As I have always commented, long-form shows have a real problem in that you have to keep the interest going. I have heard that the creator of “One Piece” has enough tales to make 1000 episodes. But are they good episodes? Or are you Mario Mendoza? Mario Mendoza was a major league player for eight years with three different teams and had a lifetime average of .215. He got into baseball, but didn’t do much after that. The third year of Toriko was also like that.
Now, the overall goal is the finding of GOD, the greatest single ingredient ever, and both the IGO and the Gourmet Corp are in battle over it. To this end, Toriko and the other Four Kings do these insane training exercises and activities to help hone their understanding about the true food and what it can do. Sadly, we got to a point where it became the Dragon Ball Z Syndrome.
After some rather arduous training quests, the Gourmet Corp sent out these four hideous beasts that only the Four Kings could battle and condensed the world’s population into a ‘safe zone’ (think about the entire world’s population moved into the United States). These four battles eventually merged into one massive battle that gobbled up loads of episodes, as they battled and battled and battled to seemingly no genuine conclusion. When Komatsu helps turn the tide and the Kings were victorious, it was time for the Food Olympics (for wont of a better term), a competition held every four years to see who is the best chef in the world. But it is a combination of Iron Chef and the Iron Man Triathlon.
Now, that part, I did not mind, although it got rather silly. What does swimming a mile have to do with your ability to make an excellent Béarnaise sauce? Now, adding to this is that The Fight for Everything breaks out at the stadium and the Syndrome come full force. The Dragon Ball Z Syndrome is endless fighting amid endless fighting, when you are not endlessly fighting. I am talking at least 30 episodes where they fight and beat and smack and kick people who will not go down. And when they throw in the destruction of the land, geez! So, when Goku and Vegeta…..I mean Toriko and Starjun have their battle, the only thing really missing is the scouter (“It’s over 9000….punches thrown and still no one has gone down!”)
It just gets so tiresome. The vagaries of battle ebb and flow, depending on when the reinforcements arrive and how effective the reinforcements are. But it gets so unbelievable that the fighting really serves no purpose other than to help burn episodes off. As I write this, we are nearing Episode 156 with ANOTHER fight arc on the horizon. Seriously, how strong do you have to be in order for your enemies to go down and stay down?
But if you are a fan of this Mochi Pounding, you can easily show up at Episode 109, to catch a preliminary battle, and ride it out to the end without any real knowledge or understanding as to what went before, as these evil chef people come in from nowhere to cause chaos and panic, then run away. So, turn down the sound and watch the mayhem. WWF would be so proud. *sniffle*.
I was sorely tempted to stay away for 10 episodes and come back to see the results. Perhaps we might get moving with the plot, but then, the worst thing happened: the show…..ended!
OK, not really, but we have reached a coupler point, as that massive arc is done (Look, it even had ‘End” at the end and that tells me, it’s the End). But the show is not over. We have not:
- Found GOD
- Beaten the NEO (a new super evil food cabal)
- Eaten Acacia’s Full Course
- Put together Toriko’s full course
- Explored the Gourmet World
- Met enough weird characters
So, potentially, we have ANOTHER three-year arc to get to the bottom of all of this. It’s turning into One Piece, in more ways than one! Grrrrr! I am just so ticked off!
Oh, the fan service. Again, this is all beefcake, but I swear their pecs are bigger than some of the more busty ladies I have run across. Still, it all looks so ridiculous. If you like this stuff, flexing muscles and washboard abs, go for it, but since it is all manly men, it washes over me like I was cleaning a dirty plate.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 7 (Weird just to be weird)
Plot 6 (It just got in the way)
Pacing 6 (The fights slow it all down)
Effectiveness 6 (Lost because of the extended fights)
Conclusion 2 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but doesn’t hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 0 (A similar show would be “Honey and Clover”)
Overall 6 (Fell apart at the end)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. I’ve had my fill.