Iron Wok Jan Vol. #10 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: A

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  • Art Rating: B+
  • Packaging Rating: A-
  • Text/Translatin Rating: B+
  • Age Rating: 13 & Up
  • Released By: DrMaster
  • MSRP: 9.99
  • Pages: 206
  • ISBN: 1-58899-000-1
  • Size: B6
  • Orientation: Right to Left

Iron Wok Jan Vol. #10

By Eduardo M. Chavez     February 18, 2005
Release Date: October 01, 2004

Iron Wok Jan Vol.#10
© DrMaster

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

What They Say
Jan finally exposes the Taoist Gojyo for the fraud he is. But not before dazzles the judges with his insatiable cuisines. Gojyo is easily the toughest opponent Jan has ever faced and the ensuing culinary bout begins to wane on poor Jan's stamina. Will he be able to see this battle end or will even an exposed Gojyo prove more than Jan can handle?

The Review
The series is printed right to left in a short B6. This cover features Jan presenting the insides of a durian fruit. Yum! The image is wrapped in a blue frame with the logo on the top right corner. The back cover has close-up image of Okonogi Takao beneath the volume description.

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

Inside the cover, there are character intro pages and the original volume header. This volume is light in extras, only one recipe for Beijing Steam Dumplings and no ads either, which is really surprising.

Saijyo's art is plain crazy... but effective crazy. He uses action techniques in a cooking manga and for the most part, it really works. Last volume, I was a little confused about the overuse of some intense manpu 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. I mean cooking with a chainsaw can only be drawn in a certain way and Saijyo is possibly the only person who can pull it off. Good stuff. Background designs are great as well. Readers can get the feeling that they are present on this outdoor version of "Iron Chef".

Character designs are plain fun. Jan eyes are pretty freaky, and characters tend to be a little on the long side for me. However I have to agree with another AoD poster who says: Saijyo makes some of the best BIG breasted women in manga. Take that as you wish...

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. More importantly I did not notice any major grammar errors or typos, which were more frequent in the early volumes. I did notice some weird use of slang though. Otani at one point said the following to Gojyo, "You're my bitch!" I am pretty sure that was not in the original.

This series is pretty 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.

This volume does not have as many notes as most but they are there and they are easy to read and easy to access as they are typically in the gutters.

Contents: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
Three down, two to go, but Jan is still at the brink. Momentum is on his side though; he clearly won the last round to stave off elimination. Now doubt is setting in on his opponent and his mask is starting to fall off. This is exactly where Jan wanted to be. He has his rival on the defensive, he is starting to win over the judges and the crowd will soon find out who Gojyo really is.

Eternal youth is the theme for the next round and if Jan can win this he would have risen back like the phoenix. The name of the game now is making sure judges feel invigorated after eating so much already. Preparing a dish that is nutritious - rich in vitamins and minerals - is critical. Jan does both, but he adds a twist. He considers who he is cooking first and ignores his opponent. By acknowledging whom he is cooking for he was able to create a dish that made them feel young enough to continue doing what they love. As they are all judging a cooking contest, therefore to be able to enjoy cooking, tasting new flavors, and experiencing the properties food should be a blessing not something that should be forgotten with age.

But what type of dish can do that?

Gobancho Kiriko has consistently proven that cooking can be an art form. Gojyo has shown in this competition that cooking can be a science. Jan wants to prove to the world that cooking is magical. What he as done to get to this point has been nothing but magic. By tickling taste buds and expanding the palette and mindset of what food means to a person. Jan is not a sculptor; he is not a pharmacist, but he can make art and remedies with his cooking while challenging the basic ideas of cooking. It is creativity at its purist, and it fascinates and manipulates at the same time. Brilliant! Honestly I do not think there is a more inspired manga out there. Battle cooking in IWJ stretches the imagination and is a unique take on action that never lets down. This volume is the reason why one should pick up this series - cooking that inspires people to want to explore the world of food. Iron Wok Jan inspires readers to explore the diverse world of manga - cooking, sports, mahjong, pachinko, salaryman, OL, teaching, edu-manga... There is a big world out there; IWJ is just the start.


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