It is hard to believe that this show is already at the two-year mark with little sign of slowing down. Nor has it encountered the malaise that sometimes beset long-format shows.
Now, we have the Main Story. This is Toriko’s special training, as he is eventually going to search for GOD (no, not the guy with the beard, but the ne plus ultra ingredient that is the cat’s meow). So, he does all this strenuous training that exercises both body and mind and promotes teamwork. And Torkio’s boss, Ichiryū (who looks like a reject from the Village People) has also managed to coerce the other Heavenly Kings (you see two others up there) to also do this specialized training. There is something more going on here than just being able to go into the Lost Forest, so one had best be prepared for it.
Then, there is a sub story that all the great chefs in the world are being kidnapped. For some odd reason, Komatsu (the REALLY wimpy one up there) has not yet cracked the Chef World Top 100 list. Odd; you would think the chef who brought back Century Soup would merit something, as EVERYONE comments about it, but it’s just not good enough and since he also works for a mere Six-Star restaurant, I might as well eat something at Barney’s Beanery.
Now, even if you have zero interest in this show, I am going to highly recommend that you watch Episode 99. It is a classic filler episode, so for the casual viewer, it’s OK to watch. It is also a double episode, but I cannot and will not say anything more, as the surprise is such that it is one of the biggest mas+h-ups you will ever see. Plot? Forget that; just come along for the ride. And it is as goofy as it gets.
Whereas in the first year, there was the doldrums from the Ice Hell arc, they seemed to have learned from that, so the shows are peppy, even when they play a caliber of Concentration card game that does go on for a large amount of episodes. Also, fan contributions to introduce new foods to the show get too whimsical for my tastes, but it does reveal how popular this show has become.
Now, I have to make a comment about the ‘fan service’. This is a show that really plays up highly muscular guys, but, to me, aside from the fact I don’t hold my fork that way, it just seems so overly ridiculous. I would swear that Toriko has bigger boobs than Hakufu Sonsaku from “Ikki Tousen”. And Toriko is always managing to tear off his top, so you can marvel in his eight-pack abs and muscles upon muscles as he goes through his paces. Then, I wonder if they are making intentional fun of this situation, but it’s one of those gray areas that I am just not certain about. If you are looking for more females for you fan service, you are a bit stiffed on that.
They have managed to keep my interest, which is very hard for me in long-format shows. I am waiting for what the third (and potentially, final) year has in store, as we reach the conclusion for the Search for Spock….I mean, God.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Can get rather silly)
Plot 8 (Putting all the threads together)
Pacing 7 (There are a few sluggish single episodes)
Effectiveness 7 (It does work, but you feel it takes too long to get there)
Conclusion 6 (Each arc does well, but we aren’t at the Big One)
Fan Service 2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Overall 8 (We are still working through the main course)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. It’s all so delicious.