Chuuka Ichiban Soundtrack

August 28, 2009

This is sure an old anime for me to blog on. Chuuka Ichiban was the first of only two food themed animes that I have watched. With all the seemingly delicious and sumptuous Chinese cuisine that the show has to offer, how I wished I had a taste of Mao’s exceptional culinary cooking skills. Even with the prospect of just seeing all the cooking action, it was enough to make me salivate. Oh yes. Don’t forget those hilarious reactions when other people taste Mao’s out-of-this-world cooking. Simply classic effects.
Although the series doesn’t provide eye candy (in terms of animation visuals or hot babes ;p) and the above mentioned savoury candy (how can you taste something instantly on TV?), at least it has several background music which provides ear candy. The original soundtrack is not something to boast about nor is it quite a popular one. Released back in August 1998, the single album consists of only 24 tracks of which 6 tracks are TV versions of the opening and ending themes of the series. Which means if you do the maths, there would only be 18 background music, which are composed by Michihiko Oota. However, not all of them are to my liking and just like my previous blog on anime soundtracks, listed below are my favourite ones in alphabetical order:-
1) Being Kind To A Great Mother
2) Born In The Sun
3) Speed & Technique
4) The Great Wall Of China
Uh huh. Not much, eh? But it is not the quantity that matters. Among the four, my favourite one is still Speed & Technique. A very catchy and lively beat which is mainly piano and strings driven. I remember this piece is played when we see Mao in fast forward cooking action. Cutting, slicing, frying and cooking those tasty mouth watering dishes. Hey, you can’t wait and watch the entire cooking process, right? I’m not saying that they show it in fast forwarding sense whereby the action zooms by quickly. Just several important clips here and there on how our chefs are progressing with their work.
Next is Born In The Sun, which is the longest duration track in the album lasting close to 5 minutes. This is Mao’s theme in particular. Another lively and upbeat rock piece to show Mao’s exuberant and creative side. Not to mention his innocent and bubbly exterior as well. With the electric guitar as its lead, this is the kind of song which gives us an impression of hope and looking forward. Also, the kind of tune in which should befit most happy endings.
To portray the grandeur and magnificence of the Chinese culture, that is what the theme The Great Wall Of China perfectly does. The orchestra and very Chinese-like tune may sound a little repetitive even if the bridge part sounds a little diverse but perhaps it is to give an everlasting impression of the continuity of the Chinese splendour. Finally Being Kind To A Great Mother is a slow string-driven piece. Though it has a little sad tune in it, but I feel it sounds more towards ‘paying respects’ to a revered figure. In this instance, Mao’s late mom who is also a great chef herself.
Though I’m not saying the other pieces suck, they don’t really appeal to me. So a brief description on the other tracks in the series. Silly Kid sounds more like the blues with some fanfare. Like one of those songs when you enter a pub or nightclub. I’m sure with such a name, this piece is for comical situations. Guess who is the silly kid? Figuring Out What To Do may start out more like a fantasy journey through the Milky Way with its mystical-like tune but it soon turns into a lively piece which gives an impression exactly like its aptly named title. Kikkaro initially starts off with a grand sounding orchestra piece like as though you’ve entered a revered place than halfway it changes to a slower pace with a Chinese tune. Oath Of Vengeance is a slow eerie piece in the beginning and gradually the strings and creepy deep bass definitely make it sound like a revenge plot anxiously going to burst anytime. An aptly named track is Appearance Of An Ominous Enemy. The dark feel of the track sends a warning signal that a great opponent has arrived.
I remember when the people who taste those wonderful dishes, they go into some relaxing fantasy of their own. That is what the background music Voluptuous portrays. Though it also sounds very Chinese-like, the easy and soothing pace of the song gives an impression of a peace of mind. If only in real life many dishes could have such an effect. The Competitive Heart Is Burning feels like another theme for a cooking battle albeit it is a slower pace compared to Speed & Technique but sounds a little more intense. Another battle themed song is Solution Of Riddle. This dramatic cosmic-like tune sounds like the chefs have to put on their thinking caps to figure out a way to solve the issues at hand. However the song sounds more towards optimistic rather than tensed. Which Is The Winner is a suspenseful track as it gives off an air of suspense (I think an organ was used for this effect) before the judges deliver their final verdict to the winner of the cooking battle. Of course we know who it’s going to be lah. And after all that hard work and our heroes have won, the lively Victory And Glory piece is played to honour their win.
Going On A Journey sounds like a variation of Born In The Sun. Even the rock beat is no exception. Maybe this could be Mao’s second theme. But because of the name of the song, it brings to mind a hope-filled trip and adventures awaiting our heroes. Hope For Tomorrow also sounds like a shorter variation of Born In The Sun but is more strings-driven in a moderate calming pace. Just like its name suggests, it gives a sense of hope for whatever may await the protagonists. However I don’t find the track Anxiety befitting its tune. Sure it sounds dramatic but again the grandeur of the piece gives an impression of an impending approach of something big. Perhaps because of this overwhelming feeling, maybe one is supposed to feel anxious? Confidence Lost is another track which doesn’t sound like its title. It’s not a sad or gloomy piece but more of a dramatic and suspenseful tune. Also sounds a little like a situation where time is running out.
In a nutshell, this whole album helps to complement the series though it doesn’t stand out very obvious on its own. But I note that many of the tracks are appropriately named to fit the atmosphere and situation in the series, though a handful to me doesn’t feel so. It’s better than giving some long-winded and unsuitable names which will make listeners scratch their heads of how a particular track’s tune is related to its name. Though I don’t feel like rewatching the series even if they rerun it on TV, I’m still listening to my favourite quartet of songs in this album from time to time. It brings back great nostalgic memories. Now if only I could taste the food…

Chuuka Ichiban

2 Responses to “Chuuka Ichiban Soundtrack”

  1. Karen Says:

    Do you know where can I download the soundtrack and instrument


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