Iron Chef
Review By: Ross

We can have all the Ren and Stimpy we want, but all the really fucked up shit comes from East Asia, like MashiMaro and Domo-Kun. While I'd classify Iron Chef as only moderately fucked up, it's still pretty weird for our tame airwaves.

The story is as follows. Takeshi Kaga, a reclusive millionaire with a taste for fine cuisine, is bored. What would you do if you were bored and had inconceivable amounts of money? Why, build a Kitchen Stadium and pit chefs in a battle to the death! Death of whatever fish is the ingredient, of course! Ha ha ha! Cheesy jokes aside, that's exactly what happens. Two chefs, a challenger and one of three (four in the later episodes) "Iron Chefs", masters of a specific type of food that always win, attempt to please the judges (I'm betting there's usually sex involved behind the scenes). They're given an ingredient, which is usually some kind of fish, and they make up three to six recipes on the fly. They have one hour to complete their dishes, and if they're not done an assistant or two usually gets beaten.

What makes this show so goddamned great is that everyone takes it so seriously. There's actually a resident food 'expert' that makes speculations about what the chefs are doing, and as per expectations he's almost always wrong. This show was so popular during its run that a few chefs who lost had to close their restaurants because everyone saw that their food sucked. One woman was so determined to win that when she cut her finger badly she just wrapped it in toilet paper until she was finished.

Well I can't exactly fit this into my train of thought anywhere so I guess I'll just say it here. The opening of the show consists of the following: Kaga steps out onto the Kitchen Stadium, picks a pepper out of a bowl, and bites it. Then he proceeds to laugh maniacally whilst the camera pans out to show dozens of chefs standing there, poised to take over the world. The chefs step out of the studio, and start gunning down random Japanese folk with M-16s. The cops soon arrive as the culinary army marches through the streets of downtown Tokyo, but they are quickly dispatched with automatic gunfire. The Emperor is then taken hostage in the Imperial palace as his family and aides are slaughtered before his horrified eyes. Negotiations with the government quickly go sour, and the Emperor is shot dead. The Japanese Diet is brought to its knees, and Takeshi Kaga becomes supreme dictator of Japan. Here is secret: I lie a lot.

The tasting is perhaps the most interesting part of the show, because you see the challenger's chance in hell melt right before his eyes. The judges frequently tell the contestant that their dishes suck. Granted, it's an overly polite and stereotypically Japanese kind of suck, but it still accomplishes the objective. When all the votes are in, they... go to a commercial. When that's over, the winner is announced, and the competitors bow at each other, shake hands, stab the winner with chopsticks, etc.

Iron Chef is definitely something everyone should watch at least once in their lifetime, just to get a taste of what those crazy Asians do on a day-to-day basis. I mean, besides being really short and getting raped by tentacles.

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