Toriko – Return of the Kings

Only in this series could that sound awesome.

Take a close look at that bottom right panel. Those of you who don’t know much about Toriko might just see a bunch of tough guys handing out together. Nothing out of the ordinary. However, for everyone reading the story right now, this chapter has been an interesting one. You see, those four characters are known in this series as the Four Heavenly Kings. They’re meant to be the main group which this manga focuses on. And this is the first time in 174 chapters they’ve all been in the same place together.

This may spoil my eventual review a bit, but one of the biggest issues I have with Toriko is that aside from Toriko and Komatsu, most of the main characters go long stretches of time between appearances. This isn’t like Natsume Yuujinchou where the cast rotates in and out each chapter. Some characters can go over a hundred chapters between appearances in the story, and even the occasional one-shot chapters don’t always include them. Hell, Rin even pointed this out last week:

I understand that they have their own lives and can’t always be together, but when that means we rarely get to see them at all, it makes it harder to like the stories where our favourite characters aren’t around. That’s why I find it significant that this chapter has finally brought the four Kings (and Komatsu and Rin) together for a common goal. Okay, they’re competing against one another, but that just makes it all the more fun!

Several of the last few arcs have focused on one of the Kings outside of Toriko, which I assumed was a sign that they would be coming together for something. The events of this chapter essentially state that Ichiyru has been trying to get them together intentionally, which I of course support. Eventually there’s going to have to be a story arc where they cooperate for something, which the kidnapping of all the top chefs seems to imply, but I’d like to see that sort of event sooner rather than later. For now, I think I’m okay with seeing who the best Extreme Icefisher is out of the group.

Posted on February 4, 2012, in Chapter Discussions, Series, Toriko and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. My bet is Komatsu will form a combo with Heavenly Kings and use them like at the battle with Nitro at Piramid maze.

    • That seems pretty likely, since he seems like more of a tactician than any other possible role in combat. Plus he has some respect from each of the four Kings.

  2. Is it just me, or has War become a fad among the bigger shonen titles.

    Whitebeard went to war with the marines
    The Ninja went to war against Madara
    Soul Society went to war against Aizen
    The amount of war in Reborn isn’t even funny anymore
    Fairy Tail went to war against oracion seis, edolas, and whoever attacked during the S ranked exam
    Yami & Yomi are at war with Ryozanpaku
    New Hell is at war with Vintage.
    Nanamine went to war against Jump twice in one year

    And there are countless other examples from manga i have read and not read yet.

    What the hell is with all the war in manga now a days. There’s a fine line between fighting the bad guys and just flat out warring over ideals, whihc is alot of what we see in today’s manga.

    IDK what do you think?

    • It’s certainly a way to add some drama to the situation. The 90s were kinda dominated by tournament style fighting, and while that hasn’t gone away certainly, it just can’t have the punch that it used to. A war ups the stakes and makes any particular fight have more meaning. Take Flame of Recca, which was at least 80% fighting tournament. I’d enjoyed it well enough until I took a break from buying volumes. A few months later, I went to the store and realized that I literally couldn’t tell one volume from the next. War arcs help prevent that same-y-ness.

      • Fair enough. but at what point does War stop adding dramatic tension and it starts to feel like it’s happening just because its a proven formula that works.

        I suppose if i had to compare it to something, we’re currently in the high point of it, where right now, there aren’t a lot of bad examples of pointless wars in manga. To be honest, of all the example i’ve listed, the only war i think that was even slightly pointless was The Vongola Decimo family vs. the Shimon Family from Reborn, and that’s just because i hate the Antaganist’s motives.

        But i can think of many tournament fighters that never went anywhere because the fad of them died out. B Reaction is a manga that comes to mind.

        It just makes me think that are we gonna reach a point where if a series introduces a war, we’re just not gonna care, and if that happens, what’s next? Do we step down back to tournament fighters because their retro, or do we basically move even further down the line, to the point where shonen basically turns into what seinen is now, and seinen just reaches a level we haven’t seen yet of violence.

        I’m normally not one to stand against violence in media, but there does have to be a line, and i think that we’re kinda walking it at this moment.

        • In this case, the definition of war is a little broad. In the examples with the Big Three, it definitely counts as a war, or at least part of it. If we include examples like those Fairy Tail arcs, which are just part of one organization fighting another, you could include a lot of things that wouldn’t otherwise count as wars.

          I think war is used because it’s the logical conclusion of endless fighting. The more people get involved as the series goes on, the greater everything escalates until you have events like that.

  3. those muscles are really something hell…I really wonder what the story is all about…:|

    • Yerocha, let me handle this one.

      This is a manga about eating food to get stronger.

      The protaganist’s are a super muscle man named Toriko, after the series, who eats anything he wants and never gains any fat and just builds muscle from eating. Komatsu, a chef that can hear the voice of ingredients, and if that made you think of the Tales from the Darkside episode where the woman could hear the screams of food feeling pain while being eaten, your not alone. and the fantastic world they live in where everything is edible and everything edible wants to eat you.

      Personally, i love this series, and you should give the first chapter a read, cause everything i told you could basically be taken with a mountain of salt =)

      • I’m most likely going to review this later, but it is best to think of works like Fist of the North Star, only much lighter in tone and with a lot less killing.

  4. I don’t read the manga but I watch the anime. If I am correct moustache guy is the top IGO guy right? In the anime Toriko will be fighting that guy next week. It seems that base on the preview it’s impossible for Toriko to win. Smiling while getting punched by Toriko lol!

    Damn would love to see them together in the anime 😀

    • Yes, that’s the head of the IGO. He’s one of the strongest characters currently in the series, so yeah, not much chance there. Let’s just be glad he’s friendly.

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