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Chka Ichiban!

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Chka Ichiban!
Cover art for the first volume of the Chka Ichiban!
manga released by Kodansha
!
Genre Adventure, Comedy, Culinary
anga
Written by !tsushi "ga#a
Published by Kodansha
Demographic Shnen
Magazine Weekly Shnen Magazine
Original run $%%& ' $%%%
Volumes $(
Anime television series
Directed by asami Anno
Studio )ippon Animation
Networ Fu*i +elevision
Original run
,( April $%%( ' $- .eptember
$%%/
!pisodes &,
"nime and Manga portal
Chka Ichiban! 0!
?
, lit1 The best in Chinese (food)2 is a manga created by !tsushi "ga#a1 In $%%(, it #as
adapted into an anime series directed by asami Anno of the same name1 +he story is centered on a boy #hose
aim is to become the best chef he could be1
In $%%&, Kodansha published the manga1 From $%%& to $%%(, it #as seriali3ed in Weekly .h4nen aga3ine1
5o#ever, during seriali3ation, the character 66 #as added, so from $%%( to $%%%, it #as seriali3ed as Shin Chka
Ichiban! 0!
?
, True er! " The best in Chinese (food)!21
In some other countries, the anime adaptation #as also called #ooing Master $oy1
#ontents
$ .etting
, .tory
o ,1$ 7nderground Cooking .ociety
- 8egendary Cooking 7tensils
9 Characters
o 91$ ain characters
o 91, inor characters
& Anime theme songs
: ;elated information
( .ee also
/ ;eferences
% !<ternal links
Setting
+he story takes place in $%th century China during the =ing >ynasty, #here the !mperor #as #eakened and the
country #as close to chaos1 It is also during a fictitious era called ?+he !ra of the Cooking Wars?1 It #as an era in
#hich top chefs #ith different cooking styles tried their best to improve their skills and to become the best chef in
China1 It is a country #here insulting a high@grade chef or fooling around #ith cooking could land a person in a
*ail, and impersonating a top@chef is as good as usurpation of authority1 Chefs compete #ith each other in order to
gain respect and even po#er, but also #ith the risks of losing everything1
+he country of China has four ma*or regionsA Bei*ing, .3echuan, .hanghai, and Cuangdong1
+he beginning of the story takes place in .3echuan, ao6s birthplace1
Story
After the death of ao6s mother, Dai, #ho #as called the 6Fairy of Cuisine6, ao becomes a .uper Chef in order to
take the title as aster Chef of his mother6s restaurant1 5o#ever, before he takes his mother6s place as aster Chef,
he continues to travel China in order to learn more of the many #ays of cooking, in the hopes of becoming a
legendary chef, *ust like his mother1 >uring his *ourney, he meets great friends and fierce rivals #ho #ish to
challenge him in the field of cooking1
%nderground #ooing Society
+he 7nderground Cooking .ociety, also called the >ark Cooking .ociety, is an organi3ed group #hich aims to
control all of China through the cooking field1 !ven though they already have a strong influence all over the
country, they still search for all eight of the 8egendary Cooking 7tensils in order to gain absolute po#er1 +hey do
anything to #in and e<terminate those #ho get in their #ay1 When they see a great chef #ho may become a threat
to their master plan or if a chef beats one of them, they6ll continue to send chefs to challenge that person until they
lose1 +heir training is very strict, and cruel, and most trainees don6t survive and often kidnap young children and
forcibly disconnect them from their family through murder1 +o initiate a chef #hose survived the training, they
#ould sometimes scar that person6s face andEor body1 "nce inducted into the organi3ation, there6s no turning back
and trying to escape is suicidal1 +hose #ho fail a task for the organi3ation meet #ith a terrible end1
embers of the 7nderground are branded #ith the mark of the organi3ation1 +hey also have po#erful skills called
the >ark Cooking +echniFues, kno#n only by members of the organi3ation or those that they challenge1 +hey are
the most feared organi3ation in all of China1
&egendary #ooing %tensils
