Toriko Volume 28 follows Toriko and the other Gourmet Hunters as they battle it out with Gourmet Corp.
Volume 28 sees someone who looks like Froese demanding that Starjun hand over Komatsu to her. Starjun refuses. But before anything more can happen, Midora’s dragon appears, signaling that a battle between Midora and Ichiryu has ended.
After the first two chapters, the rest of Volume 28 is set in the Gourmet World, where the story backtracks to show what happened leading up to Ichiryu and Midora’s battle, as well as some of the battle itself. The first three chapters that are set in the Gourmet World end up being very action-packed, and quite a few of the panels focus on the movement of the fight and have little dialogue. With how action-oriented those three chapters are, they end up being a quick read. At first, it seems like Ichiryu has the upper hand, but Midora is able to surprise Ichiryu and start turning the tables to his favor.
The final four chapters slow the story down considerably, because they contain background information that’s conveyed through a flashback. The reader gets to learn about Midora’s past, how he came to live with Acacia and Froese, and the past that he shares with Ichiryu and Jiro. After reading this section of the manga, it made me realize that the battle between Midora and Ichiryu was even more tragic than I had originally thought, since these two characters basically grew up together as brothers. This flashback also helped to humanize Midora and make him more of a sympathetic character.
Volume 28 focuses very heavily on Ichiryu and Midori. In fact, there’s so much focus on them that Toriko, the title character, doesn’t make a single appearance in this volume. But considering he is currently down for the count after his battle with Starjun, it makes sense that he doesn’t show up at all during this portion of the story.
When it comes to the art, there’s a very impressive looking close-up panel of Ichiryu during his battle with Midora. I really like the way the shadows fall on his face, because it makes it look like he really means business during his fight. I also thought that the art looked great in the flashback portion of Volume 28, and I was especially impressed by Froese’s character design. Of all of the characters that I’ve seen in Toriko up to this point, she probably has the best look and design at this point.
Overall, Toriko Volume 28 was a very enjoyable read. I think that longtime readers of this series will appreciate the epic battle that takes place, as well as getting the backstory on both Midora as a character and Midora’s relationship with Ichiryu, Jiro, Acacia, and Froese.
The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media