|Written by||Etsushi Ogawa|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Magazine|
|Original run||October 11, 1995 – May 19, 1999|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Masami Anno|
|Music by||Michihiko Ohta|
|Original network||Fuji TV|
|Original run||April 27, 1997 – September 13, 1998|
|Chūka Ichiban! Kiwami|
|Written by||Etsushi Ogawa|
|Original run||November 10, 2017 – present|
|Anime television series|
|True Cooking Master Boy|
|Directed by||Itsuro Kawasaki|
|Written by||Itsuro Kawasaki|
|Music by||Jun Ichikawa|
|Studio||NAS (animation) |
Production I.G (cooperation)
|Original network||MBS, TBS, BS-TBS, Tokyo MX, BS-NTV|
|Original run||October 12, 2019 – March 30, 2021|
Chūka Ichiban! (中華一番!, The best in Chinese (food))[a] is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Etsushi Ogawa. It was serialized in Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine from October 1995 to May 1999. From 1995 to 1996 it was serialized as Chūka Ichiban!, however, during serialization, the character '真' was added, so from 1997 to 1999, it was serialized as Shin Chūka Ichiban! (真・中華一番!, True ver. - The best in Chinese (food)!).[b] The story is centered on a boy whose aim is to become the best chef he could be.
In November 2017, Ogawa started a sequel entitled Chūka Ichiban! Kiwami, published in Kodansha's Magazine Pocket app.
An anime television series adaptation of Shin Chūka Ichiban!, or True Cooking Master Boy, produced by NAS and Production I.G, aired from October to December 2019. A second season aired from January to March 2021.
The story takes place in 19th century China during the Qing Dynasty, where the Emperor was weakened and the country was close to chaos. It is also during a fictitious era called "The Era of the Cooking Wars". It was an era in which top chefs with different cooking styles tried their best to improve their skills and to become the best chef in China. It is a country where insulting a high-grade chef or fooling around with cooking could land a person in a jail, and impersonating a top-chef is as good as usurpation of authority. Chefs compete with each other in order to gain respect and even power, but also with the risks of losing everything.
After the death of Mao's mother, Pai, who was called the 'Goddess of Cuisine', Mao becomes a Super Chef in order to take the title as Master Chef of his mother's restaurant. However, before he takes his mother's place as Master Chef, he continues to travel China in order to learn more of the many ways of cooking, in the hopes of becoming a legendary chef, just like his mother. During his journey, he meets great friends and fierce rivals who wish to challenge him in the field of cooking.
Underground Cooking Society
The Underground Cooking Society, also called the Dark Cooking Society, is an organized group which aims to control all of China through the cooking field. Even though they already have a strong influence all over the country, they still search for all eight of the Legendary Cooking Utensils in order to gain absolute power. They do anything to win and exterminate those who get in their way. When they see a great chef who may become a threat to their master plan or if a chef beats one of them, they'll continue to send chefs to challenge that person until they lose. Their training is very strict, and cruel, and most trainees don't survive and often kidnap young children and forcibly disconnect them from their family through murder. To initiate a chef whose survived the training, they would sometimes scar that person's face and/or body. Once inducted into the organization, there's no turning back and trying to escape is suicidal. Those who fail a task for the organization meet with a terrible end.
Members of the Underground are branded with the mark of the organization. They also have powerful skills called the Dark Cooking Techniques, known only by members of the organization or those that they challenge. They are the most feared organization in all of China.
Legendary Cooking Utensils
In ancient times, a meteorite fell from the sky and was first found by Master Chef Shui Lei. Shui crafted eight cooking utensils from the meteorite. Not only were those eight high-class cooking tools, they also had mystical effects on the food they were used on. The eight cooking utensils were so powerful that Master Chef Shui Lei had to store them in eight separate locations of China, so people wouldn't have to fight over them.
The Legendary Cooking Utensils have immense power, whether they are being used by good or evil. If they are used by good, they can bring about great results that would make people happy. If they are used by evil, they can have destructive powers that could devastate all of China. Also, if a Legendary Cooking Utensil is used on something other than cooking (i.e. killing), its mystical powers would diminish.
Mentioned Legendary Cooking Utensils:
- Ever-Soul Knife
- Stored within the Big Angelic Temple for several generations until Mao became the worthy successor. Not only Mao, but also Leon was found out to be worthy as well. Even though it was stored in a temple for so long, without anyone touching it, there was no sign of rust on the knife when it was brought out. When choosing its successor, the mark of a dragon would appear on the blade when it is held by the chosen chef. It has the ability to make every food it cuts, fresh, even if it has passed its expiration date. Unfortunately, after a failed attempt in stealing it, a member of the Underground, stabbed himself with it causing the knife to lose its abilities. After Mao's final battle against Fei, the knife regained its powers in order to save Fei.
- Coiled Dragon Pot
- The first to be found by Mao and his group after going on their journey to find the Legendary Cooking Utensils. After putting together two pieces of a map, they figured out that it was hidden near the outskirts of Shanghai. Unlike the Ever-Soul Knife, the Coiled Dragon Pot was found in a place with no caretakers or even a temple. It was found inside a secret compartment behind a Kitchen God statue. At first, it seemed to be a rusted pot until Mao touched it. Being the chosen successor, Mao was able to turn it back into its original form. The Coiled Dragon Pot has the power to hasten the fermentation process to an amazing speed.
- Holy Copperware
- Found in Jiu Hua Mountains. Originally it was dug up from the farmlands of Jiu Hua many years ago. Not knowing of the mystical powers it possessed, the merchants decided to melt it down so it could turn into spare tools. However, before it could be melted down, a con artist, Wong Seiyo, bought it from them. Since he saved it from being melted down, the Holy Copperware decided to let him be able to use the mystical powers even though he wasn't a worthy successor. Using its powers, Seiyo decided to take advantage of the people of Jiu Hua by using the land's legends to make the people believe he was a god. When Mao arrived, he stopped Seiyo's scheme, made the people believe in their homeland again, and found another Legendary Cooking Utensil. The Holy Copperware has the power to instantly soften dried ingredients, such as dried abalone (which would usually take three or more days to do he win in the league).