In ancient times, a meteorite fell from the sky and #as first found by aster Chef .hui 8ei1 .hui crafted eight
cooking utensils from the meteorite1 )ot only #ere those eight high@class cooking tools, they also had mystical
effects on the food they #ere used on1 +he eight cooking utensils #ere so po#erful that aster Chef .hui 8ei had
to store them in eight separate locations of China, so people #ouldn6t have to fight over them1
+he 8egendary Cooking 7tensils have immense po#er, #hether they are being used by good or evil1 If they are
used by good, they can bring about great results that #ould make people happy1 If they are used by evil, they can
have destructive po#ers that could devastate all of China1 Also, if a 8egendary Cooking 7tensil is used on
something other than cooking 0i1e1 killing2, its mystical po#ers #ould diminish1
entioned 8egendary Cooking 7tensilsA
!'er(Soul )ni*e
.tored #ithin the Big Angelic +emple for several generations until ao became the #orthy successor1 )ot
only ao, but also 8eon #as found out to be #orthy as #ell1 !ven though it #as stored in a temple for so
long, #ithout anyone touching it, there #as no sign of rust on the knife #hen it #as brought out1 When
choosing its successor, the mark of a dragon #ould appear on the blade #hen it is held by the chosen chef1
It has the ability to make every food it cuts, fresh, even if it has passed its e<piration date1 7nfortunately,
after a failed attempt in stealing it, a member of the 7nderground, stabbed himself #ith it causing the knife
to lose its abilities1 After ao6s final battle against Fei, the knife regained its po#ers in order to save Fei1
#oiled Dragon Pot
+he first to be found by ao and his group after going on their *ourney to find the 8egendary Cooking
7tensils1 After putting together t#o pieces of a map, they figured out that it #as hidden near the outskirts of
.hanghai1 7nlike the !ver@.oul Knife, the Coiled >ragon Dot #as found in a place #ith no caretakers or
even a temple1 It #as found inside a secret compartment behind a Kitchen Cod statue1 At first, it seemed to
be a rusted pot until ao touched it1 Being the chosen successor, ao #as able to turn it back into its
original form1 +he Coiled >ragon Dot has the po#er to hasten the fermentation process to an ama3ing
speed1
+oly #opperware
Found in Giu 5ua ountains1 "riginally it #as dug up from the farmlands of Giu 5ua many years ago1 )ot
kno#ing of the mystical po#ers it possessed, the merchants decided to melt it do#n so it could turn into
spare tools1 5o#ever, before it could be melted do#n, a con artist, Wong .eiyo, bought it from them1 .ince
he saved it from being melted do#n, the 5oly Copper#are decided to let him be able to use the mystical
po#ers even though he #asn6t a #orthy successor1 7sing its po#ers, .eiyo decided to take advantage of the
people of Giu 5ua by using the land6s legends to make the people believe he #as a god1 When ao arrived,
he stopped .eiyo6s scheme, made the people believe in their homeland again, and found another 8egendary
Cooking 7tensil1 +he 5oly Copper#are has the po#er to instantly soften dried ingredients, such as dried
abalone 0#hich #ould usually take three or more days to do21
#haracters
Main characters
8iu ao Hing
+he $-@year@old protagonist of the story1 ao basically gre# up in the kitchen #atching his mother cook in
her restaurant1 >ue to this, he gre# up learning his mother6s cooking skills and also ended up #ith the same
love for cooking his mother had1 Although, even though he had that kind of kno#ledge, ao didn6t cook
much and everyone *ust thought of him as a kid #ho *ust played around and #ho didn6t even kno# ho# to
cook1 It #asn6t until his mother6s restaurant #as in *eopardy that he decided to cook1 +o everyone6s surprise,
ao #as a genius chef1 .eeing his talent, Ceneral 8ee sends him on a *ourney to become a .uper Chef1
!ventually, ao becomes the youngest .uper Chef in history and decides to travel the country even more,
so he can learn more about cooking techniFues1
