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.