Chuuka Ichiban!

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Alternative Titles

Synonyms: Cooking Master Boy
Japanese: 中華一番


Type: TV
Episodes: 52
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 27, 1997 to Sep 13, 1998
Premiered: Spring 1997
Broadcast: Sundays at 19:30 (JST)
Producers: None found, add some
Licensors: None found, add some
Studios: Nippon Animation
Source: Manga
Genres: ActionAction, ComedyComedy, DramaDrama, GourmetGourmet
Demographic: ShounenShounen
Duration: 23 min. per ep.
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or older


Score: 7.591 (scored by 84428,442 users)
1 indicates a weighted score.
Ranked: #15392
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Popularity: #4919
Members: 20,327
Favorites: 119

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Ranked #1539Popularity #4919Members 20,327
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Episodes: /52


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.

The country of China has four major regions: Beijing, Szechuan, Shanghai, and Guangdong.

The beginning of the story takes place in Szechuan, Mao's birthplace.

After the death of Mao's mother, Pai, who was called the 'Fairy 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.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Characters & Voice Actors

Li Wen

Canna, Nobutoshi



Zhou, Yu


Shao An





Hanyuu, Naoyasu
Episode Director, Storyboard
Koshi, Shigeo
Episode Director, Storyboard


Opening Theme

Apple Music
Amazon Music
Youtube Music
1: "Sora (空)" by Maki Ooguro (eps 1-18)
2: "Iki mo Dekinai: Now I Can Breath (息もできない~Now I can breath~)" by ZARD (eps 19-36)
3: "Kimi Sae Ireba (君さえいれば)" by DEEN (eps 37-52)

Ending Theme

1: "Aoi Sora ni Deaeta (青い空に出逢えた)" by Arisa Tsujio (eps 1-20)
2: "Mineral (ミネラル)" by Kaori Nanao (eps 21-36)
3: "Kaze no You ni Jiyuu: Free as the Wind (風のように自由~free as the wind~)" by Keiko Utoku (eps 37-52)


Aug 19, 2015
To me, this series is one of the most underrated series that I have ever watched. The Chinese cooking theme is surprisingly interesting, although the cooking style and food appearances are a little over exaggerated to me, but I still like it.
Jun 28, 2012
I remembered when I was a kid, I've watched like 2-5 episodes of this on TV and thought that I want to Completely watch it. My first impression of it was something like making Yakitate Japan into a cooking anime set in 19th century China. Watching it completely right now, I saw that this was really an enjoyable series. The story was alright (though they say the manga was better), It was not predictable(unlike other shounen anime were you already know how the MC will win),it also made good cliffhangers and twists which was truly unexpected, and the animation is good for an 80's show. ...
Oct 3, 2015
I first encountered Chuuka Ichiban when I was about 10, as reruns of it were being shown on Chinese TV. The premise is quite simple: the protagonist Liu Mao Xing explores China's culinary landscape, while making friends and battling other chefs, in order to become a legendary chef himself. I didn't remember too much from the show, but I did remember having a lot of fun and learning about food at the same time (entertaining and educational - who'd have thought?) The simple premise, humor and intense cooking scenes were enough to keep me hooked back then.

I revisited the show about a year ago, mainly ...

Interest Stacks

50 Entries · 70 Restacks
12 Entries · 19 Restacks


Recent News

'Shin Chuuka Ichiban!' Manga Receives Anime Adaptation

'Shin Chuuka Ichiban!' Manga Receives Anime Adaptation

An official website opened for an anime adaptation of Shin Chuuka Ichiban!, the continuation of Etsushi Ogawa's Chuuka Ichiban! (Cooking Master Boy) comedy more

Recent Forum Discussion

Is Cooking Master Boy popular in China ?
KingSunWukong - Jan 29
1 repliesby AnimeTheOVA »»
Feb 1, 12:04 AM
Poll: Chuuka Ichiban! Episode 27 Discussion
FMmatron - Feb 27, 2019
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Jan 10, 1:25 AM
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Ckan - Jul 26, 2014
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Aug 8, 2022 5:00 AM
Poll: Chuuka Ichiban! Episode 4 Discussion - Beating it.
Ckan - Apr 10, 2014
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Apr 10, 2022 2:57 PM
Poll: Chuuka Ichiban! Episode 16 Discussion - Divining Tools
Ckan - Jul 26, 2014
4 repliesby mineme »»
Jan 11, 2022 4:41 AM

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