!ven though he doesn6t have much e<perience, ao has the pride of a truly e<perienced chef and having
learned from his mother that a chef6s purpose is to create a dish that makes people happy, he al#ays put his
customers6 needs first and is al#ays able to make a creative dish that greatly satisfies them1 Along #ith his
curiosity in #anting to learn more about cooking, ao also has uniFue taste budsI having the ability to
remember every single food he6s eaten and its ingredients, he could even identify or name all of the
ingredients in the food he6s currently eating1 +hese traits make ao a strong contender in the battlefield of
cooking1
ei 8i
+he $:@year@old daughter of Chouyu1 "riginally, she #as a helper at the Jang .pring ;estaurant1 .he fell in
love #ith ao after seeing ho# much he loves cooking and ho# he also cares about others1 .he only kno#s
a little about the cooking field, but she6s useful #hen it comes to little facts and often tries to help ao #ith
various other things1 After finding out that ao #as leaving the Jang .pring ;estaurant to travel China, she
#as heartbroken since she thought that she could live a life #ith him1 .he eventually made up her mind and
decided to also leave the restaurant, in order to travel #ith him 0In the manga, she did not accompany ao
in his *ourney around China21 ei often gets into arguments #ith .hirou and al#ays ends up slapping or
hitting him1 .he also gets very *ealous every time another #oman gets near ao1 An e<ample of her
animosity to#ards #omen that gets close to ao is #hen his sister, Karin, visits him to bring their mother6s
cooking materialsI she says that Karin #ill never be good for ao, that is until she finds out that she is his
sister1 In another occasion, #hen the female chef, An3u, finally reali3ed the #ay of making singe cuisine,
she kissed ao as a sign of gratitude, but ei 8i became angry and began to e<press her anger by hitting
.hirou1 Although, she says that her number one rival for ao6s heart is his love for cooking1 .he6s a spitting
image of her deceased mother, eika1
Khi 8ao 0.hirou2
A $,@year@old mischievous travelling companion1 5is mother is Gapanese, making him half Gapanese and
half Chinese1 5e first met ei 8i and ao #hen they found him passed out, due to hunger, in the forest 0In
the manga, he bumped into ao after stealing food from people21 5e left his village #hen he #as $L so he
can fulfill his promise of becoming a .uper Chef1 Although, during his t#o@year travel, he didn6t become
one, so he pretended to be one #hen he returned to his village 0#hich #as moments before meeting ao
and ei 8i21 5e #as soon found out #hen a cooking official said his .uper Chef badge #as fake1 After
finding out that ao #as a .uper Chef, he made himself ao6s apprentice and decided to travel #ith him1
5e often teases ei 8i and constantly grabs her breasts, resulting in him being constantly hit by her1 5e
may not be a cooking genius, but he kno#s more about cooking than ei 8i and is only some#hat average
in cooking1 .hirou often gets into trouble and also causes trouble for the other group members1 5e later
becomes a chef@in@training at Jang .pring ;estaurant1
Hi !r 0.hell2
A >im .um master from .an .ei1 5e is also called ?.teel .taff .hell?1 5e is in his t#enties and is
considered to be the youngest >im .um aster1 5e al#ays carries #ith him a heavy steel staff, #hich he
uses as both a #eapon and a cooking utensil1 .everal yello# stars are engraved on the end of the staff,
signifying the number of .uper Chefs he has defeated1 After challenging ao to a cooking battle, he
engraved a black star on his staff because he had lost1 5e one day hopes to replace that black star #ith a
yello# one1
.hell is considered to be a nomadI he often encounters ao and his friends during their travel1 .tarting at a
young age, he has travelled around China in order to learn more about cooking1 5e has a very optimistic
vie# on life and often scolds .hirou 05e6s had a bad impression of .hirou ever since .hirou unkno#ingly
