Toriko 9

May 31, 2012

Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro – Viz – 2012 – 19+ volumes

This series. So, at one point in this volume, Komatsu adopts a cute baby penguin creature, with the others warning him that its terrifying parents were looking for it. Later, the grown penguin monsters crash a fight with an insane villain at the worst possible time. The villain turns around and kills them by releasing centipedes from his mouth that thread their way through the chest of one repeatedly, and blow up the brain of the other.

This is just something that happens. That has nothing to do with the plot or characters, really. I mean, it shows that the villain is a bad guy, but you knew that when he had scary faces looking out of his mouth. This was just… I don’t know, a bonus. And then we moved on to something else.

Lots more trekking across the ice continent in this volume, with much less progress than I would have suspected. We learn about the various reasons the members of Toriko’s party have for wanting the Century Soup, and of course all of them are selfless. There’s also Zongeh’s party, who are just running around lost until they accidentally find what they’re looking for. Then there’s a mystery guy who… sort of looks like Toriko? He’s a little funny, but his purpose has not yet been revealed. Also introduced is Tommyrod, one of the Vice-Chefs of the Gourmet Corps (I am amused by the fact I had to double-check just now to make sure he was a chef and not a chief). He’s fairly evil, and commits several evil acts on the ice continent before he begins fighting Toriko.

There’s also a lot of details included about the ice continent, which is another part of what makes this series great. The extreme animals, like Ice Dragons and Ice Lampreys and crazy killer buffalo, are still fairly charming, though I have to admit that the ice area doesn’t seem to lend itself well to the random strangeness we’ve seen in the other volumes. That’s made up for with the over-the-top violence, as I described in the first paragraph. There are a couple more entertaining examples of it (another choice moment is when we see an x-ray view of one of the characters dislocating the back of a buffalo), but that was the most gratuitous one.

Again, the ice area doesn’t lend itself well to the charming strangeness of the series, and that’s one of my favorite parts. Still, it’s an interesting change of pace, and I was still fairly entertained with the eccentricities in this volume. I’m guessing the next volume will be the battle with Tommyrod and the getting of the Gourmet Soup, since this series seems to be quite good at not drawing out things unnecessarily. I am looking forward to what happens next, so I’m going to keep reading for now.

This was a review copy provided by Viz.

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