- Liu Mao Xing (劉昴星) (Chinese: 劉昴星; pinyin: Liú Mǎoxīng)
- Voiced by: Mayumi Tanaka (1997 anime), Natsumi Fujiwara (2019 anime)
- A 13-year-old boy. Mao basically grew up in the kitchen watching his mother cook in her restaurant. Due to this, he grew up learning his mother's cooking skills and also ended up with the same love for cooking his mother had. Although, even though he had that kind of knowledge, Mao didn't cook much and everyone just thought of him as a kid who just played around and who didn't even know how to cook. It wasn't until his mother's restaurant was in jeopardy that he decided to cook. To everyone's surprise, Mao was a genius chef. Seeing his talent, General Lee sends him on a journey to become a Super Chef. Eventually, Mao becomes the youngest Super Chef in history and decides to travel the country even more, so he can learn more about cooking techniques.
- Even though he doesn't have much experience, Mao has the pride of a truly experienced chef and having learned from his mother that a chef's purpose is to create a dish that makes people happy, he always put his customers' needs first and is always able to make a creative dish that greatly satisfies them. Along with his curiosity in wanting to learn more about cooking, Mao also has unique taste buds; having the ability to remember every single food he's eaten and its ingredients, he could even identify or name all of the ingredients in the food he's currently eating. These traits make Mao a strong contender in the battlefield of cooking.
- Mei Li (梅丽) (Chinese: 周梅丽; pinyin: Zhōu Méilì)
- Voiced by: Satsuki Yukino (1997 anime), Ai Kayano (2019 anime)
- The 16-year-old daughter of Chouyu. Originally, she was a helper at the Yang Spring Restaurant. She fell in love with Mao after seeing how much he loves cooking and how he also cares about others. She only knows a little about the cooking field, but she's useful when it comes to little facts and often tries to help Mao with various other things. After finding out that Mao was leaving the Yang Spring Restaurant to travel China, she was heartbroken since she thought that she could live a life with him. She eventually made up her mind and decided to also leave the restaurant, in order to travel with him (In the manga, she did not accompany Mao in his journey around China). Mei often gets into arguments with Shirou and always ends up slapping or hitting him. She also gets very jealous every time another woman gets near Mao. An example of her animosity towards women that gets close to Mao is when his sister, Karin, visits him to bring their mother's cooking materials; she says that Karin will never be good for Mao, that is until she finds out that she is his sister. In another occasion, when the female chef, Anzu, finally realized the way of making singe cuisine, she kissed Mao as a sign of gratitude, but Mei Li became angry and began to express her anger by hitting Shirou. Although, she says that her number one rival for Mao's heart is his love for cooking. She's a spitting image of her deceased mother, Meika.
- Si Lang/Shirou (四郎)
- Voiced by: Chika Sakamoto (1997 anime), Yukiyo Fujii (2019 anime)
- A 12-year-old mischievous travelling companion. His mother is Japanese, making him half Japanese and half Chinese. He first met Mei Li and Mao when they found him passed out, due to hunger, in the forest (In the manga, he bumped into Mao after stealing food from people). He left his village when he was 10 so he can fulfill his promise of becoming a Super Chef. Although, during his two-year travel, he didn't become one, so he pretended to be one when he returned to his village (which was moments before meeting Mao and Mei Li). He was soon found out when a cooking official said his Super Chef badge was fake. After finding out that Mao was a Super Chef, he made himself Mao's apprentice and decided to travel with him. He often teases Mei Li and constantly grabs her breasts, resulting in him being constantly hit by her. He may not be a cooking genius, but he knows more about cooking than Mei Li and is only somewhat average in cooking. Shirou often gets into trouble and also causes trouble for the other group members. He later becomes a chef-in-training at Yang Spring Restaurant.
- Xie Lu (解鲁)
- Voiced by: Hiroshi Yanaka (1997 anime), Yuichi Nakamura (2019 anime)
- A Dim Sum master from San Sei. He is also called "Steel Staff Xie". He is in his twenties and is considered to be the youngest Dim Sum Master. He always carries with him a heavy steel staff, which he uses as both a weapon and a cooking utensil. Several yellow stars are engraved on the end of the staff, signifying the number of Super Chefs he has defeated. After challenging Mao to a cooking battle, he engraved a black star on his staff because he had lost. He one day hopes to replace that black star with a yellow one.
- Xie Lu is considered to be a nomad; he often encounters Mao and his friends during their travel. Starting at a young age, he has travelled around China in order to learn more about cooking. He has a very optimistic view on life and often scolds Shirou (He's had a bad impression of Shirou ever since Shirou unknowingly made him a bad plate of food).
- Xie Lu is very athletic and also happens to be good at math. He later travels with Mao and the others in search for the Legendary Cooking Utensils. His fookien name is Ji Long.
- Lei En/Leon (雷恩)
- Voiced by: Nobutoshi Hayashi (1997 anime), Tomokazu Sugita (2019 anime)
- Leon initially introduced himself as a member of the Dark Cooking Society; he is known for using seafood as primary ingredients for his dishes and can prepare them to their utmost potential thanks to his superior knives and the skills to wield them. He first appeared at the Yang Spring Restaurant demanding that Ruoh give him one of the Legendary Cooking Utensils that he says he is entitled. Ruoh then said that he had to battle Mao in order to find out the utensil's true successor. The battle was won by Mao and Leon soon revealed everything to him after realizing that he still loves cooking, and like Mao, Leon is also the successor to the Ever-Soul knife. Leon revealed that he betrayed and escaped the Dark Cooking Society after realizing the kind of organization they are.
- It turns out that a young Leon was a cook for the Yang Spring Restaurant a few years ago. Like Mao, Leon was a natural genius in the field of cooking, having learned and comprehended just about everything Chouryuu had to teach him in just one month. He was also a kind child; not wanting to kill animals, but when he does, he places a red paper talisman on the dead animal and prays for it. Since he wanted to learn more about cooking, he left the restaurant and ventured around China. During his travels, he began to grow a strong urge to become a better cook, but when he couldn't find anymore suitable things to learn, he decided to join the Dark Cooking Society in order to learn their Dark Cooking Techniques. While in the Underground, his knife skills evolved to an unreachable level. Corrupted by the organization, he became even more obsessed in becoming the best chef. He sought out Luo Xie, the best knife forger in China, and had him forge the best knives. Luo Xie called his creation the Seven-Star Knives, the best knife set in all of China. On a cliff top, when Luo Xie said that he will one day create a better set, Leon was enraged, and in a fit of anger, stabbed him in the abdomen, causing him to fall off. This traumatized Leon and began to make things right from that point. He is the only person who possesses the coveted Seven-Star knives. Although, on the episode "The True Owner of the Seven-Star Knives", he encounters an Underground female chef, Shan An, who possesses duplicates.
