For the past couple weeks, I’ve repeatedly voiced my admiration for how the people behind the HST have more-or-less honed the art of shonen to a science. Checking back on TORIKO… it’s pretty clear that science isn’t worth a damn without inspiration.
I only ever caught the first episode, previously. Sam went on to watched the first season box set, a while back, and he came to loath the show - - echoing the sentiment that it’s just blatantly an anime by committee. Popping in at the end of this arc, now, it’s impossible not to look at Toriko himself and see what you’d get if anybody ever chewed Goku, Kenshiro and JoJo up together and spat them up into a baking mold. His presence alone makes this such a Stereotypical Anime that it feels like some all-purpose shonen parody on, like, the SIMPSONS or something.
The wild card in this whole premise, of course, is the IRON CHEF element. It seemed pretty clever and cute at the beginning but, even then, I wondered how long that joke could be stretched. I’ve skipped 50 hours of content, and the weaponization-of-culinary-arts gag still feels tired. I can only imagine how interminable it must be for anybody who’s “powered through” all the arcs in-between. Maybe ONE PIECE mashed-up all its shonen super-moves with gags… but they weren’t all the same gag.
And what’s unintentionally funny here is that pretty much every single dude has a roided-up physique; but it’s like the crew watched JOJO’S BIZARRE ADVENTURE and totally missed the joke. There’s obviously a lot of money invested here, but the designs are just so awkward and generic that it isn’t a visually appealing a show.
At the least, it’s an amusing counterpoint to the praise-train I’ve been conducting for BLEACH, NARUTO and ONE PIECE. This… this is like the Frankenstein monster the shonen factory system had to dump off its conveyor belt.
Watch "Toriko and Komatsu Embark on a New Voyage!" and decide for yourself.
About the Author
|Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk|