May 25, 2019


(NHK, December 11, 2001-June 25, 2002 JAP
FOX, September 14, 2002-August 30, 2003 US)

Kodansha, Red Entertainment, 4Kids Entertainment

Chika Sakamoto (Japanese) & Tara Sands (as Tara Jayne) – Zen Bakunouchi/Chase
Ted Lewis – Tsukiji Bakunouchi/Chef Jack/Chef John, Frenchy Le Toast, Mayor Slim Rations, Sir Dumpling
Andrew Rannells – Ash/Albert, Fried Ricer
Jin Nishimura (Japanese) - Don Cook/King Gorgeous Gorge, Janbaran, Jikkyo-ana, announcer
J. David Brimmer (as Michael Alston Baley) – Don Cook/King Gorgeous Gorge
Shintarou Oohata (Japanese) - Kima/Cinnamonkey, Customer, Gatten Musu, Gomokuga, Pan’na, Yaki Oni
James Carter Cathcart (as Jimmy Zoppi) – Kima/Cinnamonkey
Hidenobu Kiuchi (Japanese) - Masa/Cole Slawter, Bear, Brightron, BurRed, Gran Beret, Konso Metaru, Mysterious Man, Nikumi Sona, Pizza Ghost, Potato, Shish-Ka-Beast, Steak King
Eric Stuart – Masa/Cole Slawter, Gazmacho, Manhattan Chowderhead, Burnt Meatballs, Sergeant Side Order, Slice
Takeshi Maeda (Japanese) – Grill, Bistron, Guiliano, Ikao, Mayor Slim Rations, Village Headman C
Oliver Wyman - Grill
Kouji Nakata (Japanese) & Scottie Ray - Narrator

            Fighting Foodons began as a manga by Naoto Tsushima serialized in Comic BomBom in 1998. Called Kakutō Ryōri Densetsu Bisutoro Recipe, or Martial Arts Cooking Legend Bistro Recipe, the story followed a world where a king wondered if “tofu surprise or stuffed duck” would be stronger. A chef used magical cards called Meal Tickets that allowed him to turn prepared food into sentient monsters. The living foods were dubbed Fighting Foodons and often pit in combat against each other. What began as entertainment designed to determine what meal would be enjoyed that day became a major competition in the kingdom.

King Gorge.

            When Gorgeous Gorge (Don Cook in the anime, voiced by Jin Nishimura & Michael Alston Baley) became the new king, he decided he wanted to conquer the world. He used his army of Gluttons to kidnap the best chefs and force them to make powerful Foodons for him. He also created elite soldiers that were human/animal hybrids. They included Clawdia (Tamao Hayashi & Veronica Taylor), who was rocket scientist Dia before she was transformed into a pink cat lady; Cinnamonkey (Kima in the anime, voiced by Shintarou Oohata & Jimmy Zoppi), a green monkey that worked with Dia; Cole Slawter (Masa in the anime, voiced by Hidenobu Kiuchi & Eric Stuart), a blue bear who specialized in seafood-based Foodons; Rose Marinade (Chu-Nyan in the anime, voiced by Yoko Sasaki & Megan Hollingshead), a two-tailed fox; and Grill (Takeshi Maeda & Oliver Wyman), a bat-turned-cyborg. The latter four were known as Gorge’s Big Four and often bossed Clawdia around. But their collective boss was Mussels Marinara (Wayne Grayson), a high-ranking member of the Glutton Empire.

Chase, Kayla, Pie-Tin and Oslo with the MAC Cart.