- He travels with Mao retrieving the Legendary Cooking Utensils, in order to prevent the Dark Cooking Society from possessing them.
- Tang San Jie (唐三杰)
- Voiced by: Daisuke Sakaguchi (first), Tetsuya Iwanaga (later) (1997 anime), Nobuhiko Okamoto (2019 anime)
- A 14-year-old chef from Shanghai who used to be a 4th level chef at Yang Spring Restaurant. Initially, he didn't like Mao because he knew that Mao would eventually take his spot at the restaurant and then he would have to leave. He wasn't liked much in the restaurant since everyone thought that he was a lazy cook who didn't even like cooking in the first place. It wasn't until Mao found him practicing his cooking skills, late at night, that Mao realized that he likes to cook. San Jie revealed to him that his father was a great chef, but he had extremely strict teaching methods. Due to the stress, Sanche ended up cutting his hand and instead of being worried, his father scolded him even more causing his mother to interfere. Since she interfered, she ended up getting the blame. Not being able to stand it anymore, San Jie ran away from home and started working in the Yang Spring Restaurant. He ended up getting a scar from when he cut his hand and he says that he has difficulty cutting ingredients because every time he sees his scar, he's reminded of all those terrible events. After talking San Jie into not giving up as a chef, they worked all night to come up with an idea that would convince Zhou Yu, the Vice Chef at Yang Spring, to not kick San Jie out of the restaurant. Though they succeeded in doing so, Sanche decided that he would go back home to make up with his father, since he still loves him, and to also take up his father's strict training again, so he can hone his skills even more.
- When San Jie encountered Mao and his group in Shanghai, he was already a Head Chef at his father's restaurant and had greatly improved his cooking skills, especially his knife skills.
- Lan Fei Hong (兰飞鸿)
- Voiced by: Ryotaro Okiayu (1997 anime), Junya Enoki (2019 anime)
- A handsome 16-year-old genius chef. Although he is considered to be a more knowledgeable chef than Mao, he is the one chef that could be considered as Mao's true rival in cooking. Unlike Mao, Fei is a calm and collected chef who can always do things in an organized manner. He was first introduced as one of Mao's opponents during the Super Chef tournament. Even though he was an opponent who seemed to have a cold personality, he helped Mao a few times during the competition. He, along with Mao, made history when they both passed the Super Chef test at the same time. It turned out that he knows about Mao's mother, and that he sees her as his savior.
- When he was young, his entire family was killed by the Underground Cooking Society that also kidnapped him. He was brought to them and went through strict training in order to create perfect dishes and see who has the greatest potential to become a member of the Underground Cooking Society. He was forced to go through torturous training everyday or face death or torture. When he escaped, he passed out in front of Kikkaro Restaurant. Pai found him, treated his wounds, and fed him herbal soup that rejuvenated his body. Before meeting her, Fei thought of cooking as this horrible thing that caused him so much pain. When he met her, he realized that cooking was something where you create dishes that would make people happy. After learning from her he went to travel around China.
- When Mao encountered Fei again, Fei was a chef working for the Dark Cooking Society and was about to become the Head Chef of the Imperial Kitchen. Mao couldn't believe that Fei was a bad guy and challenged him to a cooking battle that would be judged by the Emperor himself. Mao ended up winning the battle and found out that Fei was being manipulated by the Underground. After being healed by the Legendary Cooking Utensils, Fei revealed that he was drugged by the Dark Cooking Society, so he would turn evil and become one of their pawns in taking over China. When he found out that the organization that killed his parents and kidnapped him was the Dark Cooking Society, he wanted to seek revenge and infiltrated their headquarters. Unfortunately, that was when he was captured and drugged. Even though he was being manipulated, his actions were still bad. General Lee ordered Fei to protect Mao as he looks for the Legendary Cooking Utensils (not to make it obvious that he was being lenient to Fei). So, Fei ended up travelling with the rest of the group.
- Pai (阿贝)
- Voiced by: Rihoko Yoshida (1997 anime)
- The legendary chef from Szechuan and Mao's deceased mother. She was the former Master Chef of Kikkaro Restaurant. Pai was called the 'Szechuan Fairy', or the 'Fairy of Cuisine', and was one of the most respected chefs in all of China. Even though she didn't directly teach Mao her cooking techniques, she did teach him her ideals. She taught him how to use cooking to make people happy and healthy.
- Pai was such a great chef that she was considered a threat to the Underground Cooking Society. In her early years as a chef, the Underground would always send chefs to battle her, which she always won. She even made a notebook compiling all the information she gained from battling chefs from the Dark Cooking Society, which would include the Dark Cooking Techniques that they used against her. Mao would eventually come to have possession of this book.
- In the manga, it is revealed that she died from exhaustion. After her former pupil, Shao An, became a Super Chef, he stole all the chefs that were cooking in her restaurant, making her do all the work on her own. Though she died, her teachings would live on in her son, Mao.
- Zhou Yu (周瑜)
- Voiced by: Akio Ōtsuka (1997 anime), Yoshimitsu Shimoyama (2019 anime)
- The Vice Chef of Yang Spring Restaurant. Zhou Yu is known to be one of the best chefs in Guangzhou. He's usually the main chef in the restaurant since Ruoh rarely cooks anymore. He has strict rules for the chefs-in-training in the kitchen. Many say he has a steel heart and barely changes his expressions, but they still respect him greatly. Ruoh seems to be the only person that he listens to and is also the only person that can irritate him. He becomes Mao's Master and is also Mei's father. Even though he is very skilled in cooking, he is a bad fisherman. He tried to challenge Ruoh in fishing, but just ended up irritated by Ruoh's win.
