The Japanese version of Iron Chef is so much more challenging then the American version. There, I said it! Give me a turkey and I could do just as good as Mario Batali.
Besides my issues with the ingredients, there's the issue of the show itself. The Japanese show had a dark medieval feel to it witch made it very attractive to "chefs". The truth is that the "battle" feel of the original Iron Chef is long gone.
The one thing I like about the new show is Alton Brown. His strange behavior lightens up the show.