Kung Fu Cooking Girls
What this is about: Watching all of the anime shows so you don’t have to! — I’m taking a look at the first episode of every show from the Spring 2011 anime season that has been subtitled, and giving it a thumbs-up or thumbs-down. For more information about me and my reviews, click here.
Series Premise: Kung Fu Cooking Girls is an eight-minute-long animated short produced by Wolf Smoke Studios, a very tiny production company based in China, in June 2011. A traveler catches the eye of two street food vendors, who fight for his attention.
Click on the thumbnails below to view the picture in full size in a new window:
ep. tl;dr review: Chinese food vendor vs. American food vendor in kung-fu cat-fight; Short, fun and stylish leaves me wanting more.
Episode Summary: A young traveler walks the streets of a Chinese city, when he realizes he is starving. First he catches the attention of a scantily-clad street cart food vendor that tempts him with Chinese food specialties. But across the street, and voluptuous American answers with a large sandwich. The two of them face off against each other in an ever-escalating duel, but all the traveler wants to do is eat. Finally he manages to crawl away while they are still going at it, grabbing a bite of ramen at another stall, as they continue to fight in the background.
My Reaction: Hey, this isn’t Japanese anime! It comes from China, which begs the question as to why is there so little Chinese animation out there, and why is it virtually unknown in America when compared to the Japanese juggernaut? The same could also be said for other Asian countries as well (as in Korea, for example), but with a billion-plus Chinese weighing down the globe, I’m surprised that it’s such a non-starter on the worldwide market.
(As an aside, I guess I could say the same for the manga, er, manhua marketplace in America. About the only comics I’ve seen out of China are some low-grade martial arts stuff a la Storm Riders. But there’s gotta be more than that, even the smaller market of Korean manhwa has a much broader and interesting footprint in America.)
But if this is any indication of some of the animation projects that are popping up around China, then I’m ready to do a little digging. This short-short appeared on Youtube in June, coming from a small, largely unknown company that has only produced three other shorter-shorts in the past couple of years. Clearly there is some cross-pollination with some Japanese influences, but the artist and animators have definitely staked out their own style with a very fluid, very sketchy display of artwork (kinda reminds me of Shoka, which I think I may have been the only person on the internet to give a positive review). This seems to have come out of nowhere – seriously, where were these guys before?
As for the story itself, it’s nothing amazing, just an extended joke stretched out into an eight-minute cartoon, and I think they covered that fairly well. It’s not that I want to see more of Kung Fu Cooking Girls specifically (it’s not like there’s much more that can be done with the joke without becoming derivative), but I’m ready to see what else they can do. Bring it on!
The verdict: – Seriously, go watch this.
- Videos and Previews:
- Watch it unsubtitled on Youtube.
- Additional Info Resources:
- Official United States Licensing Information:
- Not a chance.
- A Sampling of the Blog-Roll of Reviews:
- “Then the fight started and I was stunned by the fluidity and graceful motions that were exaggerated (as is the norm for the genre), but not to a degree that they become comical or overwrought. There is a real weight and urgency in every attack that rivals the best Chinese Wuxia films.” – The Escapist Magazine
- “It is more of an experimental piece to try out a new animation technique and demonstrate their animation skills rather than a story piece. So story telling is bare minimum but animation is very well done. Quite dynamic. It uses a vibrant and transparent coloring and it reminded me of the illustrator okama. Worth checking out if you just want to watch a nice anime action sequence.” – Can You Moe?
- “ONE OF THE BEST ANIMATIONS I’VE SEEN RECENTLY, AND A VERY FUNNY STORY. MUST WATCH, SERIOUSLY.” – Richard the Rough
- “Can’t say I like the character design but it is interesting. Can’t say anything about its story/plot cuz I saw two babes exchanging blows for most part of the show. Nevertheless, I found myself enjoying every minute of it.” – Ryo-Kun
- “Considering how good the Doctor Who Fan Built Anime was, all I can do is cheer this group on as well, since they have already exceeded the other. Did I mention that this video impressed me? Way to go, WolfSmoke.” – Sci Fi Party Line
SPRING 2011 ROUND ONE RESULTS!
- First Episodes from the Spring 2011 Season receiving a thumbs-up: Steins;Gate, Deadman Wonderland, Hanasaku Iroha, Dog Days, Moshidora, Ano Hi Mita Hana no Namae o Bokutachi wa Mada Shiranai, Tiger and Bunny, Fireball Charming, Denpa Onna to Seishun Otoko, A Channel, Sengoku Otome: Time Paradox, Nichijou, Yondemasu-yo Azazel-san, C – The Money of Soul and Possibility Control, X-Men, Blue Exorcist, Kaiji Season 2, Hyouge Mono, Showa Monogatari, Detective Conan OVA 11: A Secret Order from London, Kung Fu Cooking Girls
- First Episodes from the Spring 2011 Season receiving a thumbs-down: Sket Dance, Softenni, Happy Kappi, Astarotte’s Toy, Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera, Inazuma Eleven Go, Hidan no Aria, Suzy’s Zoo Daisuki Witzy, Seikon no Qwaser Season 2, The World God Only Knows Season 2, Toriko, Maria Holic Alive, 30-sai no Hoken Taiiku, Oretachi ni Tsubasa wa Nai, Pretty Rhythm Aurora Dream, Fairy Tail OVA, Plastic Nee-san, Yu-Gi-Oh: Zexal, Nana to Kaoru OVA, Shukufuku no Campanella OVA, Gintama, Tono to Issho: Gantai no Yabou, Hen Zemi, Hoshizora e Kakaru Hashi, Honto ni Atta Reibai Sensei, Senjou no Valkyria 3, Seitokai Yakuindomo OVA, Amagami SS OVA, Katte ni Kaizou, Digimon Xros Wars Season 2, Seibu Tetsudou Ekiin Tako-chan, Highschool of the Dead OVA, Panty and Stocking with Garterbelt OVA
- Coming up next (in this order – 54 down, 3 to go!): Appleseed XIII, Asobi ni Iku yo OVA, Fujilog…and then it’s time for the Spring 2011 Round One Wrap-Up!