Manga is a media in which a diverse amount of stories can be told without restrictions. Even a series such as Toriko, which employs the premise of a gourmet hunter fighting his way across the land in search of the perfect cuisine comes off as just another shonen series. Hulking men battle mythical monsters and what results is a hyper-stylized adventure filled with explosions and prolonged fights, all for the sake of a quest to achieve a greater goal. Definitely a shonen manga.
Volume 3 see’s Toriko and his pals have finally captured the legendary puffer whale and it’s only a matter of time before they chow down. Unfortunately, removing the poisonous sac risks ruining the flavor of the whale, and the master poison extractor, Coco, begins crumbling under the pressure. Later on, Toriko parts ways with his buds, promising to meet each other again.
Toriko then finds himself summoned as one of the Four Kings to defeat the Gourmet Corp and their heinous weapon, the GT robot. Heading out to Biotope 1, the Gourmet Corp’s next target, Toriko finds that not all is as it seems and a legendary creature called the Battle Wolf may be at the heart of it all.
Toriko’s art is a mix between the traditional manga style and the American style of comics. Normal characters are portrayed with average bodies while Toriko and his gang sport bulging muscles that are twice the size of their heads. The art has an amateurish feel to it, with odd shaped heads, and disproportioned faces.
Toriko’s plot is certainly peculiar but it can still be filed under the shonen style. If you’re looking for something different, that still retains the classic elements of the genre, Toriko should satisfy your craving. Just remember to check your brain at the door.