Chuuka Ichiban

Title:Chuuka Ichiban
China's Best
Cooking Master Boy
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: TANAKA Mayumi
In the early 19th century, Chinese cooking was the top art of the country and chefs were respected everywhere. One such chef is Mao, a young talented boy on the road to becoming a "Super Chef". Along the way he meets new friends as he journeys China to improve his ultimate cooking techniques. Through the many cooking competitions Mao endures he will prove himself to the world.

52 TV episodes (released in 1997/98)
Produced by Nippon Animation
Available as fansub only (as of 02/06)

View the episodes of this series (Japanese anime with Cantonese & Mandarin Language and English subtitles) at VEOH.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent Jan-Chan [series:713#967]
I've seen all of the 52 (fansub) episodes of this series .. and I can see where Yakitate!! Japan might have drawn a lot of their culinary inspiration from. This is a very fun (and at times silly) series which tries to take itself too seriously …. especially when the young super-chef has to take on the chefs of the dark-arts-culinary-school who are intent on taking over China through their twisted-dark-culinary cuisine. I almost wanted to consider this series a parody .. but I just enjoyed it a bit too much….

In any case, if you can enjoy overblown foody anime shows .. this series is well worth the watch!!

Last updated Monday, December 28 2009. Created Friday, February 17 2006.
Rent RobbieNewbie [series:713#211]
This is a story about a boy who loves to cook. His expertise come from hard work, experiments, and deep thoughts, to innovate cookings.
His ability make the 'dark cooking society', an underground group of chefs who wanted to rule the world through their food, to take notice and to try to beat him. Our hero beliefs that food should be used to give happiness to others, so he fight back!
Sounds fun?
Anyway, I'm kinda like stories where the good vs the bad are represented in step-by-step progress, but not take too long. For that reason, I liked (=BUY) this series very much, because the 'fighting' represented in innovating foods, with explanation on how to create them. Every battles are told in 'real life' situation, so don't expect any 'food-monster' type battle (duh!). The cooking techniques represented are believable, and somehow really helpful for me in my cooking (i.e. no more burnt toast by me anymore!). I guess they really ask many good chefs about recipes and directions when creating the animation.
The art and animation itself is a bit dated. Sound was ok (I don't think I know the difference between a bad and a good stir-fry sound FX). Can't comment on voice acting because I watched the Chinese dubbed version. While this might be a turn-off for some, for me this dub version is actually making the story's environments more 'chinese'. Character design was above average. There is a girl character that I expect to be the focus of 'fanservice' to help sell the series, but it turn out everything a-ok (well actually there are some 'mishandling' incidents, but compared to our standard nowadays, it was nothing).
The series story consists of smaller mini stories. The 'big' story is for him to be number one. The mini stories are including the process of gaining reputation (becoming super-chef), adventuring around china, and the clash with the dark-society. Of course, each mini stories are full of cooking! Each cooking steps are usually made of 1 or 2 episodes. There are 52 episodes total, so expect 26 ways of cooking to enjoy! :)
Now, the downside. The 52 episodes are actually a bit short for this title. The anime stopped at the point where our hero is ready to do the big journey to unite China with cooking. Another 52 or maybe 26 episodes more should suffice. Unfortunately, no news about the sequel, so to know the rest of the story, we have to continue reading the manga (which I have no idea where to get it). Fortunately, the story ended with a good conclusion (i.e. China is safe from the dark-society), so this series is still worth to get (=RENT).

Last updated Tuesday, January 06 2004. Created Tuesday, January 06 2004.

Other Sites
Cooking Master Boy HQ
"In this town in Szechuan province, a new Chinese chef legend is about to be born."
Official Japanese Release Web Site

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