Anime About Cooking

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!

Screenshots from the Series
Episode Summaries
Review

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.

Dragon Ball vs Naruto Comparison

Similarities in the series. Some similarities may be stronger than others. Some may be vague, but still something both have in common.

Naruto Dragon Ball / Dragon Ball Z
Plot starts with Naruto as an orphan.
Plot starts with Goku as an orphan.
Naruto can unleash a monster with great strength called Kyuubi.
Goku can unleash a monster with great strength called Oozaru.
Gaara, at first seen as the antagonist (then later helps Naruto and company) turns into a giant monster while fighting Naruto.
Vegeta, at first seen as the antagonist (then later helps Goku and company) turns into a giant monster while fighting Goku.
The great being Kyuubi was so powerful that he had to be sealed into a container. The technique involved the user to give up his life in order for it to work. Yondaime, a great fighter, died
because of this.
The great being Piccolo Daimo was so powerful that he had to be sealed into a container. The technique involved the user to give up his life in order for it to work. Mutaito, a great fighter,
died because of this.
The number Four has significance to Naruto – The
Fourth (Yondaime, a great fighter) was the first to show any compassion for Naruto, saying that he did not want the carrier (Naruto) to be
ostracized while growing up. He wanted him to be nurtured.
Goku has a Dragon Ball with four stars as the only remembrance of his Grandfather. His grandfather (a great fighter) was the first to ever show him love.
Rock Lee can initiate different levels of “Gates” where in each level, his strength and speed is increased dramatically.
Functions as a double edged sword: the higher he goes, the greater the inflicting damage is.
Goku can initiate different levels of Kaioken where in each level his strength and speed is increased dramatically.
Functions as a double edged sword: the higher he goes, the greater the
inflicting damage is.
When Lee fights Neji, Neji says that he is a genius and that there’s a wall that no ordinary person can climb, no matter
how much they work. Lee replies to him that with hard work and training, it’s possible.
When Goku fights Vegeta, Vegeta says that he is a genius and that there’s a wall that no ordinary person can climb, no matter how much they work. Goku replies to him that with hard work and
training, it’s possible.
When Lee powers up with the Gates, we see an aura of wind circle around him.
When powerful Dragon Ball fighters power up, we see an aura of wind circle around them.
Naruto characters have inner energy called Chakra.
Dragon Ball characters have inner energy called Ki.
Jiraiya, a mentor to Naruto, is an old pervert. The series has other perverts as well: Sarutobi, Ebisu.
Muten-Roshi, a mentor to Goku, is an old pervert. The series has another pervert as well: Oolong.
Sakura, the main girl in the series, likes someone that treats her like dirt (Sasuke).
Bulma, the main girl in the series, likes someone that treats her like dirt (Vegeta).
Sasuke, Naruto’s fighting partner, tries so hard to get ahead of Naruto, but Naruto is always one step ahead of him at the end.
Vegeta, Goku’s fighting partner, tries so hard to get ahead of Goku, but Goku is always one step ahead of him.
“InoShikaCho” serves as an abbreviation for Ino, Shikamaru, and Choji.
Dragon Ball has a pig monster with butterfly wings called the InoShikaCho.
Choji, when he eats his final pill, unleashes great power and gets butterfly wings.
The InoShikaCho, a fat pig-like monster, has butterfly wings.
Naruto has his Kage Bushin No Jutsu where he multiplies himself.
Agent Purple (a Ninja), the first ninja that Goku fights, has the same technique.
Naruto, in episode one, uses a cloth (blanket) to hide himself.
Agent Purple (a Ninja) uses a cloth (flag) to hide himself.
Different fighters in Naruto eat pills to power themselves up.
Different fighters in Dragon Ball eat Senzu beans that give them their energy back (thus their power).
Lee (name presumably taken from Bruce Lee, a martial arts expert) applies his drunken boxing technique while fighting.
Muten-Roshi, under the name Jackie Chun (name presumably taken from Jackie Chan, a martial arts expert) applies his drunken boxing technique while fighting.
Ino has a technique where she can take over the opponent’s body.
Captain Ginyuu has a technique where he can take over opponent’s body.
Lee’s air attack on Gaara, where he disappears in a blink of an eye, and attacks from all sides in mid air is similar to
Dragon Ball Z battles.
Lots of Dragon Ball Z battles take place in mid air where fighters are so fast, they disappear.
Lee’s bandages are released from his wrists and arms and wraps around his opponent.
Myra’s bandages are released from his wrists and arms and wraps around his opponent.
