If there’s one thing Toriko knows how to do better than any other series, it’s how to create a sense of scale. I see other manga talk about big stuff, whether it be creatures, places, or just a massive world in general. But Toriko knows how to make things truly feel gigantic. It sends the characters against colossal ruins or monsters the size of the average city to make them overcome what feels like insurmountable hurdles.
This chapter took that to a whole new level. It’s one thing to face gigantic obstacles, but the difficult part is how you get across the protagonists not simply meeting them, but surpassing them. In their own way, they’ve become something grander than the creature that used to tower over them. So the question is how to convey that climactic moment with all the grandeur it deserves? Read the rest of this entry
Somehow over time, I’ve gotten used to the level of brutality the members of Sabertooth possess. That doesn’t make the events of this chapter any easier to watch. At first I didn’t respond to the backstory of Sting and Lecter very well, since it seemed to come a little too late and I didn’t think it fully justified his attitude. That was when I thought the previous match between him and Natsu was the last part of his story arc. As it turns out, that was only the midpoint. And while being angry because you made a promise to a friend isn’t a very good motivation, being angry because that friend was just killed right in front of you is a great one. Read the rest of this entry
The overall feeling I have towards Yamamoto, and one that most long time fans seem to agree with, is that for the leader of a powerful military nation, he doesn’t do a whole lot. When the other Gotei 13 members are struggling with enemies he could defeat in his sleep, you start to wonder if maybe this old man should get out of his rocking chair for a second. I think I can see what Kubo was thinking, since a good leader should be able to share the responsibility with his subordinates and trust in their ability to work. The problem is that Yamamoto is frequently so inactive his leadership starts to resemble something out of Dilbert. Read the rest of this entry
I’m constantly being impressed by the real-world themes that can be inserted into this series. Not long ago we saw a villain using drugs on children to keep them under control, and now we get to see a bio-weapon being put to use. It still managed to show the impact such a weapon would have even when it came from a goofy looking creature like Smiley the Slime Lizard. Of course I doubt any real weapon would have the effect of instantly petrifying all those caught in it, which may be one of the big reasons why this kind of attack could be shown in a shonen magazine. As long as there’s that small bit of disbelief, the level of terror is manageable. Read the rest of this entry
With Maka and crew finally making their way to the moon, Kidd’s team returning after meeting up with the society of witches, Crona having traveled here to find the Kishin, and Excalibur doing something somewhere, the conditions of this arc are quickly turning into something very much like a final battle. I knew this whole encounter on the moon would be very important in the grand scheme of things, but since Maka and Crona were away from that battle, it was difficult to imagine this as anything conclusive. Now things are slowly resembling a scenario I’ve seen several times before at the ends of shonen, which is where every available character gathers in one location to brawl until one side runs out of guys. Read the rest of this entry