- Ruoh (罗添大师)
- Voiced by: Takkō Ishimori (1997 anime), Shinpachi Tsuji (2019 anime)
- The Master Chef of Yang Spring Restaurant. A skilled, experienced, and very well respected Chef in Guangzhou. He may not seem like it at first glance, but he is an extremely well-built man with amazing power. He has the nickname of 'Superman Chef' in Guangzhou. He uses the Devil Cow Knife (which is used to chop cows' heads in one swing, and butcher it in another) to display his skill, 'The Skill of God', which uses his extreme strength (though, he no longer uses it too often due to his old age). Ruoh is often seen drinking alcohol. He is also Chouyu's Master and is one of the four Cooking Elders of Guangzhou.
- Shao An (绍安)
- Voiced by: Tsubasa Chioya (1997 anime), Keiichi Nakagawa (2019 anime)
- Mao's first cooking rival. He used to be Pai's best apprentice until an accident left him scarred and unable to cook properly. After quitting, he turned rotten and returned to take over Kikkaro Restaurant. He ended up being the major contributor to Pai's death & even had the gall to take his anger out on her youngest offspring. Although, after losing a cooking battle, judged by General Lee, against Mao, he was forced to permanently quit as a chef, which was the consequence of losing. Although, he didn't stay gone for too long, later showing up to challenge Mao once again, but this time as a chef for the Underground. After once again losing to Mao, he was prepared to sacrifice himself, along with everyone else, by blowing up the boat they were on. When he was about to fall to his death, Mao grabbed his arm and tried to save him. After a few words by Mao, Shao An understood his love for cooking and was able to let go of his hatred for Mao and Pai. Unfortunately, it was too late, and if Mao didn't let go of Shao An's hand, Mao would fall with him. Having turned good again & feeling he should atone for all his terrible deeds, he saved Mao from falling with him by cutting his own hand off and falling to his death (In the anime, Shao An simply slipped from Mao's hand and fell to his death). Before he died, he also gave Mao the other half of Pai's book, which had detailed information on the Underground.
- Admiral Lee Hong Yue (李鴻悦/李提督)
- Voiced by: Jūrōta Kosugi (1997 anime)
- An Admiral for the Imperial Army of China. He is the Master Chef of the Emperor's Imperial Kitchen which makes him a highly skilled chef and basically the number one ranked chef in China. He's the one who sent Mao on his journey in becoming a Super Chef after seeing his natural talent and infinite potential. Lee often bumps into Mao during their journey and usually gives him other tasks, in the hopes of making Mao a great chef.
- Liu Ke Lin (刘珂玲)
- Voiced by: Yumi Hikita (1997 anime)
- Mao's older sister. She works at the Kikkaro Restaurant as a waitress. When her mother died, she was the one left to take care of the restaurant.
- Shan (シャン)
- Voiced by: Maya Okamoto (1997 anime), Yūko Kaida (2019 anime)
- Mira (ミラ)
- Voiced by: Aya Endō (2021 anime)
- Juchi (ジュチ)
- Voiced by: Daisuke Ono (2021 anime)
- Ensei (エンセイ)
- Voiced by: Kenjiro Tsuda (2021 anime)
- Alkan (アルカン)
- Voiced by: Hiroki Yasumoto (2021 anime)
- Kaiyu (カイユ)
- Voiced by: Daisuke Namikawa (2021 anime)
Chūka Ichiban! is written and illustrated by Etsushi Ogawa. It was serialized in Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine from October 11, 1995 to May 19, 1999. From 1995 to 1996 it was serialized as Chūka Ichiban!, however, during serialization, the character '真' was added, so from 1997 to 1999, it was serialized as Shin Chūka Ichiban! (真・中華一番!, True ver. - The best in Chinese (food)!). Kodansha compiled the first part into five tankōbon volumes published between February 14, 1996 and December 11, 1996. The second part was compiled into twelve tankōbon volumes published between May 14, 1997 and June 15, 1999.
Ogawa started a sequel, titled Chūka Ichiban! Kiwami (中華一番！極), published in Kodansha's Magazine Pocket app since November 10, 2017. Kodansha has compiled its chapters into individual tankōbon volumes. The first volume was published on April 9, 2018. As of March 9, 2021, nine volumes have been published.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||"Genius Cooking Boy Mao"|
Transcription: "Tensai Ryōri Shōnen Mao" (Japanese: 天才料理少年マオ)
|Yutaka Kagawa||Yoshiyuki Suga||April 27, 1997|
|2||"The Mystery Mapo Tofu Confrontation"|
Transcription: "Maboroshi no Mābō Dōfu Taiketsu" (Japanese: 幻の麻婆豆腐対決)
|Jun Takagi||Yoshiyuki Suga||May 4, 1997|
|3||"Go For It! Super Chef"|
Transcription: "Mezase! Tokkyū Chūshi" (Japanese: めざせ！特級厨師)
