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: 7.621 (scored by 68166,816 users)
1 indicates a weighted score.
Ranked: #12312
2 based on the top anime page. Please note that 'Not yet aired' and 'R18+' titles are excluded.
Popularity: #4261
Members: 16,964
Favorites: 101

External Links

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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)


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Episode Videos

Related Anime

Characters & Voice Actors


Annou, Masami
Hanyuu, Naoyasu
Episode Director, Storyboard
Koshi, Shigeo
Episode Director, Storyboard
Kagawa, Yutaka
Episode Director, Storyboard


Opening Theme

#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)

Feb 7, 2008
zeru02 (All reviews)

First chinese dubbed anime that I just finished watching, so the story's still fresh in my mind. I've seen bits of this anime in our local channel, back then it was already pretty interesting but I haven't been able to catch it always on tv. The plot is very interesting, centering around a 13 year old boy who has a magical touch when it comes to cooking. Like his mom, Mao believes cooking should be used to bring happiness to people, and this is the theme the story revolves in. One can't help but cheer for Mao as he goes through read more
Aug 19, 2015
Zheng56 (All reviews)
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.
Oct 15, 2019
PoisonBang (All reviews)
My feelings for this anime are quite complicated so I just had to write a review for this series.
I will focus on two things about this series that I feel are most prominent and want to talk about, the characters, structure and the story arcs and their internal structure.

But first I will quickly breeze through all the points that don't really matter:
Story: The story of Cooking Master Boy is exactly what one would expect for a shounen of this ilk. Defeat comically evil opponents in cooking battles and make friends.
Art: Totally average and passable for it's time, and still looks nice enough.
Music: read more
Jun 28, 2012
KokoaKuroba (All reviews)
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. read more

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

Poll: Chuuka Ichiban! Episode 52 Discussion
Confucius - Jan 27, 2017
7 replies by WatchTillTandava »»
Jun 18, 4:25 PM
Poll: Chuuka Ichiban! Episode 51 Discussion
Fayrin - Mar 16, 2019
1 replies by Unkrowned »»
May 25, 6:41 AM

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