            In opposition to the Gluttons was a group of rebel Chefs. Chase (Zen Bakunouchi in the anime, voiced by Chika Sakamoto & Tara Jayne) was an impatient 10-year-old chef-in-training who discovered that he could make Foodons and trained to eventually become a Master Chef. He frequently travelled with his 8-year-old sister, Kayla (Karin in the anime, voiced by Megumi Nasu & Amy Palant), who often guarded their transport, the Mobile Attack Cuisine Cart (or MAC Cart); Oslo (Haoji in the anime, voiced by Wataru Takagi & Maddie Blaustein), a Grub Guru who was betrayed by his former student, King Gorge, and took up training Chase; Pie Tin (Pi-Tan in the anime, voiced by Yuko Mita & Kayzie Rogers), a 5-year-old boy whose parents were taken by King Gorge; and Albert (Ash in the anime, voiced by Hikaru Tokita & Andrew Rannells), a chef who was a fan of Chase’s father and joined Chase’s group. Chase and Kayla’s father was Chef Jack (Tsukiji in the anime, voiced by Masami Iwasaki & Ted Lewis), who led the Rebel Chefs against King Gorge under the guise of Chef John. He trained Coco (Natsume in the anime, voiced by Chisa Yokoyama & Lisa Ortiz), a ninja girl and member of the Rebels that developed a crush on Chase. Each character had a selection of Foodons that they summoned to do their battling, either in the arena or against their foes, which could evolve into more powerful forms when paired up with certain other Foodons. More advanced 5-Star Meal Tickets and Platinum Meal Tickets, as well as particular ingredients, could also produce more powerful Foodons.

Chase's primary Foodon: Fired Ricer.

            In 1999, the manga was adapted into two video games for the Game Boy Color in Japan. They were developed by Red 5 Software and published by Banpresto. Similarly to Pokémon, it was a turn-based battle game between summoned creatures. They also made a Wonderswan game licensed by Bandai. Kodansha and Red Entertainment then adapted the manga into an anime that aired on Japan’s NHK network from December 11, 2001 to June 25, 2002 for a total of 26 episodes. It was animated by Group TAC. 4Kids Entertainment acquired the rights to dub and broadcast the show on their new FoxBox programming block; a joint-venture between 4Kids and FOX that replaced Fox Kids. Fighting Foodons, initially to be titled Fighting Feud, began with the block on September 14, 2002 and ran until the following August.

Clawdia with her Foodon, Bearafooda.

            The English dub was written by David Sartorius, Jim Malone, Scott DeSimon and Lewis, with Paul Taylor on translations. A great deal of the show’s humor came from the outlandish situations in the premise, as well as the countless food names (some changed to be more Americanized foods) and puns. The series’ theme was composed by Louis Cortelezzi and Norman J. Grossfeld based on Jacques Offenbach’s “Orpheus in the Underworld” (a song most associated with the French dance, the Cancan). It was performed by Darren Dunstan and Kate Petterle. Dunstan also served as the series’ voice director. The rest of the show’s music was composed by Dan Stein, Greg Kalember, James West, John Angier, Manny Corallo, Ralph Schuckett, Rusty Andrews and Cortelezzi. In 2017, Discotek Media released the complete series to DVD.

“Hey! Omachi!! (Rice to Meet You)” (12/11/01 JAP, 9/14/02 US) – Chase and Kayla set out to rescue their father from King Gorge’s prison while Chase discovers he can summon Foodons.

“With Pipipin and Patan! (Pie Tin Power)” (12/18/01 JAP, 9/21/02 US) – Pie Tin sets out to rescue his parents and Clawdia makes it so that he believes Chase and Kayla are Gluttons.

“Save Haodji! (Mushroom with a View)” (12/25/01 JAP, 9/28/02 US) – Clawdia ambushes the Foodons while they search the woods for a magical mushroom that will restore Oslo’s hair.

“Yokoso Gosuto no Morie (You Wanna Pizza Me)” (1/8/02 JAP, 10/26/02 US) – When Princess Cupcake ate out instead of eating Master Flambé’s masterpiece pizza, his ghost has his mansion and land since.

“Open Foodon Tournament (Ship of Foods)” (1/15/02 JAP, 10/5/02 US) – When Fried Ricer comes out on top of the Floating Foodon contest, King Gorge’s son challenges Chase to a battle.

“Final Battle Foodon Tournament (We Have a Weiner)” (1/22/02 JAP, 10/12/02 US) – When Chase loses a practice match to Chef Albert, he loses all confidence for the Floating Foodon contest.

