Follow TV Tropes


Heartwarming / Iron Chef

Go To

  • Sakai and Chen's tearful hug after Sakai won the King of Iron Chefs tournament.
  • Michiba finally giving Morimoto his (in-kayfabe, as Michiba and Morimoto had had a warm relationship off-camera for years) seal of approval before the first Morimoto / Flay battle also ranks up there.
  • When a Korean chef (Battle Liver) came onto the show to show the Japanese people the appeals of Korean cusine, the Chairman, the commentators, and the judges were all very respectful and interested in her work, especially Yukio Hattori, who was very interested to learn about the cuisine. When Chen Kenichi heard that she came onto the show not just to challenge him but to show the world the joys of Korean food, Chen told her that he is very honored to being chosen to cook alongside her.
  • Advertisement:
  • Despite Chen being the only original Iron Chef to last throughout the entire show, there were times he wanted to quit: among his reasons was the desire to tend to his restaurants, which had become booked every night since the show's start, as well as a bout of depression following the death of his mother. Ultimately, it was Sakai who convinced him to stay, summed up with those heartfelt words:
    "Look, if you're going to quit, I will too. But if you aren't, let's give it our best together. Whenever you have a problem, talk to me. I will help you in every way that I know."
  • Kandagawa shaving his head, defeating then-champion Sakai in a Red Snapper Battle with a 5-0 score from the judges, and crying while being presented a medal from one of the judges (an Olympic judo champion) was positively amazing. Doubles as a Moment of Awesome for the 21st Century Special.
    • In a way, the relationship Michiba and Kandagawa had was a bit heartwarming. Each one sees the other as a Worthy Opponent but they genuinely respected each other with Kandagawa sending flowers to Michiba's restaurant after the Iron Chef recovered from an illness that knocked him out for two months. He even returned to witness Michiba's first battle back and supported him despite his opponent being more someone Kandagawa would have rooted for (a Kyoto based chef with a traditionalist orientation).
  • Advertisement:
  • Morimoto meeting his biggest fan during the New York Battle: a six year-old boy dressed just like him. He even gave him his chef's hat at the end of the battle.
  • Sakai's match (Battle Black Pork) against an old school buddy from Kagoshima — until he walked into Kitchen Stadium on the day of the taping, Sakai hadn't seen him in decades, and they rushed to shake hands even before the theme ingredient was announced.
    • Sakai's trip back to his hometown of Kagoshima at the start of the episode, too. He enjoys a reunion dinner with his middle school classmates and teacher, even cooking for them.
  • In an undubbed Egg Battle featuring all three men with the Iron Chef Japanese title (Michiba as the initiator of the battle with Morimoto and Nakamura actually battling), Nakamura smiles and laughs when he sees the presentation of the ingredient (a cage with dozens of eggs surrounded by chickens). It might not be a big deal at first glance but considering how he seemed so reluctant to be challenged during his tenure as an Iron Chef, seeing him be emotionally open was a big deal. And before they went to gather their ingredients, Mormimoto and Nakamura shake hands warmly with the former bowing deeply toward the latter as a strong sign of respect. And Nakamura wins the battle after having lost his first egg battle when he was in the stadium.
    • To add to the heartwarming and awesomeness, When Nakamura was initially picked for Iron Chef, a lot of people had doubts that he would be a good successor to Michiba, which to be fair, were massive shoes to fill. While Nakamura did get a chance to show his worth, even beating Michiba himself and tying with Three Star Michelin-starred chefs like Alain Passard. However, after that battle, Nakamura had a massive breakdown leading to depression, and eventually retirement as Iron Chef. Nakamura winning against Morimoto proved that Nakamura was more than worthy to stand alongside Michiba and Morimoto, both for being the Iron Chef to not only win against his predecessor and successor, but also for showing that he is Iron Chef material, just in a different way.
  • Advertisement:
  • One in the revival: Michiba, then 81 years old, battled in the second of the three New Year's Eve Dream Matches against new Iron Chef Japanese Jun Kurogi. When the battle began, Kurogi not only helped Michiba pick his fish but also carried it back to his side for him.
  • Iron Chef Nakamura's retirement has some heartwarming moments. When Nakamura followed on the promise that if he lost he would retire and step down as Iron Chef, in his official reasoning he talked about how the pressure of being Iron Chef Japanese II gave him a lot of pressure and that he couldn't just do it anymore. Most of his critics, including several judges, former (Michiba and at the time current Iron Chefs Sakai and Chen, Toshiro Kandagawa, the man who beat Nakamura and the main cause of his retirement, and even Chairman Kaga had only positives to say to him, coming out in support, talking about how they did not realize how much stress Nakamura was going through, and took Nakamura's stress and the mental health issues Nakamura had very seriously, in a bit of Values Resonance.