In this installment, I will focus on still more movies who contributed music to the original Japanese and Food Network U.S.-dubbed versions of our obsession.
A word of notation before I begin: I do not own the majority of the soundtracks you’re about to see listed here. Therefore, I may not know which particular cue goes with which usage and the exact length of the track used in each case. If you recognize which cues I reference, e-mail me at Blissey01@yahoo.com.
CONFRONT 3: EVEN MORE MOVIE MUSIC
I’d like to thank Keith Brock (you know him as “tuthead”) for providing me with the music list from the late and lamented ironchef.com website, which I used as research material for this article.
First up is Mulan, the 1998 Disney film (and number 36 on the company’s list of “Official Canon” animated features). Composed and conducted by the late Jerry Goldsmith, the soundtrack contributed various cues for episodes in the latter year-and-a-half of Iron Chef‘s run. (Click Here to purchase this soundtrack.)
Most noted of these is the “Suite from Mulan” (Track 6 on the Walt Disney Records soundtrack album), which was used during the original U.S. version of the 2000th Plate Special (ICC episode number 631) in a recap of the 1994 Prawn Battle between Iron Chef Chinese Chen Kenichi and challenger Takashi Saito (ICC episode number 238). The recap was shown as part of the “Chairman’s Top 5” dishes countdown, whose Number 1 was Iron Chef Chen’s version of his father Chen Kenmin’s famous Prawns in Chili Sauce.
Three other scores composed by Jerry Goldsmith made their way to Kitchen Stadium as well.
U.S. Marshals—used during the introduction of the 1999 Spiny Lobster Battle between Iron Chef Chen and Grand Chef Xie Huaxian of Hei Chin Rou (ICC episode number 701); (Click Here to purchase this soundtrack.)
Air Force One—used in the 21st Century Battle (ICC episode number 901); (Click Here to purchase this soundtrack.)
First Knight—used during the 1999 Stingray Battle between Iron Chef French II Hiroyuki Sakai and challenger Yoshihide Koga (ICC episode number 732). (Click Here to purchase this soundtrack.)
A movie whose music was only used in the original English dubbed version of Iron Chef was Akira, the 1988 anime classic. (Click Here to purchase this soundtrack.) Composed by Tsutomu Oohashi (under his pseudonym Shoji Yamashiro) and performed by his ensemble, the Geinoh Yamashirogumi, the Akira soundtrack contributed a cue here described in the list from the late ironchef.com: “Akira” Soundtrack – “Requiem” (track 10) The gong that is heard as we see the chef and challenger are pictured facing each other after the commercial break before the dishes are presented again and before judging is from the anime movie is from seconds 20 to 28 of track 10. This footage is seen in the International Iron Chef seen on the Food Network.
4TH CONFRONT: OTHER MEDIA, PART 1 Three more anime shows/movies had music used on Iron Chef—specifically, in the New York Battle (ICC episode number 802). These cues, all composed by Yoko Kanno (Yoko Kanno Amazon Store), were used in various places during the New York Battle special.
The 1986 musical Variations, composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, gives us the original ascension music of Iron Chef Italian Masahiko Kobe. (Click Here to purchase this soundtrack.)
Here’s the description from the ironchef.com list:
Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Variations” – Used for Kobe’s introduction music. The Song & Dance musical, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, features singing in act one and dancing in act two. Since act two is just instrumental, it will sometimes be sold separately from the singing portion of the musical. Such is the case for the recording used on the show. The instrumental music is on a CD entitled “Variations” (Philips label, released 1986). Track 11, approx 2:27 – 2:57, is Kobe’s music.
Variations 22-23 (Kobe Excerpt)
Variations 22-23 (Full Track)
When Iron Chef Kobe’s music was replaced for post-2001 airings of the show on Food Network, it was changed to a cue from the anime series The Big O. This cue, entitled “Stoning” (composed by Toshihiko Sahashi) would be used until the music of Iron Chef was totally replaced for post-2008 airings of Iron Chef on the U.S. cable channel Fine Living Network (check out the “Fine Living Version” of the 1998 Mango Battle between Iron Chef Kobe and challenger Yousei Watanabe [ICC episode number 615-B] for an example of the new music).
Stoning (from The Big O)
Finally on our itinerary this time is the 1996 Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire media initiative. The soundtrack inspired by the novel and later used in the videogame (composed and conducted by Joel McNeely based on original thematic material composed by John Williams) would contribute two cues (“Imperial City” and “The Destruction of Xizor’s Palace”) to the opening sequence of the U.S. version of the 21st Century Battle (ICC episode number 901).
Both of the Shadows of the Empire cues I just mentioned can be downloaded from Joel McNeely’s official website, which you can find here.
According to some reports, a theme from some incarnation of the Star Trek franchise was used in the original Japanese opening of the 21st Century Battle (and was subsequently replaced in the U.S. by the Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire music). However, since I have not seen the OJV of the 21st Century Battle as of the date this article was written, I cannot comment on this myself.
Anyone who has a tape of the OJV (Original Japanese Version) of the 21st Century Battle, please send me an MP3 or video file of the opening at the e-mail address above. If I can correctly identify the Star Trek theme in question, I will properly credit you in a revision of this article.
In our last episode, we’ll wrap up our look at miscellaneous cues not mentioned up to this point.
It’s time for another pre-Food Network episode for your viewing pleasure.
The challenger, Kenjiro Kuroki, lives near the seaport that produces the largest fish yield in all of Japan. He is called “Ushiwakamaru.” (The best explanation I can find for this nickname is here. It appears that Ushiwakamaru can be used to refer to someone who is an extremely skilled swordsman. Or in this case, “knifesman.”) He began his training at the age of 15, with the goal to become a Japanese chef. He learned early on that his greatest asset in the kitchen is his speed. As the head of the restaurants at several hotels, he travels frequently, using the time to think about his cuisine. At only 5’2″ and less than 100lbs, can this small challenger pull off a big victory in Kitchen Stadium?
What makes this episode a rare and special treat for current Iron Chef fans is that it comes from the time before Iron Chef was aired on Food Network. It was recorded from one of the local stations broadcasting the show. (In fact, it still has the local commercials intact.) It is in Japanese WITH English subtitles. I know you will enjoy being able to experience this rare episode not shown in North America in over 10 years.
There are two options for viewing this episode. The pop-up player will use the usual divx encoded file. This smaller, lower quality file can also be downloaded directly using the “Download File” option. Also in the download menu this time is an option to download a higher quality VOB file (approx. 1.1GB). (You can play the vob file in VLC Player.)
New in the video database this week: 447s – Angler Battle – Nakamura vs. Kuroki (subbed)