Ajiyoshi Yoichi is a culinary prodigy who manages the eating house together with his mother. One day, Murata Genjiro appears in the eating house and is surprised at the delicious taste and delicate culinary skills of the katsu-don prepared by Youichi. Subsequently, Youichi is being invited to the Aji-oh Building in which he is involved in a spaghetti match with the in-house Italian chef, Marui. Youichi's novel culinary ideas, coupled with his enthusiasm of serving the best for his guests, allow him to defeat Marui in the match. From then on, Youichi begins to compete with other rivals in the race for the best tastes and dishes.
If you like cooking anime such as Cooking Master Boy, Yakitate Japan and the likes; this anime is definitely a must-watch. Mister Ajikko is THE FIRST cooking anime; is even said to be the origin of the cooking show Iron Chef.
Story: Youichi - a young boy who is an exceptional as well as self-confident cook and takes pride in his cooking - encounters chefs and cooking personalities and competes with them.
The plot in its basic lines is not so different from other well known examples of its genre. Like Mao in Chuuka Ichiban, the protagonist is young and very talented (Also there
is a secondary cooking society that is not all that great, like the underground cooking society). He is as intuitive and innovative as Azuma in Yakitate Japan, and he has failures like Ichigo from Yumeiro Patissiere.
What I appreciated the most was that the focus stayed on cooking unlike those. As much as I loved watching all three, cooking respectively baking became a sub plot in second parts of those. There was the legendary cooking wares for Cooking Master Boy, Henri Sensei's weird baking village for Yumeiro Patissiere and seriously senseless competition for Yakitate Japan.
While there is enough sub-plot going on in Mister Ajikko, it does not overwhelm the main plot-thread of the anime. Cooking. I also appreciated that the anime was not time frozen. Between the beginning and the end of the anime one can visibly discern the physical growth of characters as well as their emotional growth. The cuisine is not limited to Japanese either. Eatery from all over the taste-board comes into play.
Art: The art is easy on the eye but you will not find any Bishounen or Bishoujo here. I can't exactly explain why, but it reminded me of comic-strips. Maybe because the "Characters" seemed to be drawn according to their characters. Some were adorably drawn, some outright funny. Facit the art is very likable and pays careful attention to characteristic details.
Sound: There is no OST to speak of. The mood makers reminded me of the hits of late 80's. Especially one. It almost sounded like a rip off "Jeanny" from Falco. The cast is vast, even if we just consider the copious amount of competitors for Youichi, but the seiyuu's do an excellent job, bringing all these characters into life with their voice acting.
Characters: The characters are very likeable. They are not perfect but their imperfection gives them room for development which helps the story.
Enjoyment: It was thoroughly enjoyable. The characters, the story, the art and not to mention the recipes. You laugh and smile and then there are times you are sad and nostalgic. But the single most amazing thing about this anime is this: The manga ran from 1986 to 1989 and the anime from 1987 to 1989.
-almost 10 years before Chuuka Ichiban,
-almost 20 years before Yakitate Japan
-and more than 20 years before Yumeiro Patissierre.
Just take a second and let this fact sink in.
Yet neither the characters and their mannerisms and dialogs, nor the plot, not even the recipes and equipment seem so much outdated that you think that you are watching a piece of history. Some parts might seem and feel familiar to you because you recognize other anime in them one but this one is THE ORIGINAL that has been ripped off.
If you are fluent in Japanese language, anime gods are smiling down on you. If you are dependent on subtitles to understand it, then the level of your enjoyment is heavily tied to your sense of humor. The following is completely my guess work, so I can't vouch for anything but I think, this was translated from Chinese dubs via an automatic online translator into English. Just to give you a taste and also prepare you what is waiting for you, if you chose to watch this with subs, here is an excerpt from episode 8 and 9:
-The piquancy disappears, but it's still delicious...
-The betel succus tastes delicious but it'll make the beef cool....
-Yeah, the turnip slob is gelid so the cook can bring down a fever quickly
-If Youichi won't attend, for us,the match isn't meaning.
-Your heeler is a cat in the pan.
-Yolk also wiped out piquancy of white turnip slurry.
-And just odour could keep. Burdening chestnut...
-Because it has been patched with garlic, so it isn't sweet bit it is crisp. As long as you put the beef on it, you can eat the reeky beefsteak!
-In order to let the eater can enjoy the reeky meat at last, he made especial efforts! And it moved me consumingly!}
I have to admit, it took me some tries to finally be able to watch it. I couldn't get past the third episode because the subs drove me almost to insanity. I don't know when but at some point I realized I was already at episode 23 and the subs -even though, I still detested them - bothered me a lot less than they used to. Please let me assure you, my reason to have kept coming back to this anime despite the subs, wasn't some otaku-stubbornness, that I just had to watch this anime because I started it or because it was the first cooking anime or anything like it. It's simply that the anime was just that good, that it made me come back despite the very exhausting, draining and annoying subs.
I sincerely hope a fansub group gives this anime a little love and care because I am certain it will be appreciated my many. But even if not, Mister Ajikko is still worth a try. It is fun and funny to watch with a lot of delicious recipes!
There’s just something about anime food that makes us drool with desire, and food has been the main theme of various anime series. If you’re looking to satisfy your food and anime cravings all in one go, get a taste of these fun and interesting cooking anime series.