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October 16, 2013

Bento Bako Lite: Toriko volume 16

toriko16Toriko Vol.16
Publisher: Viz Media (Shonen Jump Line)
Story and Art: Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro

Toriko. Zebra. Ancient food pyramid. Nitros. Cola. All these things and more clash together in a battle filled, eat all the exotic foods you can, volume of the hit Weekly Shonen Jump manga, Toriko!

The fast-paced 16th volume picks up with Toriko and fellow gourmet hunter Zebra searching through an ancient food pyramid and passing through its many dangers. Elsewhere in the pyramid Komatsu discovers an ancient cook book and comes under attack from a mummified creature that visually looks like their robotic rivals, but is definitely a living thing. Quickly a battle ensues as Toriko and Zebra come to the rescue, just as they run into the living Sphinx beast of the pyramid. There is no escaping, however, and it turns out making the Sphinx cry is the awesome key to getting the legendary mellow cola they are looking for. A battle ensues between Toriko, Zebra, and the Sphinx that is quickly joined in by the mummified creature! When the dust settles for our friends and they successfully, blood shed aside, achieve their goal, there is only one thing left for them to do as per every Toriko arc: have a huge feast! However, the feast isn’t as fun as they normally are when Chief Mansom and Ray reveal the secret of these creatures, like the mummified one they fought, that have begun to appear, called Nitros!

Like Dragon Ball, or other fighting manga, once Toriko gets going it is a pretty fast and furious manga that moves by quickly as a chunk of its pages are awesome, yet with a touch of oddity, fight scenes. That said, between the fight scenes it still stands out from other titles due to its eccentric characters, wonderful monster/creature designs, exotically bizarre foods, and genuinely a good laugh from the comedy built in. It is probably the weirdest action comedy published in Weekly Shonen Jump, and it also benefits from both Japanese readers who can write in to create creatures that get drawn into the manga (kind of like with what they used to do for original 70s Ultimate Muscle), and having a snazzy fun anime adaptation on the air.

There are only so many combinations of synonyms for words meaning “amazing” and “bizarre” that I can throw together, but Toriko certainly runs the gamut for every single combination possible for praise. It’s a foodie-meets-Fist of the North Star manga that you just have to read to be immersed in its crazy world and experience it.

Toriko volume 16 is out now in digital and print from Viz.

Drew McCabe



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