I love anime and I’m a foodie. I love to cook, try new things, experience new tastes. What better combination of the two could you ask for then an anime about gourmet cooking? That’s where Toriko comes in.
Toriko is the story of a chef named Komatsu who works for the IGO (International Gourmet Organization), a government like entity that seems to rule over the Gourmet Age world. Komatsu has been tasked with finding a Gararagator, a beast so massive and deadly it’s ranked has having a 30 soldier take down ranking. Despite being deathly afraid Komatsu tracks down Toriko, one of the four Heavenly Kings, a super strong Gourmet Hunter that can help him bag his prize. Once Komatsu realizes just how much he can experience and taste by following Toriko on his own personal journey to find ingredients for his ultimate meal, Komatsu becomes Toriko’s tag along and eventually, friend.
Toriko is brought to you by the folks behind Dragon Ball Z and One Piece. With a couple of massive properties like that I was expecting a lot more from the show, which to me played out like some board game/video game turned anime. Maybe it is. I don’t know.
My first issue with the show is that it takes great strides to make sure you know how powerful a monster is and what level it is. RPG anyone? You see it’s stats when the monster pops onto the screen and even get a recap from Gourmet reporter Tina at the end of each episode. My problem is that the rankings are to show you how impossible it is to bag said creature, but Toriko always manages to do it, be it alone or with help. What’s the point of these rank numbers if their meaningless? It’s just a waste of time.
My second issue is that the show takes liberties with your intelligence. Harsh, I know, but I felt like the creators were simply doing whatever they wanted simply because they figured no one would care. For example, when a somewhat ordinary man has an arm jammed through his body and popped out of the other side he kind of just smirks it off. It reminded me of a similar scene in Soul Eater that I just shook my head at. Then later the same guy is blasted and everyone else is kind of just chit chatting and standing around as if nothing happened. How thick are these characters? Those are only a couple of examples. I mean I know it’s part of the fantasy anime genre but you’ve got to try a little harder then that.
In the end I just felt like this was a series that you watch when you’ve got nothing else better to, and it’s raining outside, flooding even. I liked Komatsu’s story but everyone else in the series seemed to be just white noise. Why would I watch several episodes where the same thing happens every time. Really. It could have been so much better.