Rokusaburo Michiba (Japan), Chen Kenichi (China) & Hiroyuki Sakai (France) are the three main Iron Chefs, the invincible men of culinary steel. Each week, a new challenger who is usually a head chef of some kind enters kitchen stadium (on an invite from Chairman Takeshi Kaga) and picks and Iron Chef to battle with. Chairman Kaga then picks an ingredient (no matter how rare, awful or delicious it may seem) and instructs the two men (or women) to do battle within one hour.
Within this hour, the Iron Chefs and challengers yell at assistants, themselves, the interviewer "Ota" & their utensils, and create a number of great looking, tasting and imaginative dishes to get judged by a panel of selected people. The winner is selected, and if the challenger wins (very rare occasion), they bask in the glory that they actually HAVE beaten an Iron Chef.
The format of the show is condensed, and the full hour of cooking is indeed not shown in it's entirety, however the editing is very well done and not noticed very much at all.
The commentary has received much publicity due to it's over-the-top style (on the American version). Corny accents and expressions (man alive!) make for interesting viewing, and always keeps the viewer entertained.
But when you're not listening to the over-the-top american accents, you'll be focusing on the abilities and talent of all the chefs, and the way they can create delicious looking meals out of fish innards, and sea urchin roe (sea urchin eggs).
The Iron Chefs each have their own particular area that they excel most in, with Kenichi being a Sezchuan expert (his father is the man of this style of cooking), Sakai being a deserts and decorations expert (his French cooking really pays off) and Michiba creating excellent looking soups (but Michiba is often named the best Iron Chef and is good all around), and hence, they all make formidable foes for the challengers to take on.
With the Iron Chefs talents, the last 10 minutes is always a scramble, and is bound to be edge of the seat stuff. The comes the tasting. The horrid dubbing of American accents is hilarious here. The voice actors attempt to create the sounds of the Japanese tasters saying "mmmm, this is good" and so forth, and create the sound effects that go along with them, outrageous. After this, the piano music cuts in, the winner is announced and the Iron Chef is over again for another week.
This show is amazing, it's entertaining, it's brilliant and fully deserves the 9.4 that it got.
Michiba all the way!