Every time I write a review about Toriko, I write word after word about this explosive fun-ride of a manga that is part fighting, part adventure, and part foodie manga, all mixed together to a perfection and unleashed upon the page by the mighty pen of mangaka Shimabukuro. So what else can I really say except that volume 12 of the manga lives up to the expectations, and is probably the largest cross-over manga from the Shonen Jump line that anyone, of any age, can access and enjoy to its full potential, and probably from time to time get pretty hungry along the way reading about all this food!
Volume 12 picks up right where we left off, and Komatsu has finally created the Century Soup after finding the secret ingredient in a very unlikely place. Our characters reunite and enjoy the soup, take a quick stop to build a new house for Toriko (out of food, of course), and before we know it, Toriko is off and visits the President of the IGO. After a little one-on-one fighting action to see how Toriko has grown, the President sends him off on a commission to find the almost mystical Ozone Grass, a delicious vegetable that only exists in a place called Vegetable Sky! Vegetable Sky exists literally in the sky, and is thousands and thousands of feet above the ground, where few dare to travel. Toriko takes Komatsu off, and after hiking up a huge vine, facing all sorts of dangers (think of a fighting anime take on Jack and the Bean Stalk), we reach our goal!
Volume 12 takes a much lighter tone than the previous two volumes, with way less blood shed, although we still get some fighting action. The volume focuses more on the wonders of food, and page after page is drawn with plenty of love for eating, as Shimabukuro makes our mouths water, while throwing in a monster every few pages to beat the crap out of for good measure. Toriko is still wacky in all the ways it’s been, and although this volume is a bit more innocent than previous, it is just the calm before the storm strikes soon.
Toriko volume 12 is available now in both print and digital from Viz.