Manga Review: Toriko

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Toriko is all the rage in the mean streets of anitwitter (why is that a thing). I was convinced to sit down and read it. I was told not to watch because the anime is heavily censored. Toriko was billed to me as a brutal manga filled with fights and an excellent story. I still didn't have high hopes for the manga that featured Goku with blue hair and a steroid addiction on the front cover. But, I stuck with it. I did it for the people. 

Let's talk about the fights in Toriko since people seem to thing these are amazing. First things first, there is no power scale. Each villain just has to do something more incredible than what Toriko did the last arc. Then Toriko does something more incredible. I used the word incredible. It's not incredible. It's annoying. How long before characters just start creating entirely new universes just to destroy Toriko? It's ridiculous. I like a manga that shows the character starting out strong as much as anyone else but this is just ignorant. Goku started out strong in Dragon Ball and dominated countless enemies. But he still trained and got stronger. Toriko started out destroying enemies, never really lost and never trained either. What fun is it to watch one character win all the time? Nobody wins all the time. Luffy, Goku, Naruto, Light, Lelouch, Natsu, Ichigo, and everyone else always takes a loss here and there. Not Toriko. He's too good for that.

What is the story here? Toriko wants to eat rare foods in order to fill out a menu for a full course meal. You know, a stupid plot is okay as long as the trip is entertaining. Luffy has been searching for One Piece for 16 years and honestly, I'm pretty sure it doesn't exist because Shanks and Buggy would have told someone what is by now. Naruto has been trying to become Hokage for 15 years and he's not even a chunin yet. But both of those stories have been entertaining. Watching a man on steroids catch fish is not entertaining. Nobody wants to watch Hulk Hogan go fishing.  

Toriko is big, that's cool but lets talk about scale. Someone has a scale problem. One second Toriko is drinking 3 bottles of wine with one hand and the next his hand holds an average fishing pole as if he's an average man. How big is Coco? Sometimes he's the same height as Toriko and other times they'll stand next to each other and Toriko looks like a giant. Don't get me wrong, the art is nice but they really have to work on that scaling. I'll even give a compliment and say that some of the creatures are really unique and cool looking.

As a whole I see Toriko as a bad attempt to clone the success of Dragon Ball. Goku started out strong and doesn't have any problems in the early arcs. Toriko starts strong and has no problems in the early arcs. Goku picks up the mostly useless Bulma to help him out. Toriko picks up the mostly useless Komatsu. They both make friends along the way to help them fight. Coco is basically Piccolo. Terry the wolf is Krillen. You get my point? They even wear almost identical clothes and share the same personality type. The difference is that Goku's would train and Toriko would get drunk. Maybe if Toriko didn't just dominate everyone and actually trained it wouldn't be so bad. 

Honestly, Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro is a historically bad writer. Toriko is his first series that lasted more than a year. While it may be easy to say he finally found his calling it's just as easy to say that he's riding Eiichiro Oda's coat tails. The two have been friends since 97' and we all know the juggernaut that One Piece is. Shortly after Toriko became published the two started working on a crossover between that was finished in 2011 and aired in 2012. Shortly after that the two did a second crossover this time including Akira Toriyama and Dragon Ball that aired in 2013. Once the crossovers happened Toriko gained a huge jump in popularity. After Shimabukuro was arrested for having sex with a 16 year old girl, Oda refused to work with him. The crossovers stopped coming and most likely never will return. The anime was put on "hiatus of an unspecified time." Basically, meaning it was cancelled but it might come back with a remake 12 years later like Hunter x Hunter.

Toriko fans have to stop trying to make people believe this is the greatest thing since color pages in manga. It's not. I like food, but a story that is entirely about food just isn't exciting I like food,but watching people fight over rare pieces of food isn't exciting. It's probably made worse by the fact there is abundant amounts of food that they devour on the daily basis. Maybe if there was a food shortage in the world and that's why they were fighting it would be interesting but that's not the case. I don't care about Toriko. It's going in the box next to Bleach that says "Hey, I tried." It's not a once in a lifetime series. Its bad. It's okay to like bad things as long as you know it's bad. I know Tenchi Muyo GXP was bad, but it was so bad it was funny. Toriko is just bad in the sense of "Look at him trying so hard, it's pitiful." 

You can hear Darrell on the CP Time and Powerbomb Jutsu podcasts. He's also playing Pokemon Liquid Crystal on YouTube

Manga Review: Toriko Manga Review: Toriko Reviewed by Darrell S. on Monday, October 13, 2014 Rating: 5


  1. Everything you say is totally understandable. Maybe shounen doesn't appeal to you. I agree that while the plot may seem stupid and so may the power scaling, but later in are some really enjoyable fights. I didn't like the beginning that much either. Toriko is fun but for reasons you have stated, it may not be enjoyable for everyone. This was really good by the way, keep it up.

    1. He needs to take this down. Its obviously just trolling. He's trying to get some easy attention by lying about a anime that millions of people love. It's shameful

  2. The rape thing came way before he made Toriko. Also I can understand everything so said but things In Toriko got great 30 chapters after you stopped reading

    1. I just couldn't keep giving it more time. There's a lot of other stuff I wanted to read. It may get better after 30 more chapters but something like City of Darkness has already given me more enjoyment in 10 chapters. It's all about using time to do what you enjoy.


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