This week I’ve got an interesting question to address where I’m asked to compare anime and live action cooking shows? Trust Scott from Mechanical Anime Reviews to come up with something fun. As always, if you have a question you’d like me to answer you can use the link to the inquiring minds survey here or just scroll down this post and fill in the 2 question survey.
How do you feel about cooking anime versus live action shows like Iron Chef?Scott
I’m going to start with a confession, I don’t like live action cooking shows. At all. Watching someone else cook is right up there for me in the list of things I would absolutely rather not do. In fact I’d rate the average cooking show in terms of how much I’d like to watch it as on par with watching golf, a contortionist, or Hand Shakers (again).
Maybe part of this is my natural aversion to cooking anything that isn’t made of chocolate. Admittedly, I can cook better than I let on however I don’t care what the names of the utensils are, I honestly don’t need a specialised bowl to spin salad in, and if you tell me you bought a device that only cooks one thing I’m going to look at you like you grew a second head (a waffle iron not included in that because those things are essential). My idea of a serving suggestion is to put something on a plate.
However, the question does specifically ask me about something like Iron Chef and I did watch the Japanese version of that for quite awhile. Though, quite literally because of the time slot it was on and I only have two channels on my TV that get reception with consistency so it was Iron Chef while prepping dinner on the weekend or watching drought stricken farmers cry. However, one recent development with digital TV means the Food Network now actually has the clearest signal on my television and when we just want background noise it is usually what ends up on so I’ve certainly seen a wide variety of Chefs travelling around the world and sniffing various things and stirring stuff up.
I didn’t really like watching the cooking part of Iron Chef. I never really understood why you would try to cook something with a time limit. Good food takes time. And watching them run about and chopping wasn’t exactly riveting. My favourite part came when they served the food and the various tasters would take a bite and then try to put together these thoughtful descriptions of the flavour and usually it just made me laugh how hard they were trying to describe something and use different words from the person before who had literally just described it.
So live action cooking shows and me are pretty much a no-go.
Now when asked about anime cooking the first thing that comes to mind is Food Wars. And I actually did enjoy a season of that though season two gave me fatigue and I dropped it early in season 3. But again, it wasn’t really the cooking that drew me in. It was the discussion about the food and the ridiculous way they described flavour, and the visual metaphors when they were trying food. It was like the panel from the Iron Chef but exaggerated to an extreme in the way only anime really can.
However, I then thought about anime food in general and found that there are a lot of shows I love where cooking plays a central role. Recently Rokuhoudou Yotsuiro Biyori really worked for me and it focused around four guys working in a cafe making tea, terrible late art, and great food for their customers. The food shots in that anime were enough to make me hungry every single week and I really enjoyed watching them preparing their food or tea. Of course, you aren’t going to learn how to make the dishes from this one, but still, enjoy the food.
I think the easy answer to this question is, I don’t like cooking shows. However, shows where characters happen to cook aren’t a problem and anime food looks amazing.
But I’ll turn this question over to my readers. How do you feel about cooking anime compared to live action cooking shows?