A mere two weeks after the first volume was released, FUNimation
brings otaku more food-hunting goodness with Toriko Part
Two. This volume
of 13 episodes features more outrageous fun and excitement: Toriko and his friends search for Jewel Meat
inside a ginormous Regal Mammoth, travel to the incredibly dangerous
in search of some popcorn, and go on a quest to find Century Soup in a
aptly named Ice Hell. Fans of the first
volume will want to make a point of picking this one up too.
As the narrator reminds viewers at the beginning of every
episode, "the world is in the Gourmet Age!
An age in which people quest for yet unknown culinary delights." People in this world really appreciate what
they eat, and vast fortunes can be spent on rare ingredients. To feed
world's insatiable demand for new tastes and textures a new profession
sprung up: the Gourmet Hunters. These are strong and tough fighters who are
willing to risk their necks traveling to the farthest reaches of the
bring back tasty eats.
One of the strongest and most famous Gourmet Hunters is
Toriko, one of the Four Heavenly Kings, a title reserved for the best
best. Along with his massive muscles
(and an equally massive appetite) Toriko has a very acute sense of
allows him to track just about anything.
In the first episode a young accomplished chef, Komatsu, has
been requested by the IGO (International Gourmet Organization -
government) to obtain and cook a Gararagator and he hires Toriko to get
animal. The two set off for the swamps and
over the course of the two become pals and their skills supplement each
with the hunky Gourmet Hunter taking out rare creatures and the chef
The series soon picks up some other interesting
characters. Coco is another one of the
Four Heavenly Kings and has a gentle and refined manner.
He's taken innumerable weak doses of poison
to make himself immune to venom, and now he's able to withstand over
as well as exude poison from his skin.
He also has incredible vision and is able to see much more of
electromagnetic spectrum than normal humans can which allow him to
future with a 97% accuracy (yeah, I know it doesn't make any sense...
Another of the Kings is Sunny, an effeminate man who is
obsessed with looking good. He has
of super strong hair fibers that are prehensile. Each
one is capable of lifting 500 pounds and
he uses them as his main weapon. There's
also Rin, Sunny's younger sister, who has a crush on Toriko and Tina, a
reporter who hosts the show Gourmet News,
who follows Toriko around to get the latest scoop on what he's hunting.
The collection starts off with Toriko and company still
inside a Regal Mammoth searching for Jewel Meat, a rare piece of meat
all of the best properties of every other cut.
Things are looking bad; not because they are inside a giant
animal, but because
a powerful GT Robot sent by the Gourmet Corp is also searching for the
ingredient. The GT is tough and
merciless. It massacres Rin and when she
confesses to Toriko with her dying breath that she's happy to have had
chance to fight along side him, it sends the Gourmet Hunter into a rage
even that isn't enough to defeat the monster.
After that adventure, Toriko notices that his Battle Wolf
(the only one in the world), named Terry, hasn't been eating. He has a feeling that the food in the modern
world isn't suited to the Battle Wolf's ancient palate so the pair
the Wul Jungle, a land ruled by ancient plant creatures that are
deadly, to obtain BB Corn in the hopes that the wolf will be able to
popcorn made from the rare plant.
The collection ends up with a quest for Century Soup, a dish
that occurs once every hundred years when the island of Ice Hell
partially melts and the water, combined with the frozen remains of
hunting expeditions, makes a wonderfully delicious meal that has never
accurately recreated. The journey is
filled with peril (what do you expect from a place called Ice Hell?)
are more than just the natural dangers to worry about.
The Gourmet Corp has sent an agent to get the
soup first, and he's willing and able to kill anyone who gets in his
I have to admit that I enjoyed this collection even more
than the first. Now that the characters
are established and the world that they inhabit has been explained it's
to not worry about the nonsensical aspects of the show and just go with
absurd and entertaining action.
The program moves quickly too, especially when compared with
Dragon Ball Z, arguably the best show
of it's kind. The battles rarely last
more than an episode or two, and the subplot of Toriko's full course
actually progressing. This 13-episode
collection contains a the ending of one adventure, a full story, and
beginning of the next. In addition there
are a couple of transitional episodes too.
It's nice to see the show speeding along at a good clip.
The next 13 episodes of the series, 14-26, arrive on two
DVDs stored in a single-width case.
Viewers have the option of watching the show in the original
stereo Japanese with (optional) English subtitles or with a DD 5.1
dub. I screened this in the original
language, but I watched an episode in English too.
Both tracks were very good, and though I
preferred the Japanese language audio the English dub was very good. Then
fight scenes in particular were more forceful on the dub track, which
surprising since that's the only option where the rear speakers and
are active. Fans watching either dub
should be pleased.
The 1.78:1 image was pretty good. There
were some minor aliasing issues, but
nothing significant. The colors were
strong and the lines were tight.
The set included a commentary track on two episodes by the
English staff. I'm not a huge fan of
English anime commentary tracks, but if you enjoy these 'party' tracks
group of people joke around while watching an episode you'll probably
happy. There's also a clean opening and
closing as well as some trailers for other FUNimation shows.
I enjoyed this set even more than the first. It's
still not as off-the-wall wacky as One
Piece and the fights aren't as exciting as the ones in DBZ, but it's
strong show that will entertain adults and children alike.
It gets a strong Recommendation.