made him a bad plate of food21
.hell is very athletic and also happens to be good at math1 5e later travels #ith ao and the others in
search for the 8egendary Cooking 7tensils1 5is fookien name is Gi 8ong1
8i Wen 08eon2
8eon initially introduced himself as a member of the >ark Cooking .ocietyI he is kno#n for using seafood
as primary ingredients for his dishes and can prepare them to their utmost potential thanks to his superior
knives and the skills to #ield them1 5e first appeared at the Jang .pring ;estaurant demanding that ;uoh
give him one of the 8egendary Cooking 7tensils that he says he is entitled to1 ;uoh then said that he had to
battle ao in order to find out the utensil6s true successor1 +he battle #as #on by ao and 8eon soon
revealed everything to him after reali3ing that he still loves cooking, and like ao, 8eon is also the
successor to the !ver@.oul knife1 8eon revealed that he betrayed and escaped the >ark Cooking .ociety
after reali3ing the kind of organi3ation they are1
It turns out that a young 8eon #as a cook for the Jang .pring ;estaurant a fe# years ago1 8ike ao, 8eon
#as a natural genius in the field of cooking, having learned and comprehended *ust about everything
Chouryuu had to teach him in *ust one month1 5e #as also a kind childI not #anting to kill animals, but
#hen he does, he places a red paper talisman on the dead animal and prays for it1 .ince he #anted to learn
more about cooking, he left the restaurant and ventured around China1 >uring his travels, he began to gro#
a strong urge to become a better cook, but #hen he couldn6t find anymore suitable things to learn, he
decided to *oin the >ark Cooking .ociety in order to learn their >ark Cooking +echniFues1 While in the
7nderground, his knife skills evolved to an unreachable level1 Corrupted by the organi3ation, he became
even more obsessed in becoming the best chef1 5e sought out 8uo Hie, the best knife forger in China, and
had him forge the best knives1 8uo Hie called his creation the .even@.tar Knives, the best knife set in all of
China1 "n a cliff top, #hen 8uo Hie said that he #ill one day create a better set, 8eon #as enraged, and in a
fit of anger, stabbed him in the abdomen, causing him to fall off1 +his traumati3ed 8eon and began to make
things right from that point1 5e is the only person #ho possesses the coveted .even@.tar knives1 Although,
on the episode ?+he +rue "#ner of the .even@.tar Knives?, he encounters an 7nderground female chef,
.han An, #ho possesses duplicates1
5e travels #ith ao retrieving the 8egendary Cooking 7tensils, in order to prevent the >ark Cooking
.ociety from possessing them1
.anche
A $9@year@old chef from .hanghai #ho used to be a 9th level chef at Jang .pring ;estaurant1 Initially, he
didn6t like ao because he kne# that ao #ould eventually take his spot at the restaurant and then he
#ould have to leave1 5e #asn6t liked much in the restaurant since everyone thought that he #as a la3y cook
#ho didn6t even like cooking in the first place1 It #asn6t until ao found him practicing his cooking skills,
late at night, that ao reali3ed that he likes to cook1 .anche revealed to him that his father #as a great chef,
but he had e<tremely strict teaching methods1 >ue to the stress, .anche ended up cutting his hand and
instead of being #orried, his father scolded him even more causing his mother to interfere1 .ince she
interfered, she ended up getting the blame1 )ot being able to stand it anymore, .anche ran a#ay from home
and started #orking in the Jang .pring ;estaurant1 5e ended up getting a scar from #hen he cut his hand
and he says that he has difficulty cutting ingredients because every time he sees his scar, he6s reminded of
all those terrible events1 After talking .anche into not giving up as a chef, they #orked all night to come up
#ith an idea that #ould convince Chouyu, the Mice Chef at Jang .pring, to not kick .anche out of the
restaurant1 +hough they succeeded in doing so, .anche decided that he #ould go back home to make up