|Masakatsu Iijima||Nobuaki Kishima||May 11, 1997|
|4||"Ruthless! The Rule of Yosen Shuka!!"|
Transcription: "Hijō! Yōsen Shuka no Okite!!" (Japanese: 非情！陽泉酒家の掟！！)
|Ken'ichi Nishida||Hiroshi Toda||May 18, 1997|
|5||"Break with Tradition! Defeat: Yosen Shuka"|
Transcription: "Dentō o Uchiyabure! Datō: Yōsen Shuka" (Japanese: 伝統を打ち破れ！打倒・陽泉酒家)
|Makoto Fuchigami||Hiroshi Toda||May 25, 1997|
|6||"Flame Chefs: The Dumpling Brothers"|
Transcription: "Kaen Ryōrinin: Gyōza Kyōdai" (Japanese: 火炎料理人・餃子兄弟)
|Jun Takagi||Yoshiyuki Suga||June 1, 1997|
|7||"Despicable Trap! Mao Cornered"|
Transcription: "Hiretsu na Wana! Oitsumerareta Mao" (Japanese: 卑劣な罠！追いつめられたマオ)
|Yutaka Kagawa||Nobuaki Kishima||June 8, 1997|
|8||"Confrontation! Dragon Dumpling!!"|
Transcription: "Taiketsu! Doragon Gyōza!!" (Japanese: 対決！ドラゴン餃子！！)
|Masakatsu Iijima||Yoshiyuki Suga||June 15, 1997|
|9||"Challenge the Dream! Super Chef Examination"|
Transcription: "Yume e no Chōsen! Tokkyū Chūshi Shiken" (Japanese: 夢への挑戦！特級厨師試験)
|Ken'ichi Nishida||Nobuaki Kishima||June 22, 1997|
|10||"Ultimate Skill! Incomparable Noodles"|
Transcription: "Kyūkyoku no Waza! Kokushi Musō no Men" (Japanese: 究極の技！国士無双の麺)
|Makoto Fuchigami||Yoshiyuki Suga||July 6, 1997|
|11||"Final Battle! The Legendary Cooking Arena"|
Transcription: "Saishū Kessen! Densetsu no Tōmi-jō" (Japanese: 最終決戦！伝説の闘味場)
|Akira Takamura||Nobuaki Kishima||July 13, 1997|
|12||"A Great Rival Appears: Talented Young Chef Fei"|
Transcription: "Shukumei no Tensai: Bishōnen Ryōrinin Fei" (Japanese: 宿命の天才・美少年料理人フェイ)
|Jun Takagi||Yoshiyuki Suga||August 3, 1997|
|13||"The Catfish Noodle Completed! Fated Decision"|
Transcription: "Kansei Namazu Men! Unmei no Hantei" (Japanese: 完成ナマズ麺！運命の判定)
|Yutaka Kagawa||Nobuaki Kishima||August 10, 1997|
|14||"Proof of Champions: The Emblem of Glory"|
Transcription: "Shōsha no Akashi: Eikō no Enburemu" (Japanese: 勝者の証・栄光の
|Kunihisa Sugishima||Hiroshi Toda||August 17, 1997|
|15||"Genius Boy Chef?! Shirou?"|
Transcription: "Tensai Ryōri Shōnen!? Shirō?" (Japanese: 天才料理少年！？シロウ？)
|Ken'ichi Nishida||Nobuaki Kishima||August 24, 1997|
|16||"Super Boobs! Beware of the Beauty Sweet Trap"|
Transcription: "Chō Boin! Bijin ni Chūi Amai Wana" (Japanese: 超ボイン！美人に注意甘い罠)
|Makoto Fuchigami||Yoshiyuki Suga||August 31, 1997|
|17||"Return! Dreamy Singe Cuisine"|
Transcription: "Yomigaere! Maboroshi no Okoge Ryōri" (Japanese: 甦れ！幻のおこげ料理)
|Masakatsu Iijima||Yoshiyuki Suga||September 14, 1997|
|18||"Scary Red Congee: Secret of the Haunted Mansion"|
Transcription: "Aka no Kyōfu: Yūrei Yashiki no Himitsu" (Japanese: 赤の恐怖・幽霊屋敷の秘密)
|Yutaka Kagawa||Nobuaki Kishima||September 21, 1997|
|19||"The Bridge of Love: Galaxy Noodles"|
Transcription: "Ai no Kakehashi: Gyarakushī Men" (Japanese: 愛のかけ橋・
|Ken'ichi Nishida||Yoshiyuki Suga||October 26, 1997|
|20||"The Ominous Black Chicken"|
Transcription: "Fukō o Yobu Kuroi Tori" (Japanese: 不幸を呼ぶ黒い鶏)
|Shigeo Koshi||Nobuaki Kishima||November 2, 1997|
|21||"The Continent's Best Man! Yosen Shuka's Challenge"|
Transcription: "Tairiku Ichi no Otoko! Yōsen Shuka e no Chōsen" (Japanese: 大陸一の男！陽泉酒家への挑戦)
|Makoto Fuchigami||Yoshiyuki Suga||November 16, 1997|
|22||"Flying Ace! Targeted Mao!"|
Transcription: "Gekitsui-ō! Hyōteki ni Sareta Mao!" (Japanese: 撃墜王！標的にされたマオ！)
|Kunihisa Sugishima||Nobuaki Kishima||November 30, 1997|
|23||"Shine! Big Bang Siu Mai"|
Transcription: "Kagayake! Biggu Ban Shū Mai" (Japanese: 輝け！
|Yutaka Kagawa||Nobuaki Kishima||December 7, 1997|
|24||"A Mysterious Invitation: The Masked Chef's Trap!"|
Transcription: "Nazo no Shōtaijō: Kamen Ryōrinin no Wana!" (Japanese: 謎の招待状・仮面料理人の罠！)
|Masakatsu Iijima||Yoshiyuki Suga||December 14, 1997|
|25||"Inherited Spirit: Bloody Battle at the Mansion!!"|
Transcription: "Hikitsugareta Supirittsu: Ijin-kan no Kessen!!" (Japanese: 引き継がれた
|Shigeo Koshi||Nobuaki Kishima||December 21, 1997|
|26||"The Greatest Trump Card! Joker's Laugh"|
Transcription: "Saikyō no Kirifuda! Azawarau Jōkā" (Japanese: 最強の切り札！あざ笑う
|Ken'ichi Nishida||Yoshiyuki Suga||January 18, 1998|
|27||"Heroism! Grand Finale of Revenge!"|
Transcription: "Sōzetsu! Fukushū no Gurando Fināre!" (Japanese: 壮絶！復讐の
|Kunihisa Sugishima||Nobuaki Kishima||January 25, 1998|
|28||"The Outdoor Cuisine of Friendship"|
Transcription: "Yūjō no Autodoa Ryōri" (Japanese: 友情の
|Makoto Fuchigami||Yoshiyuki Suga||February 1, 1998|
|29||"Underworld Hitman: Cold-Hearted Genius Leon"|
Transcription: "Ura Kara no Hittoman: Reiketsu no Tensai Reon" (Japanese: 裏からの
|Yutaka Kagawa||Nobuaki Kishima||February 15, 1998|
|30||"Sharpness of Evil! Demonic Seven Star Knives!"|
Transcription: "Mashō no Kireaji! Yōtō Shichi Seitō!" (Japanese: 魔性の切れ味！妖刀七星刀！)
|Masakatsu Iijima||Yoshiyuki Suga||February 22, 1998|
