Kung Fu Cooking Girls is 8 minutes and 37 seconds of evidence that awesome anime isn’t exclusive to Japan.
The animated short is the work of Wolf Smoke, a small, independent animation studio in China. Actually, maybe “small” is too generous a word. Wolf Smoke doesn’t even seem to have a web presence, outside of film critics and geek culture pundits praising their work, and three films uploaded to YouTube.
The video’s description explains via broken English:
Wolf Smoke is a small original animation making studio. We have only a few ppl but we trying our best to make great animation. Kung Fu Cooking Grils is a short story, we made it for testing new cartoon style and methoud of the way of making movies.
Still, a studio’s size is no indicator of its ability to create gorgeous animated films. When I first started watching Kung Fu Cooking Girls it struck me as a cute homage to Japanese anime. 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.
My only gripe here is that the short seems to be a one-off project. Wolf Smoke’s future works don’t seem to be publicly discussed (though that might just be a side effect of my inability to read Mandarin), and the company does not appear to be in the habit of creating sequels.
Fans will just have to be content with the studio’s YouTube backlog.