Manga Review: Toriko Volume 25

The main character of the series is Toriko, a Gourmet Hunter who’s on a search to find the most precious foods in the world in order to create his full-course meal. He has inhuman ability that gives him incredible strength, as well as an extensive knowledge of the animal kingdom that helps him to capture ferocious, evasive, and rare beasts. He is accompanied by a timid chef named Komatsu, who travels with Toriko in order to improve his culinary skills and find rare ingredients. Toriko and his friends are often fighting against the Gourmet Corps, who want to take control of the world’s food supply and to find a highly sought-after ingredient called GOD.

Toriko Volume 25
Written by: Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: December 2, 2014

At the beginning of Volume 25, Komatsu has qualified to compete with other top chefs at the Cooking Festival. Komatsu and his opponent, Zaus, are in the first competition. They’re supposed to compete in a blind cooking contest, where they are in complete and utter darkness and have to rely on their smell, instincts, and experience to find and prepare their ingredients. Before they can get very far in the competition, they are interrupted by the arrival of the Gourmet Corps. The Gourmet Corps is made up of characters who look even freakier than Toriko and his friends when they’ve powered up, and that’s really saying something!

Once the Gourmet Corps shows up, the remainder of the volume focuses on the battle that takes place during the Cooking Festival. Not only do members of the Corps battle it out with Toriko, his friends, and members of IGO, but they also try to capture the chefs at the festival. By the end of the volume, there are several battles that are focused on that feature Toriko, Sunny, Coco, and a group of members of the IGO.

During Sunny and Tommy’s fight, there was a great backstory scene for Sunny. Not only did it give the reader some background information on this character, it also provides the answer to what Sunny is struggling with at that point in his battle.

While I know a little bit about Toriko from reading chapters of the series for almost a year in Weekly Shonen Jump, this story takes place before the chapters I’ve read. Because of this, I found myself feeling a little lost at times, especially trying to follow who is who in the Gourmet Corps. And my confusion on the members of the Gourmet Corps could make it hard to follow the battles. In that respect, my confusion did hamper my enjoyment of this volume. But this shouldn’t be an issue for readers who have followed Toriko from the beginning and know the characters and what’s happened in the series up to this point.

There was a lot of action in this volume, so there were plenty of panels featuring speed lines. But there was a really good close-up panel of Sunny at the top of page 178. Not only was it drawn with great detail, but Shimabukuro also used shadows to good effect as well. This particular panel almost looks as if Sunny might suddenly jump right off of the page.

Toriko is definitely a shonen fighting manga, so readers who enjoy similar series, such as Naruto and One Piece, may find something to enjoy in this series as well. And for readers who are already fans of Toriko and have been following the series, I expect that they will enjoy and get a lot out of Volume 25.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

Additional posts about Toriko:

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