begins to regret and be terrified. But in the end, Keima "sacrifices" himself by eating plenty of sweet ramen. Soon, Elsie commented how the conquest turned into a punishment game. Keima then explains to Elsie that he had to eat all of the ramen to build up the mood. Elsie then teased Keima and ask him to eat the ramen she made as Keima rolls away from her.
The next day, when Keima was working at the restaurant, Sumire's father comments how good of Keima to be working so hard. Sumire's father then said how its always noisy when Sumire was in the shop and wants Keima to tell Sumire to stop making ramen. Keima asks if those are his feelings, in which Sumire's father complies, thus reveal his true intention that he just want his daughter to have a better life. After hearing this, Keima realizes that there isn't a bad relation between the father and daughter at all and thus, the conquest became difficult. Later, as Sumire insists Keima to try her sweet ramen version 53, Keima realizes that Sumire no longer calls him "tonkotsu" anymore, which make Sumire blushes. Keima also realizes that her ramen have becoming more and more edible despite it's still sweet, he was even more surprised that even with the inferior equipment, she still can made it. Sumire overjoyed when hearing that thanked Keima and vowed that her ramen will be better. But then she realizes how close she is with Keima, she changes the topic and asks Keima if she manages to win against her father with her ramen, but before Keima could answers she regains all of her courage and said in determination that she will beats her father.
After that, Sumire asked Keima (while blushing) what kind of ramen he likes so that she will make Keima a ramen he likes as a thank-you gift. While Keima was analyzing the situation, Sumire's father suddenly returned and enrage when he realizes what his daughter was doing. As Sumire quickly gave her father the bowl of sweet ramen and asking him to eat her ramen. Her father without saying a word, quickly knocked the ramen out of her hands and asks her to stop this. A visibly despair shaken Sumire asked why is her father not acknowledging her. And all she ever wanted to be the her father strength. Keima begins to know what method he is gonna use to connect these daughter-father feelings which faces opposite directions.
And at the last panel, Keima proclaims in his mind that he can finally see the ending.
- The pig face is common in Black Jack (p.3)