|31||"Four Chinese Regions Locked! Red Sea Bream Continental Seal"|
Transcription: "Yon Dai Chūka o Tojikomero! Madai Tairiku Fūji" (Japanese: 四大中華を閉じ込めろ！真鯛大陸封)
|Ken'ichi Nishida||Nobuaki Kishima||March 1, 1998|
|32||"Ice and Flame! Clash!! A Chef's Soul"|
Transcription: "Kōri to Honō! Gekitotsu!! Ryōrinin Damashii" (Japanese: 氷と炎！激突！！料理人魂)
|Shigeo Koshi||Yoshiyuki Suga||March 8, 1998|
|33||"The Legendary Utensil! The Secret of the Forever-Spirit Knife!!"|
Transcription: "Densetsu no Chū-gu! Eirei Tō no Himitsu!!" (Japanese: 伝説の厨具！永霊刀の秘密！！)
|Kunihisa Sugishima||Nobuaki Kishima||March 15, 1998|
|34||"Evil City Shanghai! The Underworld's Declaration of War!!"|
Transcription: "Mato Shanhai! Ura Kara no Sensen Fukoku!!" (Japanese: 魔都上海！裏からの宣戦布告！！)
|Ken'ichi Nishida||Nobuaki Kishima||March 22, 1998|
|35||"Huge Floating Cooking Arena! Magical Power of the Iron Arm Soup"|
Transcription: "Suijō Dai Tōmi-jō ! Tetsuwan Sūpu no Maryoku" (Japanese: 水上大闘味場！鉄腕スープの魔力)
|Yutaka Kagawa||Yoshiyuki Suga||April 19, 1998|
|36||"Sanche Special! Cold Jelly Soup"|
Transcription: "Sanche Tokusei! Reisei Nikogori Sūpu" (Japanese: サンチェ特製！冷製煮こごりスープ)
|Masakatsu Iijima||Yoshiyuki Suga||April 26, 1998|
|37||"The Dim Sum King Lakon: 1,600 Year-Old Spirit-Calming Bun"|
Transcription: "Menten Kingu Rakon: Senroppyaku-nen no Chinkon Manjū" (Japanese: 面点
|Naoyasu Habu||Nobuaki Kishima||May 3, 1998|
|38||"Super Dim Sum Battle! The Ultimate Decision!!"|
Transcription: "Sūpā Tenshin Dai Gekitotsu! Kyūkyoku no Saitei!!" (Japanese: スーパー点心大激突！究極の裁定！！)
|Ken'ichi Nishida||Yoshiyuki Suga||May 10, 1998|
|39||"Another Set of Seven Star Knives! Enigmatic Beauty Shan"|
Transcription: "Mō Hitotsu no Shichi Seitō! Nazo no Bijo Shan" (Japanese: もうひとつの七星刀！謎の美女シャン)
|Yutaka Kagawa||Nobuaki Kishima||May 24, 1998|
|40||"Wake Up Leon! Destiny of a Chef"|
Transcription: "Mezameyo Reon! Ryōrinin no Shukumei" (Japanese: 目覚めよレオン！料理人の宿命)
|Makoto Fuchigami||Yoshiyuki Suga||May 31, 1998|
|41||"Smash the Evil Blade! Soul of the Seven Star Knives!!"|
Transcription: "Jaken o Kudake! Tamashii no Shichi Seitō!!" (Japanese: 邪剣を砕け！魂の七星刀！！)
|Waruro Suzuki||Nobuaki Kishima||June 7, 1998|
|42||"Demon of Vengeance Shao An! Conclusion of Destiny"|
Transcription: "Fukushū Ki Shō An! Innen no Ketsumatsu" (Japanese: 復讐鬼ショウアン！因縁の結末)
|Naoyasu Habu||Yoshiyuki Suga||June 14, 1998|
|43||"Mao's Real Ability! Magical Panda Tofu"|
Transcription: "Mao no Jitsuryoku! Majikaru Panda Dōfu" (Japanese: マオの実力！
|Ken'ichi Nishida||Nobuaki Kishima||June 21, 1998|
|44||"Shocking Verdict! In the Palm of the Fairy"|
Transcription: "Shōgeki no Hantei! Sennyo no Te no Hira" (Japanese: 衝撃の判定！仙女の手のひら)
|Yutaka Kagawa||Yoshiyuki Suga||June 28, 1998|
|45||"The Yangtze River Burns! Shao An Dies in the Ocean"|
Transcription: "Chōkō Enjō! Shō An Taikai ni Shisu" (Japanese: 長江炎上！ショウアン大海に死す)
|Makoto Fuchigami||Nobuaki Kishima||July 26, 1998|
|46||"Save Shell! A Torrent of Noodles!!"|
Transcription: "Sheru o Sukue! Men no Arashi!!" (Japanese: シェルを救え！麺のあらし！！)
|Waruro Suzuki||Yoshiyuki Suga||August 2, 1998|
|47||"The Deity Descends?! Miraculous Spiritual Deity Copperware"|
Transcription: "Majin Kōrin!? Kiseki no Masei Dōki" (Japanese: 魔神降臨！？奇跡の魔聖銅器)
|Ken'ichi Nishida||Nobuaki Kishima||August 9, 1998|
|48||"Shooting Star of Heaven! Special Comet Fried Rice"|
Transcription: "Ama Kakeru Hoshi! Tokusei Kometto Chāhan" (Japanese: 天かける星！特製
|Naoyasu Habu||Nobuaki Kishima||August 16, 1998|
|49||"Labyrinth of Darkness! Soul-Connecting Serving of Porridge"|
Transcription: "Yami no Meikyū! Kokoro o Tsunagu Ippai no Kayu" (Japanese: 闇の迷宮！心をつなぐ一杯の粥)
|Yutaka Kagawa||Nobuaki Kishima||August 23, 1998|
|50||"Imperial Capital Peking! The Underworld Cooking Society Bares its Fangs"|
Transcription: "Teito Pekin! Kiba o Muku Ura Ryōri-kai" (Japanese: 帝都北京！牙をむく裏料理界)
|Makoto Fuchigami||Yoshiyuki Suga||August 30, 1998|
|51||"Secret Plan of Fei the Genius! Neo Manchu–Han Imperial Feast"|
Transcription: "Tensai Fei no Hisaku! Neo Mankanzenseki" (Japanese: 天才フェイの秘策！ネオ満漢全席)
|Waruro Suzuki||Yoshiyuki Suga||September 6, 1998|
|52||"Huge Reversal! Heroic Chefs of Glory"|
Transcription: "Dai Gyakuten! Eikō no Yuchūshi-tachi" (Japanese: 大逆転！栄光の勇厨師たち)
|Ken'ichi Nishida||Yoshiyuki Suga||September 13, 1998|
In 2019, it was announced that Shin Chūka Ichiban!, or True Cooking Master Boy manga would receive an anime television series adaptation produced by NAS, with animation cooperation by Production I.G. It is directed and written by Itsuro Kawasaki, with characters designs by Saki Hasegawa and music composed by Jun Ichikawa. The series aired from October 12 to December 28, 2019 on MBS's Animeism programming block.
