I'd originally planned to review three of these at a time but there is just so much that happens in every chapter, much less every volume. I was first introduced to Toriko on Crunchroll when I learned there was a combined One Piece and Toriko episode. I watched it, had no real idea what was going on nor who these strange people were but thought it interesting. Then I chanced to see these at my library and I had to try them. So far, I've liked what I have seen.
In the series' world, gourmet is everywhere. Everything revolves around food as people seek out new and exciting flavors. Some places and sources of food are dangerous for the average person to handle, so there are "gourmet" hunters who risk their lives for the best food. One of the top hunters is Toriko.
This is the Gourmet Era! (Man that sounds so familiar...)
Toriko is bizarre. He drinks whole bottles of "Maker Mark" Bourbon or other alcohol with no discernible effect, eats constantly, smokes cigar tree sections, and has frightening powers. At the beginning, he meets up with Komatsu, a chief who admires Toriko and comes with him on this adventures despite the danger. We also learn that all hunters create a Full-Course Meal, 8 courses of the best food they've ever had. Most of the food he searches for is the most difficult, practically mythological.
In the first volume he does find his dessert dish but I'm sure we have a ways to go. We also learn his signature moves" knife" - his left hand straight with a cutting edge - and "fork" - the fingers of the right hand bent like the tongs of a fork.
In the second volume, we meet his friend Coco, a gourmet fortune-teller who can see the shadow of death upon people and who has immunized himself against so many poisonous animals, etc. his body creates poison of it's own. Because of this, he's not close to many people, though Komatsu and he become friends. As with any manga like this, the characters are growing, developing, and getting stronger.
I will say this is definitely for middle school to high school boys, as some of the humor is crude and frankly I nearly gave up a time or two. Though I don't normally compare books and series to each other, I have found it useful occasionally with manga and anime because so much of it fits into genres.
The framing of the Gourmet Era = One Piece
Hunters = HunterxHunter (they even had food hunters in it)
Food and making it = Oishinbo
It's a very basic shounen manga but it can be quite fun and always leaves me hungry with all the delicious food described. They make the dishes sound mouth-watering.