The Shonen Jump Food Manga Nobody Talks About
Most fans of Shounen jump‘s manga and their respective anime wood think of food wars when someone brings up the subject of food manga. And why not? Despite some controversy for its often risque visuals, it’s one of the best and most successful series to grace the magazine. For some reason it seems difficult for Shounen jump fans should remember that the magazine had another food manga alongside it food wars during the first four years of its operation.
This manga is by Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro Toriko, which spanned an impressive 396 chapters from 2008 to 2016. That’s 78 chapters longer than food wars, and an extremely respectable race for Shounen Jump, where only the most popular manga tend to exceed 200 chapters. At the height of its popularity, Toriko also received a 147 episode anime and had two high profile crossovers with A piece (one of them also with Dragon Ball). Considering they’re the two best-selling manga of all time, it’s shocking that Toriko has been largely forgotten. And it shouldn’t be.
What is Toriko?
Toriko takes place in the distant future in what is known as the Gourmet Era. Today, gastronomy is the most coveted and important product on the planet, surpassing more traditional products such as gold and minerals. The extremely greedy Toriko is a famous food hunter who works various trades to track down rare ingredients and seeks to build his own menu complete with the dishes he has discovered. He is joined by the short and weak but extremely talented Chef Komatsu, as well as a set of other Gourmet Hunters. These include other members of the Four Heavenly Kings, of which Toriko is a member. Among their ranks are Coco, whose body is extremely toxic and uses poison in battle, Sunny, who can control every hair on her body like a limb, and Zebra, who uses her hypersonic voice to destroy almost anything in her path before to devour it. .
Toriko’s ultimate goal is to find the mysterious food known as GOD, which ended a war five centuries ago. He is looking to make it the main course of his full menu. Also after GOD and many other coveted ingredients is the evil organization Gourmet Corp, which Toriko and her friends clash with throughout the series. The vast majority of creatures and foods covered Toriko are fictional, but are based on existing food and animals. You can think of Toriko‘s like a real paradise of different tastes and culinary sensations, combined with a hell of extremely dangerous beasts, weather conditions and environments.
Thus, while food wars emphasizes real cooking and gourmet cooking, Toriko combines elements of fantasy, action and exploration with more traditional culinary themes. This makes it much closer in theme and tone to series like A piece and dragonballand that’s a big part of why a crossover between them was so seamless.
Why Toriko became irrelevant
If this sounds like the stuff of an immortal series, it’s hard to figure out what went wrong. There are a few answers to this question. First of all, Jorikoit is immediate shortcoming is in its lack of lead female characters. That’s not to say there aren’t several important female characters in the series, like the legendary leader Setsuno and Toriko’s eventual wife Rin, but they don’t appear in every storyline and when they do. do, they solidly support the characters.
This lack of diversity leads those responsible for the Toriko anime to debut a new anime-exclusive main character: Tina, a food journalist who endlessly follows Toriko and Komatsu on their adventures in search of the next big scoop. Tina isn’t a horrible character, but because she’s drawn into storylines that were originally crafted without her, her segments all feel like filler (because they are). It also makes the anime much slower than the manga.
TorikoThe anime isn’t that bad. It’s colorful and looks decent, although its fights aren’t animated very well. That said, its voice acting was canceled after 50 episodes, and even the Japanese adaptation concluded before the characters embarked on the Gourmet World in the manga. Then the manga was rushed to an end, probably due to poor sales. Shimabukuro recently returned to Shounen jump with a new series, Build the king, but that too was quickly removed.
Toriko’s poor commercial performance doesn’t mean it’s a bad manga. In fact, it’s one of the best Shounen jump‘s entire library, and there really is nothing like it. Shimabukuro’s art style is excessively detailed but also lends itself well to comedy. If you’re a foodie or just love good and wacky action and art, Toriko is a must read. The fact that he has a fan in Eiichiro Oda, the most successful mangaka of all time, further adds to this claim. It’s not hard to find either: the Shounen jump The website and app thankfully have the entire series available for digital playback, and the entire anime is available on Crunchyroll (as well as Hulu with the first 70 episodes).
MORE: The Best Shonen Jump Manga That Doesn’t Have An Anime Adaptation
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