Some people might wonder where lies the value of watching very obscure shows. They're hard to find, hard to know anything about prior to watching them, and rarely serve as a discussion point among peers. What's the point of doing that?
Well, sometimes you end up finding a gem hidden in the rough; and I'd definitely consider this to be one of said gems.
Ippon Bouchou Mantarou is a show about cooking. No, not Shokugeki no Souma "food orgasm" cooking, not Pan de Peace "moeblobs talk about nothing" cooking, actual cooking. And there is genuine exhilaration in the ideas it brings and the way it structures the
competitions that our main lead, Mantarou, enters.
The attention to detail, especially for an OVA from 1991, is very impressive. The show takes the time to walk you through different cuisines, the details behind making them, and sometimes even their origins. However, don't mistake this for the show having slow pacing; it doesn't. The show strikes a balance between anticipation and action, especially in the first episode. The art, though aged by today's standards, looks very good for its time.
Ippon Bouchou Mantarou is one of those rare forgotten obscures that holds formidable merit and remains watchable even today. If an old anime about cooking competitions interests you at all, I implore you to give this a try. If you end up liking it, perhaps introduce it to a friend as a conversational topic, because like an old family recipe or an excellent hole-in-the-wall restaurant, a genuinely good obscure anime like this is worth sharing.