Toriko takes place in the Gourmet Age; the Gourmet Age is an "age where the world's manliest heroes quest for yet undiscovered culinary delights." Essentially Gourmet Hunters find rare animals to use as ingredients to fill their full course menu of life.
The series centers around a young Chef named Komatsu who's dream is to become a master chef. In the 1st episode he tracks down one of the four Heavenly Kings named Toriko, to enlist him for a mission from the International Gourmet Organization (IGO). Toriko relates Komatsu's dream to his own (fulfilling his full course menu), and soon the pair become "bro's" and are off on the journey together.
Where my Toriko: Part Two review left off, Toriko and the gang just found out about Century Soup from Granny Setsuno & were off to Ice Mountain (dubbed "Ice Hell") to find the mystical soup that only appears once every 100 years! Toriko isn't the only one who is aware of the Century Soup's appearance though...the Gourmet Corp. is after it as well! They dispatch their deadly Vice Chef, Tommyrod, to track it down & take it for them. The inevitable fight between Toriko and TommyRod is definitely something you don't want to miss!
As for what Part 3 includes... The first couple episodes on the set mainly has Toriko's crew facing off against the elements and creatures of Ice Mountain like Silver Grizzlies and Freezer Bison. There is some solid character development in these episodes as we get some background on two of Toriko's companions, Takimaru and Match. We quickly get to the main action when Toriko and company are ambushed by Tommyrod, a Bug Tamer, along with his subordinates Barrygamon (who has super speed, brute strength & can produce a oil based shield that layers him) & Bogie Woods (who can has a seemingly indestructible body and can take over someone's body, acting as a parasite.)
The next 3 episode focus mainly on Match and Takimaru, who are both in search for the Soup for very personal reasons, fighting Barrygamon and Bogie Woods, respectively. These episodes while very good, kind of drag, mainly because you really want to see Toriko and Tommyrod going at it, and while they do fight in short bursts here and there, they do a lot of posturing as well. These episodes also include the introduction of Teppei, a mysterious man who's helping Komatsu, Tina & Zongeh search for the Soup, but also has his own motives.
After the fight between Tommyrod's subordinates and Match/Takimaru concludes, we finally get to the main fight between Toriko & Tommyrod, and it's honestly one of the better anime fights I've seen in recent memory. They don't drag it out at all, & it's done right. Teppei also eventually makes his entrance and joins the fight, concluding it in spectacular manner. The slow burn buildup was definitely worth it!
The set wraps up with a couple episodes of the characters visiting a healing spa after escaping Ice Hell. We find out more of Teppei's backstory & Komatsu tries to recreate the Century Soup! They're very entertaining, but not the series best.
Dub Cast: While Ian Sinclair is still perfect as usual in the role of Toriko, the standout in this set is easily Greg Ayres as Tommyrod. Greg pulls off the character flawlessly, bringing a terrifying menace to the role in what I think is his best work to date. I can not wait for him to return in the future. Josh Grelle & the other regulars continue to impress, and lastly, David Wald does a great job as Teppei, the loudmouth reserved Knocking Reviver. David is a relative new comer to voice over (he's also Gajeel in Fairy Tail) and I was very impressed with his work here.
Positives: The Ice Hell arc is luckily a lot of fun, the Tommyrod/Toriko fight is extremely well done. We have one of the better anime villains in recent memory with Tommyrod. Teppei, Takimaru & Match are all good new characters that I would like to see again down the road, especially Teppei, who I feel they barely scratched the surface with him, and a lot more that can be done with his character.
Negatives: The inconsistent pacing. While I'd prefer the majority of the arc's in Toriko to be the same length of Century Soup, it feels a bit out of place being 20 episodes in a show where the shortest arc is 1 episode & the normal is between 3-10. I'm trying not to be negative toward the pacing in this show, i would just like the other arc's to be longer like this one and the pacing be consistent.
The 1.77:1 aspect ratio works fine. The color of the animation was vibrant and is surprisingly good for DVD.
Toriko comes with 2 language tracks. Option 1: A 5.1 Surround English dub. Option 2: Japanese Stereo with option English Subtitles. I always prefer to watch anime dubbed, so i viewed it in English only. The dub cast is top notch.
In terms of extra's, we get the same as the past 2 releases...2 episode/staff commentaries, the U.S. Trailer, typical FUNi trailers & Textless opening/closing songs. For the commentaries we have...
Episode 30 - Hosted by Ian Sinclair (Toriko), Jerry Jewell (Bogie Woods & Director for eps 37+), and Jason Douglas (Match.)
Episode 34 - Tyler Walker (Director eps 1-37) & David Wald (Teppei.) This is the only commentary in the 1st 4 parts that Ian isn't a part of, due to premiering the dub at a convention.
On a side note, I'm extremely bummed Greg Ayres didn't do a commentary, Tommyrod was the main focal point of the set and Ayres absolutely killed it in the role, so it's a definite letdown we don't get to hear his thoughts on the show & character.
Part 3 is the best yet. The fights are all extremely well done, one of the best anime villains that I've seen in recent memory, & they gave a lot of development to the new side characters. All of this makes for a great anime experience! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.