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AKA: 格闘料理伝説ビストロレシピ (Kakutou Ryouri Bistro Recipe), Bistro Recipe, Fighting Chef Zen
Genre: Monster / food-collecting battle show
Length: Television series, 26 episodes, 23 minutes each
Distributor: R1 DVD from FUNimation, licensed through 4Kids, broadcast on television by Fox Kids
Content Rating: Y7 (fantasy violence)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: Digimon Digital Monsters, Final Fantasy: Unlimited, Pokemon
Notes: Referred to by Enoki Films USA as "Fighting Chef Zen". There are several video games and a manga for the Bistro Recipe franchise as well.
Rating: One Star

Fighting Foodons

Synopsis

(from the official website)

In the land of the Fighting Foodons, regular recipes turn into meal-time monsters when the art of culinary combat is concocted. It's all friendly competition, that is, until evil becomes the order of the day.

King Gorge and his Gluttons have cooked up a devious plan to rule the world and they've sprinkled an extra dash of destruction. By kidnapping all the world's greatest Foodon chefs they've truly set the table for trouble.

But wait! There's one boy named Chase, a young apprentice chef with an appetite for action, who thinks he has what it takes to become an Elite Master Chef. When his father, Master Chef Jack, is captured by King Gorge, Chase believes that he himself can change the world, one meal at a time. Will he become a master chef in time for the ultimate food fight?


Review

I think I'm about to lose my lunch.

Just when you think you have seen every derivative of Pokemon there could possibly be, along comes something like this to make all those other horrible spinoffs look like Miyazaki films.

Fighting Foodons is perhaps the biggest insult to the monster-show genre of anime that I've seer seen. The premise alone is incredibly stupid. These "Master Chefs" cook up their monsters, transfer them onto trading cards (oh, excuse me, "Recipe Cards"), and toss them into battle, where these plates of food morph into little fighting monsters.

What the hell?

The monsters aren't cute, all the main characters are annoying, and the villains are much more brain-dead than Team Rocket ever was, but not nearly as funny. And aside from having a really dumb name, Chase isn't sympathetic, just a whiny crybaby who is just there. You don't feel any sense of determination or pride or trying your best, and there is no emotional attachment to the uncute critters. I mean, they're food! If they lose, you get the feeling they're dinner.

And it all seems like they're playing a routine. There's no chemistry between the whiny, screechy characters, and none of it makes any sense at all. It's like they know they're a cheap knockoff, so they're not even trying. If the characters and creators don't care about the show, then why should we?

The animation is subpar. It's not the worst animated series out there, but its better episodes around on par with Pokemon's worst episodes, with speed lines and still shots everywhere. There's lots of editing in the US dub, and it's obvious ("Hot Diggity Dog" and his obviously digitized ketchup and mustard bottles over the original Japanese six-shooters). The music sucks-they take classical music and write hideous lyrics to it and call it an opening song, and the background in grating and annoying in a bad way, slapped together without any sort of planning.

At least Ultimate Muscle knows it's corny and over-the-top and enjoys itself. Fighting Foodons is joyless and boring and makes your brain leak out of your ears, especially when compared to its stablemates in the Fox Box. Even the most derivative kids shows are at least fun, or have some kind of hook to draw a child in (even if an adult can't stand the show). My nieces couldn't sit through this, and I can't imagine any child sitting through more than ten minutes of this crap.

A carelessly slapped together children's show that makes you long for Akane's cooking. — Christi

Recommended Audience: It says seven and up. But I wouldn't recommend setting a glass of milk near the TV with this on. It would curdle.



Version(s) Viewed: Broadcast airing, English dub
Review Status: Partial (8/26)
Fighting Foodons © 2001 Group TAC / NHK
 
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