An 11-year old boy named Zen bands together with his younger sister, Karen, and a young boy who has a large appetite, Pitan, to battle an evil empire by using their "Foodons"; strange monsters that are created from various foods.
Fighting Foodons is an odd batch. A way to describe it is put Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokémon together in a mixing bowl, batter until gooey, sprinkle some Monster Rancher seasoning on top, then put it in the oven for whatever the equivalent of 26 episodes is. You may be noticing there are instructions missing. For one, I'm not a cook and thus am failing to make cooking jokes. Two, what you do with this make-shift recipe depends on how you want it to taste as all of the ingredients are laid out for you. The reason is because it
knows what it is, and it just runs with it from there whether you like it or not.
Basically, the story starts with a quick exposition prologue about a king who asked his subjects, “Which is stronger, fried duck or stewed tofu?” A stranger then shows up with an item known as a Meal Ticket, a magical card that brings a recipe to life called a Foodon that battles another Foodon. Then you immediately cut to our main heroes, a boy named Chase and his sister Kayla, busting their father out one of the Gluttons' prisons. Over time you run into other characters: some join the traveling food cart (which can change appearances if you smack it right), some are the villainous members of the Gluttons, while others just have various episode appearances whenever the plot calls for them. Chase is an aspiring chef who doesn't appear to have his father's cooking skills, as evident by the Burnt Meatballs who constantly apologize to him for being useless. However, upon freeing a slave named Oslo, he gives him a Meal Ticket and has him make a recipe for it. His choice of food is fried rice, which becomes his main 'mon, Fried Ricer. Oslo then becomes his guide and mentor on how to be a Master Chef, and they become rebels fighting against the iron fist of the Gluttons.
Because it wasn't too popular when it aired and there are no home media copies available, the anime is now a bit obscure (I personally could not find subs), and yet it doesn't really deserve the obscurity. Which is odd because it's very obvious this was made for children, what adult will watch this on a whim? While the art and animation can falter at times, and there's lots and LOTS of stock footage, the colors are bright and the action is frequent. The food actually appears to have the most care to them in terms of detail and presentation, but other than that, the art is passable. Hardly an episode goes by where you don't see Foodons fighting each other, or are not on the screen. The show may not be very creative in terms of storyline: the characters—while having their own distinct personality—grow a little until they reach a certain point where they just stay there and are the face of that particular cliché; and the world—while big—is rather bland with not much to each own area to distinguish themselves. It's the Foodons themselves that have the most creativity in the show, and probably where it succeeds the most. The names are so punny, they will either be groan-inducing or something of crazy brilliancy, and yet they all are different. Unless there are multiples of them, no two Foodon are alike, and they show personalities of their own (whether through their voices or actions—normally actions since some of them tend to just shout out their own name). It's a monster cast of usually one-of-a-kind snowflakes.
Music and sound is passable, you can at least tolerate it even though the show can be loud at times. The theme song WILL get stuck in your head, so listener-beware if you don't want ear worms. Another listener-beware is the voice-acting that may make you cringe. It's classic 4KIDS-fare of voices, you're going to recognize voices throughout the course of 26 episodes. And some of them are a chore to listen to at times, such as that of the main characters Chase, Kayla, and Pie Tin (meanwhile Maddie Blaustein continues to deliver good performances). To be fair, they do get slightly better over time, but that could be because the characters are (for the most part) likeable, so you learn/come to tolerate them. Maybe. Of note are the occasional random song breaks at the end of a few episodes, possibly the result of 4KIDS needing to fill in space of cut-out scenes, but it's only a guess. The “songs” are performed by the voice actors themselves portraying the character(s) singing, and it varies a lot on how well they were able to pull it off. Chances are you will not like the music breaks, but mercifully they are short, no longer than a couple of minutes each.
So as odd as it may sound, I was genuinely surprised to find this anime entertaining, or at least a good way to waste some time. It helps the anime doesn't take itself very seriously, so it exploits the goofiness of it all up and out of the atmosphere—literally and figuratively. It really goes out of its way to show that it was made with children in mind while also pandering to some parental bonuses here and there. Personally, I recommend watching it with another chef—I mean person. Chances are the more of you there are, there will be someone who will groan or point-and-laugh at the great amount of cheesy puns and clichés there are. The kitchen is open for personal interpretation.
I remember watching Fighting foodons when I was younger. The concept may seem a little riddiculous, and it is , however thats what makes teh show so enjoyable. If you like types of shows like digimon, pokemon, etc, you will definately enjoy Fighting Foodons. The different food inspired characters are done really well . the english dub was done by 4kids, and like all 4kids dubs some of the voices will get ANNOYING, however this does not take away from the enjoyment of the show. The fights reminded me of pokemon in so many ways. Overall, even though this is an anime directed to kids,
anyone can enjoy it easily, if you like shows that are like pokemon, you will enjoy Fighting Foodons.