After the final episode, it was announced that the series will be receiving a second season, with the staff and cast are reprising their roles. The second season aired from January 12 to March 30, 2021 on Tokyo MX, MBS, and BS-NTV.
|No.||Title ||Directed by ||Written by ||Original air date |
Transcription: "Yume o Tsugu Mono" (Japanese: 夢を継ぐ者)
|Itsuro Kawasaki||Itsuro Kawasaki||October 12, 2019|
|2||"Dim Sum Master"|
Transcription: "Tokkyū Mentenshi" (Japanese: 特級面点師)
|Takashi Andō||Itsuro Kawasaki||October 19, 2019|
|3||"The Strange Invitation"|
Transcription: "Kimyō na Shōtaijō" (Japanese: 奇妙な招待状)
|Eiichi Kuboyama||Itsuro Kawasaki||October 26, 2019|
|4||"Pot of Grudges"|
Transcription: "Onnen no Nabe" (Japanese: 怨念の鍋)
|Tadao Itō||Itsuro Kawasaki||November 2, 2019|
|5||"Ambition of the Cooking Underworld"|
Transcription: "Ura Ryōri-kai no Yabō" (Japanese: 裏料理界の野望)
|Seo Hye-Jin||Itsuro Kawasaki||November 9, 2019|
|6||"The Seventh Knife"|
Transcription: "Nana-banme no Hōchō" (Japanese: 七番目の包丁)
|Naoki Matsuura||Itsuro Kawasaki||November 16, 2019|
Transcription: "Futari no Keishōsha" (Japanese: 二人の継承者)
|Yoshitaka Nagaoka||Itsuro Kawasaki||November 23, 2019|
|8||"The Eight Legendary Utensils"|
Transcription: "Densetsu no Hachū-gu" (Japanese: 伝説の八厨具)
|Michita Shiraishi||Itsuro Kawasaki||November 30, 2019|
|9||"Shanghai, City of Devils"|
Transcription: "Mato Shanhai" (Japanese: 魔都 上海)
|Itsuro Kawasaki, Shintarō Itoga||Itsuro Kawasaki||December 7, 2019|
|10||"Clash of the Super Dim Sum"|
Transcription: "Sūpā Tenshin Dai Gekitotsu!" (Japanese: 超点心大激突！)
|Yasuyuki Fuse||Daishirō Tanimura||December 14, 2019|
|11||"Clash of the Two Seven Star Knives"|
Transcription: "Gekitotsu! Futatsu no "Shichi Seitō"" (Japanese: 激突！二つの『七星刀』)
|Yukio Kuroda, Reina Igawa||Itsuro Kawasaki||December 21, 2019|
|12||"Man of Destiny"|
Transcription: "Unmei no Otoko" (Japanese: 運命の男)
|Motomasa Maeda, Ari Fujisaki, Oyunamu, Hito Tadano, Hiroki Moritomo||Itsuro Kawasaki||December 28, 2019|
|Title ||Directed by ||Written by ||Original air date |
|13||1||"The Transcendental Tofu Battle!"|
Transcription: "Chōzetsu Dōfu Shōbu!" (Japanese: 超絶豆腐勝負！)
|Ichirō Ōtaka, Hito Tadano, Gong Zhenhua||Itsuro Kawasaki||January 12, 2021|
Transcription: "Sashinoberareta Te" (Japanese: 差し伸べられた手)
|Komurakata Kōji||Itsuro Kawasaki||January 19, 2021|
|15||3||"Advent of the Devil"|
Transcription: "Majin Kōrin" (Japanese: 魔神降臨)
|Hiroyuki Okuno||Daishirō Tanimura||January 26, 2021|
|16||4||"River of Fire"|
Transcription: "Bakuen no Kawa" (Japanese: 爆炎の河)
|Michita Shiraishi||Daishirō Tanimura||February 2, 2021|
|17||5||"At the End of the Yangtze River"|
Transcription: "Chōkō no Hate ni" (Japanese: 長江の果てに)
|Motomasa Maeda, Gong Zhenhua||Itsuro Kawasaki||February 9, 2021|
|18||6||"Calamity at the Chrysanthemum Tower"|
Transcription: "Kikkarō no Ihen" (Japanese: 菊下楼の異変)
|Eiichi Kuboyama||Daishirō Tanimura||February 16, 2021|
|19||7||"The Feelings Entrusted to the Duck"|
Transcription: "Ahiru ni Takusareta Omoi" (Japanese: 鴨子にたくされた想い)
|Shigeru Fukase||Daishirō Tanimura||February 23, 2021|
|20||8||"Like the Phoenix"|
Transcription: "Fushichō no Gotoku" (Japanese: 不死鳥のごとく)
|Masahito Otani||Daishirō Tanimura||March 2, 2021|
Transcription: "Genwaku no Tonkō" (Japanese: 眩惑の敦煌)
|Hidehiko Kadota||Itsuro Kawasaki||March 9, 2021|
|22||10||"The Desert Sun"|
Transcription: "Sabaku no Taiyō" (Japanese: 砂漠の太陽)
|Yoshitaka Nagaoka||Itsuro Kawasaki||March 16, 2021|
|23||11||"The Limitless Hero"|
Transcription: "Mugen no Eiyū" (Japanese: 無限の英雄)
|Hiroyuki Okuno||Daishirō Tanimura||March 23, 2021|
|24||12||"Creators of an Era"|
Transcription: "Jidai o Tsukuru Monotachi" (Japanese: 時代を創る者たち)
|Komurakata Kōji||Daishirō Tanimura|
|March 30, 2021|
Anime theme songs
- Opening themes
- "Sky" (空, Sora) by Maki Ohguro (episodes 1-18)
- "I Can't Breath~Now I Can Breath~" (息もできない〜Now I can breath〜, Iki mo Dekinai〜Nau Ai Kyan Burēsu〜) by Zard (episodes 19-36)
- "If Only You Were Here" (君さえいれば, Kimi Sae Ireba) by Deen (episodes 37-52)
- Ending themes
- "Met in the Blue Sky" (青い空に出逢えた, Aoi Sora ni Deaeta) by Arisa Tsujio (辻尾有紗, Tsujio Arisa) (episodes 1-20)
- "Mineral" (ミネラル, Mineraru) by Kaori Nanao (七緒香, Nanao Kaori) (episodes 21-36)
- "Free as the Wind" (風のように自由, Kaze no Yō ni Jiyū) by Keiko Utoku (episodes 37-52)
Shin Chūka Ichiban!
