Iron Wok Jan Vol. #27 (

By:Sakura Eries
Review Date: Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Release Date: Sunday, December 30, 2007

Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Shinji Saijyo
Translated by:Toshikazu Hosaka
Adapted by:N/A

What They Say
After Jan reveals his unspeakable ingredient too sickening even to be mentioned on the back cover, the ostriches go wild turning the competition site upside down. But don't worry. There is still one battle left. Don't miss the final battle as the cooking battle saga of the two houses Akiyama and Gobancho closes its curtain after three generations!

Also included: a special alternate ending and Shinji Saijyos debut manga, What Mysterious Fellows!

The Review
The Second Annual Rising Chinese Chefs competition ends with mayhem worthy of Jan's outrageous style -- a stampede of ostriches! The flock of maddened birds causes such a tumult that the competition is canceled before an official winner can be chosen. However, the top three young chefs are immediately called back to the kitchen battlefield by Kiriko's grandfather. Mutsuju Gobancho himself throws down the gauntlet, challenging Jan, Kiriko, and Ransei to take him on! Jan is ecstatic to finally get to battle Mutsuju and even vows to cut off his own left arm if he loses! However, when tragedy strikes, taking away all possibility of a Mutsuju-Jan showdown, what's left for Jan?

The Iron Wok Jan series concludes with boasts and challenges as the older generation takes on the younger generation. Indeed, as Mutsuju challenges the three younger chefs, he seems very much like a battle hardened veteran samurai wanting to teach his cocky young pupils a lesson. Surprisingly though, not a whole lot of cooking actually takes place. Indeed, this volume is more about the families behind the cuisine rivalry as Jan visits his grandfather's grave to tell him of Mutsuju's challenge and Jan's grandmother later shows up with an unexpected offer for him. (By the way, I personally find Saijyo's depiction of Jan's grandma somewhat irritating; there's no way a woman could be that aged and have breasts like that). Even Ransei has his own moment with his grandfather. In the end, however, it's all about the younger generation as Jan and Kiriko embark on a new journey. I find it a little frustrating that there is no definitive winner of the Rising Stars competition or the Gobancho challenge (after all, Jan's motto is all about winning, isn't it?), but then again, the selling point of the series has been more about Jan's craziness than his performance in the standings.

This volume includes closing remarks from Keiko Oyama, advisor for this series; four recipes; and the stand-alone manga "Mystery Alliance" that was Saijyo's debut work.

Mania Grade: B+
Art Rating: B-
Packaging Rating: B
Text/Translatin Rating: C+
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Released By: DrMaster
MSRP: 9.99
Pages: 208
ISBN: 978-1-59796-050-2
Size: B6
Orientation: Right to Left
Series: Iron Wok Jan