Sarah Hayes's Reviews > Toriko, Vol. 03

Toriko, Vol. 03 by Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro
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Sep 03, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: manga-lns-misc
Read from December 09 to 11, 2010

Originally posted here at Anime Radius.

Ah, Toriko. Still the super-hyper shonen series set in a fictional age of gourmet that puts the Top Chef style of cooking programs to shame. Don't get me wrong, Padma is a gorgeous lady, but she probably can't wrestle a huge muscled crab for dinner. Toriko can, though - and then crack him open and eat him right there and then. So far, this series has always been about the pursuit of delicious ingredients and the quest to create a perfect menu - but as volume three progresses, something approaches from the darkness to move Toriko in a totally unheard of way: plot! Actual plot! And not just a multi-chapter quest bonanza, but a plot with an over arcing story and secondary plot-related characters and other plotty things. The best thing is that this plot doesn't completely suck! In fact, it looks like it will be really awesome and only widen the scope of the world of gourmet seen already in the manga.

Of course, some of the newly introduced plot points don't make sense yet - why are the Gourmet Corp stealing ingredients and why can't people outside the IGO get their own ingredients if they have the means to - but I imagine they'll be explained further down the road. After all, for most of this volume, the focus is on two things: the puffer whales and Biotope 1 arena. Before we step feet first into the plot of the Regal Mammoth, Toriko has decided to take us on a mini-trip through the gourmet coliseum so we can see another part of the gourmet world not previously seen: the science of it. It's certainly not wholly moral science - even Toriko admits that animal rights groups would lose their minds if they saw what went inside the labs - and the fights in the coliseum certainly qualify as blood sports despite what Director Mansom wants to think. It seems that Toriko is certainly aware of how problematic Biotope 1 operates but hasn't gotten close enough to cast judgment on the island's actions.

Still, it's the perfect backdrop for the current mini-arc featuring the rare battle wolf who as Toriko soon finds out is not in any condition to be fighting anyone. Let's just say the wolf is in a delicate situation. This is all made much more complicated by the other monsters currently in the ring as well as a surprise newcomer that threatens to take the whole place down. There's one thing you can say about this current story arc: it's full of action and lots of fighting, mainly humans with big muscles against some rather brutish animals. And it's always fun to read, especially when Toriko and Komatsu get involved. That's the thing about Toriko: no matter what direction it goes in, it never loses its energy and passion for food. Believe me, there is a lot of food, both in quantity and in the sheer size of some of the dishes (Toriko's 'masterpiece' of a burger comes to mind - it's nearly half as tall as he is!). Fans of the series so far, whether they come to the manga for the action or the drama or the strange food, will certainly not be disappointed by its latest volume. But they might walk away a little hungry.
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12/11/2010 page 60
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