|Sudden Cooking! Follow the Phantom Dragon!|
| びっくり料理[クッキング]! 幻のドラゴンを追え!|
Sudden Cooking! Follow the Phantom Dragon!
|Japan||May 17, 1996|
|OP||Give a reason|
|ED||Jama wa Sasenai|
Sudden Cooking! Follow the Phantom Dragon! (Japanese: びっくり料理[クッキング]! 幻のドラゴンを追え!, lit. Bikkuri Cooking! Maboroshi no Dragon wo Oe! ) is the seventh episode of Slayers NEXT. It was first broadcast in Japan on May 17, 1996.
Lina Inverse, Gourry Gabriev, Amelia Wil Tesla Saillune, Zelgadiss Graywords, and Xelloss, while looking for something to eat, find a restaurant that specializes in dragon cuisine. Lina explains that dragon cuisine is supposedly the most delicious and sublime type of gourmet food available, and the gang sets out to enjoy this culinary delight. (Although it is obvious that Zelgadis is not as excited as the others about it).
The Slayers order their food. Unfortunately, the chefs, realizing that they have no dragon meat to serve, decide to give them whale and orc meat instead. When the Slayers try to eat it, they find it disgusting (except for Gourry - he loves it for some reason). They march into the kitchen and confront the deceitful chefs, demanding that their order be corrected.
Suddenly, out of the shadows steps Ashford, the head chef of the restaurant, and he is not pleased that the Slayers have invaded his domain. He demands that the Slayers explain themselves. Just at that moment, Gourry enters the kitchen and offers Lina the last morsel of bad meat. In a display of fantastic agility, Ashford takes the meat from Gourry and tastes it and spits it out.
Realizing that his chefs have committed a grave mistake, Ashford apologizes to the Slayers and swears that he will redeem the honor of his kitchen by preparing a full course dragon feast for them. This, of course, means that they will first have to capture a dragon.
The Slayers, led by Ashford, set sail to locate a lake dragon, said to be the tastiest of all dragons. Unfortunately, despite his culinary skills, Ashford seems woefully unprepared for their journey, having forgotten the anchor. As a result, they must employ Zelgadis as a makeshift anchor, forcing him to breathe through a garden hose.
In their first attempt, they employ a giant anti-dragon net. As they are having tea, the dragon appears and attacks Zelgadis. Lina attempts to slay the dragon with a Dragon Slave, but Ashford stops her, declaring it is the worst way to kill one.
That night, while the other Slayers are eating fish and discussing their quest, Amelia approaches Ashford and asks him why their quest is so important to him. He explains that he once had a sick granddaughter who wanted to eat dragon cuisine before she died. As a result, he trained under a great dragon cuisine master until he became proficient in the technique himself. However, his granddaughter had died before he could complete his quest. He then reveals that his granddaughter looked just like Amelia. Turns out, he had also told Lina that she resembled his daughter, Gourry that he looked like his son-in-law, and Zelgadis that he reminded him of his beautiful, young, delicate wife. This led the Slayers to believe that the chef was delusional.
Their second attempt at capturing the dragon involved disguising the boat as another dragon. The disguise initially works, but once again, Ashford's lack of preparation becomes his downfall, and the dragon destroys the boat.
After they repair the boat, they make one more attempt, this time using Gourry as bait. The lake dragon mistakes Gourry for a large shiny fish and attacks, but this time, the plan works: they manage to reel in the dragon, allowing Ashford to invoke his Secret Strike Shooting Star Cleaver Slash, slaying the beast with a santoku.
During the epic battle with the dragon, Ashford drops his locket. Xelloss, who had been observing the Slayers from a distance, finds it and picks it up.
Back at the restaurant, Ashford is hard at work preparing the lake dragon feast. Unfortunately, it turns out that it will take six months of cooking before it will be edible - otherwise, it is extremely poisonous. Out of sheer frustration, Lina attempts to eat the raw dragon meat, but luckily the other Slayers stop her before she can kill herself.
As the Slayers remove Lina from the kitchen, Xelloss leaves Ashford's locket on the table. It opens to reveal a picture of Ashford's family, all of whom bear a striking resemblance to the Slayers. It turns out the old chef wasn't delusional after all.
Major events Edit
Lina's speech about the wonders of dragon cuisine is inspired by Chairman Kaga of the popular Japanese TV show, Iron Chef, including his signature "If memory serves..." introduction to his culinary explanations.
Although the cooking times of the lake dragon may seem ridiculous, there is a real creature - the Greenland shark - that may be the inspiration behind the lake dragon recipes. The Greenland shark is highly toxic to eat, but can be safely consumed if the meat is properly prepared in a process that takes several months to complete. Some of the cooking processes that Ashford describes are very similar to Greenland shark preparations.