Just goes to show the versatility of Anime. “Cooking Master Boy” is about Mao, and his adventure to follow the footsteps of his mom and become the best chef in China. Taking place in 19th century China, he goes through the hardships of becoming a master chef. Being only 13, he goes through constant discrimination of his age and his culinary talent is always questioned at first.
I recently just inherited all the 52 episodes and just watched eight episodes. I’m very intrigued by its originality. “What… an Anime about cooking? Could this work?” So far so good I say. Has good humor, and the action is deliveried by chefs constantly competing. The episodes I have are in Cantonese, so it gives it more of a Chinese touch, rather than Japanese, which is mostly what I’m used to hearing when watching Anime.
Like most Anime, the characters are obsessed with what they do. Mao knows foods and ingredients down to a science. The characters he competes with are masters in their line of work – from knife handling to wok acrobatics. Competitors are usually willing to do anything to win, and yes, this includes violence and sabotage.
I’ll keep watching this for its uniqueness. Good so far!
Update from May 13, 2006:
Having watched 20 more episodes, I’m beginning to like this series. When I first started watching this series, I just believed that being a chef is about cooking food that tastes good. So far, the message in the series is that there’s more than just that. Through what’s happened in the series so far, being a chef means:
- Being proud and confident about what you cook
- Making the person trying your food feel other emotions rather than just taste. Make them feel happy and excited.
- Having skilled taste buds – be able to pinpoint all ingredients used in the dish.
- Be able to tell something you’ve never seen, exactly how it was prepared by a simple examination.
Also food isn’t just about taste. It’s about:
- The meaning of the ingredient – what ingredients represent love, joy, happiness, etc.
- The history of the dish you’re preparing.
- How genuine you are in preparing your dish.
- Utensil Acrobatics
- The healing effects of food. Food can clear out toxins and cleanse the body of pain.
- Be able to work with whatever utensils and ingredients are available.