#ith his father, since he still loves him, and to also take up his father6s strict training again, so he can hone
his skills even more1
When .anche encountered ao and his group in .hanghai, he #as already a 5ead Chef at his father6s
restaurant and had greatly improved his cooking skills, especially his knife skills1
8an Fei 5ong
A handsome $:@year@old genius chef1 Although he is considered to be a more kno#ledgeable chef than
ao, he is the one chef that could be considered as ao6s true rival in cooking1 7nlike ao, Fei is a calm
and collected chef #ho can al#ays do things in an organi3ed manner1 5e #as first introduced as one of
ao6s opponents during the .uper Chef tournament1 !ven though he #as an opponent #ho seemed to have
a cold personality, he helped ao a fe# times during the competition1 5e, along #ith ao, made history
#hen they both passed the .uper Chef test at the same time1 It turned out that he kno#s about ao6s
mother, and that he sees her as his savior1
When he #as young, his entire family #as killed by the 7nderground Cooking .ociety that also kidnapped
him1 5e #as brought to them and #ent through strict training in order to create perfect dishes and see #ho
has the greatest potential to become a member of the 7nderground Cooking .ociety1 5e #as forced to go
through torturous training everyday or face death or torture1 When he escaped, he passed out in front of
Kikkaro ;estaurant1 Dai found him, treated his #ounds, and fed him herbal soup that re*uvenated his body1
Before meeting her, Fei thought of cooking as this horrible thing that caused him so much pain1 When he
met her, he reali3ed that cooking #as something #here you create dishes that #ould make people happy1
After learning from her he #ent to travel around China1
When ao encountered Fei again, Fei #as a chef #orking for the >ark Cooking .ociety and #as about to
become the 5ead Chef of the Imperial Kitchen1 ao couldn6t believe that Fei #as a bad guy and challenged
him to a cooking battle that #ould be *udged by the !mperor himself1 ao ended up #inning the battle and
found out that Fei #as being manipulated by the 7nderground1 After being healed by the 8egendary
Cooking 7tensils, Fei revealed that he #as drugged by the >ark Cooking .ociety, so he #ould turn evil and
become one of their pa#ns in taking over China1 When he found out that the organi3ation that killed his
parents and kidnapped him #as the >ark Cooking .ociety, he #anted to seek revenge and infiltrated their
headFuarters1 7nfortunately, that #as #hen he #as captured and drugged1 !ven though he #as being
manipulated, his actions #ere still bad1 Ceneral 8ee ordered Fei to protect ao as he looks for the
8egendary Cooking 7tensils 0not to make it obvious that he #as being lenient to Fei21 .o, Fei ended up
travelling #ith the rest of the group1
Dai
+he legendary chef from .3echuan and ao6s deceased mother1 .he #as the former aster Chef of
Kikkaro ;estaurant1 Dai #as called the 6.3echuan Fairy6, or the 6Fairy of Cuisine6, and #as one of the most
respected chefs in all of China1 !ven though she didn6t directly teach ao her cooking techniFues, she did
teach him her ideals1 .he taught him ho# to use cooking to make people happy and healthy1
Dai #as such a great chef that she #as considered a threat to the 7nderground Cooking .ociety1 In her early
years as a chef, the 7nderground #ould al#ays send chefs to battle her, #hich she al#ays #on1 .he even
made a notebook compiling all the information she gained from battling chefs from the >ark Cooking
.ociety, #hich #ould include the >ark Cooking +echniFues that they used against her1 ao #ould
eventually come to have possession of this book1
In the manga, it is revealed that she died from e<haustion1 After her former pupil, .houan, became a .uper
Chef, he stole all the chefs that #ere cooking in her restaurant, making her do all the #ork on her o#n1
+hough she died, her teachings #ould live on in her son, ao1
Minor characters
Chouryuu
+he Mice Chef of Jang .pring ;estaurant1 Chouyu is kno#n to be one of the best chefs in Cuang3hou1 5e6s
