Iron Wok Jan Vol. #06 - Mania.com



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Info:

  • Art Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: B+
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: DrMaster
  • MSRP: 9.95
  • Pages: 204
  • ISBN: 1-58899-261-6
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Iron Wok Jan Vol. #06

By Eduardo M. Chavez     March 03, 2005
Release Date: November 01, 2003


Iron Wok Jan Vol.#06
© DrMaster


Creative Talent
Writer/Artist:Saijyo Shinji
Translated by:Sahe Kawahara
Adapted by:

What They Say
With the Cooking Competition at an end, it's back to the Gobancho restaurant for more great food and a possible new recruit. Also a hot-headed chef thinks he's ready to challenge the mighty Iron Wok Jan!

The Review
Packaging:
Continuing in B6 size, ComicsOne uses Japanese cover art once again for volume six. Jan is his usual almost psychotic self, teeth and huge maddening eyes and all, behind a pile of bell pepper beef. This image is framed in a green border.

Logo Check!! (2003 Megs)... the original logo is pretty simple and while the ComicsOne logo is a little large it’s pretty creative. The tomato and the bell pepper are cute and they look very nice on the spine of this GN.

At the end of the GN are ads for ComicsOne manhwa: NOW and My Sassy Girl.

Artwork:
Saijyo's art is still pretty interesting. He uses action techniques for a cooking manga and for the most part, it really works. Last volume, I was a little confused about the overuse of some intense techniques and was weary going into this one. Fortunately even with the action level in the plot going up, the layout was not quite as distracting as it has been. This really helped with the mood and took attention away from the art and into the drama in the kitchen. Background designs are great as well as one can get the feeling that the scenes presented could be staged on the set of Iron Chef. Good stuff.

Character designs are still fun. Characters tend to be a little on the long side but the lines are crisp and the detail Saijyo shows to his expressions is fantastic. Jan, and now Dan's, eyes are pretty freaky but I have to agree with another AoD poster who said, “Saijyo makes some of the best BIG breasted women in manga. “ Take that as you wish...

Text/SFX:
When they are on ComicsOne is still one of the best in the business. For this title, they have tastefully translated SFX close to the original SFX. What they do well here though is that they do not translate every single FX in every panel, especially if there is a bunch of the same. Therefore, say you have five potsu’s but the panel is busy, ComicsOne translates three of them as "drip".

The translation has been much more fluid as of late. Errors are less common than in the early volumes, as well (though, there is a typo on the back cover). This series is unique, as there are recipes with Chinese names, so there is almost another level of translation. Fortunately, that aspect has been handled quite well from the start and they have been very smart to add as many notes as possible to make things easy to understand.

One thing to take note is Celine Yang's accent. I cannot pin it down but she talks in a certain drawl. Her character is from Kobe so you would expect it. C1 handles this well, for it does not distract too much from the plot. (Though, I wonder how others react to it)

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Jan and Kirk return to Gouache and immediately things get hot between the two. Making matters worse is the introduction of a new chef at the best Chinese restaurant in Tokyo. Rival, Celine Yang, joins the staff and brings her nouvelle chinoise to Tokyo. So you would think the Gobancho's would have their hands full already. Nope, there is more to come (and fast.)

The second chapter does not end and another face shows up at the restaurant. He is familiar to some of the staff and while his introduction was a little on the rough side, it was nothing compared to what would soon occur in the kitchen. Dan is a Gobancho chef and has been away in China studying to master his cooking. He comes back with tremendous skill, but he also has an attitude that is violent and possibly more deranged than Jan’s. As you would expect this does not go well in this already volatile kitchen.

Soon enough arms were being broken and the large egos would still not back down from a fight. Luckily, for everyone involved Dan has no intention of working at Gobancho; he has been hired by big restaurant. Moreover, he wants to take Jan with him. You know Jan isn't going to do something without having his say in it so expect another showdown between these two. This time it will be in Dan's kitchen!

Comments
With the cooking competition over, one would possibly expect a lull where we would get some more tension within the Gobancho kitchen between champions Kiriko and Jan. Luckily, we are introduced to yet another rival and this one is Jan's equal (in regards to personality and skill) or possibly his superior.

The tension is thick and the pace is kept at a high level from practically the start of this volume. This new character adds another level to this series. By having two extreme personalities, in Jan and Dan, the series adds a new facet to the story - action. There is some actual fist fighting here and in the kitchen, the recipes get stranger and stranger. While reading this I could not help how these two could eventually top each other’s crazy ideas. So, while Jan has been pushing the envelope for most of the series on his own, with Dan things to potential for madness is through the roof. In this volume alone both characters made the impossible to eat a must have dish. Yum!!

This series demands attention. It really is so much different than most of the translated stuff out there but at the same time it is a very solid manga. Saijyo does everything right: he makes the act of cooking his action, he keeps the tension high with creative recipes and extreme characters and the food is NOT a main character (more than a few cooking manga out there are about the food not the plot). With a nice production, some decent art and a great fast pace this is possibly one of the few manga out there that I am impatient about. I cannot get enough.

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