- Opening theme
- "Theory of Light" (光福論, Kōfukuron) by Qajiff (クアイフ, Kuaifu) (season 1)
- "Tough Heart" by Aika Kobayashi (season 2)
- Ending theme
- "Paradigm Shift" (パラダイムシフト, Paradaimu Shifuto) by Brian the Sun (season 1)
- "COLORS" by Humbreaders (ハンブレッダーズ, Hanbureddāzu) (season 2)
- The God of Cookery (1996), a Stephen Chow cooking film
- Yakitate!! Japan (2002 debut), a cooking manga and anime series
- Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma (2012 debut), a cooking manga and anime series
- "Buried Treasure - Cooking Master Boy (Chukan Ichiban!)". Anime News Network. Retrieved October 23, 2019.
- Silverman, Rebecca (September 1, 2017). "The Best Anime For Foodies". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
- 中華一番！ (in Japanese). Nippon Animation. Archived from the original on February 21, 2015. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
- Pineda, Rafael Antonio (September 2, 2019). "Shin Chūka Ichiban! Anime's Video Reveals Cast, Theme Song, October 11 Premiere". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
- Pineda, Rafael Antonio (November 7, 2019). "True Cooking Master Boy Anime Casts Nobuhiko Okamoto". Anime News Network. Retrieved November 7, 2019.
- Hodgkins, Crystalyn (October 1, 2020). "True Cooking Master Boy Anime's Sequel Casts Aya Endo". Anime News Network. Retrieved October 1, 2020.
- Hodgkins, Crystalyn (October 8, 2020). "True Cooking Master Boy Anime's Sequel Casts Daisuke Ono". Anime News Network. Retrieved October 8, 2020.
- Hodgkins, Crystalyn (October 15, 2020). "True Cooking Master Boy Anime's Sequel Casts Kenjiro Tsuda". Anime News Network. Retrieved October 15, 2020.
- Hodgkins, Crystalyn (October 22, 2020). "True Cooking Master Boy Anime's Sequel Casts Hiroki Yasumoto". Anime News Network. Retrieved October 22, 2020.
- Hodgkins, Crystalyn (October 29, 2020). "True Cooking Master Boy Anime's Sequel Casts Daisuke Namikawa". Anime News Network. Retrieved March 4, 2021.
- 週刊少年マガジン 1995/10/11 表示号数43. Media Arts Database (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Archived from the original on September 2, 2019. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
- 週刊少年マガジン 1999/05/12・5/19合併 表示号数22・23. Media Arts Database (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Archived from the original on September 2, 2019. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
- 週刊少年マガジン 真・中華一番(小川悦司). Media Arts Database (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Archived from the original on September 2, 2019. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
- 週刊少年サンデー 1997年 表示号数1. Media Arts Database (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
- 週刊少年サンデー 1999年 表示号数22. Media Arts Database (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
- 中華一番！（１） (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
- 中華一番！（５）＜完＞ (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
- 真・中華一番！（１） (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
- 真・中華一番！（１２）＜完＞ (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
- Pineda, Rafael Antonio (October 14, 2017). "Chūka Ichiban!/Cooking Master Boy Manga Gets Sequel in November". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 4, 2019.
- 中華一番！極（１） (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
- 中華一番！極（９） (in Japanese). Kodansha. Retrieved March 9, 2021.
- Hodgkins, Crystalyn (February 3, 2019). "Chūka Ichiban!/Cooking Master Boy Manga Gets New Anime". Anime News Network. Retrieved February 3, 2019.
- Sherman, Jennifer (December 27, 2019). "True Cooking Master Boy Anime Gets Sequel". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
- Hodgkins, Crystalyn (September 7, 2020). "True Cooking Master Boy Anime's Sequel Premieres in 2021". Anime News Network. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
- Hodgkins, Crystalyn (December 4, 2020). "True Cooking Master Boy Anime's Sequel Reveals Promo Video, January 11 Debut". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
- Pineda, Rafael Antonio (January 7, 2021). "iQiyi Adds 8 Winter 2021 Anime for Southeast Asia". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
- "Sutōrī｜Shin Chūka Ichiban!｜Anime Kōshiki Saito" STORY｜真・中華一番！｜アニメ公式サイト [Story｜True Cooking Master Boy｜Anime Official Website]. cookingmaster-anime.jp (in Japanese). Archived from the original on January 5, 2021. Retrieved January 5, 2021.
- "True Cooking Master Boy - Watch on Crunchyroll". Crunchyroll. Archived from the original on January 1, 2021. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
- "On'ea｜Shin Chūka Ichiban!｜Anime Kōshiki Saito" ONAIR｜真・中華一番！｜アニメ公式サイト [On Air｜True Cooking Master Boy｜Anime Official Website]. cookingmaster-anime.jp (in Japanese). Archived from the original on September 2, 2019. Retrieved September 2, 2019.
- "On'ea｜Shin Chūka Ichiban!｜Anime Kōshiki Saito" ONAIR｜真・中華一番！｜アニメ公式サイト [On Air｜True Cooking Master Boy｜Anime Official Website]. cookingmaster-anime.jp (in Japanese). Archived from the original on November 1, 2020. Retrieved November 1, 2020.