You need Chakra to apply powerful non-physical techniques.
You need Ki to apply powerful non-physical techniques.
When Jiraiya introduces himself, he does a little dance and the background starts blinking with the design of sun rays.
When one of the Hell twins introduces himself, he does a little dance and the background starts blinking with the design of sun rays. He does the same dance as Jiraiya and you see the same
blinking sun rays.
Chouji, a portly person who loves to eat, is a fighter who carries pills as a power-up.
Yajirobi, a portly person who loves to eat, is a fighter who carries senzu beans to Goku and company as a power-up.
Lee wears weights on his body so he develops speed. When he takes them off, he’s faster.
Goku wears weights on his body so he develops speed. When he takes them off, he’s faster.
Ebisu is a pervert who wears sun glasses.
Muten-Roshi is a pervert who wears sun glasses.
Sarutobi, an elder, has a crystal ball to see other people.
Uranai Baba, an elder, has a crystal ball to see other people.
Sasuke, in order to acquire more power, enough to fight his Uchihan brother Itachi, goes to the side of evil and lets himself be possessed by a curse seal by Orochimaru. The seal is put on
his neck.
Vegeta, in order to acquire more power to fight his Saiyan brother Goku (not literally blood brothers, but of the same
race), goes to the side of evil and lets himself be possessed. He’s branded with a Ma-jin seal on his forehead by Babidi.
Naruto, the main character, symbolizes an animal (the
fox) and has one obvious animal characteristic: the whisker lines of a fox on his cheeks.
Goku, the main character, symbolizes an animal (the monkey) and has one obvious animal characteristic: the tail of a monkey.
Naruto unleashes great strength (unleashes a portion
of the Kyuubi’s power) when his emotion is anger. He shows great strength after Sasuke was believed to be dead.
Goku unleashes great strength when his emotion is anger. He shows great strength when he sees Kuririn die and turns Super Saiyan.
Naruto characters can summon great beings (Gamabunta, Katsuyu, Manda).
Dragon Ball characters can summon great beings (Shenlong, Porunga).
Sakura, the main girl in the series, likes someone (Sasuke) that all girls like.
Bulma, the main girl in the series, likes someone (Yamucha) that all girls like.
A being called King Enma exists that’s a great ape. King Enma has light armor for protection.
A being called Oozaru exists that’s a great ape. He is capable of wearing a suit for protection.
Sakura, the main girl of the series, is book smart and intelligent compared to her peers. She acts loud and obnoxious sometimes.
Bulma, the main girl of the series, is book smart and intelligent compared to her peers. She acts loud and obnoxious sometimes.
The voice acting for Naruto, the main character of the series, is done by a woman.
The voice acting for Goku, the main character of the series, is done by a woman.
Orochimaru has the Sound village, which is composed
of powerful fighters who are all evil. Some use techniques that use musical instruments or have Jutsu names that relate to music.
Piccolo Daimo has powerful fighters, who are all evil. His fighters are named after musical instruments.
The series has a being called King Enma.
The series has a being called King Enma.
There’s a pet dog called Akamaru.
There’s a pet dog called Biru.
Naruto is an orphan and represents an animal: the fox.
Jinku is an orphan and is a fox. Konkichi is an orphan and is also a fox.
Characters test their skills by going against their own peers and friends at the Chuunin exams.
Characters test their skills by going against their own peers and friends at the Tenkaichi Budokai.
Rock Lee, as a small boy, was seen as someone with no
potential and was told that he could not hold his own against talented fighters (e.g. Sasuke, Neji). With extreme hard work and physical training, he overcame obstacles.
Goku, as a baby, was said to be of the lowest class of warriors and was said that he could not hold his own against
talented fighters (e.g. Vegeta, Freeza). With extreme hard work and
physical training, he overcame obstacles.
Naruto did a training exercise that involved a bell with Kakashi.
Goku did a training exercise that involved a bell with Mr. Popo.
Naruto has blond hair.
Goku has also blond hair when he’s a Super Saiyan.
Naruto’s eyes can change color when he is extremely powered up (turns red) when he releases Kyuubi’s Chakra.
Goku’s eyes can change color when he is extremely powered up (turns green) when he turns Super Saiyan.
Naruto can create duplicates of himself (via Kage Bushin No Jutsu) and has a strategy where his duplicates surround the
opponent.
Goku can create illusions of himself (via Zanzouken) and has a strategy where his illusions surround the opponent.
Significance of the number 7. The main characters are part of Team 7.
Significance of the number 7. The main characters go after 7 Dragon Balls