Archives for : Akifumi Zako

Toriko Collection 2 (anime review)

Toriko Collection 2Title: Toriko Collection 2

Director: Akifumi Zako

Writer: Isao Murayama

Studio: Toei Animation

U. S. Distributor: Funimation Entertainment

Release Date: Nov. 4th, 2014

Format: DVD / 24 Episodes / 600 Minutes

Genre: Fantasy, Absurdity, Comedy

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B


Toriko, Komatsu, and a host of hopeful heroes bundle up and begin the treacherous trek into the chilling confines of Ice Hell! The prize that awaits them, Century Soup, is among the rarest of gourmet treasures – and the most divine delicacy ever to grace a bowl and spoon. Toriko and his super-chef sidekick are determined to slurp up the sweet rewards of their adventure, but something evil stands in their way: Tommyrod, a Gourmet Corps henchman with insects on the inside!

Should they survive this bugged-out battle for the ages, their next target will be the elusive Ozone Grass. Flying Sea Lions and Air Gorillas plague their journey, and in order to savor the sweet taste of success, our heroes will have to take their teamwork to the next level – forever cementing their status as lifelong partners in the pursuit of culinary bliss!


The insanity that is Toriko continues in this second collection and things only get weirder. This is the saving graces for the show because other than that it is just another typical shonen that just moves from one battle to the next. Of course the strange world and that fact that they fight over rare food makes the show not only special but funny too. There are plenty of series that live and die on their humor like Fairy Tail and One Piece, but Toriko makes the humor so bizarre that it does’t have to make you laugh to make it entertaining.

Toriko also take on a style of violence that leaves the opponents alive at the end and only allow for some to people to die. It also takes on death in a very reverent way that also makes a point that you only kill it if you plan on eating it. There is very little waist to life. Many other series have a much more cavalier view of life and the meaning of battle. I really do like that approach and must tip my hat to the series for the respect it show even in the face of utter absurdity.

Overall Grade: B

Toriko collection 2 takes us in a new direction and introduces some very powerful foes. It also does a great job of setting up the series for the underlying plot line. The one area that it doesn’t stand up is in some of the early battle over the Century Soup. I felt like there was just too much back and forth and in the end it was something very unexpected that brought on the final solution. I guess that the downplaying of Toriko’s power is a very typical way of depicting these types of arcs, but after having so many other series set this pattern in place it almost felt like a let down. In fairness Toriko is a Shonen series that follows the standard stereotype for one of these series so I guess this development is to be expected.

All in all, collection 2 is fun and does provide for some great entertainment. Now just bring on the rest.

Toriko Collection 1

Toriko Collection 1Title: Toriko Collection 1

Director: Akifumi Zako

Writer: Isao Murayama

Original Story Created By: Mitsutoshi Shimabukuri

Studio: Toei Animation

U. S. Distributor: Funimation

U. S. Release Date: Aug. 26th, 2014

Format: DVD / 26 Episodes / 650 Minutes

Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy, Food Fantasy, Absurdity

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Age: A-


Welcome to the Gourmet Age, a time when the world is full of deliciously-deadly ingredients that the wealthiest appetites in existence can’t wait to devour. But only a mighty masticating mercenary like Toriko can track down the rarest animals on the planet and put them on a plate! This gluttonous gourmet hunter is one of the four Legendary Kings, superhuman warriors born to battle the likes of Troll Kongs, Gararagators, Devil Pythons, and the ferocious Regal Mammoth! Accompanied by his loyal Battle Wolf and the promising young chef Komatsu, Toriko will circle the globe in search of the mouth-wateringly lethal ingredients that will one day make up his Full Course Menu of Life!

But there’s more than just tasty beasts on the prowl. Toriko faces stiff competition in the form of a GT Robot. This seemingly-indestructible mechanized menace is controlled by an unseen evil, and it wants all the delectable delicacies for itself. To save his friends and quench his heroic appetite, Toriko must level up his punching power and turn the bad guy into a bucket of bolts!


Ok, there are plenty of strange anime out there and plenty that have a crazy plot line. Toriko has to stand out as one of the most unique series that has maintained a loyal following in Japan, but not as strong a following in the U. S..I find this as a real shame because Toriko is a genuine standout as a series and one of more solid comedies out there. In Japan there are 147 episodes and the manga is on volume 30 and still going. This alone should tell us that Toriko has something to offer. Honestly I place it at a level of strangeness in par with One Piece. For me the big difference is that I find One Piece a little silly and lacking in solid humor, whereas Toriko takes a much more direct and solid approach to its comedy and a somewhat over-the-top story line. This combination creates a mixture that both intrigues and satisfies at the same time.

Because of the length of the series there is plenty of story to tell and setting the basic plot in motion at the beginning is rather direct even if it ends up being sidetracked as things go on. This is indicative of the writing style for these types of series where the story is so crazy that it almost doesn’t make any sense. In this case this insanity works well and keeps working throughout.

Overall Grade: A-

Part of the quality of this series is the animation. The high quality and bold approach makes a Toriko stand out and easy to watch. The other strength to Toriko is the absolute stedfast storyline that takes our own effect ion to food and turns it into a battle story with a unusual approach to the characters.

I find Toriko easy to watch and also enjoy the strange quality to the story. All of the characters are rich and fully developed. Once all of these characteristics to are brought together we end up with a series that has a lot to offer. If there is a drawback to Toriko is has to be the strangeness of the story. In its strength is the one thing that can make it hard to follow and connect with. This effect is found in these series that push the boundaries and through reality out the window. Toriko does manage to make itself assessable and enjoyable. So, if you are looking for something that is over-the-top in strangeness but plan out fun to watch you should give this series a try.