By Leroy Douresseaux
October 19, 2013 - 15:29
|Toriko Volume 18 cover image is courtesy of barnesandnoble.com.|
Rated “T” for “Teen”
Is it a dog-eat-dog world? It is on a savage, alternate version of Earth, where people pursue the most delicious foods in the world. It is eat or be eaten as practically everything and everyone is on the menu. Ultimate Gourmet Hunter Toriko is on a life-long quest to create the perfect full-course meal. With young IGO chef Komatsu at his side, Toriko has an Ultimate Hunter-Chef partnership, as he faces every beast in his way, putting some in his bottomless stomach.
As Toriko, Vol. 18 (entitled Gourmet Casino!! Chapters 154 to 162) opens, Komatsu’s food luck comes to the fore in a cave behind Death Falls. Will that luck be enough for Komatsu to successfully prepare and serve Shining Gourami, the translucent fish, for Toriko and Sunny?
Meanwhile, Gourmet Corp. (IGO’s rivals) is forcibly recruiting the best chefs in the world to join the nefarious organization. The monthly World Chef Ranking has just been released, which should make it easy to find the best chefs. Komatsu’s friend Otake is a rising star on the list, but once they unite, Komatsu is troubled by what he learns about his former classmate. Also, Toriko continues to make his training list, which takes him and Komatsu to the Gourmet Casino.
THE LOWDOWN: After an off volume, in terms of quality, the Toriko manga roars back like a super-belly that needs a mammoth-sized feed bag. There are at least five storylines in the nine chapters that make up Toriko Volume 18, and only one closes.
The others are filled with intriguing ideas and hints that suggest that creator Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro plans to feed his readers his trademark brand of bizarre, outsized fun until their imaginations burst at the seams. The “Gourmet Casino” storyline may be destined to offer a never-ending parade of oddities. Call this manga “Toriko in Oz.”
POSSIBLE AUDIENCE: Readers looking for something crazy and enjoyable to read will find that in the Shonen Jump manga, Toriko.
Rating: A /10