Torkio Volumes 3 and 4

Toriko, Vol. 03 - Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro Toriko, Vol. 04 - Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro

To avoid spoilers, learn about characters, etc., please check out my review of the first two volumes found here.

 

The third volume picks up right where the last left off. Coco is attempting to take the poison sacks of the Puffer Whales but he's had no luck. Tired, he turns the task over to Komatsu, who for the first time proves why he's here. He does it beautifully. But a chance meeting in the cavern with a strange looking creature leaves you with a hint of foreboding. We'll be seeing it again soon.

 

The rest of the volume and the next has us traveling to a new island, one with some of the oddest creatures out there! Toriko and Komatsu travel to the Gourmet Research Facility where the hardest to find creatures are cloned and genetically modified. However, the other aspect of the island was really not cool. Having wealthy and powerful men bet on and cheer over creatures battling each other was horrible. The mangaka is not subtle, not slightly. Toriko and his group are good and others clearly aren't.

 

The creatures themselves are generally rather ugly IMO, but I do like that some are designs sent in by fans.

 

I did love the new characters introduced.

Mansom ("Did you call me handsome?") and Rin (who uses smells to raise or lower creatures' fighting spirits, etc.) were fun but Sunny stole the show. The thing is, if you've read manga/seen anime, most of these characters are derivative. Even Sunny is in many ways but for some reason, he stands out; only Coco also manages to really do this.

 

The strange being is explained - a GT Robot - and the obvious villains of the series are introduced - the Gourmet Corp. We also get a new member to Toriko's group: Terry Cloth, a baby borne to the cloned Battle Wolf. He adopts Toriko and looks to be quite a great team member.

 

My favorite part of the two volumes was when Sunny and Komatsu are separated from the rest of the group. The King (one of four) never really paid any attention to the young cook but changes his mind when he sees him in his element and tastes his cooking. Komatsu clearly wings Sunny's exacting respect.