usually the main chef in the restaurant since ;uoh rarely cooks anymore1 5e has strict rules for the chefs@
in@training in the kitchen1 any say he has a steel heart and barely changes his e<pressions, but they still
respect him greatly1 ;uoh seems to be the only person that he listens to and is also the only person that can
irritate him1 5e becomes ao6s aster and is also ei6s father1 !ven though he is very skilled in cooking,
he is a bad fisherman1 5e tried to challenge ;uoh in fishing, but *ust ended up irritated by ;uoh6s #in1
;uoh
+he aster Chef of Jang .pring ;estaurant1 A skilled, e<perienced, and very #ell respected Chef in
Cuang3hou1 5e may not seem like it at first glance, but he is an e<tremely #ell@built man #ith ama3ing
po#er1 5e has the nickname of 6.uperman Chef6 in Cuang3hou1 5e uses the >evil Co# Knife 0#hich is
used to chop co#s6 heads in one s#ing, and butcher it in another2 to display his skill, 6+he .kill of Cod6,
#hich uses his e<treme strength 0though, he no longer uses it too often due to his old age21 ;uoh is often
seen drinking alcohol1 5e is also Chouyu6s aster and is one of the four Cooking !lders of Cuang3hou1
.houan
ao6s first cooking rival1 5e used to be Dai6s best apprentice until an accident left him scarred and unable to
cook properly1 After Fuitting, he turned rotten and returned to take over Kikkaro ;estaurant1 5e ended up
being the ma*or contributor to Dai6s death1 Although, after losing a cooking battle, *udged by Ceneral 8ee,
against ao, he #as forced to permanently Fuit as a chef, #hich #as the conseFuence of losing1 Although,
he didn6t stay gone for too long, later sho#ing up to challenge ao once again, but this time as a chef for
the 7nderground1 After once again losing to ao, he #as prepared to sacrifice himself, along #ith
everyone else, by blo#ing up the boat they #ere on1 When he #as about to fall to his death, ao grabbed
his arm and tried to save him1 After a fe# #ords by ao, .houan understood his love for cooking and #as
able to let go of his hatred for ao and Dai1 7nfortunately, it #as too late, and if ao didn6t let go of
.houan6s hand, ao #ould fall #ith him1 5aving turned good again, he saved ao from falling #ith him
by cutting his o#n hand off and falling to his death 0In the anime, .houan simply slipped from ao6s hand
and fell to his death21 Before he died, he gave ao the other half of Dai6s book, #hich had detailed
information on the 7nderground1
Admiral 8ee 5ong Jue
An Admiral for the Imperial Army of China1 5e is the aster Chef of the !mperor6s Imperial Kitchen
#hich makes him a highly skilled chef and basically the number one ranked chef in China1 5e6s the one
#ho sent ao on his *ourney in becoming a .uper Chef after seeing his natural talent and infinite potential1
8ee often bumps into ao during their *ourney and usually gives him other tasks, in the hopes of making
ao a great chef1
Karin
ao6s older sister1 .he #orks at the Kikkaro ;estaurant as a #aitress1 When her mother died, she #as the
one left to take care of the restaurant1
"nime theme songs
Opening ,hemes
$1 #Sora# 0
?
, .ky2 by aki "hguro 0episodes $@$/2
,1 #Iki $o %ekinai# 0
?
, I Can6t !ven Breathe2 by Kard 0episodes $%@-:2
-1 #&i$i Sae Ireba# 0
?
, If "nly Jou Were 5ere2 by >een 0episodes -(@&,2
!nding ,hemes
$1 #'oi Sora ni %eaeta# 0
?
, et in the blue sky2 by Arisa +su*io 0episodes $@,L2
,1 #Mineral# 0 Mineraru
?
2 by Kaori )anao 0episodes ,$@-:2
-1 #&aze no (ou ni )iyuu# 0!
?
, Free as the Wind2 by Keiko 7toku 0episodes -(@&,2
-elated in*ormation
7nlike most manga and anime #ith far@fetched ideas and concepts, the resulting dishes of Chka Ichiban are
mostly realistic1 +hough, the cooking techniFues are highly e<aggerated 0e1g1 lightspeed cutting of ingredients in
mid@air2, along #ith the character reactions and the final results of prepared dishes 0e1g1 dishes emitting glo#ing
dragons or blinding bright light21 !ven though the process is flashy, anyone can actually follo# and reproduce the
dishes 0similar to Jakitate!! Gapan21