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.