Toriko – Return of the Kings
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.