“Fourth Royal Gourmet King, Ritsuko! (Avast Ye Gluttons)” (1/29/02 JAP, 10/19/02 US) – When Chef Jack is revealed to be Chase’s father, the kids realize the contest was a trap set by the Gluttons.

“Curry Showdown on the South Island! (Battling Banana Island)” (2/5/02 JAP, 11/2/02 US) – Chase wakes up to discover he’s ended up on a mysterious tropical island.

“The Taste of Grandma Is? (Hot Pepper Pursuit)” (2/12/02 JAP, 11/9/02 US) – While searching for his friends Chase encounters the Peppers: secret agents who help people whose loved ones go missing.

“Master the Ultimate Mystery!! (Boot Camp Buffet)” (2/19/02 JAP, 11/16/02 US) – Chase goes to the Gruel Academy to learn the finer points of combat cooking, but the school’s precious scroll is under threat of theft.

“Tears of a Hidden Foodon (El Taco Grande)” (2/26/02 JAP, 11/23/02 US) – The kids end up in a Western town where a rebel Taco Foodon seeks to steal the last remaining jar of salsa in order to free his fellow Foodons from oppression.

“Tropical Food God? (Cinnamonkey’s Secret)” (3/5/02 JAP, 11/30/02 US) – Cinnamonkey sets out to conquer an entire kingdom for the Gluttons.

“Attack! Four Heavenly King Masa (Slaw and Order)” (3/12/02 JAP, 12/7/02 US) – The kids set out to rescue Coco and Chef John from capture, resulting in Cole Slawter challenging Chase to a battle.

“Confrontation! Four Heavenly King Masa (The Comeback Squid)” (3/10/02 JAP, 12/14/02 US) – Chase tries to help some fishermen with their giant octopus and squid problem, but Fried Ricer turns out to be afraid of them.

“Eating God’s Lost Things (Swine Dining)” (3/26/02 JAP, 2/1/03 US) – The Rebels try to fight off the Pork Platoon, but end up suffering from a dose of Swine Flu.

“Burger Squadron of Love and Justice (Attack of the Burger Brigade)” (4/9/02 JAP, 2/8/03 US) – Chase and his friends try to cheer up the captured town of Gladburger but soon the Gluttons come for Chase.

“Final Battle!! Ramen Showdown (Use Your Noodle)” (4/16/02 JAP, 2/15/03 US) – While imprisoned, Kayla and Pie Tin eat tainted food that turn them into loyal Gluttons.

“Disappearance!? Tropicana (Assault and Pepper)” (4/23/02 JAP, 3/1/03 US) – Chase enters into an all-out battle with Rose Marinade and her most powerful Foodons.

“Spy and Great!! (License to Grill)” (4/30/02 JAP, 3/8/03 US) – With Fruit Turtle’s destruction, the kids go to find Davy Gravy to create the Foodon Deluxe and get Chase back into a cooking mood.

“A Dangerous Blunder!? (To Catch a Beef)” (5/7/02 JAP, 3/15/03 US) – Clawdia sets out to steal the secret ingredient for the Foodon Deluxe.

“Supai de dai Suppai!? (Hot and Spy’c)” (5/21/02 JAP, 3/22/03 US) – Clawdia attempts to prove her worth to Grill by capturing the Hot Peppers.

“Guardian Robo Start (You Go Grill Pt. 1)” (5/28/02 JAP, 3/29/03 US) – Chase and his friends set out to stop Chef Grill before he unleashes the greatest Foodon ever.

“Machine Cooker Grill!! (You Go Grill Pt. 2)” (6/4/02 JAP, 4/5/03 US) – Chase fails to stop Grill, and now they must face the Butcherbot.

“Rush! Don Cook Castle!! (A Whole Lot at Steak)” (6/11/02 JAP, 4/12/03 US) – Chase and his friends finally defeat the Big Four and set their sights on King Gorge.

“Final Battle! Don Cook (Chase in Space)” (6/18/02 JAP, 8/23/03 US) – Chase and the gang go after King Gorge.

“Magical Cuisine (A Dish Better Served Cold)” (6/25/02 JAP, 8/30/03 US) – Chase has to stop King Gorge from unleashing Devouron.

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