Saturday, July 7, 2012
Manga Reviews: Toriko Volume 5
Komatsu and Sunny cross the Pre-Historic Marsh, where they find many senselessly slaughtered animals. While Rin and Toriko fight through the Devil's Playground, the weakned Toriko having a harder and harder time fighting off relatively low level creatures.
The four find each other again at the cliffs of the Regal Plateau, right as the Regal Mammoth falls from the top. After the Mammoth lands they are attacked by another GT Robot, but Coco's intervention saves them. He faces off against the robot while the other four are sucked into the Mammoth, and go to find the Jewel Meat. But once inside they find another GT Robot, and Sunny faces off against him.
This is where things get interesting. The climax of the arc is approaching, and the characters are all facing off against their own individual foe. It's classic shonen 101. And the difference between classic and ass lies entirely in the execution. Toriko, for all its inherent goofiness, is a wonderful read. As silly as the world they live in is, the characters take it seriously, and because the characters are engaging we the readers in turn take it seriously.
I wonder what it says about Japanese eating habits, that the creatures in this volume are meant to be appetizing. Even the most hideous of creatures is refered to as an ingredient, and try though I might, by westernized stomach can't do anything but turn at the thought of eating the monstrosities Toriko regularly consumes.
Though they may not look even remotely appetizing, I will not lie and say the designs are nothing short of amazing. I would compliment Shimabukuro on his creativity, but I know that many of the designs are sent in by readers, so the compliment extends not only to the creator, but to the readers as well.
Sunny, who's only been with us a volume or two has really grown on me. Normally he's the type of character that I wouldn't be so interested in, but the depth of character he has, going beyond his sense of aestheticism, makes him a very interesting character to read. His scenes with Coco are a lot of fun.
Finally, while I love meat, the idea of walking through an animal's interior skeeves me out. So I wouldn't recommend this volume as a part of your meal time reading. This, or the next volume, which takes place entirely inside the mammoth. Meat is good, but I want the meat to be inside me, not me inside the meat.
Buy the manga! Toriko, Vol. 5